Well that was appalling.
It wasn’t the shocker that many in the media predicted; we were not done, not comprehensively outplayed, not well beaten.
But we were weak. We were cowardly. The coaching staff were utterly inept. We lacked fire and heart and penetration and the sooner a certain meandering centre forward packs his bags the better.
This club made no effort whatsoever to qualify for Group stages of this competition. No effort whatsoever.
They left the managerial appointment shockingly late.
Signings have been too slow to materialise.
And tonight the manager who promised us a different type of football served up the same dire garbage we watched all through the last campaign, with an identical playing system making identical mistakes.
His timing for the substitutions was abysmal; it was holding onto a moderate hand when the math was against us, instead of taking the risks needed to win games.
He can make all the excuses he wants about not having the personnel; it’s crap.
Rogic and Ajeti were left out for way too long, and by the time they got on the park their colleagues were so exhausted they could barely pass the ball straight.
When the substitutions came he made like for like changes instead of showing tactical creativity and by far his ghastliest error was that he left on the pitch a wage thief in Odsonne Edouard, a player who looks exactly like the charlatan who masqueraded as a Celtic striker in the latter half of the last campaign.
I am sick of the sight of him.
I thought the young defenders acquitted themselves well.
I thought the much maligned Ralston, who every day picks up the papers to see which five players we’re thinking of replacing him with, was absolutely magnificent. Soro, before he tired, grafted hard. Christie faded, but before he did he ran everywhere. That’s a guy with one foot on the door, and I don’t believe we’ll convince him to stay, but he’s not leaving us without giving his all.
Edouard is giving us nothing and wasting everybody’s time.
What we saw tonight was a shining example of collective failure, right up to and including the manager himself. It was a shocking display, and makes one thing abundantly clear; our problems won’t be solved by a new goalkeeper and a new backline.
If we go into this campaign – and it starts Saturday– without replacing the strike-force as well, not to mention replacing this awful to watch 4-2-3-1 garbage with a system which creates chances for the forwards then we really are better off not showing up, because we will drop points in way too many games to mount even a token challenge.
The honeymoon’s are already over.
No more big talk from people at Celtic Park.
This club needs to start delivering instead of the constant bullshitting.
We’re already staring disaster in the face in Europe; dropping out of the Europa League before the Groups is absolutely unacceptable, but that looks a very realistic prospect this evening.
I am far more concerned, watching that, than I was at the weekend.