Celtic Cannot Let Last Night Dribble Into Their Domestic Form.

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Brendan Rodgers critics are again out in force. A manager who had his hands tied by his own directors is expected to work miracles with a modest spend in one of the most ruthless environments in football. I am hearing none of it. He is not to blame.

One of the things that Rodgers did brilliantly in his first spell at the club was to keep people inside the dressing room focussed on the domestic games even after nights like this one. I hope that he can do the same here. The very worst thing that can happen to us right now is that we let this drop our heads and start to bleed into the domestic form.

Aberdeen is up at the weekend. Barry Robson will certainly not come to Parkhead to play for a point, that’s not the way he does things. If we’re even slightly hungover from this it could be a long afternoon and that’s the last thing we need.

Some of those players might need to be picked up off the floor. Rodgers was measured and calm last night in the aftermath. Exactly what you want from a manager when the boat is in choppy waters and what you need more than anything is that sort of man at the tiller. There is where he is at his best. To be frank, he’ll damned well have to be.

That humbling, humiliating second half display is as bad as I’ve seen us play at that level. But these players cannot let that grind them down. We are the best side in the country and have to remember that and get back to winning ways. The only way to break out of a bad performance is to go out a few days later and give a better one and one of the best things about hitting bottom is that there’s only one way to go from there … we have to be better than we showed.

But we are better than we showed, and that’s what infuriated me so much about last night. We are much better than we showed, and it’s up to all the players to prove it come the weekend. By the time we play, the Ibrox club will already have made up their game in hand. They play Martindale’s mob so I will temper my expectations for them dropping points.

That makes it all the more important that we find ourselves again and get the game won. There will be no more Celtic games for a fortnight, so that win would get us into the break with our lead intact and it will allow everyone to put this properly in the rear-view.

The only way is up. A dreadful night cannot be allowed to spin into the weekend. That’s where I have total confidence in the manager not to let it.

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  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Personally I just want Europe over and done with now…

    It was reasonably enjoyable up until last night, but now it’s just a grind and a danger to a critical domestic league title race –

    Domestic football is our bread and butter – ABSOLUTELY…

    So far it’s not been too brilliant, but not too shabby either at times –

    But we are not safe yet – We are no longer bloody comfortable either…

    When Europe ends – There will not and cannot be any excuses left for dropped points –

    Bent officials and Cheats with whistles, flags and monitors apart !

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Ah think if anyone can, BR might be able tae help them get it out their heads and concentrate in what we have left. Already the gloatin media are linin up and lookin for any source, or angle tae put the boot in. And they’ll be ‘remindin’ us in the days-weeks tae come. We should use that tae our advantage and remind them all on the park, in spite of last night, we’re still the team in charge domestically. Give them fk all tae be smug about.

  • John L says:

    Fingers crossed. I turned over when we had the sending off, as harsh as it was, we don’t seem to learn anything. I worry about the possibility of BR walking away through the lack of backing from above, they arse wipes would not have treated Ange like this and he would never have allowed it, so why put us all in a tricky situation . Regardless of how much we are ahead come January we can not take our eyes off the ball AGAIN.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      John L, you worry about BR walking away again because of the way the board works,why did BR take this job on again after he walked away the last because of the board.Did they promise him a big pot of gold to spend on players and he foolishly believed them because the summer window was all project players with lawells name all over them ,so is Brendan really that daft that he took this job on again especially when he knew exactly how our greedy Tory fucked up board works.

  • Stevie Bhoy says:

    I’m my opinion Brendan knew from half time we were chasing a lost cause.
    He has to think way ahead so why risk injury or fatigue chasing a hopeless case? Who knows what the half time talk was?
    Last nights second half to me showed that Sunday is now the priority and I’m sure we’ll show that.
    As you say we are far better than that second half but sometimes you just have to take the kicking then get up and come back stronger.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      Stevie bhoy, we’ve had so many lickings at this level I’ve lost count and we’ve obviously never ever come back stronger we just seem to get worse.

  • Frankie says:

    Top man James that is how we should all be thinking hope this makes our so called board of directors who couldn’t direct cows into a field open their eyes.

  • Woodyiom says:

    Totally agree re not letting it affect our domestic form and I agree that BR is well capable of man-managing such situations (he’s done it before) BUT I vehemently disagree that he is not to blame for last night. He has had his hands tied such that we were never likely to progress from this group BUT other managers have had weaker teams than ours and made better fists of things.

