He’s Not The Messiah
Celtic limped into the winter break with yet another of those half arsed performances that had you wondering if the players were genuinely tired, or if they’d read too much about why they are tired and felt they didn’t want to let anyone down by putting too much effort in.
The 0-0 draw was up there with the other less than impressive games, which fortunately were against European powerhouses PSG and Hearts, but as “rangers ” are not quite at that level, and seemed genuinely surprised not to be on the end of a thrashing, the game won’t be remembered by anyone who wasn’t sitting in the corner recerved for Scotland’s shame.
Celtic missed chances, “rangers ” missed chances and a draw was about right.
Graeme Murty’s men will take much more heart from the game than those of Brendan Rodgers.
Whereas for Celtic, the inquest has begun.
Regular readers would have been well aware that Simunovic, Demebele and Gamboa were on their way out. The players have yet to be announced, bar Comperr, and with the media picking up on what we already knew, then adding to it, the cull we told you about is already well under way.
However, if this is correct, and remember the guy who told us had been drinking, then it follows that if he knew, and we knew, and now the papers know, then no wonder the team is playing with the minimum of effort.
Half of them know they are away, and the other half think they might be.
One or two bloggers have picked up on this and exaggerated it beyond credibility. Rodgers rates only five of his squad ?
Well, thats what happens when the doolallies try to go one better to boost their clicks, or donations, or whatever else they plead for to keep food on the table.
Its open season on rodgers, and they have waited quite a while to get stuck in. The knives have had plenty of time to be sharpened.
Celtic have already started to refresh things. It couldn’t be done before because the squad had just done an unbeaten treble.
Thats largely why Kouassi, Ntcham, Benyu in particular haven’t had the run they need.
You can’t fault Rodgers for that.
There have been a few more injuries than usual.
You can’t fault Rodgers for that…its not like he’s changed the pitch or anything…
The strikers haven’t had a run in the team to keep them sharp.
You can’t fault Rodgers for that..
Ah, maybe i’m taking the wrong path here.
Of course Rodgers is at fault.
As I found on Saturday, in what started as a fairly tongue in cheek bit of trolling on Twitter to pass the time on the way back down the road, Brendan is infallible, apparently.
He’s the manager. And he is paid to mange, sometimes he’ll have a bad day at the office.
There’s been a few this year, and with the blistering start he made to his Celtic career, we will now see how he handles that.
Wholesale clearout ? Panic buying ?
I doubt it.
He’s too savvy for that, and whilst he is not immune from criticism, this is going to be a new experience for him, and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.
If the players have forgotten how to win, or lost the eye of the tiger, then its down to him to fix.
If he feels that the players he has at his disposal aren’t up to the job, then it’s down to him to fix.
Rodgers has more than earned the right to do things as he sees fit. Perhaps siging a third striker of the quality of Edouard wasn’t necessary, but you’d rather have three quality forwards than none.
Trouble is, the rotation has left us with three forwards all lacking that sharpness that comes from a run of games.
As it stands, Celtic have lost one domestic game in seventy four, which is a phenomenal and memorable achievement.
Eight points clear at New Year in the chase to become the first side to win seven in a row twice.
One cup in the bag, and two more to come ?
It’s there if we want it, but to take it Rodgers himself maybe needs a wee break, and not just the players.
Maybe he needs to sit down and think about where things are, and take a deep breath and thentake the correct steps to lift the side and move it forward when things start up again.
The management and players may be tired, but is there more of a mental tiredness about it than a physical one ?
Are the players sensing that Rodgers is losing faith in them ? Is Rodgers sensing the players are losing faith in him, or in themselves ?
Too many questions, too many opinions, not enough answers, not enough clarity in direction from the manager.
There is an argument that the games played have taken their toll on the legs, but with the exception of Tierney, Gordon and perhaps Lustig, there has been more than enough rest time for the others.
Therefore, there must be more to it. Players read the papers, they read the intenet, and if they are told they are tired often enough, thats what they will believe.
Rodgers is now at a crossroads, one where he has a few tough decisions to make. some players have made that easy for him, for others it will be difficult. Some want to get better, and want to become champions League players, and they may not have that in them.
We’re going to be saying goodbye to a few, and welcoming a few in. More of the former, and less of the latter.
We need to come out of the blocks after the break with a renewed sense of vigour, enthusiasm and above all belief.
If Rodgers gets it right, and more importantly, gets the players to believe again that he believes in them, then four out of four is possible.
Anything else, and its going to be a long few months.