Well, that appears to be that.
In a collapse so spectacular in such a short period of time, Celtic have conspired to fall apart to a point where there is now a genuine worry as to where and when the next trophy will come from.
Hindsight is the most useless of viewpoints, but’s it hard to argue that it wasn’t on the cards.
The core of a decent side is in there, but the management and coaching needs to be looked at. Looked at and then shown the door.
And it needs to be done now.
Year upon year, Celtic have failed to prepare for the European qualifiers in the summer by getting things in place in January. This time round, it’s imperative that the changes that need to be made are made now, to give the new men a chance to get their own team ready for next season.
That may sound defeatist, and in a sense it is, but as long as the club perseveres with a manager who can;t manage, coaches who can;t coach and players that don’t want to play, then things will get harder to put right.
Of course, they can’t actually call Lennon, Kennedy, Strachan et al into the office tomorrow to hand them their cards, becuase they have all gone to Dubai, during a global pandemc, in the middle of what looks to be the season of surrender.
Still, travelling across the world during a global pandemic will give the players yet to contract the illness a chance to join the rest of the immune herd.
That global pandemic that threatens to shut the country down again, and now after two defeats to an average Ibrox side, there can be no complaints when the league is called early.
There hasn’t been this much of a balls up at Celtic since that coach ordered two dozen pairs of boots with the studs on the inside.
The catalyst for this was the defeat at Ibrox yesterday, a moment of madness from Nir Biton giving the referee a chance to even things out in a game Celtic had dominated up to that point, but never really looked like winning.
It was a mixture of the usual shots either straight at the keeper or ones that didn’t even land in the same postcode. And i think if we’rre all honest with ourselves, we would say we grew more nervous as the game went on, more certain that there would be a penalty, or a free kick that would change the game.
Whilst Biton had played very well up until then, in yet another defence that didn’t have any natural defenders, and all four had held their focus and discipline to an excellent standard, far beyond anything they had been expected to do, there was always that fear there would be a mistake.
Biton made that mistake.
Shortly afterwards, a set piece was poorly defended and the first head to the ball was that of Calum McGregor, which would probably have beaten the man on the post , placed there by most competent coaches as a wee bit of insurance, but since there wasn;t one it didnt have to.
Vassilis Barkas didn’t have a single shot on target to save from a single “rangers ” player.
We still lost.
With five substitutes available, manager Lennon hasn’t quite understood that you don;t have to make five. As a result, the entire midfield, which had done well, was replaced in a relatively short flurry of activity.
There went the game plan. There went the season.
Pure panic from a supposedly experienced and mature manager.
There were several good individual performances on the park, and it’s difficult to see why the manager didn’t let the players who had dominated the game rescue the situation after the opening goal.
As i said earlier, the core of the next Celtic side is there.
But for many , its the end of the road.
Change must start at the top.
It’s rumoured that Peter Lawwell will stand down at the end of the season, and if that is the case, Dermot Desmond must assert his authority, and his chequebook, to get the best possible man in for the job, and he must be allowed to pick his own backroom staff.
Then he can decide over the next six weeks who to keep, and who to sell.
Any money raised by sales should be given back to him, on top of a few quid extra, simply because if that level of ambition is not shown, then the manager who comes in will not be of the right quality.
And no more fucking loan deals….it destroyed Mowbray and now its destroyed Lennon.
It’s time for change.
Not just in personnel, but in attitude.
That Old Firm mentality has crept back into the club, those in charge have aided and abetted the reappearance of the brand that thrives on hatred and bigotry, giving a casual nod of acceptance to all the crimes on the other side of the river, from tax dodging, to racism, to cheating, and the biggest crime of all, acknowledging that the liquidation of Rangers in 2012 didn’t happen.
Celtic need a statement of ambition, a show of intent that removes them from the parochial pit containing them and us, and a desire to be at the top table in Europe.
Under the present regime, that doesn’t look likely.
As in 1994, it seems we live in interesting times.