Celtic 1 – 1 St. Johnstone
“The Good Ship Celtica” continues to drift rudderless as the crew look on helplessly and the captain of our ship runs about telling everyone not to panic. Sensible decisions have been non-existent at the club for about three years now,ever since our CEO and our then manager fought a destructive turf war,at first behind closed doors and then increasingly in public. As there was no way both could continue in their role,one person would come out on top-and the club would be the loser.
And so it has proven,yesterday being only the latest on-field manifestation of a catalogue of failure and ineptitude. You want to see inept? How about the defending for their goal? Or the response of our manager’s assistant when asked a question,his customary shrug being the response? Maybe even some of the simpler things like passing the ball? Aye,there’s the nearest thing to a hat trick we were likely to see yesterday.
That was the first time in ten visits that St Johnstone have even scored at Celtic Park,nearly as ridiculous a record as NL losing to Kilmarnock there since the fifties a few years ago. And the fact that few of us went into the game expecting a clean sheet tells you all you need to know about the current state of play.
Yet it was hardly a poor performance from Celtic,not by recent standards at least. Some incisive passes from CalMac to Eddie,which last season he would have been putting away. Some more cohesion in midfield,protecting our defence better than usual. Keeping the ball out of our area is a must,as we saw any time we didn’t succeed! Some tight passing in tight areas as we probed through the middle. But the problem is that it WAS a poor performance as none of the above was actually successful,and some of the rest of the play was truly awful,the sign of players playing with no confidence or belief.
NL threw the substitutes on at surprising times-Taylor for Laxalt at half time,for instance. Although Laxalt was probably still feeling the effects of a shocking challenge in the first few minutes-a probable red elsewhere,not even a free kick for us. Griffiths for Broonie after an hour,Turnbull for Rogic a few minutes later. Can’t argue with those,with Griff pulling their defence around in a way we had previously failed to do and Turnbull probably our most dangerous player after he came on. But regardless,we still didn’t look like scoring,short of some individual brilliance. Players who are low on confidence are unlikely to provide that. As we have been aware for far too long now.
So as you could probably guess,the goal when it came was for them,even if the assists for it were ours. A shocking ball in midfield left CalMac having to stick out an arm to prevent the break. The ball was headed out and four of our players converge to tackle the player in possession. He threads it inside the right back channel,the ball is whipped across goal,Barkas dissolves in a puddle and 1-0 them.
Admittedly Mo,just on the pitch,got an equaliser with a speculative-or brilliant!- header a couple of minutes later,but the damage was already done. About three years ago,as I mentioned at the top of the page. Yet many of the players then are still here now,they were wiping the floor with everyone then and are playing now like a bunch of disabled strangers,unable to do what once came naturally to them. It’s an old maxim that good players don’t become bad players overnight,and it hasn’t happened overnight either. It’s been building for a while,it has simply come to a head these last couple of months.
First weekend of December and already there is hardly a Celtic supporter who thinks we can win the title this season. A rudderless ship with Captain Hogwash at the helm. And now beyond salvage too,because no-one in their right mind would come near the place now. Two wins in twelve doesn’t lie,but those charged with halting or preventing this slide into mediocrity will point the finger elsewhere. Just as on the pitch,so off it-nobody willing to accept responsibility or step up and do something to get things back on track.
Above article by BMCUWP.