Round three of six in The Champions League group stages beckons,an away tie against RB Leipzig. This is a rather interesting tie in many respects,but here’s one which might not have occurred to many of you.
Most of Germany will be supporting Celtic,while most of Scotland will be supporting Leipzig! The explanation in both cases is in the name-Celtic are associated with Ireland,and all the baggage that attracts from much of the rest of Scotland,while Leipzig are almost universally reviled in Germany after being effectively bought over by Red Bull and subverting the hallowed 50+1 ownership model.
But to the game. Is it really only three weeks and two matches ago since we gave Shakhtar a lesson on their “home” turf,a match where we totally dominated away from home against a quality side who seriously counted themselves lucky to escape with a draw on the night? And that after some inspiring displays against Dundee Utd,Real Madrid and Rangers? Could any of us have foreseen the shocking collapse in our fluency,our link-up play,the final ball and the finishing?
Or worse,our defending?
Yes,we can explain the latter by simple means of missing both our recognised centre half pairing. But no side of our stature should ever be undone so dramatically by the absence of two players. Different,of course,if we field an eleven of whom at least two are struggling at best,or worse than a man short at times. (Don’t take that as a reference simply to our two centre backs,by the way. There is plenty of blame to go round!)
But I’m the type who says we should save our post-mortems till later. And as it happens,that particular later is already in the past. I fully expect that Ange will have identified the problems in much the same way that we have,the difference being that he is in the position to do something about it. And he has the clout with the players,and the skill set to get the message across,that these two recent domestic blips will be treated by us,the fans,with a mere shrug of the shoulders a couple of weeks down the line.
I’ll be expecting a strong line-up tomorrow,and especially so since there is a possibility of CCV returning. I’ll be expecting a strong mentality too. Most of all,I’ll be expecting a strong performance of the type that says that The Bhoys Are Back!
We cannot afford to let our standards slip,either at home or abroad. We can’t afford the opposition in either sphere the merest hint of the scent of blood. Mañana might be a mindset in some countries,but there is no place for it in football. Even if the game does take place mañana!
Get the job done,Celtic. And get the show back on the road. Remind certain others of their place in the game-and ours!
Above article by BMCUWP