If I’m honest,Sunday’s match didn’t really tell us much that we didn’t know before. We already knew that the team was in need of a serious rebuild across practically every area,and that players old and new would take some time to get to grips with the new system and style preferred by the manager. We knew too the importance of the first derby match of the season,and how important it was to avoid defeat.
Clearly the players knew all of this too,as we saw the effort put in by them all. I think we were unfortunate not to take something from the game,and if our players had their shooting boots on and their thinking heads in place,we could easily have come away with all three points.
As it was,we again returned empty handed from an away trip,just as has been the case now for over six months. Neil Lennon was still in charge the last time we won away from home in the league! I doubt that such a statistic will be weighing too heavily on the players,and I expect it to be a thing of the past very shortly. Though,as luck would have it,our next away game is on the dreaded plastic against Livingston!!!
Be that as it may,we have to break this run,and soon. Leagues aren’t won by teams with a dismal away record,and they aren’t won by teams who can’t seem to find a way past their closest rivals. It’s been a while since we had such a poor run against them-even in the dark days we were well capable of beating them on the day. We have to get this monkey off our back before it becomes an insupportable burden,and the sooner the better.
We are fortunate that Dom and AP have realised how many positions in the team and in the squad need to be filled,and our signings to date have all impressed when given the opportunity to stake their claim to a place in the starting eleven. A couple more are apparently in the pipeline,with Gio Giakoumakis seemingly putting pen to paper yesterday,though I haven’t seen the official announcement yet. Another striker through the door as we await the departure of Eddie.
I’ll be 100% honest with you here. I would not have been surprised if Eddie had gone last summer,and I was delighted when it was announced that he was staying. I’m not so sure that he shared my delight,and his performances in the last twelve months have been considerably short of his own high standards. I’ll miss the Eddie we witnessed up until 7th March 2020,but maybe not the one that we have been subjected to since. His exalted wage demands reflect his excellence during his first three seasons with us,but he might be lucky to find anyone willing to match them based on his recent performances.
Which means,I fear,that we will be stuck with him as he runs down his contract and leaves for free in the summer. These things happen in football nowadays,and we have been lucky that only Boyata has taken advantage of this ruling in recent years. I can see it becoming more prevalent though in the future,possibly with Ryan Christie,who is another one who has probably seen the offer of a big contract at a decent club evaporate along with the quality of his displays.
Yes,these players have cost us a right few quid by their petulant strops,but they have damaged their own careers even more. A classic case of shooting yourself in the foot-insert your own joke here.
But back to Sunday,and the way forward from here. Put simply,we have to go on a winning run,show the same kind of form which we haven’t seen from a Celtic team since,perhaps,The Invincible Season. We can’t afford to lose any more ground on the huns,that is for sure. And we need to win our home match against them at New Year. It is not foolish to think that other teams will take points off them,as we have already seen this season up at Tannadice. But it would certainly be bloody stupid to rely on it! We need to win both our home games against them while avoiding defeat in the other. Anything else,other teams taking the points from them,we can consider as a bonus.
We need to make our own luck,and we need to win this title on our own merits. Nobody is going to be doing us any favours,that’s for sure.
We could probably make a good start by doing ourselves a favour,and that means not playing with effectively four forwards in Abada,Kyogo,Eddie and Christie while leaving a midfield of Turnbull and CalMac to toil against their four-which was bolstered by their substitutions late on. For far too long now,we have found ourselves light in that area,in fact ever since the arrival of Gerrard-or more accurately Beale. It has to stop. My suggestion would have been Abada on the right and Kyogo up the middle,with Christie wide left and dropping back to help in midfield as required,with CalMac and Turnbull assisted by Soro,or McCarthy once fit. Yet AP’s selections bossed the first half so I can hardly say he got it wrong based on that. We could have been a goal or two up at halftime,and I would be hailing him as a genius!
In truth,I think that time will prove that he is just the man for the job. He can probably feel hard done by after Sunday,as can we all! But the last thing we should be doing is shrugging it off just because it seems to happen every time we play them. The players need to make that run of results a part of history while they are making their own.
Sunday’s result was not an aberration-but it must become one.
Above article by BMCUWP