Celtic’s Good Players Did Not Become Bad Players So They Need To Shake This Off.

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This is the team which won the treble last season, so the question sort of asks itself; what has gone wrong with it? I recognise that there is some adjusting to do between one style and another, and in fact there are some players who were uniquely suited to the previous system who simply will not transition from one to the other … but that’s no explanation for what has happened to others.

They aren’t being asked to do anything terribly different.

Maeda is in the papers this morning talking about the change having thrown him off his game.

But why would it?

There are simple things that he should be able to do regardless of the system, and he is failing to do them. The same applies to McGregor, Taylor and others. Abada has been given more time on the pitch than Ange gave him in months, but he’s not justifying that time on the pitch with anything. That was horrendous yesterday from them.

Rodgers says this is a treble hangover; he might be right, but at the end of the day we’ve all had to work through a hangover.

One of the best articles I’ve ever written on this site (I won’t tell you which one, but I have a very specific example) was written during a time when I was frustrated and angry and feeling physically wretched. You power through whatever is going on, whatever you are feeling or thinking, and you try to produce your best.

Some people think they are missing their former boss.

For Christs sake, these are not kids leaving their favourite nursery school teacher to go to Primary One. They are professional athletes and Ange was not the sort of man who coddled people anyway. If this is pining for the old management team, they need to cut that out and accept, as we all have to, that things are different now.

We need more than this from them. We need to see their best.

As we all know, some of them are not going to cut it.

The jobs they did so well under Ange no longer exist, but the fundamentals of this game remain the same. You pass, you move, you get into a new position, you collect the ball, you do your thing.

I’ve watched Rodgers teams play opponents off the park. I’ve watched them wrack up scoring records … once this team is doing what he wants them to do I have little doubt that it will be a success.

He needs to refocus and rediscover his passion. I don’t know what’s happened to this guy, but he supposedly wanted a year away from football altogether before we came and got him; if this is all he’s got left maybe he’d have been better off taking it. But these players have been told what that man expects of them and it’s their job now to deliver.

Everyone at this club is sleeping at the wheel right now.

The board are dragging their feet, the manager is letting them and still sounding off about it, the players seem jaded and unable to get their act together. The whole place needs a shake.

Fortunately, I agree with what Rodgers said yesterday after the game although I know he got pilloried for it in some quarters; Ibrox is the best place we could be going to next.

It has the right level of intensity that it will focus minds like nothing else.

The team knows that it cannot turn in that level of performance there, the manager knows that it might be a defining moment, the board has to know what the pressure is going to be like if they don’t come through with the signings that the manager wants to get this team to his place. They have messed this guy about so far. It’s time to deliver.

We’re not in a great place. That’s obvious.

The week and a bit has rocked this club to its core, and although some people in the media are going to say this is the fans turning on the team and the manager in hysterical fashion it’s actually not that at all. Hearing the manager discuss the transfer policy as if it had no bearing on him is what set this off, not the defeat in the cup or the draw yesterday. Some of these problems can be fixed right there if those above Rodgers get their act together and give that man what he needs.

But as they cannot escape their responsibilities, and he cannot escape from his, that third group, the players themselves, should be called to account for their own role in this. Because if they were doing it on the pitch nobody would be talking over-much about what is going on off it, or about who the manager needs to bring in to help him.

If some of them are piqued by his comments about needing new players and about needing greater quality, all they are doing right now is fully justifying that view. If they aren’t able to get themselves to his level they will be replaced by those who are, it’s as simple as that, and every single one of them should get their heads around that simple fact.

If they want to convince Rodgers that they can adapt and fit in to what he’s trying to do, it is surely obvious what they need to do. Go to Ibrox, put on a show and bring us out of the other side of it with three points.

Nothing less is going to cut it now.

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  • Captain Swing says:

    There are elements of this malaise which remind me a bit of the decline of Manchester United. In 2012/13 they won the EPL back from Citeh by 11 points. Ferguson retired and was replaced by Moyes and their form the next season fell off a cliff despite being largely the same squad with a few additions. They finished 7th, one place worse than Moyes had managed with Everton the previous season, although he was gone before the end. The reason is widely assessed as being the ‘old guard’ playing their socks off to give auld grumpy arse his last hurrah and having far less affection for Moyes therefore unlikely to run through brick walls for him. Ange seemed to inspire players in a way that Brendan no longer does. We all understand this and can see it in Spurs lively start got the season. When he arrived in 2016, Rodgers followed Ronny Deila (regarded as a good coach but who lacked either the ability or more likely the backing of the board to tackle a dressing room with a toxic “canteen culture”) and had most recently been the manager of Liverpool who had come within another person’s slip of winning the EPL. This time he follows a genuinely impressive and inspiring leader, and was most recently the manager of a threadbare and ageing Leicester City side which struggled all season and he was relieved of his duties shortly before they were relegated. In football you are only as good as your last result and Rodgers seems to have returned a diminished figure, looking to get a warm glow from reliving past glories. Unless he is given backing to bring in some of his own first-team ready players – like he was in 2016 – this isn’t going to end well.

  • bertie basset says:

    do you honestly believe the celtic midfield will be a match for whats coming at them ? loonstrum will take mcgregor out of the game from the start and the rest with him with no protection from the ref , he’ll be first on the team sheet after been demoted and slagged off by his own fans , just Watch !!

