“What we can never forgive in a Celtic jersey is lack of effort and energy,” David Potter

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The Celtic Star

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So, the statue on London Road of Billy McNeill holding up the European Cup will still be on its own for at least another year. This was one of the more painful exits of them all, and very sadly it means that the negativity and the pessimists will now prevail both in the media and more perniciously, within our own ranks, and that is even before Ange has got a start! Which player is now going to be attracted to Celtic? And more importantly, how are we going to get rid of our ruinously expensive deadwood?

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Odsonne Edouard. Photo: Bo Amstrup

One can forgive mistakes – in truth there were not an awful lot of them tonight, although James Forrest should have scored a second – but what we can never forgive in a Celtic jersey is lack of effort and energy. Yes, I know it was a hot night, but it was equally hot for Midtjylland, and they seemed to have enough energy when it mattered. The whole 30 minutes of extra time saw a Celtic team playing with a death wish, a team who knew they were beaten – and that is of course a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is also totally unacceptable from a green and white jersey.

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Anthony Ralston. Photo: Bo Amstrup

Before the start of the game, much was the talk about this being Odsonne Edouard’s last game for the club. I am not so sure of that now, because it is difficult to see anyone wanting to shell out anything for such an inept, anonymous and sheer lazy performance as we saw tonight. And how it hurts to say that of the man who has in the past scored so many good goals for us, not least that fine counter in the 2019 Scottish Cup final against Hearts in the rain. Just what has happened to this man?

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Ryan Christie. Photo: Bo Amstrup

It is difficult to be positive about anything tonight, but I did not feel that our four inexperienced defenders let us down too much. There were mistakes, but they were normally well covered for and Anthony Ralston played particularly well to confound a few of his more extreme critics.

I feel that Dane Murray and Stephen Welsh could become in time a fine defensive partnership – but the trouble is that no-one will give them time. They should not however be discarded. We do not know the quality of what is coming in until we see them. Looking on some of our recent foreign buys that we have bought “blind” (ie before we have seen them) I guess and fear.

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Ange Postecoglou Photo: Bo Amstrup

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The midfield was the area that faded the most obviously in the latter stages tonight with Turnbull perhaps the biggest culprit, and he was deservedly taken off. McGregor scored a great goal – and we really need to see this oftener! Soro and Christie deserved pass marks but it is in the penalty box that the fault lies. We really have to find someone who can score goals on a regular basis!

But the biggest problem remains the pall of gloom that surrounds us. It is all very well to moan about the past – we can all do that, and we all have done that, about how we should have done this and should have done that, but it is the here and now that concerns me. The first requirement from Ange is to find men that will not give up. We did surrender rather too easily in extra time tonight. And the solutions must be found quickly, otherwise Ange will become a Jo Venglos one season wonder. We wish you well, Ange! You now know, if you didn’t before, just exactly what Celtic means to so many people!

David Potter

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