Blogs & Opinion


Champions League: Celtic defeat to Legia Warsaw 'shocking', says Andy Walker

Andy Walker Posted 31st July 2014 view comments

Celtic’s 4-1 Champions League qualifying defeat at Legia Warsaw was a major blow to Ronny Deila’s hopes of winning over the club’s supporters, says Andy Walker.

The Scottish champions now face an uphill task in the second leg to reverse their hammering in Poland, which included a red card for Efe Ambrose and two missed penalties from the hosts.

And Walker says 38-year-old Deila, the former Stromsgodset manager who was named as the surprise replacement for Neil Lennon, earlier this summer, must address his side’s defensive frailties.

Celtic: Forster, Matthews and Mulgrew trudge off after 4-1 defeat

Celtic: Forster, Matthews and Mulgrew trudge off after 4-1 defeat

“It’s the manner of the defeat; to lose 4-1, with Legia also missing two penalties, that tells you it was a shocking performance,” he told Sky Sports News.

“Ronny Deila was really looking to make some sort of impact. When he arrived at the club it was a big surprise to everyone. A club like Celtic appointing someone from Norwegian football was a huge risk and the supporters hadn’t heard of him. So, he was looking to make his mark pretty quickly.

“When you lose four away from home and concede two penalties it tells you that defensively they’ve got a lot of work to do.”

While Walker didn’t rule out Celtic staging a remarkable comeback, he pointed out that, with the second leg being played at Murrayfield as Celtic Park is being used for the Commonwealth Games, the Hoops’ home support may not be as emphatic as usual.

“The tie isn’t over, of course,” he said. “Celtic are more than capable of scoring three goals. But Celtic have lost a lot by giving up Celtic Park to the Commonwealth Games.

“Everyone realises Celtic Park on a Champions League night is pretty special and it gives a lot to the Celtic players, it puts a yard on their stride, and they’ll miss out on that. They’ve still got a slight chance of recovery, though.”

Celtic have yet to spend in this summer’s transfer window and while Walker appreciated the risk involved in bringing in players before knowing their Champions League fate, he says missing out on qualification will cost the club financially.

“Celtic don’t need to invest a great deal to win the Scottish title - but if they don’t make it through this qualifier you’re looking at a loss of £15m-£20m, that’s how much it means to Celtic to qualify for the Champions League,” he said.  

“They do have a bit of money to spend but it’s a huge gamble to spend a great deal of money. I know the supporters are looking for a £5m striker, but why would you spend £5m on a striker when there’s no guarantee of getting into the Champions League?

“There is a balance to be struck and clearly Celtic have been very prudent, but I just hope it hasn’t cost them the prospect of Champions League football. Celtic supporters are so used to it over the last number of years and it really does define their season without any sort of title challengers.”

Post to your View!

Be the first to post a comment on this story

Add Comment*

Send us your views

Are you a Sky Sports subscriber?

*All fields required, your email address will be kept private

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Follow the latest news and gossip, as Chelsea close in on Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado.

Gabriel the answer?

Jamie Carragher talks Gabriel Paulista, Southampton's top-four chances and Aston Villa's struggles in his latest column.

Chelsea agree Cuadrado deal

Sky sources report Chelsea have agreed a deal for Juan Cuadrado and may play him on Saturday against Manchester City.

Rolling football news

All the team news and manager previews ahead of a big Premier League weekend in our Sky Sports Today blog.

Costa awaits fate

Diego Costa will hear today if he is to get a three-match ban that will keep him out of Chelsea's Manchester City clash.

Features

Chelsea v Man City: Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge as a legend but could he trouble his old team?

Chelsea v Man City: Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge as a legend but could he trouble his old team?

Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge as a legend but could he trouble his old team? Adam Bate looks at the curious case of the former Chelsea hero's move to Manchester City...

Five classic Premier League matches between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge

Five classic Premier League matches between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge

Ahead of Saturday's title showdown between Chelsea and Manchester City, we look back a five classic Premier League matches between the two teams at Stamford Bridge.

Title contenders A to Z: Part three of our series on Chelsea and Man City

Title contenders A to Z: Part three of our series on Chelsea and Man City

In part three of our series, we look at seven more reasons which set Chelsea and Man City apart from the pack...