  • Michael McCartney says:

    It’s as if we’re still in pre season mode, maybe a big game like Saturday’s is what we need although going to Ibrox with rookie centre backs gives me the heeby jeeby’s.
    The Ibrox mob and their supporters will really try to intimidate the Celtic players, now is the time for the team to show their bravery and commitment.
    Come away from Ibrox with at least 1 point and we can kick on from there, as far as the CL is concerned I have always felt that I would be happy to finish 3rd in the group and drop into the EL but I think that might even be beyond us.

  • Gael says:

    Fans should cease booing Rodgers and the players. Get behind the team. It’s been a decade of winning trophy after trophy. Accept that it can’t always be great. New players are assimilating to life in Scotland, there’s injuries, a new manager requires time.

  • Johnno says:

    Believe Rodgers is over complicating a way to playing that doesn’t work for the type of players we have within the club, and what our support has been use to and enjoyed over the past 2 seasons.
    Players can tend to be a bit robotic with playing to instructions, which can be very easily annualised in every aspect of the game, throughout a team with the technology available these days.
    Ange simplified things with a style of play, that allows players more freedom to express themselves and with enjoyment brought back into there play.
    Rodgers has totally ripped that book up, and back to a slow precise passing approach. For this approach to work properly we need far better controlled footballers, with a far better knowledge and understanding of the game, with far more experience at trying to play such a possession based precise passing game with perfection involved in the timing of the running off the ball, to create space.
    All this expected from young players in the under 5M bracket, and those who are never going to reach such a precision standard to match what Rodgers is looking for.
    There remains a chance we could be far better against a more attack minded team, where the margins are bigger in the perfection style of play that Rodgers is looking, yet the defensive set up remains such a shambles that keeping clean sheets looks nearly impossible to do so.
    All in all I believe Rodgers is looking for something within this celtic team that he will no longer be able to deliver, and is already playing the blame game upon the board, and losing a changing room very quickly with his over complicated approach, that’s not suitable for so many existing players who clearly aren’t enjoying the approach taken either.

  • John S says:

    The Ibrox tie is one where full effort is required regardless of the condition of the opposition. Failing to compete for a 50/50 in this game can see a player’s Celtic career taper away. Managers have fallen too.
    The current team should be more than enough to take 3pts all being well. So there are problems, which team doesn’t have problems ? The naval gazing has to stop and be replaced with an attitude of finding a way to win.

  • Effarr says:

    Maybe Kennedy and Strachan’s experience with the application of Angeball (if they had actually being paying attention that is) could have been used for the first few games to help with the transition to Brendanballet.

  • Scott Campbell says:

    Good read James. I think Maeda may be finished on the wing. I’d be happy to see him in the striker mix. He played central against Yokohama pre season and was lethal. I don’t know how you feel about this, I’ve spoke to a few lads who feel the same. As for the other 3 mentioned on the article, get rid.

  • John Gow says:

    Some people seem to forget that notwithstanding we won a treble last season, we were not entirely convincing from the turn of the year. Some of the performances were pretty poor. So some of the superlatives I’ve been hearing about the squad of players should perhaps be tempered with a little realism coupled with the injuries we are dealing with having further depleted us.

  • SSMPM says:

    When you’re looking for fan support through difficult times it doesn’t help sending out contradictory messages about the transfer proposals. Is it bluff, or is simply that the board and manager aren’t kicking the same ball. The perception is that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
    If the teams’ style of play was successful then why change it especially given so few player personnel changes. If it’s not broken then don’t change it and keep doing what you’ve always done and you’ll keep getting what you always got.
    Sorry Board, sorry Brendan but what you’ve done is not working, it’s causing uncertainty and disgruntlement among the fans and players. If Cal can’t up his game he too needs to know and fear that he too is droppable.
    We the fans know what we’ve needed for months and maybe those additions would have necessitated a change of style but we haven’t even done that so no excuses. Hansen famously said, “You can’t win nothing wi kids”. That proved untrue at Man Utd but then look at the kids that came through; Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, Neville/s, Walsh, and if the leadership can’t see that too then we really are on a slippery slope.
    A Glasgow derby at the midden should take care of itself so why have I got the heebie jeebies. HH

  • Robert Gallagher says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. We as Celtic fans have had two years of successful blistering football.
    Every job has at times new managers, supervisors whatever and they bring their ideas with them but that should not stop anyone still being able to do THE actual job. We have very good players at Celtic, they are spoiled financially and in every way. Rodgers is not Ange but he’s a successful coach and manager who wants success. The players owe it to every fan, the coaches and manager to man up, face the changes, adapt and play to their very highest standards.

  • Frank says:

    has anyone worked out what it is we are supposed to be doing as a team. First half yesterday I watched both fullbacks roughly 5 yards away from our wing men whist the midfield three played pass the parcel with n0 cutting edge.

  • Stevie says:

    Although I’ve still got an issue with Brendan leaving us I’m convinced he’ll get it right.
    After Ange I fully expect Brendan to leave at the first sign interest from a bigger league.
    That’s just the way it is in this backwards league, our Tory board don’t help.

  • Eldraco says:

    Does everyone remember why they played football?, The sheer joy,fun ,freedom, the win?

    Contrast what we had and now and tell me one player on that pitch for Celtic who ticked those boxes?.

    Now look at Spurs.

  • John Fitzpatrick says:

    I’d take a draw at Ibrox right now

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