Former Celtic midfielder John Collins has told Hibs defender Ryan Porteous to learn from another former Celtic defender and one of the world’s elite defenders, Virgil Van Dijk. Collins told BBC Sportsound that Porteous must bring his game under control or face derailing a promising career.
Porteous was sent off in dubious circumstances at the weekend at Ibrox following a challenge on Joe Aribo. Now, Porteous has been offered some advice from the former Celtic Assistant Manager and midfield star.
“As a player, he’s got to learn that that’s got to be eliminated from his game. That doesn’t make him a better player.
“He’s got to watch the best centre-halves in the world and I’m sure that’s what he wants to play like. Virgil van Dijk doesn’t slide tackle – ever.
“That’s a feature of Ryan’s game. He likes contact, he likes to be aggressive, but in modern football if you go to ground you’re out of control and if a sliding tackle is slightly mistimed it’s a red card.
“Hibs suffered, because they were in control of the game, one up and looking good, and that one incident may have cost them three points. At that moment in time Hibs were looking comfortable.
“I think for him to become a better player he’s got to eliminate that type of tackle from his game.
“Good players stay on their feet. For the top central defenders, modern football is about staying on your feet and making interceptions and winning the ball. It’s not sliding into tackles and smashing people and risking getting bookings and sendings off.
“The best players read the game and stay on their feet. He’s a good player, I want him to get better and better. Hopefully he takes this on board.
“Nobody likes getting sent off but he’s got to learn from his mistakes. He is young and if he can eliminate that from his game he’ll become a better football player.”
There are certainly worse people to model yourself on but Porteous has a long way to go before he can even look to model himself on a young VVD. Van Dijk won two Premiership titles in Glasgow, as well as the League Cup under Ronny Deila & Collins but he also played European football, Champions League group stages in 2013 and Europa League Last 32 the following year. A £12m move to Southampton followed and two years after that, Van Dijk became the most expensive defender in the world after a £75m move to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Collins joined Celtic in 1994 for £1m. During what were dark times, McStay and Collins were a bright spark in the central midfield for Celtic but sadly in that period only had a Scottish Cup in ’95 to show for his efforts. He left the club in controversial circumstances in 1996 when he left on a free transfer for Monaco. Although, he is often an advocate for young Scottish footballers and often