Ange Is Right About Celtic’s Title Chances, But He’s Also Wrong.

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Ange Postecoglou today scorned the idea that the league race might be over. He’s right, of course, because it’s barmy to be talking that way after a mere seven games, but our form is so bad right now that we risk the argument becoming moot.

What good does it do us to hit form a month from now? If we’re behind in the league by double digits then we might as well stumble along as we are right now because in all likelihood nothing we do will be enough to claw back that deficit.

Ange has to consider the environment we’re in for more than just the nature of the media and the debate which surrounds it.

There are two teams here with vastly greater budgets and resources than the rest, and if one of them is failing, consistently, the other only has to grind it out and they will move decisively ahead. They are getting results in spite of not playing well, and whilst there’s an element of riding their luck over there, we aren’t putting pressure on them.

We can’t afford to wait for players to come back and others to bed in before we start winning on a regular basis. As I said previously, the team that does put together a good winning run – eight, nine, ten games – will most probably win this league.

Right now, that looks more like something they could do than us. We look weak, both physically and mentally. Ange said in midweek that he would not accept excuses or feel sorry for himself, and in a piece this morning I said he wouldn’t let the team do it either, and his comments today were bullish and confident. But talk is cheap. It won’t get this done.

Nobody should be writing us off. But we’re getting to a place where we could be so far behind that it would take a collapse across the city to give us a realistic chance.

October is the do-or-die month away from home; if we fall further behind people are rightly going to be asking if we’ve blown it, because although titles aren’t won this early in the season they can be lost this early. Last season’s title was effectively lost in November … this one might slip away from us even sooner.

He has to get his arms around this. He has to start putting points on the board. If that requires changes to the tactics, then he has to be brave and strong enough to make them.

We are one dimensional and predictable at the moment, all the power we showed early in the campaign has already deserted us.

We saw evidence that Ange had the right idea but that today looked so much like a Lennon team that it was depressing and scary.

We don’t look like challengers far less champions right now. If this goes on much longer teams are not going to fear us and every one of them will think we’re there for the taking. If we fall into that pit of despair, then we will be.

The last thing I want to hear this coming week, from players or coaches or anyone at the club, is how much they get this and how determined they are to turn it around; it’s all the same pitiful garbage we heard last season, at every stage, as we slid towards disaster.

Ange is right, this is a weird league surrounded by a lot of hype and hysteria, but the simple truth is that it’s also a brutal and punishing and unforgiving environment. We are running out of time to turn this around, and fans are already tired of excuses.

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  • Bigeal says:

    OK, let’s calm down, the main problem is of course the horrendous injury situation (what the hell is going on at Lennoxtown and in the medical room)
    What is bugging me is who scouted and then signed Ajeti, Soro and Barkas plus others who are nowhere near good enough for Celtic B, far less the first team.
    Somebody is responsible but unlike other professional teams we have no visible structure in place.
    But far more concerning is the news Liewell is still pulling the strings inside Celtic Park.

  • Mark B says:

    The main problem is for over a year we cannot win games. We had a nearly full squad at Ibrox and Hearts and lost. We are in a very bad place. I agree those signings were an utter disgrace. But our problem is way deeper than injuries. Ange I like but he doesn’t understand if you lose 5 games you probably aren’t winning this league. Weve lost three already. And we haven’t looked like beating Rangers in a match for nearly two years. We have maybe 7 players good enough when all fit. Perhaps Jota and Abada will grow to make that nine. We have a dozen not up to the job. Yes it’s that bad.

  • Damian says:

    25 point gaps are big gaps. I’m not sure of many examples of such a gap being overturned in a single season. We were never likely to win the league, and we’re not going to. We need to look for other ways to measure improvement. We need to see a convincingly and genuinely good side by the end of the season: a side that looks one window away from being very good. That’s what this season will be about, and to be honest, that was obvious from the latter half of last season.

