It’s always one of the treats of competing in European competition to see what foreign media outlets make of the Celtic football on offer.
Lacking any built-in bias, either positive or negative, these writers can often provide refreshing insight on what’s going right and wrong in the Bhoys team.
As we consider what we witnessed from Neil Lennon’s side tonight, let’s take a look at what one Italian outlet had to say about the team.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Emanuele Pastorella of Tutto Mercato Web, rated Vasilis Barkas as our poorest performer stating: “With his feet he risks too much.”
Yes, and that’s probably not the only issue he had tonight, also showing poor positioning for Milan’s first goal.
Where the Greek signing goes from here is unknown. Will Lennon back his big-money transfer or will Scott Bain be thrown back in against St Johnstone? All eyes will be on the team announcement.
Pastorella’s most glowing praise? That was reserved for captain Scott Brown. He earned the highest rating of the entire team. The Italian journalist said: “He is the man everywhere for Celtic, he can be found pressing in all areas of the midfield on the opposite Rossoneri.”
Brown was indeed one of our better performers tonight, hammering home that he is best utilised in matches where we might not be dominating possession.
Does he have much use as a defensive midfielder at home to Ross County? Not for me.
Can he be a vital cog in a midfield machine against stellar opposition? Yes, absolutely, if he’s on form.
Hopefully, the manager can figure out the best way to utilise him as the season goes on. I don’t think that’s happened for large chunks of the campaign so far. His presence in the midfield on Sunday could again be a problem.
Pastorella also managed to sum up the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Ryan Christie, writing for Tutto Mercato Web: “Delivering the through ball to Edouard for the second goal that made Celtic dream, afterwards he disappears from the radar.”
That about sums up his season so far! He can effectively contribute goals and assists but his presence in the team has been lacking for large spells of match action.
All in all, it wasn’t a dreadful, nor a stellar, performance from Celtic tonight.
Now we just have to wait and see what Sunday brings.