Even in the darkest days of this season I knew that. I knew how they’d make me feel.
The way I feel is frustrated. Days like today should have meant something. They were an opportunity. They no longer are. We should have taken a bite out of the Ibrox club today, and we would have had we gone into January with a different manager at the helm.
The gap is too wide to even contemplate sober, but I firmly believe it would, by now, by bridgeable.
This season is going to be a tale of opportunities which came and went, opportunities which were squandered. Today is only the most recent. We’ve really blown this in a big, big way. Had we acted on the night Sparta thrashed us 4-1 at home we might even be sitting atop the table ourselves, or with the opportunity to do so with the games in hand.
Needless to say, part of the problem is Dubai, but it’s only a small part of what’s gone wrong here. The mismanagement at Celtic goes deep and far. The roots of it go back years.
Later today I’ll publish a piece on the five key areas of SFA reform which we didn’t act on and which have piled up to cost us a league title. This isn’t all about a bad appointment made in a shower.
The Ibrox club isn’t as good as the hype that surrounds us.
We should have beaten them.
The lead today should be significantly less than what it was at the start of the year.
We are the architects of our misfortune. We did this to ourselves.
So yes, on days like today my over-riding emotion is deep frustration and regret and anger at the road not taken, the paths not chosen, the opportunities squandered. My concern is that some inside Celtic Park might see today’s result as some kind of reprieve, and an excuse to keep indulging in the fantasy that this league can still be won.
It should, however, serve as an eye opener to other managers in this league; a boss making his home debut today has held this so-called all conquering Ibrox side to a draw and they would have taken three points but for an offside header.
The shame on people like Ross and McInnes, whose teams basically surrendered, should haunt them and their clubs.
But we can’t blame those people for the state we’ve got ourselves into. Someone, somewhere, was always going to do us a turn … had we been in any condition to take advantage of it, this would have been a very nice afternoon.