I didn’t blame Brendan Rodgers or our defence for conceding seven at Barca. They will do that to better teams than us, but today we saw that our defensive organisation is a joke. Not a mess but a joke. For a team to score twice with two shots on target … worrying. And with the manager having made a point of dropping Gordon after poor performances, how long is going to keep the faith with De Vries? Because he’s not impressing at all.
Today’s Inverness display was ugly.
But ugly can get results.
We might have to play like that before the season ends, but right now our defending is a different kind of ugly, the kind that makes you want to hide. That’s two points dropped today for one reason only; they defended better than we did. They performed better at the back.
The ultimate irony of De Vries looking so shaky is that their keeper was outstanding, absolutely outstanding.
He was the man of the match by miles and deserved to have left the pitch with the accolades and with a point.
We performed well for the most part; he probably kept it from being a cricket score. I can’t fault guys like Sinclair and Dembele who came up against a packed defence. But they showed our back line how it should be done.
We have issues here.
It’s nothing to do with personnel.
The manner of last weekend’s rout has stopped people from analysing the shocking way Sevco scored their goal. It was shambolic. Three of Barcelona’s goals could have been prevented by more determined defending. Today’s goals were about the usual; players not closing down, losing concentration … it’s frustrating to watch but it’ll be much worse than frustrating when Manchester City come to Celtic Park next week.
In their current form, and on the back of that, they will take five off us easily.
Look I’m not getting on a major downer over that; it’s two points dropped but the state of the league means we’re still out in front and with a game in hand. What boils the blood is that you could see that coming, when we failed to kill the match. Our defending is so suspect they were always in with a shout.
Brendan Rodgers has resisted those who’ve asked if he intends to bring in a defensive coach and he’s not getting all of the blame; our defence looked just as poor last season, for long spells, when any team running at us was capable of doing damage … some of these players just look as if they have no positional sense whatsoever.
So I’ll feel better when he can deliver some clean sheets. We’re conceding far too many goals, and if we keep this up we will lose league games and let our rivals (whoever they are; Aberdeen at least put three points in the bag today) back into the race.
I do want a challenge, but not because of stupid days like this.
Tighten it up Brendan, or it’s going to cost us more than just a couple of points.
Which brings me to the refereeing decision not to award Inverness a penalty.
He should have, but it wasn’t a red card. I actually wish he had given it, because the media will certainly talk about it for weeks to come and because it would have forced our keeper to do some work. It would have put us behind and probably focussed minds better.
Really peeved with that today, for many reasons, but bad refereeing was not one of them. We got off light. He made a dreadful mistake but on the surface of it it’s benefited us … but I wonder. Maybe we needed the wake-up call.
Anyway, this has been a poor end to a grisly week.
Onward to the next one, and a better one.