Stan Petrov Got It Totally Wrong In His Critique Of The Celtic Manager’s After Match Remarks.

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I love Stan Petrov, and I think he’s been a major breath of fresh air in the commentary booth whenever I’ve heard him. But I profoundly, wholeheartedly, disagree with what he said in the aftermath of Brendan Rodgers’ interview after the game last night.

Let’s first look at Rodgers’ comments.

“We’re bitterly disappointed,” he said. “To concede late on like we did, it’s really harsh on us. But, there is learning there, you have to secure the ball in the game and if you’re not going to win it at that stage, you certainly can’t lose it. The players gave everything, we have the mentality, everything. I’m just disappointed for the players and supporters that we couldn’t get the result. It was a devastating way to lose a game because we deserved something from it, but we’ll analyse it and learn the lessons from it.”

It’s not for nothing he’s talked about lessons and learning. Apart from many of our players being in their early 20’s, for those who’ve been around the block in this competition only McGregor and Hart are what you would call regulars at this level. The rest aren’t even close to being called that. We had guys on that pitch last night – Scales, Yang, O’Riley, Johnston – who haven’t played at close to this level in their lives before coming to Celtic Park.

In the summer, Rodgers was clear that we needed an extra something in terms of players who have been here, seen it and done it before. Of that starting eleven only two players – McGregor and Hart – have played more than one Champions League campaign before this. I don’t know how anyone can claim, with a straight face, that Rodgers has this wrong.

But Petrov does, and here’s what he had to say about it.

“I strongly disagree with Brendan’s talking about development, this is the Champions League. What Champions League game, this is something you have to be ready for. This is what the club demands, and those players have played together long enough. Developing in those games? It doesn’t stand for me,” he said, in what sounds like a ridiculous rant.

Because first, Brendan didn’t mention development. He talked about experience. In fact, Brendan is the last guy on the planet who is going to sing the praises of “developing” players on this stage. He has done nothing, in fact, but state the opposite of that.

And having to be ready? Well that’s just plain stupid. Liam Scales, making his Champions League debut in Rotterdam, should automatically be ready for this level because he pulls on a Celtic strip? But for injuries that boy would be on the bench. Yang and Palma, both in their early 20’s experiencing this for the first time … they should be ready? In some Narnia fantasy land yeah, I’m sure they would be. But not in the real world we live in.

I daresay that I don’t have to talk about the idea that “these players have played together long enough” before other people are calling BS on that one. Some of these guys are in their first months at Celtic.

Others, like Scales, are pretty much only now in the team. This is Alastair Johnson’s first full campaign, his first ever in Europe.

So it’s absolutely cobblers Petrov is talking there.

And what’s more, I can demonstrate the utter stupidity of what he said last night simply by going over his previous statements, and not from that long ago either; try March this year, when talking about what Ange’s team would need going into this campaign.

“Last year was the first experience for a lot of the players in the team and for Ange too. He wanted to show everyone we have a style and that we want to play a certain way. You can see most of the games were lost at the end when the opposition probably had a little bit better quality and a bit more physicality. I believe that’s what Ange will address — making sure the team is prepared with the players first and then physically too, because they have it technically and with the style of play. They know what to do, it’s just finding the balance needed to get through the group stage.”

So, in March it was permissible for Ange’s team to have not done well in Europe because these players were still learning – dare I use the word “developing” – but he thinks that Rodgers saying similar about his own new faces is making excuses?

Petrov clearly outlined, as Brendan did all through the summer, what the club needed to do in response to last season’s travails, in order to do better this time.

But the club didn’t do it, and a s a result we went into this year’s competition markedly weaker in the starting eleven than we finished that one … and he’s blaming the manager for pointing out that some of the new guys need time?

Lagerbeikle and Holm in Rotterdam don’t get cut any slack?

He doesn’t want to cut Yang, or Palma, or Johnston or even Liam Scales any?

What is he doing here? Where is this crap coming from?

I suggest that he go back and read over what he said in March, and then I suggest that he listen to Rodgers comments from the summer and then again after Rotterdam because the manager has clearly identified lack of experience as a contributing factor, and he was saying that might be an issue before a ball was even kicked in this tournament.

And if that excuse was good enough for Ange Postecoglou – who is currently second in the Premiership with Spurs – it ought to be good enough for his successor.

Honest to God, criticism is fine when it’s reasonable and intelligent and thought through, but that was garbage last night from Petrov and I expect a whole better from him.

But hey, he’s new to this punditry game, so we won’t hold it against him.

We’ll put it down to inexperience and we’ll move on.

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  • Jackson says:

    I thought Petrov was wrong too in what he said…..
    Liam Scales played a blinder in that game…MOTM hands down……and he will get better

  • BroxburnBhoy says:

    I agree with you. I’m afraid that when one turns pundit, one has to say stupid stuff to get rebooked as a pundit. I put Stan’s comments in the stupid stuff category.

