What in the Hell was that the other night?
For a brief period in that match, records were in sight and there to be broken.
Had the manager not wanted to keep Griffiths fresh – a fully understandable decision given our total dominance and that he had already scored a hat-trick – Scotland’s top front man could have made them personally. That’s how good he was, that’s how good Celtic were.
And I ask myself; where did that performance come from?
There are roughly two kinds of Celtic fan today, when it comes to reading this blog.
There are those who will say “And you wanted the manager sacked …” and there are others who will refuse to get overly enthused by a big win over a team who crashed out of the Scottish Cup recently to Annan … and that wasn’t a 1-0 win late in the game but a 4-1 tanking.
On Tuesday night we scored eight. That’s twice what Annan got, but we’re on a different footballing planet from Annan, or at least we ought to be.
So where do I come down between these two extremes?
Well, I hate to sit on the fence but I’ve got to be somewhere in the middle.
Because that was an excellent display, from a team that looked in the mood right from the start and which boasted the best striker in Scotland by several orders of magnitude.
Yet at the same time, we scored early and then basically battered them into submission before a lot of people had even taken their seats.
Do that to any team and watch only the hardiest stand up to the pressure.
We had to come out and perform like that, and we did it and we deserve the credit for that, but Hamilton folded the hand so easily.
For all the pessimism I’ve had to write about this team in the last 12 months, I remain ever the optimist, always ready to see a revolutionary change right around the corner.
I am not going to start lauding this side and this manager, not whilst there are still serious issues to address and the tactics that never change … but I want to have my mind changed.
I want to eat my words.
I want to be proved just as wrong as a person can be.
If Ronny can turn us all around, who in the Celtic support will be disappointed?
Who will have cause for regret or complaint?
Easy answer; nobody.
So whllst I think you have to be somewhat cautious about praising the side too highly for what we saw the other night, I don’t think we should be simply pointing to the deficencies in the opposition either. We had to show up on Tuesday and we did. We had to put on a show for the fans and we managed to.
Everyone who’s suggested that this team isn’t good enough only has to look at the way we can play in the matches where we actually show up wired and ready for business. This was one of those games, and we showed all the necessary passion and verve a lot of the performances this season have lacked.
This Celtic side is capable. Deila’s one up front tactic (and that’s what it is and I don’t care how many times he or others try to spin that into something else) can also work when the players behind the striker are on their game … Stuart Armstrong was particularly good, I thought, and Tom Rogic was as magnificent as usual.
It would also be remiss not to talk about Efe Ambrose, who’s strolled through another game. He says he owes his recent good form to the support of the Celtic fans. Some of those who’ve spent the last few years making their displeasure at him known should take note.
But the prize in this side is definitely our free-scoring front man Griffiths. I feel like I could run out of words to praise this boy, and he’s earning every one of them.
Was this the moment Deila’s team started to play as a unit?
I have my doubts; it was a splendid performance and we deserve the plaudtis for it, but I’ll feel better if we get those kind of displays on a more consistent basis.
Worries remain and you all know what they are; the tactics never change a bit and that means a side which attempts to match us rather than on playing men behind the ball will have a chance as long as they can counter Leigh.
Nothing would ease my concerns more than to see us altering the gameplan a little; that would be a positive step that would change a lot of minds.
But I was pleased with that game.
How could I not be?
On that form we will wipe the floor with any team in Scotland.
For Europe … well there’s work still to do.