Brendan Rodgers cannot be criticised for where our team currently lies; top of the table and on the way to seven in a row, league cup winners for the second season, on the verge of a Scottish Cup campaign which could end up in the back to back trebles, and still in Europe after Christmas.
Form has not been scintillating this season, or at least not compared to last year, but it’s been good enough to keep us ahead of the chasing pack.
The press is always looking for a way to mess with him though, a way to cast doubt on his achievements and where our club currently stands. One of the things that’s cropped up lately is criticism of Brendan and his coaches for the way the team trains.
Their “proof” that something is wrong is the number of injuries at Celtic.
And it has to be said, that number is actually pretty high. Key players have spent ages sitting on the touchlines this season. But any criticism has to be tempered by a little reality, and the reality is that there are players in our team who have played more than 30 games already.
If there was some major issue at Lennoxtown, it would be affecting them.
No team that has played this many games, with such good form overall, can possibly have “issues” with the training. This Celtic team might have been leg-weary in the latter part of the campaign but at no point – save for the Hearts game, and we rallied from that – did we look as if we were on the edge of collapse. This team is super-fit.
To read the press you would think we are the only team with injury issues.
Guess who else has chronic problems in this area?
Yes, indeed, the club across the city. They have a number of first team footballers out right now, some of them long term. It’s not just injuries in games and in training, it’s how slowly they seem to be getting players back when they go out with knocks and tweaks.
And who can forget the incredible image of Joe Garner sitting in a hospital A&E like a guy who got injured playing fives? Yet the press coverage of this has been virtually zero. Nobody is asking whether Sevco’s coaches are training people right, and my bet is that this will never be raised in the press. All the focus is on Celtic Park.
It is ridiculous.
No wonder Brendan is pissed at the media.