Now I know what you are thinking. It’s only a matter of hours since the semi final and I’m writing this as a knee jerk reaction. Wrong. This game was actually the straw which broke the camel’s back. There is a tempatation to go on a rant like that mad Killie fan on Youtube but I shall refrain.
I felt uneasy about the game beforehand. We did not have great deal to gain and everything to lose. Had we won 3-0 then very little credit would have came our way. After 20 minutes every Celtic fan knew the system wasn’t working. We were outnumbered in midfield and couldn’t retain possession. Boyata looked exposed at the back and could have been sent off before he went off. Griffiths was isolated and and lacked support. The Rangers goalkeeper continued to kick balls to the wide areas whilst our players stood and watched. Time and again we stood off and let Rangers come at us. That frustrated the life out of me. Twice we came back and yet never at any time grabbed the initiative. We had two penalties to win the game and still couldn’t close the deal.
I never bought into the Ronny experiment from the start. He never had the personnel to play his beloved 4-2-3-1 formation from day one. We did win a title (hopefully two) but that was soleley because we have better players than any other team in the country. The problem with Ronny’s formation is two fold. Firstly, the opposition know exactly how we are going to set up. Secondly, when we play better class opposition (e.g. CL or EL) we get blown away. It happened today as well. Rangers grabbed the initiative from the start and never at any stage did Ronny try and change matters. I want a manager who is a motivator (something he is clearly not) and has tactical flexibility when things go against us. To do nothing tactically today was not acceptable.
When he arrived he made a great play of saying he wanted a pressing team and we should be fitter. This was a red herring from the beginning. We never press any team, we just back off. We are definitley no fitter than Lennon’s team and if anything we look worse off. Even the healthy lifestyle he advocated never worked out. The day Scott Brown was pictured in the gutter (literally) was the time for firm action. Nothing was ever forthcoming.
It is said that a team is the reflection of their manager. This Celtic side is a prime example of that. We are clueless, heartless and lack passion.
Too many players go through the motions, game after game, the exception being young Tierney who is full of heart and skill. Which makes you think that there may be another couple of wee gems in the youth team who could make the jump up. The likes of Commons, Allan, Chrsitie and Armstrong have all had their ups and downs but it appears that Brown, Biton and Johansen all play, no matter how poor their form may be whilst the others rarely get a chance. Today should be the end of the line for a few of them most notably Lustig and Mackay-Steven who were liabilities from the start.
If changes have to be made then the individual who recommended Carlton Cole and Colin Kazim-Richards should be the first to depart. These two signings have been an absolute embarrassment. Neither looked fit when they arrived and are not long term prospects at their age. not to mention the wages they are taking up. To add insult to injury, we have a manager who stubbornly sticks to one man up front so why did we sign two strikers who were never likely to play ? Also, Stokes and Scepovic were much better bets and yet were allowed to leave whilst we are stuck with Cole and CKR. Who exactly makes these decisions ? Deila ? Lawwell John Park ?
Some say that Peter Lawwell is answerable to the board. It actually appears more that he is answerable only to himself. Sorry, but no CEO at Parkhead should be anywhere near a £1M salary if you include bonuses. All this and average crowds have dropped by 18,000 (per week !) under his tenure. If we are to pay such a salary then it should go to a proven manager who can motivate and inspire. The manager shoud be the highest paid employee at the club.
I’ve never had any gripe with the bold Dermot before now. We should be grateful that he under wrote previous share issues which bailed us out when debts were at the £20M plus mark. However, Dermot has been handsomely rewarded through the years with his dividends from profits and now there is a feeling that he lacks real interest in the club and treats it like a plaything. Perhaps there are other wealthy individuals out there or a group of investors who could buy his shares from him and move on. Nothing lasts forever.
Make no mistake Celtic are in a real rut at every level. Change is needed badly to freshen up the place. For four years there have been those of us who have said that the downsizing on the playing side and lack of investment was going to hit us one day.
Today it just bit us on the a***.