Eyes On The Prize.
Only a fortnight ago,I said this about G-Mak in the article.
“When he starts scoring as well,this lad will be a sensation for us.”
Mind you,I also said that Joe Hart might be looking at Fraser Forster’s clean sheet record of 24 in one season for us! Still,nobody’s perfect,eh?
On Sunday,we had quite a few imperfections. Not least that we once again failed to deal with set pieces,an old failing from way back that we seemed to have eradicated. But when you have a keeper who isn’t organising his defence,and defenders who are playing statues or blind man’s buff,that’s the kind of thing that can happen.
Thursday just gone had Glimt putting three past us from open play-and when I say open,I mean carving us wide open!-while Sunday was just criminal. Aided and abetted once again by a misfiring midfield,despite a shake up in personnel in both areas.
The one shining light from the last week was actually the perfect balance to these imperfections,and that is the perfect hat trick from G-Mak. I’m struggling to remember the last time a Celtic player achieved such a thing,though I recall Charlie Mulgrew having two inside about half an hour at Kilmarnock almost ten years ago. He only needed a chance with his favoured left foot to achieve it,which isn’t bad for a full back. Sadly it wasn’t to be. I think we were too busy scoring goals that day to provide him with the chance he needed!
So back to those imperfections,those failings of the past week-which were really only a matter of time,given the drop in performances lately. Sure,we are still getting the results domestically,and yes,the saying goes that such is the mark of champions. My concern is that it is a mark of something else. Whether that is that other teams have figured out to play against our system-as Glimt definitely did!-or that the system isn’t working,or that the players just aren’t up to it,I don’t know.
I’m pretty sure that AP will stick to his system though,perhaps with a few minor tweaks according to availability or form of personnel,so perhaps we just have to work through it and hope that the form of the previous four months will make a return. We are still well ahead of where all but the wildest of dreaming Celts thought we would be at this stage,and we can be grateful for that. We have still to see the best of Jota since his return from injury,and that will come-form is temporary but class is permanent.
We still have Kyogo to return from his own run of injuries,and this time we don’t need to rush him and risk losing him after ten minutes. We have the top scorer from last season in The Netherlands looking like he has found his confidence and his form,and believes that the Celtic jersey is indeed a fit for him.
All in all,I’m fairly content,while being fully aware of our shortcomings. The good thing is that we have a manager who is aware of these things too,doesn’t try to ignore them and will certainly be working in training to sort the whole shebang out. The league is very much in our own hands,and he will want it on his CV. In fact,he will want to win everything,get that Treble on it too.
He isn’t a man to rest on his laurels or sit in his office watching the telly while the players are out training.
G-Mak scored his perfect hat trick on Sunday,but AP demands perfection from every player,every time. That is maybe unrealistic,but it is as it should be. It’s been a difficult trip at times this season,but it’s been an uplifting one overall. The winning post is not yet in sight,but it is getting tantalisingly closer.
Eyes on the prize,then.
Above article by BMCUWP