    I had hoped for 90+ points (whether enough to win the league or not) as the yardstick. Don’t quite see that now, but this season needs to be about improvement.

  • Chas says:

    That midfield is absolutely dire, I can’t remember a weaker Celtic midfield at any point in the last 50 years. The only real midfielder we have is sitting in the stand injured right now. The rest are all overrated, none of whom have the engine or the pace or the nous required to play for us at the level we need. Shameful the mess this club is in, but if you keep selling your best players and replace them with second raters that’s where you end up.

  • Mark B says:

    Agree Damian it’s a major rebuild so let’s stop the articles stating “nobody will live with our attack” or “Ange will succeed as he is one of us”. Our team is awful and we need a long term rebuild. I think ONeil overturned 21 points 2000-01. But he had Larsson and we bought Sutton et al. We have Ajeti and Soro et al. Rangers could win three in a row.

  • Bill says:

    Some perspective needed. Last season was horrendous. With a few exceptions that squad needed dismantled and it was.
    Anyone expecting that a totally rebuilt team was going to take us from a 25 point deficit to the SPFL trophy and the CL group stages in one transfer window is halllucinating.
    This season is step 1 of a huge rebuild. I think there has been some improvement and there will be more. The injury list has not helped
    Patience is needed given the circumstances. I think Ange is as good a manager as we are likely to be able to recruit.

  • Allan Hayes says:

    Ange is an absolute clown,we took a massive chance and it’s not paying off,once again our board has let us down,we need to get rid of them completely and bring in a new team of coaches and management but i very much doubt it,long and unproductive season ahead,1994 sack the board times ahead,not nearly good enough

  • kirikocho blazes says:

    We re not physical enough? We aren’t thugs either. I’ve seen them debate Red/Yellow cards on telly and England and Thuggy on McCarthey would have been a certain Red Card. So would their Goalie on Abada. We didn’t even get a foul and McCarthy could have had a serious injury, never mind a mild one! I think Clancy slept-walked through the game and looked like he was rather somewhere else!

    • Ange Baby says:

      Notice you didnt mention the penalty that United should have been given.
      We have been poor for a month now, time to stop the excuses.
      Squad is threadbare and too many of the first team nowhere near good enough-we’re only just hanging onto top six position after failing to beat Livingston & Dundee United.
      Blaming referees or the media but just doesnt wash any longer

  • kirikocho blazes says:

    Notice you didn’t disagree they were two Red Cards! Which means we would’ve been playing against NINE men at the end of the game. You must be reading the BBC Match Reports! They saw the C.V. pen and missed the TWO Red Cards as well! And they never mentioned the foul on Starfelt, which is how they got the ball to claim for the penalty! Something dark about D.U. and the way they played today, falling down whenever there was contact and getting fouls. And I am not referring to their Shorts!

    • Ange Baby says:

      Dont need to read reports, was at the match, as I was against Livingston.

      2 dire displays.

      So yes United could have had 2 red cards but we shouldnt need opponents to have only 9 men as the only way for us to be able to win.

      You can keep on deluding yourself that we are great and blamè the ref & the BBC but the evidence is there-11 points dropped in only 7 games and our performances are getting worse not better.

      Lack of quality in the squad and in the first team is alarming

  • Mark B says:

    Ange baby you are so right some people are deluded. Facts are clear. Trouble is people think you’re a Rangers fan if you make any criticism. I’ve been a Celtic fan since the sixties. We are in a very poor place and it will take a while to rebuild in my opinion. My annoyance is we let this happen from a position of massive power. Some articles and people recently were saying we are unstoppable we need to be realistic.

  • Peekay says:

    It’s the coaching staff that need to be rebuilt as much as the playing staff. Maybe more so.

  • kiricocho blazes says:

    I am not deluded and I don’t think we are “Great”. You just made that up! You are so deluded! And United SHOULD have had two Red Cards!

  • kirikocho blazes says:

    As for “Rangers”, you can stick them up yer arse.

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