How Seriously Has Celtic Taken Europa League Qualification? Not At All.

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This feels like it could be one of those years.

One of those years where we run riot in Scotland but look back on the start of the campaign, in Europe, and think to ourselves “If only we’d been a bit more on the ball.”

You know, like every other year in recent memory.

At some point, you think, this has to end, right?

At some point this club has to stop with this stupid strategy of doing the bare minimum and actually properly prepare for these games.

I say that every year.

I write that every year. And always – always, without fail – it is followed by this.

More dithering, more delay, more messing about as deadlines approach.

This year has been particularly bad, particularly obvious, because so, so much work needed to be done.

We’re nowhere near done.

The performances of the team so far show what this club might be if the manager gets the full support we were assured that he would.

Our net spend in this window has been close to zero.

People wondering whether the money for the next couple of signings will come from are asking the wrong question. When are we intending to actually spend above and beyond what’s come in from sales?

The Irish defender Scales will probably sign in the next couple of days. Wow.

We still need a right back and we still need a striker, but instead we’re transferring money from one Dermot Desmond project to another. I’m glad his priorities in order anyway.

I am not slagging the boy himself, although it’s fair to ask why he’s still playing Irish League football at 23.

This is a squad signing, maybe, at a push, a first team squad signing eventually but the manager will decide that and the boys from Sheffield Wednesday probably thought they were coming here for that and Ange hasn’t given them first team status yet.

In terms of enhancing the first team squad, this guy isn’t going to do it.

So where are the signings that will?

Where are the three or four players – one right back, a striker and possibly the left sided Lovric if we’re really interested in a deal there – who will take us to that next level that we require?

All is quiet, and for sure none will be signed for this week’s European tie.

I said just before the Copenhagen tie kicked off that Celtic had made no effort whatsoever to win that game. It was as if we had written off the Champions League before a ball was kicked.

Well, we have made no effort to win this tie either, almost as if we’re also willing to write off Europa League Group Stage football. This is a tough match against a right good team, and the manager still needs players in critical positions.

Ralston’s form is a lucky break, but we’re gambling with only one recognised right back at the club.

And the board seems perfectly happy to take that risk.

This can’t continue. At some point the people running our club have to get a grip and send the manager into these fixtures with the proper level of preparation.

They have failed this year, as most other years I can remember, and yet there are a lot of folk willing to give them a certain benefit of the doubt because McKay is in post now and now Lawwell.

The transfer window proper shuts in two weeks.

That’s still time to get our stuff together.

But Wednesday’s game will be played without new players in the team and if we fail to go through by some narrow margin fingers will be pointed in McKay’s direction.

They ought to be.

Honeymoon or not, he gets a B minus grade at best right now.

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