A Bad Day From Which Celtic Will Learn. What Will Others Conclude From It?

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Unacceptable. The only word that comes to mind. There are people who will apply other adjectives to it such as “meaningless” or “irrelevant” but if you are thinking that way then you aren’t thinking straight. That performance is scandalous and wrong and inexcusable no matter the venue, no matter the circumstances, no matter the opposition.

There are factors beyond that it makes no difference to the outcome this season. We now have to endure weeks – nee, months – of utter media inspired nonsense from now until the start of the next campaign because of one result. Every one of Ibrox’s supremacist delusions will resurface and we’ll be subjected to so many rewrites of history you’ll wonder if our recollections are faulty.

It does not matter that they aren’t, or that they weren’t or that we’re champions and on the way to a treble. That performance, even in isolation, was shocking and there is no excuse for it that can be made. If you’re even trying you’re pretending not to notice how lacking in quality and urgency and competence it was. Even when the league has been won, that simply cannot be excused.

I have little doubt that there will be a major internal inquest into that by the manager and his coaching team. They will be deeply concerned by how off the pace we were. The weird thing, of course, is that we dominated possession and created more chances than we have in the games we’ve beaten them this season … there is nothing that makes that look one bit better.

Some will point to how many players we had out. So did they, and to be frank, if our players who came in weren’t good enough then they ought not to be at the club. Putting the blame on them doesn’t cut it anyway. This was a collective failure on every level.

Do I think it matters? Hell, yes, it matters. There are considerations other than just what impact it makes on the league table (none) or the impact on the campaign as a whole (none) or how it looks for us heading for a treble (which it does not impact at all.)

And yes, I accept that for some of these players they’ve put everything into the games that have really mattered. But they are kidding themselves to think that the job is done, and if they take this kind of stinking attitude into the cup final then we really might have a big problem … players cannot simply decide not turn up. They cannot just chuck it on the presumption that these games don’t really count for much. There was an element of that today too.

Listen, this has an impact on their club too today and I think it will not be the positive one that they think at the moment, as they bask in their glory. We’ve been here before, and I’ve seen what a result like this does to a club which is playing for nothing but pride. Nothing good, let me put it that way. It allows a lot of people to kid themselves on that things are far, far better than they actually are … I don’t think anything in football is more dangerous than false hope.

But let’s not kid ourselves either; we showed some weaknesses today which have to be corrected. The worst thing we can do is write this off as something that doesn’t matter. On the other hand, lets not pretend that this is the stuff that provokes a crisis either.

We stuttered last season towards the end too … but this has been by far the team’s worst domestic performance since Ange became boss and we cannot simply ignore that.

We must ask what we can do to make sure that it isn’t repeated.

I think their club is in more danger than ours is over this today.

I will discuss later on why I think this is the case and my good friend Matt Marr will be doing a piece on a similar theme.

But this isn’t a good day, it is not a good performance and it is not a good result. In fact, it’s a shocker. It’s been an appalling display and one that demands a response … but as a club we’re well placed to deliver one, and the right one.

That will test more than just the players and the manager.

Armies lose battles. Even elite armies, even great armies, suffer defeats. But wars are not won in single engagements and it’s clear that over the course of the campaign we’ve grown in stature and our club has moved further ahead of theirs … one result does not change that unless you want to argue that St Mirren showed there’s not much of a gap when they won 2-0 earlier in the season.

This is not that. We all know it’s not.

But the truth is that it might as well be that. Because the manager was right today in a sense to talk about what these results mean; in the grand scheme of things they don’t mean a damned thing. Just as a Celtic victory would not have resulted in the next campaign beginning with us in front of them so we don’t finish behind them on the back of that.

So today stings. It will have provided food for thought for the manager. It might slap a lot of people out of any lingering complacency. These are potential silver linings ,although none of us care that much about that at the present time. But over the course, they are going to matter, I think, more than we can properly analyse in the here and now. They might even define the next campaign in a way that the Ibrox club does not presently expect.

