This Celtic Side Is Not Where Want It To Be, But It’s Better Than We Thought It Would Be.

Image for This Celtic Side Is Not Where Want It To Be, But It’s Better Than We Thought It Would Be.

The thing about runaway success is that it tends to obscure the struggle to attain it.

It also looks easy, which can give the false impression that some sort of magic has been weaved behind the scenes.

But everything is a process, and we’re still way, way, way early in the evolution of this team into what Ange wants it to be.

The football we’ve played at times and the signings we’ve made, and the successful way they have hit the ground running, has led a lot of people to conclude that we are further along than we actually are.

But Ange knows better, which is why he keeps on reminding the fans that this team is still nowhere near where he wants it to be yet.

Ange is not managing expectations. He is managing reality.

It will take a lot of struggle yet to get this team to the level he thinks it should be playing at.

There will be losses and hardships and bad days and nights along the way.

This season has seen our fair share of struggles so far.

It’s easy to forget that from the top of the league and with a domestic trophy already won. Ange hasn’t worked a miracle here. He’s just built a very effective team, at least here in Scotland, and put together a winning run with it. Some of those games have been slogs. But we do look like a team which can win the title, and at this point I do think it’s ours to lose.

But it would be easy – and silly – go get carried away.

The work continues to progress, and if we give the manager time and space to sort out the issues he will.

Ignore the press hollering today about it being a disaster and pointing to a ghastly record of us not having won a knockout tie after the Groups since 2004. Ignore too all the glee at Ibrox’s “progress” in Europe; they have won a single domestic trophy in their ten years … it means nothing.

By this time next year, we’ll have a far better idea of where we are.

Don’t forget that we got nine points out of an extremely tough Europa League group prior to this. We scared the Hell out of the Germans and the Spanish before succumbing.

This tie, in this tournament, was the wrong thing at the wrong time. I am glad that it’s out of the way and whilst I am not pleased that we lost and especially over both legs, I think that the signs of progress and development and forward motion are more than enough to justify happiness at how our European endeavours have gone.

Ange inherited a shambles. That we are here, today, lamenting that we didn’t challenge other teams to actually win the Europa Conference League is mind-boggling, and it’s the biggest mark of how far we have come.

We weren’t good enough, and the truth is that we were never going to be good enough yet to do something like that … but people believed it because of the way Ange’s team often plays.

  1. That, to me, is where we are … much further than any of us thought we’d be.

Share this article


  • Jim Duffy says:

    So are you insinuating James that Sevco are a more settled side than we are at the moment,I don’t understand how we dispatched them so easily but they go on to knock out a top German side while we got trounced by a team from Norway with a stadium capacity of 5000 and hadn’t played a game in 10 weeks but swatted us aside, I still think we’ll win the league and hope we do to shut that mob up ,but as they say football’s a funny old game,do you think Bodo would have beat Sevco 5-1 I’m not sure they would have.but hey as long as we win the league.

    • Martin says:

      Jim, they’re definitely a more settled side than us. They’ve had a minor change with Gio, but like when Lennon first took over from the rat, he’s tried to keep things pretty much as they were. Their players have been together for nearly 3 years and they know their system. We beat them because they’re not as good as they think they are. They beat Dortmund because Dortmund are not as good as they think they are, and it was a cup final type game for Sevco (ie, BD underestimated them). Would they have beaten Bodo/Glimt? I don’t know. Nobody does. It doesn’t matter though.

      I’m pretty sure we will win the league. But even if we don’t…we were 25 points behind last season and looked like dropping points every game. We’ve improved.

  • Martin says:

    People are getting very worked up about Bodo/Glimt. We’re not even one season in to new manager, new style of play and new playing staff. People forget Bodo have been honing their style for a lot longer.

    In July I was happy if we didn’t get embarrassed in Scotland and anything in Europe was a bonus. I retain that attitude. I was always for giving Ange 3 windows before judging him.

    We’re doing way better than I expected. Losing to a team well drilled in a style of play (see Roma demolition) is not a disaster. I’ll watch their progress this year and next with interest, as they have a certain discipline about them that will throw up a few good results. I’ll judge our progress, in Europe, next season. Not this.

  • John S says:

    Celtic are clearly not a European force. Yet.

Comments are closed.