Having had three hours to digest what we watched at Pittodrie today I wouldn’t change a word of what I wrote earlier; that was not a good Celtic display.
We were sluggish. We kept running into their packed defence.
The same errors which have dogged us at the back continued to.
We were fortunate that we had that bit extra quality up front.
Kyogo is a seriously lethal finisher. What we paid for him is an absolute steal.
There were some who worried that Jota would be a luxury player in the mould of Elyounoussi, a guy with a lot of individual flair but who might not dig deep when it mattered. They were wrong, because he fought hard today and fully deserved his goal. He is a huge talent.
On a day like today you need that dig as well as talent, and that was one of the things I thought we did well actually.
The decision to play the second holding midfielder was a smart one from Ange, but you know what? Hours on I can see that one of the reasons we weren’t as fluent is that manager made that call.
It paid off, but it wasn’t pretty.
This team has clearly gone backwards from where we were a month ago; that’s obvious in spite of some social media sniping at me for pointing it out.
We were blazing through the early home games like a team that was going to take some stopping.
The sooner we find that fluency and sharpness and movement again the better off we will be, but sometimes it takes winning ugly to get your team into a place where they can start playing beautiful football once more.
Here’s the positive; a huge weight has been lifted off this team, and off the manager.
It would have been an even better day had the Brethren not helped the mob across town secure points. Believe me when I tell you that they were also fortunate to win. There is none of the swagger we never got a break from hearing about from last season.
They are ripe to fall, and that they are leaning on the SFA referee’s committee this early on proves it. We should have taken a bite out of them today. It will come soon enough. Not even the refs will save them every week. They are not a team that looks capable of going on a long unbeaten run, whereas we clearly have several more gears to move through.
It’s frustrating that we have more of these ridiculous international games in front of us; October was a crowded month anyway without this crap.
All we can hope for is that our players all get back from their travels in one piece; if they do it will be one of the first times in recent years that this has been the case.
But should they do so, I expect our squad to be just about fully fit and raring to go when the hostilities recommence for real in a fortnight.
That was not the performance we were wanted today, but it was the result we were hoping for and the three points we badly needed.
The away match hoodoo has been broken, and sometimes that’s what an ugly win after a bad run of form does for you; it relieves the pressure and I think our players and certainly our manager needed it. The whole club really needed it.
I was chuffed for him and for the players, and in particular Kyogo and Jota who got our goals
Overall, it’s been a good day, although it was hard to watch us in spells. We were denied a great day by the spectre of the Men In Black, doing what it is that they do. It is of no consequence. We are in a better place than we were this morning, because that’s more than just a scrappy win today.
This team continues to learn about itself.
Some of those lessons today were important ones for the rest of this season; yes, we can win ugly too.