A Wee Reality Cheque

A Wee Reality Cheque

Friend of the site Gezzam, writes with a few thoughts…( I should have been posted this up before now so Apologies – Ed)


 

Entitlementthe belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges

 

7 is most definitely and indeed up.

5 out of 6 in the bag, one more to go in the showpiece final of Scottish football against an honest team, and rude health being blatantly evident on and off the park.

How can there be a problem?

I must of course point out that I do not feel I speak for any other supporter, most might even say there is no problem; some wise souls would even elaborate on darker days when indeed there was a real problem. And in any case our role as supporters is to support, so just turn up and enjoy.

I don’t feel entitled as we have to earn our league success, if any of the following piece betrays this claim then I apologise for choosing my words poorly. That we as Celtic supporters are privileged there is no doubt; privileged to have our rich history, our wonderful Paradise, and our legends of days gone by to remember. But those privileges have been hard earned rather than expected and hopefully that fundamental difference is what makes us different.

(Have I covered my back yet?)

Does that mean negativity has no place, no questions can be asked, no more can be asked for? Again some supporters would agree but I take the view that demanding more pushes us on, and that acceptance of whatever you get can result in for want of a better word, laziness. The hunger to be better is what gets these players up in the morning, at it in training all week, and after it for ninety minutes on a Saturday (or Sunday. Or Friday night. Or…..you know what I mean).

None of us, certainly not me, can influence what happens at our club. I don’t know Brendan, I don’t talk with any players, I don’t know anybody on the Board, my opinion carries no weight with anybody else, but as a supporter I feel able to share my opinion with any other supporter and am happy to have that opinion shaped and changed if it’s wrong, or to find it understood and accepted if others agree. That is the purpose of blogs so that your circle is expanded beyond your mates in the pub and you get better and wider views on where the club is at.

And for me this season has been great, but not good enough (Whit?! – Ed)

I don’t need Brendan telling me this season has been a greater achievement than last. If you don’t like expectation then you don’t belong at this club. Last season Celtic played great football, and that is what I expect. If we play great football we will be successful as a club due to the resources that we have ie it doesn’t matter what the other team does, if only domestically. But too often this season we have not played even approaching good football, and in our European adventures when we have been overmatched we have failed to deliver even approaching competent football. And I want this to change as a supporter, or shall we use the customer label that perhaps better describes the relationship we have nowadays.

As a customer the product I’m paying for isn’t as good as it should be. A season ticket gets us 19 home games and first dibs at the European adventure. Covering Europe first, Astana was great! Bayern was amazing!! The less said about the rest the better. On the domestic front the gubbing of a manky mob was just about the funniest game of football there has ever been, pure joy and pure laughter. Motherwell were put to the sword in their third game against us in a week and these have been perhaps the highlights of our home season, along with 45 minutes against Hearts. Is that worth £500, £700 including the European games? If you’re a fan(atic) then the answer is probably yes, if you’re a customer the answer is definitely no.

Taking the above two league games out our record is played 17, won 9, drawn 7, and lost 1. Plenty of teams would bite your hand off for that record I suppose, but for me that’s not good enough for Celtic. At this point I fear I’m sailing close to that entitlement I mention above, so to get away from it I guess I’m of the opinion that our players are not working hard enough to earn victories, and the blame lies with those players and the manager of those players. Brendan has more managerial knowledge in his little toe then I possess, so I can’t tell him how to do his job, but I can tell him he most certainly has a job to do.

And in addition to that record above being not good enough the football on view has not been good enough either; lazy passes, lack of movement, no initiative in many of the players. I understand the park the bus system is hard to break down, so have we just to accept not trying? Retaining ineffective possession is exactly what our opponents want, and yet we seem to delight in doing it. To break down the system the onus is on the player(s) to attack and beat their defender, resulting in drawing a covering player out their position and this is what generates the space.

My preferred option for this is James or Paddy (and last year Sinclair) using skill and pace to hit the byeline, but I’ll take anyone doing it. Rogic often has a twinkle toe move in him, and Armstrong can be aggressive and attacking from the middle of the park, but that runs into 2 or 3 centre halfs, whilst the wide players hopefully have some more room. But I don’t see that attacking intent often enough, and to be fair to James he has been booed for years when he hasn’t been successful doing it. For me, I’d rather see him run at a full back 100% of the time, and if he gets by him 5 or 6 times he’s having a great game; and every time he does it causes us the fans to get off our seat. It’s what we want to see, especially from home grown wingers which have been the crown jewels in our squads going back decades. But at times he and of late Sinclair have looked scared to try, and Roberts hasn’t been fit enough to have a go either.

Retaining possession is all well and good when ahead by a goal or two, particularly if we can pull off the trick in Europe; but as evidenced by this season, far too often, we are content to do it at all the wrong times.

Over to you Celtic. Treat us like customers, then time to give us a product worth buying!