By Noel Whelan

22nd Dec, 2020 | 7:00am

Exclusive: Ex-striker rips into Celtic amid 'Blown Away' verdict

Former Aberdeen and Dunfermline man Noel Whelan has delivered a withering assessment of Celtic and their Scottish Cup Final victory over Hearts.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Whelan – a Scottish Cup runner-up in 2007 – pointed to the talent gap between the squads of Hearts and Celtic on the day.

For this reason, the ex-striker was sceptical of using Celtic’s triumph on Sunday as a yardstick in evaluating their strength as a team – this despite the fact that the shootout win secured a historic quadruple treble for Neil Lennon’s side.

History will remember this as an earth-shaking achievement, but Whelan is among those questioning the side after a fourth successive clean sweep of trophies.

“It wasn’t convincing, was it? You’re talking about a Premier League side in Celtic playing against a Scottish Championship side, and they should have blown them away,” Whelan said to Football Insider.

“It’s a win, but is it a win? The fans will be chuffed to bits but to be pushed like that by Hearts, with the players Celtic have got…

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“There’s two sides of the coin there that you’ve got to look at. Should it have been that close? No.”

Celtic went 2-0 up before half-time but were pegged back by their second-tier opponents who took the game to extra-time with two goals after the break.

The Bhoys thought they’d won it through a Lee Griffiths strike 15 minutes from time only for Hearts to strike once more to restore parity and take the match to penalties.

Celtic won the shootout and there was jubilation from the Glaswegian delegation inside Hampden Park.

In other news, Celtic have received a financial boost after performance-related European bonus.