‘The Celtic captain’ is hurting – Callum McGregor on Scotland’s embarrassment in Munich

Celtic captain Callum McGregor has been subjected to a pile on since  Graeme Souness got the ball rolling on English television channel ITV on Friday night.

Souness highlighted McGregor’s errors in the Scotland midfield in the 5-1 hammering against host nations German as Scotland suffered its worst result an a major tournament in seven decades.

Bitter and twisted Souness could have highlighted any Scotland player. The ones from Liverpool or Aston Villa or Arsenal or Manchester United or Norwich City for instance, in fact no player in dark blue put in a shift to be proud of and the players themselves know this. Listen to Kieran Tierney on this via Sky Sports…

Callum McGregor certainly doesn’t deserve to be singled out by the loathsome Souness with his own agenda, playing to a certain demographic. And the Scottish media were only too happy to pile in. Yesterday I caught a bit of BBC Sportsound while driving.

The presenter is a self-confessed supporter of theRangers. Two of his pundits played for Rangers FC. He lined up three Scotland supporters to give their thoughts on the 5-1 defeat to Germany and the Scotland performance, and ended each interview by asking which club team they supported. First chap was a Falkirk man, the other two supporters theRangers.

The point was made on Celtic Shorts yesterday that this was down to the tactics rather than the players and that the manager should be putting his hands up for this one rather than allow players like Callum McGregor to take the blame, for whatever the motivation actually is.

Yet Callum as you would expect, was prepared to give his own frank and honest assessment. He is as honest off the park as he is on it and reckoned that Friday’s showing was embarrassing for the Scotland players.

“The word ‘embarrassment’ is what I was thinking after the game. I didn’t say it to anyone because it was too raw at the moment. But that is the word I had in my head on my way off the pitch. You work so hard to get to this level and then we don’t do ourselves justice,” McGregor admitted, as reported by Daily Record.

“That is what hurts the most. You can go and you can play well and still lose to Germany. Let’s make no bones about it, they are a top team and they will be there or thereabouts to win this tournament.

“But when you come off and there is a sense that we did not do ourselves justice and that you will probably have to live with that forever. People will remember that forever. You are a professional and you understand what has happened.”

“Now it’s about trying to rectify that. You will never be able to rectify the result because what has happened, has happened. But if you can get yourself out of the group then it diminishes. Then, in 10 or 15 years’ time, people will say, ‘Yeah, but they got out of the group and they achieved something great!’. That is where the mindset has to be from here on because it was disappointing last night,” McGregor said.

Jack Hendry  with teammate Callum McGregor after Jamal Musiala of Germany  scores his team’s second goal during the UEFA EURO 2024 group stage match between Germany and Scotland at Munich Football Arena on June 14, 2024. (Photo by Carl Recine/Getty Images)

“This is where we have to be strong. Everybody will come at us and quite rightly after a poor performance. But we can’t let it derail us – we can’t let it pull us apart and have people start going into their little groups.

“You have to stay together, you have to stay strong and ultimately you have to prove people wrong. We had a poor performance last night and a poor result and people see that and start to smell blood. The two teams that we’re going to play next will smell blood.

“So it’s now about what you’ve got inside. You want to rectify that and put it right. So for sure the next 48 hours will be really important.”

ON CELTIC SHORTS…A logical argument for Celtic signing Scott McKenna

Switzerland looked decent yesterday in their 3-1 win over Hungary. They will know that a win over Scotland gets them through and their game against Germany becomes a contest for the top two spots, assuming the hosts take care of Hungary to secure their own qualification in midweek.

However if McGregor, Tierney and their Scotland teammates show the appropriate reaction to that mauling in Munich and get a win against the Swiss then it all turns in Scotland’s favour. You never know in football, it’s a funny old game.

Visit Celtic Shorts for short, sharp Celtic news and commentary from the makers of The Celtic Star – just click on image above!

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. patrick cullen on

    SOURNESS should keep his mouth shut, no scotland players play well ,so WHY pick out the CELTIC captain,SOURNESS was not a great player only a HATCHET MAN AND A THUG ,WHO WOULD NOT LACE CALLUMS BOOTS