Hapoel Beer Sheva 2 Celtic 0 (4-5 on agg): Poor Celtic Bhoys back in Champions League group stage

 

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Hapoel Beer Sheva beat Celtic on the night and caught a dose of the Scottish disease, the Celtic disease, of glorious defeat in victory. This game will be forgotten. The only thing that matters is who goes into the draw for the Champions League. Recently, Celtic have been taking one step forward and two steps back. This was a reminder of the Ronnie Roar night, but our last manager  didn’t think we’d make the group stages, which was fair enough assessment. There was a Ronnie Corbett look about the team, filled with small players that couldn’t fill the shirt, couldn’t pass muster, never mind pass the ball.

Craig Gordon saved a penalty conceded by Janko and caught Janko to concede a cartoon goal. Both players, I suspect, are going to follow Effe to pastures new and for similar reasons. If Craig Gordon plays in the next Champions League qualifier then I’m a black man.

Lustig was unlucky with an early chance, but his time as a centre-half or indeed right back is drawing to a close. Injury prone he hasn’t got the legs to get up and down the park and he can’t defend that well either. Danny McGrain, on the coaching staff, would give him a run for his money.

Toure didn’t do much wrong. Didn’t do much right. Must do better.

Tierney, and it pains me to say it, is no longer new and out of the box and showing signs of wear and tear, his passing and positional play, not great, but still our greatest prospect of being a Celtic great. Usually you can rely on him to be outstanding, last night he was below mediocre.

Bitton, the Israeli, was the only Israeli to play badly. His best moves came with time-wasting at the end.

McGregor was a surprise choice. He’s fallen out of the midfield and out of the team because people forgot he was in the team. Last night was no exception. Had to check for television evidence he was playing.

Brown was back to his old ways. Beaten in the air for the first goal and often in the wrong place at the wrong time. On this evidence he shouldn’t quit Scotland, but quit Celtic  When he was in the right place, he posed as much threat as McGregor.

Forest was back to his old ways too, running backwards with the ball, quicker than he went forward with his turtle neck disappearing further and further into his shirt and getting hooked. With Roberts back fit, it’s ta-ta James.

Sinclair was the only Celtic player that showed any kind of courage on the ball and posed any kind of threat. First pick on the team sheet every week.

Griffiths wasn’t happy at being taken off. That’s not a bad thing. And when he was looking back at who was still on the pitch, you can see his point, but he didn’t get a hit of the ball for the sixty-odd minutes he was on the park.

 

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