Criticism Is Not “Hysteria.” Celtic’s Manager And Others Need To Learn The Difference.

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If we lose to Hearts at the weekend the reaction online will not be good.

That is an understatement; just going onto Twitter will be like walking through a free-fire zone, but it will not be because of one result.

It will be because fans have for more widespread concerns.

Things would be much more calm if we had gotten through last week’s Champions League tie and if we were still in good shape in the tie against Prague.

Then what Lennon and others are calling the “hysteria” would not be quite so acute.

I’ve noticed that a lot of folk are rolling back their criticism of last week, and there’s a hint that some of them believe it to have been an over-reaction. But it wasn’t. A lot of people had been blindsided by what was a decent start to the transfer window and a good start to the domestic campaign.

Serious concerns were being put aside.

But those concerns were perfectly legitimate, and last week they all came flooding back.

Well, as The Who said “We won’t get fooled again.”

I’m done sugar coating this, done trying to sound optimistic when just hearing Lennon speak yesterday gave me the fear.

His press conference was awful, as bad as the one after the game the other day.

His saccharine, boot-licking comments about Lawwell were sickening – I’m going to do a full piece on those later on – and his snark at the fans was ridiculous.

There are things wrong at Celtic Park, and at every level of the club. The strategic vision is non-existent.

Today we’re signing Fraser Forster on loan; that’s how much imagination there is, us going back to a former player, reduced, again, to loan signings at a crucial time. We badly need a new keeper, but this is another short term fix and it’s not even clear that it is a good one.

He’s made one first team appearance at Southampton since December 2017.

He’s nowhere near to being match sharp and already people are talking about playing him at Ibrox; well on our own heads be it if we do something as daft as that.

One appearance. In 20 months.

Forgive me if I’m unconvinced that this is the answer to all our problems.

It is typical of Celtic though, a short term crowd pleaser instead of a serious attempt to address a glaring issue with the squad.

You might be forgiven for wondering when we’re going to spend some of the Tierney money; the easy answer is that we’re not.

As the 20 Minute Tims podcast of this week said, our exit from the Champions League means we gave him away for free.

In spite of what some people would have you believe, our fans are not idiots. If the reaction to last week’s result was heavy that’s because the match was of huge importance and, at home, with an away goal, we held it in the palm of our hands.

We understand what losing that game means.

It’s not just going out of the premier competition, it’s the swallowing up of the Tierney money, it’s the end of any genuine hope we had that the club would buy quality.

To lose tonight is a Year Zero event, putting us on the brink of going out of Europe before the groups for the first time since Lennon’s first season.

I refuse to believe that Lennon does not understand how serious this situation is. I refuse to believe that he is as ignorant as he is making out that the result, the performance, his tactics, his decisions, were absolutely unacceptable and that he is now in a very perilous place.

The reaction of the supporters was far from hysterical.

In fact, it might even have been far more muted had he shown an iota of self awareness and took even a fraction of responsibility for the defeat.

One of the things that has fueled the anger is his ludicrous, delusional, insistence that his team selection and formation had no bearing on the result, a statement so out of touch with reality that it takes your breath away.

The fans have an acute understanding of how bad a result that was and of how bad the decisions were.

The fans understand that his full-throated defence of Lawwell yesterday confirms our worst fears, that he is a yes-man for those above him, a manager who was hired when his career was on the slide and who will act as a lightning rod for the people who gave him a job he didn’t otherwise earn.

It is now just about certain that we will exit the transfer window weaker than we were at the end of last season, but as others have pointed out this is worse than that. If you look at where we were at the end of the Invincible campaign and where we are now, the picture is infinitely worse.

Major players have left us in that time and none has been replaced.

We’re going backwards, and it is not hysteria to say so, it’s a statement of fact and until the very real problems at Celtic Park start to be addressed a lot of people are going to continue saying so, and a few good results are not going to shut us up.

Lennon better get cosy with the criticism because there’s plenty more where that came from as long as he is making the kind of mistakes we saw the other night and again at the weekend. Lawwell better got cosy with criticism because it’s all he’s got coming his way from now until he packs up his pencils.

Peter Lawwell is the biggest threat to nine and ten in a row, and I don’t care how many of his employees and media lackeys try to paint the picture differently.

And some other folk better get this into their heads; myself and others love Celtic as much as they do, and because we love Celtic we’re not going to stay silent and mute as this great club gets dragged backwards by those who are mismanaging it.

Anybody who thinks myself and others are “doing the work of the enemy” has forgotten who the enemy is. Criticism is not hysteria. Criticism is not treachery. Scrutiny is a necessary component of any organisation. It’s only by offering criticism that we maintain high standards, and right now at Celtic Park standards are slipping to a scary degree.

Those inside Celtic Park are well paid for standing up to the heat.

If the heat is getting a little too hot I suggest that some of them are in the wrong jobs.

Hell, I know some of them are in the wrong jobs.

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