CELTIC are only eight months away from celebrating the 50th Anniversary of becoming the first British club to conquer Europe.
Jock Stein’s men, of course, made history by beating the famed Italians of Inter Milan 2-1 in the European Cup Final in Lisbon with goals from Tommy Gemmell and Stevie Chalmers on May 25 1967.
Ronnie Simpson was the legendary goalkeeper throughout the competition and he conceded five goals during the nine-game 13-and-half hour run.
That’s the same amount Dorus de Vries shipped in 45 second-half minutes against Barcelona at the Nou Camp last night!
De Vries has failed to impress so far in his three Celtic appearances. He has failed to keep a clean sheet, has conceded 9 goals
and has only made a couple of saves.
Brendan Rodgers has demonstrated that he is ruthless in dropping players or even shipping them out of the club if they have made significant errors in games. Efe Ambrose lost his place in the squad after his own goal against Barcelona in the Dublin friendly. Few supporters would argue about that decision.
After the 2-0 away defeat to Happoel Be’er Sheva in Israel both Saidy Janko and Craig Gordon paid the price with the former being shipped out to Burnley on a season long loan and the latter losing his place to new arrival De Vries.
Craig Gordon is certainly a decent shot stopper and that is perhaps something that Celtic could have been doing with last night. His weaknesses with cross balls wasn’t really going to be tested by a Barcelona side that keeps the ball moving along the ground.
Rodgers’ ruthlessness has been apparent so far only with players at the club before his own arrival so it will be interesting to see if his own signing De Vries is preferred to Gordon at Inverness on Sunday.
As for Cristian Gamboa, what a tough place to make your debut! The boy was entirely out of his depth and Barcelona swarmed around him all night. With the lightweight Paddy Roberts in front of him offering next to no protection, the Costa Rican had a night to forget.
We can only hope that his confidence isn’t shattered.
One thing is for sure, both Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach will seek to exploit Celtic’s defensive frailties and in particular our weaknesses at right full back and in goals. The Champions League is unforgiving.