Celtic captain Callum McGregor on the Scottish football narrative that confuses him

By Euan Davidson

November 18, 2021

Celtic captain Callum McGregor doesn’t understand the criticism lobbed at Hampden, Scotland’s national stadium.

The historic venue has been particularly maligned over recent years. With a track between the pitch and the stands, there’s a great deal of separation. And, as an architectural quirk, noise doesn’t travel at Hampden quite so well as say, Celtic Park.

However, the Celtic captain, who’ll lead his team out at Hampden on Saturday night, disagrees with the criticism. In fact, he’s confused as to why the national stadium gets so much stick.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

McGregor was key to a famous night for Scotland on Monday, but he faces a different test on Saturday night. St Johnstone visit Glasgow to face Celtic in the Premier Sports Cup. And McGregor, as ever, is looking forward to the next game.

Celtic skipper McGregor said [Celtic FC]:

“You just need to go back to other night in terms of the Scotland stuff. I thought the atmosphere was rocking. Do you know, I always get a bit confused when people say that the atmosphere’s not as good at Hampden.

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“Any time I’ve been there, especially with a full house, the atmosphere’s always been amazing. We’ve always fed off that as players, with just how much the support give us on these big days.

“I actually really like it. It probably helps that I’ve had some good experiences there as well. For me, personally, I really do like it.”

Is Hampden really all that bad? Celtic captain Callum McGregor doesn’t think so

Speaking personally, I don’t mind Hampden at all. For sure, the stands could be closer to the pitch, but as a venue, it’s still a stand-out.

It could certainly be improved upon, but it’s a historic, important site in not just Scottish, but World Football. Reputation alone doesn’t mean it’s worth keeping, though; as a facility, it does a fine job.

We’re blessed with the best stadium in Scotland, so of course every other ground is going to pale in comparison. Far as McGregor is concerned though, it’s a happy hunting ground, where he and Celtic have lifted a glut of trophies in recent seasons.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Put it this way: anywhere you celebrate a Quadruple Treble is hardly going to be a venue you despise, is it?

With Ange Postecoglou and several of his first-team heading out onto the hallowed Hampden turf for the first time, it’ll be on McGregor to lead the way. To settle the nerves, to address his colleagues before a crucial kick-off.

With a 5.15pm kick-off and a sizeable Celtic contingent, it has all the ingredients for a fantastic game.

And yes, that’s including the venue.

Read more: Ange Postecoglou on the “overlooked” but impressive part of his Celtic team