Another head shaking performance yesterday, this time at home, saw Celtic gain a point or lose two…depending on whether or not you’re in panic mode yet… against an invigorated Dundee United.
The result leaves Celtic in sixth place after seven games, with just three wins on the board.
It’s not very good, is it ?
|3||Heart of Midlothian||7||2||2||0||6||2||2||1||0||6||3||7||15|
In fact, another couple of bad results and we’ll be at the wrong end of a gap at the top of the table.
Whilst manager Ange Postecoglou finds it weird that some are already saying the league is lost…and it is….if things don;t pick up soon they will be.
“It’s a weird league,”
“You call things early here, don’t you? It’s quite remarkable that seven games in people are calling the title already. It’s just not how I work.
“I’m not pulling up stumps after seven games just because other people seem to think there is some sort of insurmountable challenge out there for us.
Nobody is calling anything, at least not anyone with any sense, but the warning signs are there.
There’s a couple of things, howeverm that could be called mitigating circumstances.
Looking at yesterdays line up, there was not a single first team regular either starting the game or sitting on the bench from last season. That kind of upheaval is completely unprecedented in our history, and probably in anyone elses as well.
That means there is no consistency, and certainly no experience of what is expected from a Celtic player.
The two most senior players, James Forrest and Calum MacGregor, are both absent. After those two, we simply don;t have any senior players with Celtic experience, and that may well be one reason that things are taking a little longer to settle than we’d like.
Factor in that the new player who has had the biggest effect on the side, Kyogo Fuhruhashi,is also missing, and clinging onto sixth while players recover might actually be an achievement.
Opposition players will see this as a “good time ” to be playing Celtic, and in what is already one of the highlights of their season, there is added motivation to compete, and that can make a mediocre player a good player, and a decent one very good.
Let them enjoy their day in the spotlight, because you and I know deep down that we’ll have forgotten about yesterday long before they stop telling their grandchildren about their 1-1 draw at Celtic Park.
Although maybe we, as a support, should have a wee look at ourselves as well. We’re not helping matters when we start to suggest that we should be beating dross like Livingston and Dundee United. Of course, under normal circumstances , we would be, but we’re a bit makeshift at the moment, and before you say the squad should be stronger, and we should have two international players for every position, that’s not really feasible, either financially or simply from the point of view of persuading a top class player to earn less money on our bench than on one in England.
Wake up, we are where we are.
One or two have blamed the board for our demise, interestingly accusing them of pandering to a club/company south of the river and tailoring our cloth to allow them to remain competitive, and yet at the same time howling in derision because we are six points adrift of the very same club/comapny we largely claim are not our rivals and we can live without them.
And yet we use their relative recent success as our benchmark. Ignoring the fact that Hibernian, Hearts and even Motherwell have made more than decent starts, and St Johnstone, who won both cups last year, have had an even worse start than ourselves.
hopefully, that will continue into the league cup semi final, where the hoops should be back to something approaching full strength by then, and maybe a trophy in that tournament will quell some of the dissent..
Of course, the media and it’s soup hungry commentatiors have been quick to jump on the badwagon, with illuminaries such as Kris Commons being hauled out to tell us…
“The league table is already making for painful viewing for Celtic supporters. The team are languishing in sixth place, already six points behind leaders Rangers.
Thanks for that Kris, we hadn’t really noticed. You’ll notice though, he too, mentions that club/company, and that in turn will fire up Celtic fans, which in turn must bewilder our board when we complain they have kept alive a rivalry that we ourselves seem to relish.
Indeed, there is a very real argument that they were doing there what they thought we wanted them to do. And there’s a mountain of evidence to support that theory.
All Commons, and other commentators are doing is pointing out the obvious, and the more they point it out, the more uneasy Celtic fans become.
Older readers will recall another new and invigorating manager, John Barnes, when he came to Celtic.
Backed by none other than one of Europes finest and most successful players and managers in Kenny Dalglish, himself an ex Celt, had his own way of playing the game, and after a blistering start he saw his talismanic striker, Henrik Larsson, suffer a leg break that ultimately ended his career not only at Celtic, but in management.
Postecoglou has shown signs that he can get this team playing football that has them swooning in the stands, and let’s face it, when it’s good, it’s very., very good.
But the loss of his captain, his top scorer and one of the clubs most decorated players in it;s history has shaken the ship a wee bit.
Are we to panic and throw him out the way we did with Barnes ?
We’ll never know how that season, and indeed a chunk of our history would have turned out had Larsson not been injured in Lyon.
But we do know that if we succumb to the pressure to ditch Postecoglou..and it’s starting… after what is best described as an unfortunate series of events, then not only will we be right back where we started, we’ll probably have to wait a while before we reach the giddy heights of sixth again.
It was never going to happen overnight, and there have already been a few setbacks, but one day we might yet look back and laugh about this.