Pundits attempt to defend James Scott after Celtic-Motherwell incident

By David Walton

February 24, 2019

We’ve all hopefully calmed down regarding that Motherwell goal at Celtic Park today.

James Scott ridiculously charged down on the Celtic goal after Motherwell were in a position where they should’ve given the Hoops the ball back. It all resulted in a goal for Gboly Ariyibi, and it infuriated Parkhead.

For many, there is simply no defending it. It was cunning, poor sportsmanship, and ultimately cost Celtic their domestic clean sheet record.

Yet that hasn’t stopped Scott McDonald and Pat Bonner on the BBC, from trying to defend Scott. On the BBC’s live text coverage from the game, Bonner stated the following (17:15):

“People out there need to understand James Scott is a young boy who has got talent and he made a mistake, let’s forget it and move on.”

Former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner says James Scott is just “inexperienced” (Mandatory Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport)

That came after McDonald (16:11), a former two-time Motherwell striker, stated that it was down to Scott being “inexperienced”.

These are all just smoke and mirrors. The truth is that Scott knew exactly what he was doing. He could hear the crowd going nuts at him, and still he powered on.

Added to that, was it also therefore just inexperience from Ariyibi who slammed the ball home and waltzed away with a big grin on his face? Was it also just inexperience from Steve Robinson who didn’t allow Celtic to get the goal back they ridiculously lost?

Nothing to do with inexperienec

Motherwell had several chances to repay the Hoops for their poor sportsmanship. That they failed to do so says a lot about how they operated on the day.

Robinson has a fine young squad at his disposal. Let’s not get away from the fact that the Steelmen performed really well on the day and zipped the ball around with confidence.

But their actions today shouldn’t and won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

Stephen Robinson has plenty to be ashamed about today (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Trying to pin it on inexperience is a copout. Considering the Motherwell players were happy to celebrate and take the goal proves that.

Granted, you can hardly blame the likes of McDonald for trying to calm things down and explain the situation. His affection for the Steelmen is well known. Bonner, on the other hand, you would expect to be a bit more assertive on the situation.

Motherwell let themselves down at Parkhead. Not just Scott, and not just Ariyibi. This incident ripples through the management and the club as a whole.

Fortunately, in the end, Celtic’s quality told. But was the incident down to inexperience? That’s just a lazy argument.