James McFadden not impressed with Celtic defence in Cluj defeat

By John Reid

December 13, 2019

Celtic’s 2-0 loss to Cluj didn’t really matter much in the grand scheme of things. The Hoops had already reached the last 32 of the Europa League. However, that doesn’t mean that the performance on the night couldn’t have been better.

Neil Lennon was probably unhappy with the goals Celtic conceded on the night. They were quite sloppy, and could have been defended better.

One man who wasn’t impressed with the Hoops defence and the goals that were conceded was BBC pundit James McFadden.

Too many mistakes

(Photo by Paul Ursachi/MB Media/Getty Images)

The former Motherwell striker felt that the goals that the Hoops defence made too many mistakes on the night, firstly he felt a chance that almost saw Cluj go 2-0 up was down to poor play from the Hoops at the back.

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“It’s a brilliant save but it’s so avoidable. Celtic are trying to play out from the back and Cluj are pressing well. The problem for Gordon is that he doesn’t have an out-ball to hit” McFadden said as quoted by BBC Scotland (12/12 live match page, 19:08).

He was then critical of Celtic’s defending for the second goal.

“A bit more”

(Photo by Paul Ursachi/MB Media/Getty Images)

“It’s a devastating counter from Cluj, but you’re looking for a bit more from Celtic. The guys that are playing are here to try and take the place of those they are replacing” he said (BBC Scotland 12/12 live match page, 19:28).

In a way it is hard to be that critical of the defence and the performance overall as the game mattered more to Cluj. They needed a win to ensure that they made the last 32. Celtic were already through, so the performance levels were not going to be the same.

McFadden does make an interesting point though about the players who came into the team. Did any fringe players really make an impression? The debutant Scott Robertson did. Aside from that, the answer would probably be ‘no’.

However, it will be better to judge those players on a game that really matters. Celtic could have played better in Cluj, as identified by McFadden. However, now is not the time to dwell on that game, as Celtic get set to return to league action on Sunday.