Whatever momentum there was is gone.
Whatever confidence there was in the air is evaporating and leaving us all with a leaden feeling that this is last season all over again. Too much looks the same, from the hapless coaching team behind the manager to the performances of certain players and the flat unimaginative look of the tactical system.
Where was the early energy? The drive forward? The movement off the ball?
Too many passes today were lazy and slack, players not wanting to hold onto the ball too long but not seeing team-mates moving around them. The ridiculous cross ball into the box was back today with a vengeance and this time at home, and it was as ineffective as Livingston away.
The manager praised the team and the performance after the game, in another grim echo of last season.
That display didn’t deserve his praise, too many were off the game.
A couple you might even say were hiding.
I’ve defended some of them, especially Ajeti. Someone needs to tell that guy, pronto, that he’s not here on holiday and that when this club finally decides he’s a waste of a shirt he’s more likely to end up at a Charlton than a Chelsea.
Too many of that team look lightweight and not built for battle. David Turnbull is especially concerning right now. He and Rogic do not look like a combination that will work against compact defences and midfielders who are going to get in your face.
We have lost our way. Badly. If this is the manager’s plan, then it’s a poor one. If these are his standards they are not high enough. We can make excuses about injuries and bad luck but that’s all they are. The league table doesn’t lie, and we’re six points behind an Ibrox team which, itself, isn’t terribly good but they keep on winning and that’s what counts.
Right now we’re not seeing any of it. Little flashes against Raith Rovers mean nothing. This team hasn’t shown up in recent weeks, and although we were able to get by Ross County it took us longer to break them down than it should have and the score line flattered us.
That, today, was a Neil Lennon performance in front a home crowd that was understandably unhappy with what they had to watch.
This is simply not good enough.
Celtic is now facing a longer, harder season and there is no more room for error.