David Potter’s Reflections: It is a shame that European Cups can’t be won by supporters

13
Sep
2017

Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Match Reports

It is a shame that European Cups can’t be won by supporters. We would have won it hands down. Sadly our players decided to let us and themselves down badly.

Only to a point do I accept the argument that PSG are good. Yes, they were good (even the execrable Neymar), but it is surely Celtic’s job to raise their game and at least put up a fight for the sake of the 60,000 fans who turned up to give them unrivalled but sadly unrewarded support. And the really impressive thing was that the support continued to back them even when the game was lost. The 67 minute display was very moving – and in stark contrast to what was happening on the field at the time! Yet it is good that we constantly remind players and management that 1967 is what we expect. and will continue to espect.

The sad and depressing thing was that Celtic co-operated in the scenario predicted by the media that they would be outclassed. It was almost as if they believed that it was pre-ordained. No-one could deny that PSG could pass the ball around in a tremendously impressive way. The question is why can’t Celtic do likewise?

Brendan Rodgers comment about 12 year olds will possibly cause him trouble, but it was spot-on. Once again, we let ourselves down by giving the ball away too often. That is sheer naivety, and why do we have to put up with it? Why doesn’t Lennoxtown practise this seemingly rather basic skill?

Too many players let themselves down. I had thought that this would be a good opportunity for Olivier Ntcham to strut his stuff, but sadly the occasion appeared too much for him. The same could be said about Stuart Armstrong who was deservedly hooked. Scott Sinclair flattered to deceive with a few good runs but which produced nothing and Paddy Roberts, although always the threat and well policed by PSG, nevertheless promised more than he actually did. Anthony Ralston, an impressive young man, had an awful first half, but recovered well in the second half, and my best player was possibly Kieran Tierney. Mikael Lustig will want to forget this one, as will Scott Brown. Leigh Griffiths tried, and had he scored with that free kick in the first half, things might have been different.

The much maligned central defence will now probably open Brendan Rodgers up to a little criticism for not procuring a top notch centre half to partner Jozo Simunovich until such time as Dedryck Boyata returns. It will be a criticism that will be difficult to deflect given the very obvious truth that the money is there. And it is annoying that Virgil Van Dyck, for example, is fairly clearly kicking his heels in unhappiness at Southampton, when an attempt might have been made for him. Who knows? He might have relished the chance to play in the Champions League?

So where do we go from here? Let’s first of all get rid of the depression that envelops us all this morning and move on. That is the first thing to stress. There is still a lot more good than bad at Celtic Park. Our next Champions League game is at Anderlecht. PSG may well be way above us, but I am not going to believe that of Anderlecht. They are beatable, but only if we raise our game. Let’s see if we can get through what will be a tough game without anyone using phrases like “naive defending” or “giving the ball away” or “the occasion being too much for them”.

Domestically, the engine is already being cranked up for Ibrox a week come Saturday. That is fair enough, but only a fool would ignore Ross County, and in my view the most important fixture is against Dundee in the League Cup. If we don’t win that one, there will be no treble. Interesting and vital days await. Can we shake off our depression and deal with the challenges that face us? It wasn’t all that long ago that the word “invincible” was being used. That took a knock last night, but let’s move on.

And another thing. These awful road works which affected so many supporters heading east last night. Could they not have been suspended until after midnight to allow the crowd to get home? Or was it all a conspiracy to annoy us further?

7 Comments

  1. John
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Saw my local team, a team who had been in the FA cup proper, play a team of has-beens including John Robertson in Larry Lloyds 11. Our lads were by far the best of their class for miles around but we’re at a loss to even get the ball off the ‘old blokes’.
    It’s easy to say that you should raise you’re game but you cannot raise your speed of thought, your intuition and every other quality that makes PSG players what they are. No one could blame us for lack of effort but you can’t give what you haven’t got!

