01 Oct Efe’s hell for Celtic
One man can’t take all the blame for Celtic’s failure to take all three points on match day two of their Europa League campaign, but Efe Ambrose has to take a huge slice.
The Nigerian gifted Fenerbahce a goal tonight when Celtic were cruising at 2-0, and from there, they grew in confidence until he switched off to allow them to score another.
There are some occasions when you watch Ambrose play and you think he looks accomplished, but these are only moments, usually followed by a howler of a pass or a lack of concentration that allows the opposition to threaten or score.
He took one for the team against Hearts on Saturday with a red card challenge that saved a point, but tonight, he gift wrapped that back to a Turkish side, that looked a long way off snatching a draw.
There will be no bragging about a £10m profit on any transfer of Ambrose in the future, it won’t happen.
He is out of his depth at both levels of European football and when you can visibly see fans panic and hold their breath when he gets the ball, you know he’s not one for the long term future.
If Ambrose days are numbered, then let’s be honest, so are Celtic’s in this tournament.
I can’t see them defeating Molde in Norway, beating Fenerbahce in Turkey and somehow getting zonal marking right to take six points from Ajax and Molde combined at Celtic park to finish second.
Dermot Desmond may well have given his full backing to the manager Ronny Deila this week, but the supporters have still to be convinced.
If Celtic, as Desmond pointed out this week, want to mix it with the big boys in the Champions League again, then a better calibre of player must be recruited to excite the fans and win meaningful games.
Only Kris Commons possesses the real flair and unexpected moments of class that can change a game, Craig Gordon and Scott Brown are the best of the rest and that is way short of what is needed to progress in this season’s second tier european tournament.
As for Efe, there’s more to come, but for how long?