First of all, a warning…I was tempted to just leave this article.
I told myself “Let it go..its just the 2nd game…it will pass..breathe..move on”.
12 hours later and Im still just as angry so here it is.
Now if you don’t want to read a rant that’s just going to go all over the place, then just feel free to close and ignore.
Are we sitting comfortably?
What the fuck was that yesterday?
Honestly..When have you last seen a non showing such as that?
The Rodgers Rangers defeat springs to mind and even then there were rumours of sickness within the Celtic Camp.
As far as I know, everyone was feeling fine yesterday and there are no straws to be clutched at whatsoever.
It was truly horrendous.
No Celtic players turned up. In my view only Ajer wanted to drive forward and actually force the game. The rest were all standing in the sunshine with backs to goal or passing sideways and causing no problems whatsoever. We were playing a team including Kirk Broadfoot for gods sake and he was smoking cigars by the end while we resorted to bringing on Bolingoli.
That’s how bad we were.
At Kilmarnock of all places.
The place were his Celtic career was meant to have ended.
What an utter shambles.
As Ralph says in the Diary, did the missing fans mean the players couldn’t rise to the demand on the pitch.
If that is the case then we need to bring in a Sports Psychologist pronto as the stadiums will remain empty for quite a long while yet.
Everything about yesterdays game annoyed me. Even the goal we scored was weird. It went in and seemed to take about a second to register “Oh its a goal!”.
Fair play to Ryan Christie for scoring it and Eddy for making the free kick with the lovely turn and run, sadly those were the only 2 plus points for us in the whole game.
The rest was a car crash of Apathy, Laziness, Timidness and downright Ineptitude. And that covers players and management.
The goal we conceded was shocking. Brown and Jullien combined to offer less presence than Peter Pans shadow and the ref awarded the penalty for Chris Burke to slot into the net. Jullien tried that “I think the ball was out Ref!” puppy dog look but no-one cared after watching such a pathetic attempt at stopping a guy on the by-line going nowhere.
On a recent podcast we had talked about Jullien becoming the Poster Bhoy. Hes all over the advertising and the media output. Well, time to forget that Advertising Ambassador role and get back to the basics big man. If Klimala can bulk up and work on his physical game then so can you.
Everyone knows Lyndon Dykes rag-rolled you last year, but every Celtic fan expects you to have learned from that experience.
Do not hesitate.
Do not make sad eyes at the referee.
Clear the lines and stand your ground.
Yesterday Julliens performance was like watching Jozo on Astroturf meeting Jack Hendry at Firhill, abysmal and we demand more from our very highly priced and paid Centre half.
Killie continued to get stuck in and we continued to get stuck out. We had no idea what to do. Frimpong and Forrest stood next to each other on the right whilst on the left Taylor ran up the park only to kick the ball to a Killie player and Mo Elyounoussi just ran about like a headless chicken wearing ankle weights.
Killie players must have wished they had taken sunglasses as they could have put deckchairs down to enjoy their day even more.
Behind the non entity wide men sat Calmac and Broony who did nothing bar step forward 5-10 yards and pass the ball around in wee triangles. Calmac resorted to trying daft shots from distance and everyone just groaned and watched the clock slowly run down. As mentioned Christie at least scored the goal to save the point and Eddy made it but other than that, they did nothing else of note.
Its the fact that we didnt even huff and puff without blowing Killies house down that really annoys.
We were like an asthmatic wolf with emphysema if we want a huff and puff comparison for yesterday. Forrest missed a high cross in the first half and Klimala missed one in the second. That’s about all I can remember. The rest was run up the sides and not get a cross in…run the ball into a crowd and lose it…run all the way up to the 18 yard line, stop, turn back, get the ball back to Ajer and repeat the process until everyone falls asleep.
So just in case your still wondering, I reckon the players were rotten.
The players however follow the Management lead.
That was utterly dreadful.
I know folk will say “It was a penalty they scored from” or “These thing happen!” but in this season of all seasons, every game is critical. I expect the Management team to know exactly which tactics will win the game, what changes will change a game and what personnel can contribute to ensuring the 3 points are secured in every League match.