    Brendan has now been the manager for FOUR of our biggest five defeats in ECL history – that’s a damning statistic . He’s won 2 out 22 CL games (including his time at Liverpool) – IMHO he’s simply incapable of setting teams up to play in Europe at the highest level. His Europa League is reasonable but his best ever run came in the Conference League which is probably his (and Celtic’s!) level. Teams such as St Mirren, Motherwell etc this season have taken us to the limit before losing and the gap in financing between them and us is FAR FAR greater than gap in financing between us and Atletico. Did I expect us to lose? Yes. Do I expect us to collapse and concede six (going on 9 or 10!!!!) – NEVER! There’s no excuse for not being able to keep the floodgates firmly shut and Brendan has to take his share of the blame. Ask yourself honestly – do you think we have lost 6-0 under Ange even with 10men and I think we all know the answer is no.

    We need quality improvements in the team sure but the eleven that went on the field last night are more than capable of competing at that level but I don’t think Rodgers is the man to set them up and I’ve said so since the day he became frontrunner to be our manager. He was by far the safest option and the one with the most guarantees for domestic success but I would have preferred for us to have taken the (relative) gamble on Knutsen as none of us were worried about Beale domestically so he would have seen him off soon enough but more importantly he has a genuine track record of competing against bigger teams than his own in Europe which is what we need.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      Woodyiom you’ve got a point there about BR in Europe we took a few hammerings in Europe in his first stint as our manager.

  • king murdy says:

    i wasn’t in favour of BR’s return….i thought it was a lazy appointment – every bit as lazy as the huns appointing beale…i have said before, i thought celtic fc STUMBLED into ange’s appointment, the boards last inspired/ambitious head coach appointment was BR in 2016…and they didn’t even back him then…
    last night was at the feet of BR for meekly accepting the boards lack of ambition. the celtic fc board and desmond are a group of absolute arseholes…just doing enough to stay ahead of the huns to get the euro millions and then to be humiliated every time is disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful. shame on them !
    last night’s humiliation could indeed effect our league form – such as it is….and right now i couldn’t care less…..
    there has to be a sea change at boardroom level for celtic fc…..
    FAIL FAIL !!

  • Jim says:

    Nobody expects us to even get draws in these games anymore but we have to stop getting thrashed.

    Some people think that Rodgers is an arrogant man, but he doesn’t strike me as particularly so, and he must know that he needs help here. His Achilles heel the last time he was in charge was getting thrashed in these away games against bigger opposition.

    He could do worse than consult Martin O’Neill. O’Neill knew how to set up teams to be tough to beat in Europe. In a low profile way he could be brought in to advise, to watch and analyse the opposition. Rodgers should ask Desmond to make the call.

    Ultimately the buck stops with Desmond. The slide from Seville into the whipping boys of Europe has happened on his watch. He is accountable and is responsible for fixing it. It is humiliating and a stain upon the reputation of the club.

  • Johnno says:

    Sorry James but you can’t keep going on as if Rodgers is totally bulletproof after such a shambles last night?
    Same team, that was so rightly praised 2 weeks ago, yet all that was on show last night was a team totally lacking in confidence, belief and feeling sorry for itself.
    The 1st goal was a complete shambles on our behalf.
    A simple catch for Hart, then nothing but panic afterwards, not getting ourselves set, weak header from calmac, no closing down and defenders not standing big, a complete mess from ourselves and a goal down?
    For the 2nd time in 2 away CL games, we fail to see the half out and regroup?
    Yet what is produced in the 2nd half of both games, was nothing but utter shite, so what goes on at H/T under these circumstances when we shoot ourselves in the foot?
    Big key moments within such games as CL brings, have gone against ourselves, but our response to them all, has been a worrying trend also within them games?
    Believe a lack of confidence at this highest level within the team is the biggest culprit, which in turn drains the belief that is required in gaining results at this level?
    Would say this is also part of Rodgers job, to increase confidence levels, which in turn brings better concentration levels and decision making within these games imo.
    But it’s still remains fairly patchy to some degree even within the SPFL on occasions.
    Now it’s all about the response, even more challenging with the confidence currently at rock bottom.
    This is where Rodgers earns his corn now.
    Sitting around and feeling sorry for ourselves, and looking for someone to blame is going to solve nothing for the challenges ahead, simple as that.
    We are now possibly facing our biggest challenge now,since the disaster of the 10iar season, and need to respond in the same manner now.
    To much of feeling sorry for ourselves, and acting like spoilt brats within the club will solve nothing, but place ourselves under greater pressure from within, and allowing all from outside, to take advantage of a situation, where we have hardly helped ourselves all round as a club either currently.
    Not going to let 1 extremely poor performance and result deter away from our main objective this season, regardless of a few worrying traits developing within this team and squad at present?
    It’s all about the response now, from all within the club now, and the jury could be out from some time, especially if we are prepared to let them sit far longer than they should be allowed to sit for imo.

    • James Forrest says:

      Oh he certainly isn’t that mate, never will be. I said in the piece I thought he was weak for allowing others to control his transfer policy for him, which is just plain daft.

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