So at the end of the day the outcome is a shocker. The performance, taken in isolation, is an unacceptable one and a disgrace. But I can already anticipate Ibrox’s reaction, and I comfort myself in knowing it will be completely wrong. I can also anticipate ours and I have no such fears about that because I think that in general terms we’ll get the response right.

But today is a bad one, and one that cannot go without a response. The team didn’t produce anything today that is in any way acceptable. We never stop is the mantra, not we never start, and today we were second best so often that a lot of heads need banged against the wall.

At a time like this, a good leader stands aloof from the sound and fury and tries to learn what he can. There are definitely lessons here and I have no doubt that Ange recognises that fact and will drum it into these players. The difference between us and them is that when we lose like this we don’t kid ourselves that w e were cheated or robbed or just unlucky … there are things we can learn from here and the great managers go away and study this stuff and learn.

That’s the task in front of Ange and these players today. I have little doubt that we will do what has to be done. In the meantime, we put this one in the rearview, as painful as that might be, and we move on. If we had spent weeks after St Mirren licking our wounds and feeling bad for ourselves we would not be a handful of matches from the treble right now.

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  • Effarr says:

    Here’s some more adjectives for good measure: disgraceful, disgusting, amateurish, embarrassing, useless. This has been coming for a while. You fight fire with fire and they obviously saw that Angeball can be counteracted with Angeball. Even the rag tag teams in Scotland have shown every week how it can be countered, albeit if it only for around ren minutes, although Hearts did it for around 25 minutes last week. This useless mob did it for
    full game today andtye final whistle was a relief.

    When, anyway, was the last time we have seen this fast-flowing, quick passing; closing down football, except from that mob today? What a riddy for Ange when this so-called
    buffoon who will be gone in the summer can outwit him.

    They’re going to the other side of the world to look for players and if they can’t trust anyone from Lennoxtown then they might as well close it.

    However, we don’t need to worry, Celtic is the richest, most powerful team in the country
    with 10,000 more fans, a wise board, wonderful players, strobe lighting, great sponsorships
    and the best atmosphere in the world,, so that’ll shut that mob up tonight, eh?

    I don’t think I need to state that I AM RAGING as well as ranting.

  • Peterbrady says:

    How many times did callum give the ball away today more times than the previous 50 games then gets booked for his 1st tackle no excuses but officials oh my god cuntwell 9 fouls no card jackass 6 fouls no card Scouse thug 6 fouls no card and finally goldson usual handball in box McLean looking directly at it turns away no VAR honest mistake you could not make it up unbaleivable

  • Chris says:

    We couldn’t cope with sevco’s high press against us in the first 10 minutes , especially since didn’t pick Iwata to shield the 2 rookies in defence on the left hand side.
    Sevco scored twice then sat back to pick us off on the break and it worked.
    Games like this and European matches get to the truth of our players true ability.
    Bernabei will never make it with us as he can’t defend and Kobayashi expects too much time on the ball and isn’t physical enough for matches like this.
    We were £59.2 million in the black at last accounts with guaranteed £40 million for champions league next season.
    We need real quality in half a dozen positions to have a chance of competing and there will be no excuses fir the board if they don’t give Ange the budget required to bring in quality.
    As Ange said at the last AGM, its pointless having funds to spend on the team sitting in the bank if you don’t take advantage of it.

  • Hugh Reilly says:

    It’s on Ange. He refused to make halftime changes when it was clear most players were struggling. How bernabei played the full game is shocking. He needs to be shipped out on loan or sold. Koyabasi is a lightweight not suited to Scottish game. Was poor last week but even worse today. McGregor was anonymous. Jota has been off form for months!! Hope some one pays decent money to get abada out of parkhead. Today’s performance is only the last of weeks of indifferent performances. Lennon would be slaughtered for these displays but demi-god Ange will not be criticised by the happy clappers. God help us in the champions league if we don’t improve.

    • Jackson says:

      It was on Ange…. Wrong team

    • Martin says:

      Half time was too late. Damage done by then. Starting Iwata instead of Hatate would’ve made a measurable difference early on. The defence were poor, but most of them have barely featured so it’s harsh to put this on their shoulders, as much as they have room for improvement.