When watching Lenny and Kennedy on the sidelines, You just dont get the impression they are discussing the finer points or spotting an area of minute advantage that can throw the game in our favour.
Everyone knew Killie would be resolute. Everyone knew the pitch would be small and artificial. The key would be speed of movement and speed of thought. We had neither. The inspirational tactics appeared to be limited to cries of “Come on!” from the sidelines.
There were no insightful changes of positioning or passing, just random “finger in the air” swapping sides of Jamesy Forrest and other lightweight forwards at times or one long punt now and again.
What happened to the 3-5-2 plan?
Im honestly not sure if we can accommodate Frimpong and Forrest in the same side as there doesnt appear to be any linking up partnership taking place. On the left ( and right) , I dont see any overlapping or by-line hitting runs with balls being pulled back for advancing midfield runners. You know, the sort of run and passes that would have actually created chances yesterday rather than going central through a crowded areas.
Up front I dont see anyone charging ahead of Eddy to both give him an out and create space for him to produce some magic. The worry for me is such games may make Eddy think “Fuck this!”
We might all think we have the most skilled squad in Scotland but the reality is we need to play the right team at the right time in the right place. We have so many lightweight forwards that are great when things go their way but when its tough, ugly and cramped, they can soon disappear or appear leaden footed. We are like Man City. Can play lovely football, can impress with beautiful goals and then all of a sudden, look powder-puff when a “small team” stands up and dares says “Thou Shall not pass!”
Yesterday we were crying out for an Anthony Stokes character to grab the game and drag our team forward. Lenny went for Klimala, Bolingoli and Ntcham and Elhamed. None of them made any difference as the movement never changed. The Tempo never adjusted. We looked laboured and lost for ideas for most of the match. In the week we had all been celebrating Nakamura on Twitter, it is a reminder that sometimes you need that special person to step forward when the pressure is on. On yesterdays showing, there’s not many contenders.
So that was 2 points dropped but a lot more than 2 questions being asked of Lenny and his side.
I pray we can take this reality check and say “Lesson learnt!’.
The team on the park need to be the best one for that game. If that means folk like Broony need to get subbed early or benched for Ntcham then so be it. If it means a Forrest or Elyounoussi needs to bide their time while we concentrate on the wing backs then fair enough. If it means bedding in Klimala alongside Eddie then we can appreciate that new relationships take time.
Of course, it may also be a wake up call for The Board. Could it be the stimulus for a spending spree. Stop laughing at the back. It could see a Fletcher being signed to help give us a target man option for such games etc or a robust Centre half, maybe even a veteran campaigner who as well as being pragmatic and level headed will be forceful enough to ensure Jullien acts when needed rather than the current laissez-faire approach at times.
I know this may all seem extreme and to some an over-reaction but in this season of all seasons, every away game is going to be like this and we need to all be on our toes and ready from the first to the final whistle.
Fingers crossed, yesterdays Reality Check will be the rock from which this seasons campaign is built upon.
New Keeper – Debut and nowt to do bar pick ball out of net -5
Taylor – Ran up and down and crossed to no-one all day – 5
Jullien – Weak and needs to adopt an attitude – 4
Ajer – Tried to drive forward at least – 6
Frimpong – Decent first half but couldnt find space – 6
Forrest – Non existent bar missed header attempt – 4
Broony – Started okay then faded and faded – 4
Calmac – Sideways, short passes and long shots, Ineffective. – 4
Christie – Scored long range free kick. Ran about.That was it. – 5
Elyounoussi – No meaningful contribution I can remember. – 4
Eddy – Won free kick. Met wall of Killie players at every other turn. – 5
Klimala – Tried to get into game. Didnt bar header attempt – 4
Elhamed – One run from deep..weak left foot shot. – 4
Bolingoli – He actually tried to hit the byline to be fair! – 4
Ntcham – Played 5-10 yards passes for last 1o mins with no penetration.- 4
Terrible. Needs to make some tough and correct decisions and clearly identify the tactics needed in each game. If the tactics arent working then needs to change early as well as motivating players to be on front foot from the very start until the very end. No passengers allowed. – 3