Celtic Only Have Themselves To Blame… Plus They Owe Scottish Football An Apology

Celtic Park

A Champions League tie is won or lost over 120 minutes, it shouldn’t depend on a refereeing decision.

Celtic lost out to Swedish champions Malmo FF, a result which again saw Ronny Deila and his men fall at the final hurdle and not reach the lucrative group stages of the Champions League.

To be honest over the two legs, the Hoops didn’t deserve to go through.

They were nervy at back, lost sloppy goals and lacked any urgency going forward when it mattered the most.

The Scottish champs were two goals up in the first leg, after just ten minutes. That should have been a huge confidence booster. The Hoops should have just controlled the ball from then on in and taken a healthy lead to Sweden.

But no, instead they defended woefully and allowed Malmo back into the tie.

Striker Leigh Griffiths then managed to regain his sides two goal lead. But again Celtic couldn’t see it out, at the death of the game former Celt Jo Inge Berget curled in Malmo’s second.

That second away goal was a huge wake up call for the Glasgow side but they didn’t learn their lesson as they again defended poorly and it ultimately cost them their place in Europe’s most elite club competition.

Now certain parts of the media and some within Celtic’s support will point to their sides goal in the second leg that was wrongfully chopped off. I still have no idea how the ref could get that decision so wrong, the Malmo player clearly handled the ball not Celtic’s Charlie Mulgrew.

Of course that decision causes frustration but to be honest it didn’t cost Celtic their place in the Champions League. Their players became lost on the football field and fell apart. That’s what cost them dear!

Also why aren’t we hearing the same people shout about Leigh Griffiths actions in the first half. He clearly stuck his knee into the balls of an opponent. That loss of discipline should have seen the Scottish striker being sent off. Yet we hear very little about that incident.

Look Celtic have been coming up with excuses even before this exit.

Right at the start of the campaign they were moaning about playing too early in the competition. I feel for them as the Scottish coefficient is so low, they get little help from others when it comes to European football.

But the fact remains that in the past two seasons, the Scottish champions have failed to qualify for the group stages. Moan about the excessive qualifying if you actually qualify because when you fail the argument becomes a bit redundant.

Assistant manager John Collins also claimed that other Scottish teams didn’t help his side with their build up for big European ties:

“We conceded too many goals in Europe last year. If you become open and detached against good players and teams you get punished.”

“It’s something that doesn’t happen in Scotland. No disrespect to teams here but they’re not clever enough players or quick enough thinkers to punish us.”

Quite ironic that the bulk of Ronny Deila’s signings at Celtic Park have been purchased from the Scottish leagues.

Also seems like Celtic haven’t learnt there lessons from last season.

Plus the one thing Scottish football should do is allow Celtic to practice their defending from set-pieces. Unfortunately the Bhoy’s weren’t smart enough to snuff out danger or quick enough to pick up opposing players in the Celtic penalty area!

For that, Celtic and in particular John Collins owe Scottish football an apology. Although that said, the Scottish giants are continuously let down by other Scottish sides who struggle to get anywhere near a proper round in a European competition.

Celtic’s Chief Executive Peter Lawwell also has questions that need to be answered. Why on earth does he make the same old mistakes? Celtic clearly needed more new recruits, especially ones with European pedigree. Yet Lawwell always sits on his hands and prays for Champions League qualification before spending a decent amount of cash. He will now watch on as yet another prize asset (Virgil van Dijk) will leave for the English Premier League this month.

So before Celtic look to blame everyone else, they simply need to look at themselves and realise they are to blame.

On the field and on the touchline they were extremely naive. When the game called for calm heads, the Glasgow side lost the plot. Poor defending and a failure to close out the first leg cost them. Plus they lacked a forward who had experience at the highest level of the game.

Hopefully they can again go far in the Europa League, learn from these harsh lessons and come back stronger next summer!

One Response to “Celtic Only Have Themselves To Blame… Plus They Owe Scottish Football An Apology”

  1. Well after all the hype the Malmo manager showed who was the better manager and who had the better players.

    Malmo fans must be thankful that Ronnie never took the Malmo job.

    John Collins stated that Scottish players are not clever enough to capatilise on their defense!!

    Yet for the past 5 games they have conceded two goals per game and Celtics defense are usually all continental players apart from goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

    All great teams build from the back and have a solid defense. Celtic have a very poor defense that always seems to be naïvely exposed.

    Unless the manager gets a proven goal scorer at this level and sorts the defense out Celtic will only have local success.

    Collins says that the Scottish premier players are not smart enough to exploit better players, well yes he proved this in Malmo. We will never win anything in Europe with a team of Scottish premiership players.

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