When Cameron Harper left Celtic, it was with a whimper.
He played one first team game and looked badly out of his depth.
When he decided, in his big interview over the last day or two, to round on our club it confirmed two things; first, that he just didn’t get what it meant to be a player here and secondly, that he is grossly unprofessional in his approach.
It takes a certain kind of footballer to leave one club for another and then bad mouth the place whilst wearing the colours of his new employer. It’s not exactly the done thing, because it marks your card forever as a tattle-tale, someone who’ll talk out of school, somebody who will badmouth his current employer to the next one and so on and so forth.
Much of what he said you can dismiss as the predictable wailings of someone who, in spite of getting a contract offer from us, was not getting the terms he thought he deserved or the respect he believed he was due.
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Respect is not given though, it’s earned, and he hadn’t earned it.
He hadn’t even come close to earning it. So he left.
Our loss is someone else’s gain? Maybe. That remains to be seen.
But amidst it all he said some things that did have a greater resonance.
He talked about the lack of a genuine team spirit at Parkhead, about a dressing room riven with “cliques” and divisions.
It all sounds depressingly familiar, and the proof that our coaches lost the plot, that certain players weren’t pulling their weight and that standards were allowed to slip across the boards.
It was dispiriting to read that report. It was depressing to read that things at Celtic were allowed to deteriorate to that level, and that control of the situation was so obviously lost.
It’s equally clear that Kennedy and Strachan are in no position to repair the damage because they were part of the problem in the first place.
It also made me wonder just how in God’s name the board, and Lawwell in particular, who must have known that things had collapsed a while ago, could ever have believed leaving the management team in place as long as they did was going to provide some kind of answer.
We all knew watching things on the pitch that it had all fallen apart, and not just in the dressing room or on the pitch or in training but everywhere all at once … and yet they still dithered and delayed in nothing but vain hope that it would right itself.
This worst is now confirmed and known to us, and all of a sudden the breakup of this team no longer sounds like such a bad idea. It needs to happen. The unruly elements have to be moved on and a new feeling of togetherness and team spirit forged.
Above all else, this confirms that the players have been as much a part of the problem as anybody, that their attitudes have reeked, that they have allowed this team to fracture.
They should be utterly ashamed of themselves, all of them, from the captain down.
Lastly, it proves that they owe us big time.
They owe the club big time. If they have an iota of self-respect they will put aside all the bullshit, whatever it is, and play what is left of this season so that we can finish it with the one trophy they did not meekly, cowardly, surrender.
Because it’s now clear that’s exactly what they did; they gave it all away. After four years of the most astounding success they allowed their egos and their personal grievances to torch it all.
An Ibrox club sits at the summit of Scottish football, champions … because these guys couldn’t play nice and focus and work as a unit.
It’s is disgraceful.
The Scottish Cup then, to save what’s left of this campaign and allow some of them to depart this club with something approaching a clear conscience. They are the squad that lost the ten in a row, and they will never get over that, but they can put a balm on the wounds if they can stop behaving like spoiled children and end this season on a high.