After a major reversal there is a tendency, in some quarters, to do a lot of revisionism.
For others there is a lot of reading between the lines.
Revisionism is dangerous at a time like this.
Revisionism refuses to acknowledge the past, by seeking to re-write it.
Celtic’s defeat was not, as some have suggested, a one-off out of the blue phenomenon. It was part of a pattern of poor performances which has been giving fans the fear for weeks. The manner of the defeat was shocking. For many supporters, the fact of it was not. They had been expecting it.
Just as common, and just as dangerous, is the tendency to read between the lines and to see in a bad display the confirmation of every dark rumour we’ve heard over the past few months.
Has Neil Lennon lost the dressing room? Are there players who just don’t want to play for him? Is training being done in a professional manner?
My way of looking at it is simple; if there are problems behind the scenes then it’s the responsibility of those who run the club to sort that stuff out. If there are issues with training, with discipline, with a drop in standards, then those above the manager cannot be in ignorance about it.
If they are allowing it then we’re in more trouble than is apparent.
In that scenario, I have to think that things will come to a head, and quickly enough to stop the rot before it becomes critical. There would be a major course correction. There is too much at stake this year for those in charge at Celtic Park to let things start to drift …
I don’t believe we’ll get to any kind of death spiral before things change.
That’s why I want to be cautious in attempting any over-wrought analysis of what Callum McGregor said yesterday when he spoke to the media.
For the most part, he said all the stuff that you would expect; the team would bounce back, the players were hurting, there was a long way still to go.
Nothing earth shattering, just plain old good sense.
Then he said something that has much of the internet talking … and analysing.
“Internally we have to sort a few things out, and then we’ll crack on,” he said.
And that has gotten a lot of people talking over each other in an effort to decode his meaning.
Is he suggesting that there are major behind the scenes issues which require fixing?
Or is he simply saying that there is some confusion about the tactics which needs to be resolved?
Is he talking about the day to day things that arise in a football squad?
Or something else?
The simple fact is we do not know.
This is either the confirmation of our worst fears or it’s a shadow on the wall, something that seems larger than it is.
But even if you are determined to see things, even if you want to see this as evidence that events at Celtic have recently gone to Hell, I think the comments might actually be better than they sound; the talk here, of course, is of sorting things … not of letting all Hell break loose.
And that suggests that if there is disharmony we may well see it end soon.
At some point, professionalism kicks in, even in a bad situation.
At some point pride has to push its way to the surface.
This is the most successful domestic team in Scottish football history right here, and at some point the determination and will that brought us to that place has to reassert itself and minds must start to focus again.
Callum is one of the leaders of this club; he’s not just another cog in the wheel.
He’s a force at Celtic Park and his comments can be interpreted as signs of doom or of hope … I prefer not to read too much into them at all, but if I’m forced to one interpretation or another it would be the more positive one simply because it’s in nobody’s interests to let things fall apart.
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