Charlie Saiz asks us to be patient, and look at the positives from the Stjarnan games…
Patience Is a Virtue…..
Always in a manager but seldom in a fan.
I changed that slightly to suit the gist of this wee waffle about Celtic.
Last season I spent the first 3 months fighting the new managers corner almost on a daily basis it seemed at times and particularly after a poor result or God forbid a wee run of poor results as it turned out early doors under Ronny’s reign.
Well yet again we have had a bit of a slow start to the campaign in Europe,the football has been a bit hit and miss though even the most sceptical among the masses has to concede starting such important games as these this early into your preparations is hardly ideal is it?
Not an excuse you see but rather a wee nod in acknowledgement that the players, some of them anyway, are a bit behind the rest due to internationals and limited down time post season.
Some like Mulgrew and Lustig are dusting off the cobwebs of long term injury whilst others are new to the club and simply getting up to speed with how we want to play.
It all takes time folks,
Patience and time.
Champions League qualification ignores this to a large extent. UEFA are simply not interested.
They want you to perform when they tell you to or you are simply surplus to requirement.
Your Barcas,Milans and PSG’s are not even breaking sweat yet in training whilst the rest are being asked to sweat bullets on shite,substandard pitches against sides who are weeks into their seasons already.
Again not excuses just another wee tip of the bunnet to the hurdles we have to jump through just to get involved in Champions’ League at all nowadays.
The first obstacle has been negotiated. We have a good side who although a bit rusty in places have shown we are months ahead of the game we started this time last season.
Sure there have been individual errors that have cost us a goal and perhaps could have cost us one or two more had Stjarnan had a bit more quality and luck.
The flip side is though we dominated both legs overall and could well have slapped in 10 goals over both had we been sharper and more clinical up top.
The sharpness will come again patience is the key here.
The pitch in Iceland evidently did our style no favours as our players struggled to come to terms with a dry,bumpy artificial pitch which truth be told was not up to the standard required for this level of football.
. Stjarnan later claimed this was down to a burst water pipe.
Not an excuse just another observation which I am sure the players very quickly observed themselves as the ball opted to choose it’s own course around the ground, regardless of the intentions of the players.
The loss of an early goal has in the past made Celtic sides wobble in Europe and normally followed up by panic stricken defending which would not be out of place in a Sunday league game on any public park.
Not this Celtic side.
We remained calm and stuck to the plan. Proof indeed, that the side is becoming more mature.
The plan was to try break down the wall of Blue Ice and although it took some chipping away eventually the persistence paid off.
Had the two goals chalked off for offside stood then the final result would have perhaps reflected the gulf in class between us both.
Positives should be drawn from this..
We are now two games into our stride
We have scored six goals in those two games, four away from home.
We have won , quite comfortably really, both of those games.
We havem encouragingly, finished our scoring deep into injury time proving beyond doubt our players are getting nearer to full fitness.
The next tie is going to be difficult no doubt about it but they have only managed 1 goal in two legs and face a Celtic side not even out of 2nd gear who have just put six past their opponents.
This will not have gone unnoticed. sometimes we forget that the reaction of other sides on drawing a tie against Celtic is often equal to, or worse than, the reaction of Celtic.
Qarabag won’t be happy with the draw either.
Oh and I gather both ties will be played on grass.
Which is nice eh?
I think we have enough about us to trouble most if not all the sides left in the draw.
All we have to do is up the performance levels and cut out the mistakes and I think we will be fine.
A bit of patience may be required though.
Not only on the park, but off it as well.
I have plenty.
I hope you do too.