Thankfully, the countdown to the football season re-starting is well under way and Celtic should come out with all guns blazing.
This has been a long one. It’s felt like a close-season at times.
The team have sunned themselves in Dubai and not played any games, which should have the players champing at the bit to get back onto the pitch.
Much has been said about other team’s acquisitions and how they can get close to Celtic in the league but having had the much needed break, Celtic should have enough in the current squad to maintain or, in fact, increase their lead in their quest for a seventh title on the trot.
Yes we need new recruits to liven it up and everyone is hanging on to Brendan’s every word regarding the revolving door. This will no doubt play out over the next two weeks. But Celtic has and will continue to do their business behind closed doors.
We do not engage with PR companies or the rags in order to fill their pages with puff pieces; which is frustrating for them and can be for us as fans.
In this day and age, information is king.
I get that.
I want Celtic to be announcing the next signing as of yesterday but this stuff requires patience. To my eyes, Compper was brought in to steady the ship domestically for now, with most fans concerned at lack of spending in defence. Morgan is self-explanatory really – before the t’s were crossed and the I’s dotted everyone and their granny knew he was headed back to St. Mirren.
But I’d prefer to be getting the right information at the right time.
The mainstream media once had Erik Sviatchencko valued by English sides at £7m and £8m and lo and behold he’s gone back to his previous club on loan. Laughable really, but that was the point of the exercise for the hacks.
Fans of other clubs seem to think that Celtic feed this information to the press, which is utter bullshit. I know there are people at Celtic Park who wouldn’t weep if every hack in the land was starving to death. Does anyone seriously buy this guff?
You know, and I knew that at best the big man would fetch £2m.
In terms of matches – we’ve got ten SPFL League matches to shove the theories of “getting close” right up their arses, six of which are at home. I want to see Celtic return to the form they showed last season and start winning games at home and handsomely – and with aplomb. Stop drawing at home and the lead will stretch.
Questions are being asked of our Europa League ambitions. If I’m honest I think we’re lacking here. I’ve mixed emotions about it. Yes, I’d love us to go far but can we cope with the amount of games and still win a treble?
Hopefully Dembele returns to form should he not be off to Brighton or whoever for £20m – not my figure but the media’s. His impact last year was of course brilliant but injuries have plagued the France U21 player and he’s struggled to hit the form we’re accustomed to.
There’ve been times where I’ve questioned Rodgers’ decision to drop Griffiths too. The strike force needs to be settled which it hasn’t been and in the main, Griffiths has suffered for it. Edouard despite his blistering hat-trick versus Motherwell early December is still raw and should be used sparingly. For me the battle should be two-way instead of three.
My biggest concern, however, is the form of Scotty Sinclair. Despite his goal haul (for which I’m thankful) he’s definitely went off the boil. Yes teams are doubling up on him at times but tactically we should know how to cope. There appears to be a lack of confidence in going one-on-one despite Sinclair having pace to burn.
I don’t think for a minute that it is a lack of trying.
I genuinely think that we can crack on to do a double treble if we fix the chinks in the armour. I don’t subscribe to the theory that teams are wise to the high pressing game we play. I said before the break that we were lacklustre and tired. To do this for 90 minutes requires extreme strength and stamina. Liverpool was rightly lauded for it against Man City the other night. It takes huge effort.
Against Sevco, the normally dynamic Armstrong looked as if he was towing a caravan at times. Brown looked as if he was a one-man midfield that day. We’ve plenty to choose from in the midfield department and I’m going to put my neck on the line by saying that Ntcham will scoop the Young Player of the Year award should he keep his place. James Forrest, should he continue his excellent form, will be the leading contender for the Player of the Year.
I’m anticipating that we field a full first team against Brechin on Saturday to get the momentum going again and put a barrel-load by them before travelling to Firhill on Tuesday.
Let’s send the message out that we’re back and with a bang.
Gavin McCann cannot wait for the resumption of hostilities ….