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The Real Reward For Celtic Winning This Title Is A Proper Summer To Prepare.

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Our tribulations in Europe have focussed a lot of minds, but part of the trouble is that we have a football schedule like few other parts of the world, where the heavy lifting is all done in the early part of the season, and a lot of players are dropping like flies before the campaign is over. We have an especial problem this year, but one few properly examine.

We have signed four players from Japan who are trying to fit an extended Scottish football schedule on top of having played a full campaign in their domestic leagues. Part of my concern had we gotten much further in Europe would have been their ability to cope.

We spend every summer scrambling. We spend every summer trying to get our ducks in a row. We play eight qualifying games just to find out which group stages we’re going to be in; this is ridiculous and without a doubt has contributed to our consecutive failures on the European front. We start football too early, with games of vast importance.

By the time the New Year comes around, we’re engaged in wars on various fronts, trying to win domestic competitions and juggles Europe at the same time. And I think we have prioritised from time to time and paid the price for it.

But we prioritise because we don’t really have a choice. Eight European qualifiers, plus group games, plus a full domestic card which involves a cup final before January … that’s our run up to the second transfer window, and it’s exhausting and brutal.

Over the last ten or so years, our way of doing things in the summer has been calamitous and dangerous to our preparations. The best thing that will come from winning the title this season is that our summer of uncertainty will be replaced by one of measured calm instead.

We will know what we’re dealing with. We will know the money is there. But more importantly, we will not have to play eight games in the space of two months at a time when other countries have a proper pre-season to prepare for football.

We need that badly. We need to give all these players a proper break – and especially with the Euros which makes it even harder to do. This is another reason why sacrificing Europe for domestic success is the right thing to do and why Ange was fully justified in his team selection last night. The best thing we can get right now is a settled summer.

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3 comments

  • Seppington says:

    Japanese players aside, the filth have the same issue as us yet they have had better success this year and last – with lesser quality players!
    There has been one constant through these years of Euro floppage – John Kennedy.
    With all due respect to the guy he has consistently shown he is not good enough. Just because he showed promise as a player does not make him capable of being a good defensive coach. You can look to stats all you like but when was the last time any of us had absolute confidence in a Celtic defence? This pre-dates Ange by a long time and now needs to be sorted. We’re supposed to be a professional business here and nepotism/old pal appointments on the cheap hould not be happening at our club. The problem with this board is that Tories love their cronies and jobs for the bhoys but we need to pay the money and hire the best defensive coach we can get if we really want to ccompete.

  • John says:

    Here we go again! John Kennedy becomes the whipping boy whenever a result goes against us. These disasters have been with us long before JK was involved. Ask yourself why we are signing and playing players who can’t perform the basics.that shouldn’t need any coaching.most of these are internationalists and should be able to spot danger a mile off. I excuse Scales for last nights debacle.He didn’t have the best of games but he is young and looks willing to learn. Joe Hart got great praise for some super saves but his distribution was poor at times and on another day could have been disastrous. Should we sack the goalkeepers coach as well/
    It was an all round poor performance from back to front so give the guy a break ffs!

    • Seppington says:

      He’s been “given a break” for years. Our defence cannot defend set pieces in the slightest, and has been shaky in that department for years. That is part of the set up that obviously needs to change. I was willing to give him a chance (again) at the start of the season but this is losing us money and gaining us embarrassment every year – at what point is it enough for you to say “no more”?

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