  • Devine says:

    I can’t say I share you’re admiration for Stan as a pundit. I don’t think he knows the strategic intricacies of the game very well. What he does know, like Walker, Provan, McLeod, Bonner, Mark Wilson etc, is that if you spout lots of negativity about Celtic then you can be tolerated by the Scottish media and you might be allowed to have a decent career. If you do the opposite, like Tom Boyd, Hartson, or Sutton, then you are in danger of being on the fringes and ultimately frozen out all together. Mortgages need to be pad. Corn has to be earned. Soup has to be taken.
    In terms of the game last night I thought we played really well on the whole. We were let down by inexperience and naïve decision making at key times. I actually thought Celtic were better, more direct, and more technical than Lazio last night, for most of the game. The difference was they were street smart and know the darker arts of advanced European football- for example: slowly down the game, ‘winning’ freekicks in key areas, disrupting the flow of the game, committing multiple professional fouls, knowing when to press and not to etc…this group of Celtic players just need more exposure to the pressures of this level and eventually the silly mistakes will be ironed out of their game.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Excellent well rounded post there Devine…

      There are some very fine posters across The Celtic Blog !

  • Harry Spink says:

    If you had listened to Rogers pre-game comments he did mention the word development and Petrov even questioned same in his own comments prior to the game. So it wasn’t just a reaction AFTER the fact

  • WeeBobo says:

    Was Petrov’s comments not regarding the pre-match interview when Rodgers did mention development?

  • patricia cullen says:

    petrof looking after his psy packet . does he expect brendan to throw his players under the bus , and they are not up to champion league , but that is due to their age and inexperience . our bhoys did us proud , we realy need to invest in top players to play in this level . got plenty of cash but normal fans pushed aside for the penny pinching board , brendan can only work with what he has and like it or not he is a top manager . so wind in your neck son .

  • MartinKennea says:

    Stan shhhhhhh .

  • Johnno says:

    So how do you gain experience at CL level, if you have never played within it before?
    And if you have and been able to cut it at that level, then you instantly become out of our price range?
    So yes we are and will remain a development club at this level for the foreseeable, and the experience gained will be developed from in house.
    Sorry James, will not buy into these claims we are actually weaker at CL level than we were last season?
    Suggest a better look at the squad from last season James, and there contribution made in the 6 games, before such a claim stands up to scrutiny imo?
    The obvious one is Jenz compared to scales already.
    Jenz made so many mistakes within the 6 games, that resulted in goals against us, It was hardly surprising that the decision was taken to not invest within him, or was that a mistake?
    A fair few others fall into that bracket also, yet decisions made already upon to many just in the door?
    Still remain unconvinced that Rodgers actually wanted to set this team up as a 4231, but injuries in the CB positions didn’t allow for to many changes to team formation, and yet the improvements within my least favourite team formation is still on show currently.
    The fine margins involved within this group to date, has lazio sitting on 4 points, all gained in the 90 plus minutes.
    Maybe or should actually be in the position we find ourselves in.
    Conceded 4 goals, all from shooting ourselves within the foot, and 2 can be pinpointed moreso upon established and experienced players within our squad still.
    So should we start to turn upon them for doing so, with giving so much towards the success gained for the club?
    A ridiculous claim to be making, but still OK to try and make scapegoats out of the newer players involved?
    I will continue to support all players that wear our jersey, and will continue to defend them, where the level of criticism is unwarranted, and some amount of tripe been claimed, and expected far better from petrov also.
    On the subject James, why hasn’t there been more noise about hun scum cheerleaders, within our ground upon a European night?
    Found them 3 involved far more irritating, than the last minute goal conceded.
    Seeing and listening to there scummy joy, made the whole experience of a European night even more miserable than what I saw upon the pitch?
    Surely something can and should be done upon an issue that still exists?

  • SSMPM says:

    Experience, development, experiential development, whatever words you want to argue over; it’s simply not good enough for the increase in the talent pool we play from in Scotland to playing in Europe, particularly defensively. We’re simply not reaching the levels required. Defend better and we don’t lose. Simples.
    Offensively we’re doing okay, competing at this level however requires goals and in that they’re falling down and failing. Defensively though we’re not just failing but ruining the good offensive play.
    Phillips and CCV for example set no heather on fire. Scales in particular played out of his skin but that’s still below the defensive levels of the talent pool of the teams we play.
    Aye sure BR wanted better during the transfer window and said so but then is apparently happy to develop what he has been given and accepted his lot.
    Sad truth is if ever they gain the necessary experience and do develop to that level then they’ll be sold off anyway.
    The ridicule from across the city should be redirected by our fans onto our board and they should be getting pressurised to do better in the market, much better. HH

  • Bunter says:

    Stan was a fine player for us, but I’m afraid, for me, he isn’t really cutting it as a pundit. Don’t spoil your legacy Stan!

  • James mcglone says:

    Hi I knew you would do an article on this and I’m delighted that you did his remarks were bang out of order he made them twice both before and after the game and I actually think Neil Lennon was a bit embarrassed but i also think Lennon should have taken him up on it Thank you

  • John B says:

    I think Petrov is a boring pundit and his views are going down the line of saying stuff for the sake of saying something. He looks disinterested until.asked a question and blurts out any old rubbish. I don’t look forward to him being in the studio at anytime at all. Neil Lennon should have set him straight when he Aired his daft views.

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