We’re in a bad spot this afternoon, and there’s little point in denying that.
There are a lot of folk who are determined to write that game off as if it were nothing, but it had been coming for weeks and you could see it in the way we were playing.
The closure of the transfer window was supposed to steady the ship and settle the nerves.
But the last two performances have been truly dismal and yesterdays was the worst against a side hailing from Ibrox in more than 20 years. We’ve had hidings from teams calling themselves Rangers which were less shocking than what we just witnessed.
A lot of our fans are clinging to the notion that it was a bad day at the office.
Others seem to think that there’s a long way to go and thus nothing to worry about. Still more reckon that Sevco will inevitably collapse at some point … I believe myself that they will go through a bad spell which gives us a great opportunity to move in front of them and stay there.
But that depends on us doing our own damned job, and all the “keep the faith” talk in the world is as meaningless as Hallmark sentiment.
If our problems are going to be fixed they first have to be fully faced up to and acknowledged.
To ignore them makes them worse, not better.
The only way we are going to win this is if we undergo a dramatic improvement.
It is high time everyone at Celtic took a good look at what is happening around them. Starting at the top of the house, every single person at the club should be considering whether or not they are letting things slide, whether they are allowing the standards to drop. They all have jobs to do. Those who are in senior positions are responsible for monitoring the performance of those below them; it is high time they took that responsibility seriously.
Those at the top of the house cannot be oblivious to the way we are playing, to the dressing room leaks, to the endless cycle of disharmony, of players who want away, of others who can’t seem to get fit no matter how many training sessions they do.
There are serious underlying problems here, and those running our club cannot – must not – ignore them.
Nobody is suggesting that we rip it up and start again; that would be a radical step which might do more harm than good at the moment. But it is not too late for a course correction, for enforcing some discipline, for demanding an improvement in standards across the boards.
The directors have the power to make changes to any department they choose; people don’t need to lose their jobs for things to change. A couple of appointments in key areas, freshening things up, would go a long way towards improving things and restoring some order to the place.
People inside the walls need to be honest with each other, even painfully honest if that’s what the moment requires. Our fans need to be honest about what we’re seeing too. Nobody can pretend not to notice how flat we are. Nobody can pretend not to be concerned with the rumours of players who aren’t interested. Nobody can pretend not to wonder why the club seems to be divided against itself in some ways. These problems are real.
Any discussion about what’s going wrong and how to fix it will inevitably involve the supporters.
There is no getting around it. Lennon’s agent can take pot-shots at people on Twitter as he pleases; it makes him look unprofessional and personalises an issue which isn’t personal. Celtic fans pay for the whole club. If they aren’t entitled to express their views who is?
Nobody at Celtic Park should think that the absence of fans in the ground can insulate people from the consequences of failure. It will not.
We are going to eat an avalanche of garbage in the next couple of days, right up to the Milan game, and the press is going to turn the screw on us prior to our trip to Aberdeen. Yesterday’s defeat leaves us four points behind with a game in hand; we are in a tough spot here and it is high time people got the heads out of their backsides and understood the stakes.
Lennon said one thing right yesterday, one thing amidst all the deflection and talking crap about how well we played in that first half; as far as I’m concerned as excuses for not making changes at the break goes that is a fairly pitiful one.
But he got it right when he said after the game that nobody should think they can live off past glories here.
Fail on this one, and everyone involved will pay a high price.
Above all else, that needs to be realised by all concerned and they must start acting appropriately.
Standards have fallen right across the boards.
To get us off this path that has to change, and the change has to start from the top.
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