      Oh… I’m not sure of yet, but we can’t play with him in the team as if he’s match sharp Kyogo. He’s not.

      Our midfield really disappointed me. Toothless for the most part, passing was awful across the park, and Calmac being marked seems to eliminate our style of play. One guy being marked can’t be enough to derail our team, that’s a fundamental flaw.

  • John says:

    Ok James we get it, but Leagues over an players mindset changes, do u honestly think this changes the league title outcome 23-24, my way of looking at this result 2day is bad day of CELTIC making mistakes not them playing us of the park an do u honestly think this will b the CELTIC team who rolls in to their shite hole stadium at the start of next season, i for one don’t think so.

  • John says:

    Disgraceful performance.Lacked intensity and leadership.Squad not as good as they think they are.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    I don’t think there is any long term damage done but like you I think that was unacceptable
    today. When I looked at that defence before the game it gave me the heeby jeeby’s, Young Koyabash last week at Tynecastle looked very slow in his reactions, especially in the 1st half. He didn’t show any improvement today. It’s no coincidence that our two league defeats have come with CV unfit. Bernabei is very lightweight against any half decent physical team and showed that again today.
    Our 3 midfielders were overpowered by their 4 midfielders today, we were so bad we made Turd Cantwell look class.
    I’m sure Big Ange will chew over this result and pinpoint what went wrong, The players and supporters should enjoy the next 4 weeks and I’m sure some of them will have learned a hard lesson today with fortunately no real damage attached.

  • Seosaimh says:

    Have you ever played chess James?

  • John says:

    Come of it James i am an old man now an have seen Some great Celtic teams beaten at thon shitehole when it hurt our chances of silverware , but we are not an never again will b 2nd to thon club when trophies r given out ever again, any negative result hurts but players are human an League is over, bad day and performance overall not great but mistakes punished an result reflected this, the big question is will this change anything next season, i for one can’t see it as they play ball over the top football an this will not change, do u or anyone think Celtic will play without their usual passion next season when it counts.?

  • Rodders says:

    “Scandalous”, “inexcusable”, “a shocker”, “unacceptable” and “a disgrace” states James!. How about disappointing but not totally unsurprising when you consider recent performances, performances against StRangers and today’s occasion. I believe the manager was correct to make a few changes, give some much needed experience to a few, and to see how everyone performed. I’m sure he got some answers, perhaps not what he was hoping for.

    I always believe we need look no further than our own standards and performance, and not focus upon the opposition, although credit is due for the strong performance and deserved victory from StRangers.

    Notwithstanding the team selection, did StRangers win the tactical battle? I believe so, they won the midfield battle which was crucial and had a better balance than ourselves.

    Overall I’m of the opinion that this provides a great reminder that we never sit on our laurels and need to improve, and have faith that our manager that we will.

  • Stevie Reilly says:

    Good piece, only Starfeld turned up today, we were very poor

  • William McGrandles says:

    100% correct James, Ange will learn from the game the fringe players are fringe players for a reason they got their chance and blew it we’ll be back stronger for the next campaign Ange knows where we need stronger cover and at the risk of a backlash Jota needs to beat full backs more often on the outside stop the stepovers and do the simple things beat the defender put the ball in the box HH

  • Joseph Mcaleer says:

    Intimadated today as was going to be the case, standing in the tunnel prior to the start you seen the attitude from Rangers ,Celtic need a hardness about them ,Rangers kicked , fouled and harried Celtic all over the park.

    Too many of our players couldn’t live with them and their
    Killer instinct.

  • Jack says:

    First goal, Hart should have done better. This was a clear goal keeping blunder. Second goal, Souter had a handful of Celtic shirt and this should have been looked at by VAR. If it had been, the goal would not have stood. Third goal, Cantwell went in hard with his studs up and this contributed to the defensive mistake. Would like to see it again, but not sure it was a ligit goal. Oh, Abada and O Riley should all have scored with great chances. Also, referee Mc Lean allowed Sevco to get away with far too many fouls, especially Cantwell who could quite easily have seen yellow twice. Small margins indeed.

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