David Potter’s Match Report: Celtic 0 St Johnstone 1


Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Match previews



This may not have been the biggest disaster in the world, but it certainly was a huge disappointment after the Aberdeen game on Sunday. But it was a wake up call, and a timely reminder that Trebles are not given for nothing, and that there is nothing to be taken for granted. There is no such thing as an easy game.

St Johnstone came to Celtic Park with nothing to lose and they did take the game to Celtic from an early stage. Indeed they have a lot to be happy about with a fine strike for the only goal of the game, but their time wasting was a very annoying and unnecessary feature of their play, and I was amazed that the referee did not take stronger action. Certainly 2 minutes of added-on time was a gross underestimate of the time lost.

So where did it all go wrong for Celtic? A former player keeps telling me that Celtic should have a man “out” when defending a set piece. Might this have stopped the goal? Certainly the St Johnstone player had loads of room!  A great deal of our defeat can be put down to a lack of luck and the ball not running for us at key points, but it must also be said that we missed Izaguirre and Commons, and that several players simply had an off day. The shooting in particular was weak.


What we cannot accept as any kind of excuse is being “tired” after exertions over the past week. We can accept that this was simply a bad game. OK, but there must be no more of them. The bottom line is that if we play like that on Sunday against Dundee United or the next Sunday against the same opponents, we will not win a Treble. We are still favourites to land the Premiership, but there must be no more sub-standard performances like this one.


The management style of Ronnie Deila is now put under some kind of examination.. The players have to be lifted. It will not be an easy task, but it will have to be done. It would be an awful shame if all the good work since the New Year were to be thrown away. Over to you, Ronnie. We want to join you in the “Ronnie Roar” once again!


Craig Gordon – 9/10 – one bad mistake early on, and his kicking was once again disappointing, but he cannot be blamed for the defeat


Adam Matthews – 9/10 – a very good first half, and let’s hope that he is not injured for Sunday


Jason Denayer – 10/10 – very good


Virgil Van Dijk – 9/10 – generally good, but a little languid on occasion


Efe Ambrose – 6/10 – careless sometimes, and some dreadful misuse of the ball when we were attacking late in the game


Scott Brown – 8/10 – not his best game, and he would not have been my choice for “Man Of The Match”


Stefan Johansen – 8/10 – did not dominate in the way that we wanted him and needed him to do


Stuart Armstrong – 9/10 – a very strong first half, but shaded slightly in the second half


Gary Mackay-Steven – 6/10 – his worst game since joining us


Anthony Stokes – 9/10 – played well, worked hard and I felt he was substituted prematurely


Leigh Griffiths – 8/10 – worked had, ran tirelessly, but not as incisive as he has been


Mubarak Wakaso – 8/10 – a strange substitution, considering that Darnell Fisher was on the bench, but what I saw of him confirms my impression that he is a better attacker than he is a defender


Nir Bitton – 9/10 – might have made a difference if he had been on for the whole game


James Forrest – 6/10 – oh, dear! This was Jamesie’s big opportunity, and he certainly tried, but why does he persist in running ACROSS the field into trouble, when a better option is to “skin” the opponent and go for the corner flag, then cross? He is so one-dimensional and predictable.

St Johnstone – a competent side whom we have yet to play at McDiarmid Park after the split. They deserve more supporters than what they have


Referee – cannot be blamed for Celtic’s defeat, but the decision to add only 2 minutes was a strange one.

Outlook – if this display is replicated on Sunday, disaster beckons.


  1. kevingraham
    Posted March 5, 2015 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    The proverbial bad day at the office. These are easier to accepted after a run that has seen us go 6 points clear, get into a cup final and be in the quarter final of the cup. This is our first domestic defeat since December.

    Hardly a reason to boo the team as if it was September eh?

    We lacked tempo, skill and urgency. This was our european hangover performance. A hectic schedule caught up with us.

    David mentions Ronny management style. I have no worries about that. I wish I had the comfort that he has seen us over the winning line before though. I doubt and that’s the only doubt I have. The doubt that no matter how much he has learned, how much he’s proved that he can handle the job and how enjoyable this season has been – at times – he hasn’t won anything yet.

    I had it with Lennon. It took him 3 attempts to land his first trophy. Never had it with Martin though. He had an air of inevitability. Ronny was beginning to get that but last night was probably a well timed boot in the costa del sols.

    The worry is our injuries. The worry is our squad players not looking up for it. The worry is our number of games being our undoing.

    Hopefully Commons and Izzy are for for Sunday. Henderson for the ever increasing forlorn Stokes and hopefully we will be fine.

  2. Jackson
    Posted March 5, 2015 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Wakaso was way out of his depth in that game……a mistake by Ronny,
    Forrest disappointing once again along with Stokes, Scepovic should get his chance,

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