When Neil Lennon spoke the other day about Ismaili Soro, and having to drop him because he had played too many games, we got what I think was a Hell of an insight into one of the biggest problems at Celtic Park; our footballers are just not fit enough.
Nowhere near it, in fact.
Lennon damns himself with statements such as these.
How can a young player who has only played a handful of games in January be so unfit that he needs to be dropped?
This is ridiculous.
Lennon has frequently hidden behind this excuse, but he appears not to realise that it reflects abysmally on he and his coaches that so many of our players aren’t up to snuff.
It’s February now.
We’re two thirds of the way into this season.
If these guys aren’t fit now they are never going to be, and the blame for that lies with him and his staff.
I thought the St Mirren game was noticeable for how little we were able to match the pace and the energy levels of their team.
That shouldn’t even be possible; ours is the club filled with top level players, not theirs, but they ran rings round us all night. They looked a yard quicker and much sharper.
There is clearly something wrong, very wrong, at Celtic when this is the case.
Lennon said Soro is unfit because he’s a “young guy.”
How can we be expected to buy that?
A player Soro’s age should be able to run all day long, and sustain the pace of several games in quick succession.
It worries me tremendously when the manager comes away with this stuff.
Does he not even realise that what he is saying is shocking to the fans, because it reveals deep-seated problems?
This has haunted us all season long.
We have looked leggy and lethargic on so many occasions, and that players from other clubs are noticeably in front of us in this regard is one the principle reasons why so many no longer support the manager.
Results aren’t the whole story, there were warning signs long before they started to slip and the fitness of the players and Lennon’s constant references to how off the pace they were was a big one, and an early one, and a terribly troubling one.
I cannot believe it can still be an issue at this point in the campaign, but the managers own words confirm our worst feelings and our worst suspicions.