Getting Better All The Time?
As we’ve mentioned before on here-often!-it is far too early to get carried away with the recent improvement in our performances,even if that improvement has been massive. MAHE pointed out yesterday that we have another four games this month,and that might be the time to decide whether what we have seen in the last couple of weeks has indeed been the proverbial green shoots of recovery,or simply a false dawn.
And two days later of course brings the end of the summer transfer window,which will provide further clues on the ambitions of our board,and on their desire to give AP every assistance he needs to put us back on top domestically,and maybe even give us a fighting chance in The Europa League.
And it is The Europa League tomorrow night which provides our first test in those four matches. A home tie against AZ Alkmaar,who are by all accounts a very decent side indeed. We should not be bricking it going into this double header-but we certainly need to treat them with respect. AP hopes to see the return of Liel Abada and Ryan Christie,and based on their performances so far,I reckon he isn’t the only one! That would probably mean James Forrest and Eddie dropping out to make way,and I think that we will also see Tom Rogic making way for Ishmaela Soro,even though Rogic has been coming onto a game again recently.
Maybe I’m guilty of overthinking this,maybe we can do without making too many changes to a winning side. I’m sure that AP doesn’t read my witterings on here anyway,so I reckon I’m safe enough! Meantime,it looks like the only part of the side that picks itself is the backline-and that,if we are honest,is still the weakest area in the team.
Sure,Joe Hart inspires confidence in a way that we haven’t had since the early days of Craig Gordon,and of course,when we had Fraser Forster on loan two years ago. And the defence are now being afforded better protection by the midfield. But there is little doubt that all four are actually better when they are attacking than when they stick to the day job!
And that is definitely a concern,and I’m sure that AZ will be aware of it. Equally,I’m sure that AP will know that they know,and that is why I think that we will see the return of Soro tomorrow,and that he will be told to stay in position and to cut out the meandering into forward positions.
The first half on Sunday was probably as good as I’ve seen any Celtic side play for years,and I doubt any team could live with us on that form. That we only took a two goal lead into the dressing room at half time was a travesty. But if we can perform to that level tomorrow night and improve our finishing-and our luck!-we can surely go into the game in a positive frame of mind.
In two weeks time,we will have completed those four matches and seen what transfer business has been done. It will be then that we can judge the first nine weeks or so of AP and Dom,discuss the effect on the side of the transfer comings and goings and of the performances on the pitch.
Meanwhile,it is fair to say that I am in a considerably better mood than I was only a couple of weeks or so ago. Let’s hope it stays that way!!!
Above article by BMCUWP