It was nice to read of the Rotherham United and Ipswich Town fans doing a touching tribute to Barry Elliot aka Barry Chuckle at the weekends game.
On the 73rd minute, half the fans shouted “To ME!” and the other half shouted “To YOU!” in the style of the brothers act.
A truly lovely touch.
Sadly, Celtic has its own version of that going on and it isnt touching, funny or welcome.
At present, we seem to have Brendan saying “Peter..To You!” and passing him a list of targets for signing.
Peter then exclaims “To Me?” and the signings subsequently fall by the wayside and everyone groans in despair bar the laughing media and opposition fans.
Im aware folk will be reading this and already be sighing and suggesting any or all of the following:
- How do you know whats going on?
- Why do you believe the Scottish Press?
- There’s still time for signings!
The answer to the above is
- I dont
- I dont
- I know but dont care
The reason I am so angry and disappointed is we have been down this road before. Many many times.
Different managers, different Board members, same old outcome.
Every time we have a position of strength, every time we have money in the bank, every time we have opportunity to press home an advantage.
We fuck it up.
Pure and simple.
The way i currently see it?
We’ve fucked it, yet again.
To quote Donald Arsefelt..lets consider the known knowns –
- We knew Brendan Rodgers had asked for Quality signings.
- We knew the World Cup was coming, which reduces the chances of truly great signings. Fair enough but we arent in that market, we are in the market for players who didnt make the World Cup so that excuse is gone.
- We knew some of our players would be going to the World Cup..all defenders…an area we knew needed strengthening.
- We knew the Champions League qualifiers were going to be early and more demanding this season.
- We knew Scott Brown had an injury. We knew Dembele had an injury.
- We knew we had money in the bank and funds available. Everybody including selling clubs knew this of course. We knew they knew this.
So what did we do this summer?
- We sold Stuart Armstrong to Southampton generating millions in profit.
- We lost 2 of our seasoned defenders to their teams being in final play off stages of World Cup
- We started our Champions League campaign with a Right back who we wouldn’t even consider for a full season last year.
- We decided to change tactics to play 2 up front. Then promptly suffered another injury to our injury prone star striker.
- We lost our new winger to injury.
- We have our “best” defender now refusing to play as wants to exit following 3 decent World Cup group performances.
- We brought back a 32 years old as a free back up for our over used left back.
- We bid low for John McGinn. We refused to meet asking price in initial talks and then openly tried to play the blackmail\long emotional game. We then cried wolf when Aston Villa dared to come in 3 weeks later and sign the attacking forceful midfielder who had played 100 times for Hibs, winning 2 major honours and 9 Scotland caps.
- We see all attention before CL home tie being devoted to the clumsy pursuit of John McGinn.
- While Celtic face AEK Athens, McGinn signs for Villa.
- We let in a stupid goal against a team playing their first game of the season.
- Despite being down to 10 men, Athens easily hold out Celtic for a 1-1 draw, handing advantage to the Greek side.
- Athens goal comes when our World Cup returning right back failed to block a cut back and our midfielder turned centre half couldnt clear a ball up the park.
- The same midfielder turned centre half now banned for return leg forcing Jozo and Hendry to be a new untried pairing in key game.
- Manager spends all week talking about differences with the Board and has to deny that he was issuing ultimatums.
- Celtic travel to Tynecastle, a ground notorious for combative football and a hard place to play. Manager picks a skeleton side and his tactics duly baffle players and support.
- Defensive pairing of Jozo and Hendry given game time at Tynecastle. Not one player in a Celtic jersey turns up in a truly shameful display as Celtic lose 1-0.
- 1 hour after Celtic failed to turn up at Tynecastle, McGinn capped his Villa debut with a vital assist.
- Celtic travel to play in Athens to play in 30 degree heat needing to score more goals than Athens, a team lauded for its defensive qualities.
- Up front it seems Celtic will have to rush back Moussa Dembele in attack
Now I have seen folk saying after that Hearts performance, or lack off, “Its just one game..we shall be fine”.
Im sorry but I dont want to think losing to Hearts is okay or “its just an off day!”.
I want Celtic to be ruthless. I want to see folk like the the thuggish Steven Naismith shamed into submission. I want to see folk like Craig Levein being laughed at.
I want Celtic to be on top of their game in every game.
I want the players up for the challenge of competition both from opponents and from quality team mates.
I want a Director of Scouting getting his finger out and ensuring signings are identified months in advance and interest made known.
I want a Manager confident he is being backed and asking for real quality not just hopeful punts.
I want a Board concentrating on the football side fort and foremost, not lights, not hotels, not penny pinching when money is available and being generated by the team, manager and lets not forget, us the fans!
So there we go, basically i think its been another preseason of total fuck-uppery. We are worse off squad wise and really need to steady the ship before we head into Autumn.
While the Board and management arent ensuring all success in all areas, then we clearly have problems.
We now have Celtic travelling to Athens on a wing and a prayer.
Many folk are still optimistic. I for one am not. I hope i am wrong but this whole shambolic summer has really made us look disjointed from top to bottom.
I havent seen much of Celtic this season to suggest we can go there and get the result needed. Sure we had a decent 20 minutes against AEK at home but I haven’t forgotten how bad we can get away from home, especially when inder pressure. Brendan has to rally his troops and pick the perfect tactics.
Our best hope..and that says it all that Im considering “hope”…is that Athens sit back and keep it tight. Our best hope may have been a set piece but we have no Boyata to get on the end of those high balls so may have to hop for a direct free kick.
We are where we are and can only move forward.
Whatever way it goes Tuesday, theres a lot of folk at Celtic who need to look at themselves and ask are they doing everything they can to ensure success, from Principal Shareholders, The Board, Scouts, Management team, Players, Squad players. Time for them to start pulling and pushing in the same direction.
I dont see what else us fans can do, we have backed the side every step of the way, where we lead, others now must follow.