This Celtic team had won everything in its path.
Our rivals dreaded every day that this team was kept together. I worried about how we would replace these guys when the squad inevitably broke up.
After this season it is clear that the end is imminent, and not only am I not concerned about it but I believe that we need to do it.
You cannot doubt that having watched this campaign.
Our board was put in an awkward spot at the start of this season.
A lot of these players wanted to leave.
I would suggest that part of it was the drop in standards at the club, but it doesn’t really matter what the reasons are.
The dressing room was split and a lot of the players in it clearly had their eyes on the exit door. But with so much at stake was it a stretch to think that they could show enough professionalism to pull together for one last year?
The board wasn’t wrong to want to keep this squad together. They gave Lennon funds to strengthen the team. Whatever else they can be blamed for, I cannot accuse them of not trying to win the title.
The team was stronger when the season started than it had been when the one before it came to an end.
Nobody can realistically deny that.
But the stuff that was wrong behind the scenes didn’t get fixed.
That’s a failure in management as far as I’m concerned.
The divisions grew and the team began to fall apart.
The breakup of this team should have happened in the summer, that much is now clear.
I’ve argued that the fans have been ignored all season long, but had the board taken the right decisions at the time they would not have been particularly popular; this website would have crucified them for it … at first anyway. But a united dressing room – or at least a more united one – would have turned in better performances than these.
It wouldn’t have fixed everything; Lennon and Kennedy were dreadful in this campaign as well, and I still worry these guys wouldn’t have gotten us over the line.
But it is hard to believe that shipping out the non-triers would not have made us better.
This team was kept together a year too long; that’s now clear. This has happened before, of course; there are those who think the Ibrox club which was going for ten were kept together a year more than they should have as well. Their collapse was just as dramatic as this, by the way, although we won two trophies that year and they won just one.
They, too, finished the season with nothing.
It’s what you do next that matters; we seem to want Eddie Howe to take on the rebuild and he’ll certainly be good at it. The thing I dreaded most is upon us, and I didn’t think I’d be looking forward to it but I am.
The dressing room needs cleaned out.
The whole club does. Some of the changes which are coming are overdue. The future is going to look very different to the last few years … and that’s probably good news for us.