  2. Kevin O'Hare
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Agree with most of this but..i feel KT has a lot to learn and in CL he has been poor in every game he has played. Especially on Monday. No passes forward no tackles won in the first half and if players come inside he is beaten. No help to AS in the first half and his body language with the dropped shoulders told a story from the start of the game. BROONIE apart from a couple of moves was again the catalyst for our downfall. Not being in the middle of the park to assist and link play and his lack of passing ability in that position affects us severely. He constantly drops behind centre backs and invites opposition on to us. Drags the other midfielders in and closes down our option from the back. We are left to punt the ball to a lone Griff who chased everything. PR &SS left to do it on their own and put in great shifts with 3 men on them at all times. Where were the rest of the players to support them? IT seems that When struggling everyone just says KT was good and BROONIE usually gets the he tried to drive us forward but this is hiding your head in the sand. Look how well we played with Izzy in the last three Cl last year. KT relies on his pace and the fact he is usually not playing against a direct fast opponent. Whenever he is up against a decent winger he struggles as is case in Cl. He makes Maurice Malpas look like an a mature in terms of passing the ball backwards. He has to to work on receiving the ball and turning to face opposition. He has to work on his right foot especially i the tackle when people go inside him. He can’t header the ball and he is very negative in most of his play. Everything goes back the way. He has lots of promise but i don’t think he has improved since coming into the team. I don’t want him To become the next James Forrest getting easy praise and accepting it as he does not have To improve. To say he is the best young full back in Britain is not accurate and if he played in England he would get found out very quickly. Give me some stick for comments but if you look at games you will see i am correct. Hail hail

  3. Mo
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Agree with your summary, David. A few other things:
    a) We simply didn’t turn up. The gap between us and PSG is nowhere near as big as the result (or even the match) suggested. It’s happened to us before, probably at least once every year in our European history. Even on the way to Seville we failed to turn up at Celtic park against Blackburn.
    b) We allowed PSG far too much of the ball yet look at their goals: 1 – a giveaway by Sinclair (who was NOT fouled – let’s stop making excuses for him); 2 – Cavani’s fresh-air swipe let in Mbappe. Had he connected he’d probably have skied it; 3 – the stupidest ever penalty to give away; 4 – a desperately unlucky OG; 5 – a total fluke. No way did Cavani intend that spin on the ball, he was trying to knock it back across goal.
    c) What else did Gordon have to do bar pick the ball out of the net five times. Very little! They had fewer than ten attempts on goal and one of them was a penalty!

    Let’s not beat the lads or ourselves up about this. We’ll recover and still be in Europe in the Spring. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re in the knockout stages of this comp!

  4. Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I would like to bring up a point about the moron who invaded the pitch on Tuesday. clubs all over the UK. spend millions on police and security, when is both going to be taken to task when there is a breach like Tuesday? as a friend said to me after the game what would have happened if he had a knife or a gun ?

  5. franny kiernan
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Much of what you say is spot on for me Kevin. We are not world class by any manner of means and much of our relative success has been down to team effort, there was a lack of support in most areas on chooseday night and we chose to have a general off day. I trust in Brendan but lack of motivation to get in the face of PSG especially in the first half was palpable. Who takes the responsibility for that? I won’t go down the road of criticising any celtic player on a public forum but we know that no one goes out to perform badly and sometimes the occassion gets to individuals unfortu nately on this night it seemed to be infectious. We draw a line under it and move on to the next game which although maybe sounding as cliche is always the most important.
    hail hail

  6. John A
    Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Don’t agree with a lot of this. Firstly the idiot that ran into the field would ensure we won no supporter awards. KT was disappointing, Ralston performed admirably against the world’s most expensive player and Broonie was our only midfielder for most of the match. VVD on loan, can’t believe you are serious about this, no chance. We missed having someone up front who could hold the ball up. HH

    • Domhnall Chalum
      Posted September 14, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Thank goodness some one talking sense. Some predictions pre match were from the heart rather than the head however 0 – 5 against the current PSG although depressing is not a million miles from the true financial comparisons.
      Undoubtedly progress will be made and I believe a respectable 3rd in the group is achievable and shouldn’t be considered a failure. Important thing for Celtic is progressing the team this year, especially the defence in preparation for a more concerted challenge next season. Hopefully the improved challenge from Rangers and continued threat that the Dons pose will sharpen concentration, tactics and skill levels. All this from an envious Hun.

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