At the very bottom I have added my early November ‘Six Month Report On Ronny’ Amazing the change
Under 2 minutes into the 1st half Leigh Griffiths was through, keeper to beat got the ball past the keeper and was wiped out, there was an argument his next touch was a shot but with 2 United players making runs towards goal a yellow card was issued to Cierzniak. The entire 1st half was owned by Celtic and a big shout to Nir Bitton, this young man just strolls through games, hardly see him sprinting, always breaking things up and playing simple passes, he was at the heart of much of what Celtic did last night. The usual 4-2-3-1 formation was put out, we were missing Lustig, Matthews through injury, Johansen was suspended with both ex United players Stuart Armstrong & Gary Mackay-Steven cup tied it would have been easy to think we were short in key areas but all this showed was how good a squad Ronny has built.
Celtic took a deserved lead on 16 minutes when a superb cross into the box was met by the unbelievably good 19 year old Jason Denayer who looped a cracking header over the United keeper. At this stage you are thinking two things, how long till the second or can we get the killer second. James Forrest was having a field day against Rankin who was strangely playing at left back for United and James had a lot of crosses into the box and won a lot of corners, good to see him back and running at people, he offers something different for sure.
Commons had a few half chances, Griffiths ran his socks off and Celtic totally controlled the half. I think we are starting to see major improvement every week as United had absolutely no answer for Celtic’s play. Scott Brown was winning all there was to win and Ambrose had a very good first half, no palpitations through him tonight, it was just all too easy in the first half
The first 10 minutes of the second half and Dundee United sent everything they had at us to get back 1-1 but in reality for all the pressure they didn’t create all too much. They passed it around us got in behind us but didn’t bother Gordon at all. From nowhere it was 2-0 Celtic and a superb pass from our Captain Scott Brown on 56 minutes from half way into the box and Leigh Griffiths did superb to Volley home and put one big Celtic foot into the Semi Final of the Scottish Cup.
After that Celtic controlled the game and again Nir Bitton again walked through the half, with 2, 3 or 4 men in-front of him he still manages to keep his head up and find a pass, he was superb throughout. Forrest had Rankin in his pocket the whole game and as the 2nd half went on Rankin went further back from Forrest to give himself a chance to keep up with James’s pace yet Forrest still got past him, if I was to be writing about Dundee United I would be asking why put Rankin on Forrest. Ranking got a yellow card near the end but in fairness he should have been off the park earlier, Efe Ambrose got booked for nothing yet Forrest was hammered time and time again. Efe I think showed how good Ronny is at making a player better as he walked through this game
Celtic made it 3-0 and were rubbing it in to the United players when a superb 1-2 with Commons and Guidetti ending with Commons shooting high into the net. Commons was immediately substituted but seen the funny side of it, with the exact same happening to Griffiths it seemed ‘If you score you get subbed’ In reality with Griffiths I think the forms had been done and signed and there was no way to get the substation back. I am glad Leigh and Kris got goals before going off, neither were brilliant but I don’t think we had anyone, Bitton apart playing in full gear, Bitton got my man of the match as he just walks around the park, really how good can this kid become? So 3-0 on 78 minutes and it was a case of seeing the game out without incident
The last 10 minutes of this one saw more action than the previous 80, first Stokes was sent off for lifting his hands, but did have blood in his mouth, the argument with John Kennedy and Ryan McGowan I think told a story here but Stokes should have showed composure and might have lost his place in the team, I have never liked McGowan as a player he kicks out, leaves the foot in, kicks you when the ref isn’t looking, just a dirty player. Looking over the Stokes read card 5 times I think he elbowed Stokes before he lashed out. This was 86 minutes but 2 minutes later a total car crash challenge by McGowan right on the corner of Jock Stein and Main Stand saw him get a red, the player on the end of the challenge Henderson was lucky one of his feet were off the ground or we could have seen a nasty injury. Celtic made it 4-0 when a cross into the box was taken in well by Denayer who slipped it across an empty net for Van Dijk to rub it a little more
So a Semi Final against Inverness CT on Saturday 11th of April that will probably be changed to Sunday awaits us as we are really 4 or 5 games away from a treble. We keep winning and when we go up to Aberdeen we make sure we win and the treble is ours. I would be surprised if we lose another game this season, with Lustig, Matthews, Johansen, Mulgrew, Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven out tonight for whatever reason we really do have a great squad, we can miss most players now and still go and win, Aberdeen I think if they had 4 5 or 6 players out like we have would start dropping points, right now it is fitness, large squad, teamwork and brilliant management by Ronny on his players between games that should see Ronny enter an area only filled by two others by winning the treble
Ronny – Walking 127 years in the footsteps of giants!
Can we dare to dream Ronny’s Dream? I think we can start now but Celtic must keep to the levels from the last 3 games, at this stage of the season you could forgive a few players for looking tired but in all honesty we are playing like it’s mid-season. Who would have thought we would be here at this stage of the season? Good run in Europa League giving our young players good European experience, League Cup in the bag, Semi Final of the Scottish and ahead and the league we have if we keep winning, the treble is ours to lose now. Not many is the answer to who would have though this.
Man of the Match: Nir Bitton, he just walks through games
This was my 6 month report card on Ronny, strange reading it back as so much has changed