Former Celtic midfielder Paul Lambert has hardly been shy with his opinions on Celtic this season.
The Champions League winner has previously blasted the Celtic players, and claimed the majority of the dressing room had an attitude problem. Of course, none of the players are likely to admit to being complacent. But when books are written about our collapse this season, there’ll be plenty of fascinating quotes.
Now, Paul Lambert is once again questioning the mentality of the players, while backing probable future captain Callum McGregor. We’re not suggesting Lambert reads 67 Hail Hail opinion pieces, but he definitely shares our sentiments on the midfield stalwart.
McGregor has played over 4000 minutes this season, which goes some way to explaining his performance on Sunday. Few have performed as consistently over the fantastic last few seasons as McGregor. Yet, after his red card at the weekend, there are dissenting voices suggesting he’s not fit to wear the armband.
Speaking on BBC Sportsound with Chick Young, Lambert said:
“I think [McGregor] needs a bit of help. From the outside looking in, the lad’s carried Celtic on his shoulders, and he’s done brilliant.
“He’s done great for Scotland, but all of a sudden he hits a brick wall. You’re looking over your shoulder and thinking ‘where are my teammates, here?’
“There’s one or two of these Celtic players who have been playing hide and seek. They’re not turning up. You’re playing for Celtic, it’s an institution. It’s not a club where you can think ‘I can go easy, or I can lose a game here or there.'”
Paul Lambert claims some Celtic players have delusions of grandeur
Again, we’ve not actually heard much of substance from most of the players this season. Those who have been linked to moves have spoken more in their actions. Not in terms of “downing tools”, as such. But heads have definitely been turned, and it’s shown on the pitch.
Referring to “want-away” Celtic players, Lambert said [BBC Sportsound]:
“Celtic will get rid of them and some of them won’t actually be good enough to go where they think they’re going to go.
“You’re only as good as a team that wants you, and I think they’ve let themselves down. I’m not criticising them all, but what I saw on Sunday wasn’t good enough.”
It’s hard to disagree, on the latter point, but his first statement there is a pretty damning one. The likes of Kristoffer Ajer and Odsonne Edouard have been linked to top European clubs, as well as Newcastle United, and there’s reason to believe their agents have been in their ears about moves to elite sides. Or Newcastle United.
That’s wild speculation, of course. But Lambert has incredible insight as a player and a coach. He’ll be able to recognise which players haven’t had their heads switched on in 20-21.