Brendan Rodger’s side had a tough challenge in the group stages, being drawn with the likes Paris St-Germain, Bayern Munich and Anderlecht.
The Hoops were beaten 5-0 and 7-0 by PSG, they lost 3-0 and 2-1 to Bayern, and 1-0 to Anderlecht at home. Celtic only claim a victory when they take on Anderlecht in Brussels – 3-0 – that saw them finishing 3rd in the group and a Europa League spot by virtue of goal difference.
Sutton does not doubt his former side achievement of reaching European competition after Christmas, but it is the manner in which they were beaten and the mentality towards them that he is not happy with.
In his column for the Daily Record, Sutton said:
“There have been too many times when too many players simply haven’t turned up and the most worrying thing for me has been this culture of acceptance. It’s not acceptable to lose at home to Anderlecht. It certainly wasn’t acceptable to lose fives and sevens to PSG. Don’t give me this b******s about budgets. I’m sick of hearing it. If it was just about the budgets then don’t bother turning up.
“If you are going to simply put the hands up and say there’s no chance of competing, then what’s the point of being there in he first place? Just write to UEFA now and say we’ll take the £30m thanks but we’ll not bother playing in the games, thank you very much. It’s utter nonsense.
“The other night against Anderlecht and in general in Europe there are too many in the Celtic team who don’t take responsibility on the pitch. They would be screwed without Scott Brown, because he does. It’s almost like they are so dependent on their manager they can’t think for themselves. Rodgers doesn’t have a remote control. He needs his men to have courage. And they haven’t shown enough of it in Europe this year.”
Sutton is at his ranting best here on Celtic, and one would be hard-pressed to disagree with him. Too many excuses have surfaced for Celtic in Europe this year. Yes, nobody expected Celtic to beat this PSG side base on their budget. But to lose 5-0 and 7-0 is embarrassing, and is not just down to money. The Hoops loss to Anderlecht on the final matchday was the worst of the lot, and while they still managed to secure the 3rd position, should not be seen as a victory. Celtic need to buck their ideas up in the Europa League and show their supporters that they can compete on the continent, not just at home.