Michail Antonio wowed by his Celtic Park experience; lauds atmosphere

By David Walton

July 25, 2021

West Ham United centre-forward Michail Antonio has hailed Celtic Park as he talked up the atmosphere created in Glasgow’s East End.

Like many Hammers stars yesterday, Antonio was playing his first-ever game at Parkhead. The English Premier League star showed his quality too, bagging a brace and winning a penalty all in the first half.

Celtic, suffering from a lack of investment in the back-line, would ultimately succumb to a painful 6-2 defeat in front of 18,500 supporters.

And even though there was still over 30,000 empty seats at Parkhead, Antonio was still wowed by what he experienced.

Speaking via the official West Ham website, the Englishman said: “Especially at the start of the game, they were making a lot of noise. I was standing a yard away from Nobes and Nobes was trying to speak to me and I couldn’t hear him, and that’s only with 18,000, so imagine if this place was full!

“I’ve talked to a few people who played here. They said the atmosphere was the best they’ve ever played in so, I’m a bit upset that I’ve not experienced that, but it was great to experience it anyway.

“To be fair, Celtic are a quality team and they’ve shown today they play good football, but we’ve come out and played well and scored goals. We had opportunities and they had opportunities, and these are the sort of matches that show what we’ll come up against in Europe.”

Michail Antonio the latest to be wowed by Celtic Park

He isn’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last. Michail Antonio clearly cherished his experience at Celtic Park yesterday. It only goes to show the reputation our fans have across world football.

It’s undeniable that we missed the supporters last season. Some will point to yesterday’s scoreline and say that it hardly made a difference. But there were some really promising spells in the match when we had our strongest XI out. Nobody can say Celtic don’t look promising going forward.

Just hearing a substantial number of supporters making noise at Parkhead again is a special feeling. Without them, and the same will go for other clubs, it’s left football with a big void.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Next up at Parkhead, Celtic will be in action in either a European tie or against Dundee on August 7th. The good news? An indicative number of 24,500 will be allowed into Parkhead. 6,000 more than we saw yesterday.

What a difference that will make to the performance standards again in what’s a massive season for the football club.

But the reduced capacity has shown just how loud our supporters can be even without Parkhead being packed. That Antonio and David Moyes has been bigging it up over the last 24 hours tells its own story.

In other news: Report: Leeds United open talks for Celtic youngster Leo Hjelde