What can we tell about where we are right now? In European terms, we’re still struggling to answer that question. There was none of the composure or poise or aggression in midweek that we’d seen in Poland or at home against Madrid.
Of the three games, it was the outlier because it bore such little resemblance to the other two.
That this game came amidst a tricky spell for the team is undeniable.
Something has gone wrong with the machine. It’s probably nothing dramatic, nothing that can’t be fixed with a tweak and an oil change, but it’s rocked the confidence somewhat.
All of a sudden, though, the signs of progress which were evident in the first two games and across much of the early part of the season has been forgotten.
Conveniently in the case of the media who wanted nothing more than to be able to claim that it was all a mirage. But the rest of us ought not to be so quick to pass judgement and call this a failure.
We have two massive games to come, at home.
We need six points. That is well within our capabilities.
If you’re minded to judge this side on its progress then let’s leave aside any snap judgements until after these two matches are done.
On Wednesday night, I wrote in my after match report that we looked miles off it.
Do I believe that we really are miles off it?
No, because I also wrote that this is team is capable of being both Jekyll and Hyde right now. The manager’s own fury was especially stark because he knows that this team is better than it showed in Leipzig.
He believes we’ve come far enough that a performance like that is inexcusable. And that should give us all pause for thought. He is judging the players for standards not met; fine.
Then let us properly examine our progress when they are.
If we can’t win six points at home then we’re further from where we want to be than we hoped for, and perhaps even from where we should be at this point in the journey.
You’ll know from Ange’s reaction if he feels let down again.
But mostly we’ll know from the Group league table. We’re still in this, and with better than a punchers chance. If this Celtic side shows up for business I would expect two wins out of two. We are better than we looked on Wednesday and its only when we show it and then take stock that we’ll be able to judge our position on this journey.