David Potter’s Match Report: Celtic 1 Ajax 2


Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Match Reports

David Potter'sMatch Report


So that’s it for another season then. If there was any comfort in last night’s game it was that we wouldn’t really have progressed all that much further anyway. Frankly, we are still a little short of what is required.



Yet looking at the crowd and being part of that atmosphere last night makes us realise that we are a team who really SHOULD be in Europe. The crowd supported the team to the hilt and really deserved better than what they got. There is no point in moaning about injuries, referees or the lack of competition in Scotland. The sheer fact is that we must do better.
Yet there were good things about the game as well, not least in the performance of young Scottish players like Callum McGregor, Scott Allan and James Forrest. OK, there are rough edges as yet, but I feel that the future maybe does lie in young players like them. They really should be given a run in the team. I hope we do not “buy big” in the January transfer window.


What we have bought in the past has frequently been a disappointment. Perhaps it is time to take it on the chin, to regroup and to fight back with what we have. After all, we still have a treble to win, and that would be an achievement. And all the time, we can be building and thinking of next year’s European campaign.



The campaign to sack the Manager will inevitably gain strength. Yet I don’t think it is the best way to go, certainly not in the middle of a season. If we blow up domestically after the New Year, it might be a different matter, but more time should be allowed as long as some progress can be seen. Let us now take the opposition apart  in Scotland, starting with Inverness on Sunday.



For last night, no-one can blame the players for lack of commitment or effort. I would even go as far as to say that there is a certain amount of talent in the team, but we must make every effort to eliminate mistakes in defence and to capitalise on every half chance up front. In particular, the idea of having two men up front seems worth a go, does it not?



This defeat may yet turn out to be a blessing in disguise as long as Ronnie can sit down with the players and have a long collective hard look at themselves. Today is a very sad day for us but I repeat my contention that we can come again.



Craig Gordon – 9/10 – OK but might have done better with the first goal by taking more control of his six yard line
Mikael Lustig – 5/10 – poor. Gave the Ajax right winger far too much room particularly in the first half
Dedryck Boyata – 7/10 – fallible on occasion, but good in the air, and I feel that if he and Simunovic can strike up an understanding, things could take a turn for the better
Jozo Simunovic – 9/10 – good but must take some of the responsibility for the comedy of errors that was the first goal
Keiran Tierney – 9/10 – impressive. Occasions like this cannot but do him some good
Tommy Rogic – 6/10 – disappointing, and seemed to lose pace in the second half
Stuart Armstrong – 7/10 – some good moments but failed to dominate the game
Gary Mackay-Steven – 6/10 – disappointing. Seemed to struggle to cope at his level of football
Callum McGregor – 9/10 – one of the successes of the night. Took his goal brilliantly
James Forrest – 9/10 – good. You always felt that something might come from him
Leigh Griffiths – 5/10 – going through a bad phase, but deserves credit for acknowledging his faults
Charlie Mulgrew – 7/10 – nice to see him back even though he was with us for such a short time. Had hard luck with that header
Scott Allan – 9/10 – good apart from the mistake that led to the goal and surely now deserves a run in the team
Emilio Izaguirre – 7/10 – OK but failed to make the breakthrough that he was brought on for
Ajax – not much better than Celtic, if truth be told. Like us, they are a great team who have fallen on hard times. They will not win the Europa League
Referee – kept control well, but one or two fairly obviously wrong calls
Atmosphere – outstanding! What a pity Europe will see a lot less of this for a while!
Future – we must not panic or get too depressed. Let’s go to the Highlands on Saturday and show them what we can do!


  1. Bjarno
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Cannot agree – tactically inept. Passes going everywhere but to the intended man. No lack of commitment …true. However, lack of quality that would be instilled in professionals on the training ground is/has not been present. the team is a shambles and it is not a spending issue. It is a coaching issue. John Collins is not a good man to be in a coaching role – this has been proven in past tenure. John Kennedy is a great guy but our defense is a joke – no matter what way you look at it. Goals upon comical goals over the past two seasons. Celtic should have the depth to win such games at home – the opposition were not good. Certainly not as good as what we might have possibly faced. In the domestic league Celtic get upwards of 15 to 20 corners a game – how many attempt on target do we get from these let alone goals. On the other side of the park the marking is tragic, naive, weird and actually stupidity ensues on opposition corners and set pieces. I believed in RD and have tried to support him but he’s as clueless as anythinig I have seen on a sideline in some time (decades actually). Asking for new ownership or a new board would be too much but the Norwegian light weight and most of his light-weight sigings has to go prior to any change in firtune for Celtic in Europe. Atmosphere was outstanding but sadly, as has so often been the case with RD, it does not translate to success on the field. If he was worth anything he would leave having not upheld his promise after the fiascos of last year – instead the downward spiral continues.

  2. kevingraham
    Posted November 27, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    While I don’t think we deserved to lose the game and without doubt showed some heart it’s maybe a sign of how far our expectations have fallen that we accept last night.

    This season has seen us in all games apart from Molde have spells when we played far better than we did last season when we got out the group. Is that a sign of progress?

    Results go south, performances go north and we are undone by individual errors and that we are basically soft as shit? We are going to finish rock bottom of the group and it’s bloody miserable.

    Longer term, well, I don’t see where we are going. I don’t see any plan cohesion and focus which says to me that next year will be better. Our players need to be developed more than any other set of players we have had. The business model won’t change so the only change that can be made is getting a coach which can turn round the raw talent we have quickly and produce the kind of football Ronny promised but fails to deliver consistently.

    This morning it’s hard not to feel that we are waiting on the football rapture. Mowbray saw this delivered at New St Mirren Park. I dread where Ronny’s will be.

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