There were aspects of last night’s performance that were pleasing although the result overall was exactly what many of us had feared beforehand.
The midfield issues I wrote about yesterday – a partnership of two attacking players and one defensive player – were part of what went wrong.
It is becoming clear that this system isn’t good for us.
Part of the problem is that David Turnbull is way off the pace right now. He is a good young player, but he has to be a lot better than he is right now if he’s going to justify his inclusion in this Celtic team. No footballer is more in need of a spell out of the side.
Turnbull is really struggling at the moment, and I thought he was awful last night.
Not just in the shocking error he made for the second goal, but for the whole match. He’s falling into bad habits and a bad pattern and nobody playing that way should be able to just walk into this team. He needs to be taken out of the front lines for his own good.
But more, he needs to be dropped for our good, both in terms of making this team stronger and in sending a message that nobody’s place is guaranteed.
I like Turnbull a lot. But nobody on this kind of form should be in the starting eleven. We can’t be dealing with this as a sentimental issue; ruthless pragmatism is all important and that dictates that he sit at least a couple of games out.
It will do him good. It will do the team good. It will let Ange play either with two defensive midfield players or to push McGregor further up the pitch. Either would make us look stronger. Either would improve our chances of beating Aberdeen in a tough game.
Turnbull looks like a Motherwell player at the moment, and that’s a sad thing for me to write.
But he has the mentality to be a Celtic player, and he’s proved it in how he came back from his injury to secure his move.
Now he needs to find a way to reach the next level … and we can’t afford to carry him right now.