Last night’s game at Motherwell was Callum McGregor’s 50th appearance for Celtic and Scotland this season. At this stage of an unrelenting career, I am continually looking for signs of fatigue. Instead, Callum marked his half century with a display of industry, speed, insight and a spectacular goal. On any other occasion, he would be Man of the Match.
But that award had to go to the incomparable Odsonne Edouard. Odsonne terrifies defenders. He seems to be able to attract groups of them, before weaving a way though. The free kick goal, his second in successive games, will rightly make the highlights, but he is now so much more than just a goal scorer for Celtic.
In possession at the edge of the Motherwell box in the second half, when others would shoot, he had the coolness to roll the ball in front of the advancing Olivier Ntcham. That vision is the sweet spot in football, a rare gift to cherish. Most would be overcome with tunnel vision. The finish was disappointing, but the build-up play is more evidence of what a special talent Odsonne is.
We kept a clean sheet thanks to Fraser Forster, but Motherwell were repeatedly gifted space and possession in dangerous areas in the first half. I like the shape we deployed last night and think it is crucial to the play and results we have seen since the break. More work is required if we are to avoid a potentially costly error.
Sky held their hands up and issued an apology to Celtic fans for broadcasting an accusation of racism on subtitles, where no such comments were made. The climb-down happened shortly before kick-off, meaning it had significantly less shelf-life as a news story than their unashamedly predatory video against Celtic fans.
They did not even suggest they would take any meaningful remedial action, it looks like we have been invited to ‘get over it’. After Kris Boyd going for Leigh Griffiths’ “mental strength”, they have a pattern of predatory behaviour that falls well short of necessary editorial standards.
From the outside, it looks like Sky’s Scottish football coverage is controlled by little more than a cabal of bitter losers. Only their actions can change this perception.