Celtic Should Be Proud Of European Adventure

After Scottish Premiership champions Celtic were defeated and knocked out of the Europa League by Spanish cracks Valencia, Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers said (Source – The Telegraph):

“The players tired a little bit  towards the end but still we could have done better with the goal. But the difference over the two games was that in the key moments in the game we haven’t defended so well.

“But overall we were excellent, I was very proud of the team.”

The statement that Rodgers was ‘very proud’ of his team was met with mirth from some on social media.

Now I don’t think Rodgers was specifically saying he was proud to lose 3-0 on aggregate but was in fact pointing out that they’d given a good showing of themselves in Spain and worked hard to try and turn things around after defeat in the first leg.

I also think that Celtic should be encouraged by their display in the Europa League as a whole.

After disappointingly losing out to AEK Athens in the Champions League during the qualifiers of that competition, the Glasgow side managed to dust themselves down and compete in a tough group in UEFA’s second club competition.

Wins over Norwegian champs Rosenborg and Bundesliga side RB Leipzig were enough to see Celtic qualify alongside Red Bull Salzburg into the next round.

Any Scottish side reaching the knock-out stages of a European competition deserves to be applauded.

Personally, I was delighted to see Celtic achieve this and compete against La Liga side Valencia with plenty of Scottish faces within their ranks.

I think the quartet of Scottish internationals Callum McGregor, Kieran Tierney, Ryan Christie and James Forrest were some of the club’s top performers during the extremely competitive Europa League group stage.

For me, former Dundee goalkeeper Scott Bain was a standout in the second leg against Valencia and can be happy with his displays in Europe. In total, Bain made five saves during that second leg.

It’s all too easy to scoff teams in defeat.

While I think Brendan Rodgers and his squad made a few mistakes during their European campaign this season, as a whole I believe the Scottish treble winners can be very proud of their European adventures this term. They stuck to their principles, competed and gave their all.

They, along with Rangers and Hibs, have significantly improved our standing and our coefficient within Europe and hopefully all Scottish sides can improve on this ground work next season.

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