Celtic Are In A Title Race. That Might Snap Us Out Of This Shocking Complacency.

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Part of what has gone wrong with Celtic this season is obvious; everyone at the club is coasting it. The summer transfer window is a subject we return to over and over again, and it’s the proof that the board was coasting it. The manager has been coasting it since Day One, showing us his better qualities on only a handful of occasions.

The players though, they don’t deserve to be spared the same damning verdict. Too many of them have been coasting it for weeks. Yes they are playing in a new system, but for God’s sake play in it already and start taking this title race seriously.

Because we’re now in a title race. The problem with Scottish football and the two horse race is that you only have to dip a little to be in trouble because your rivals only have to improve by a couple of percentage points and they no longer look like a hapless joke.

Look, I don’t think Clement is any great shakes as a boss. The improvement over there is obvious but it’s modest. If we hadn’t gone backwards at the same time, we’d actually have improved our lead at the top. But we have gone backwards, that’s the problem.

In hindsight, the worst thing that has happened to us this season is going into an early seven point lead. That shot this whole club through with a lackadaisical attitude, the idea that we only had to show up to win games. It’s a disastrous idea for any club to believe in, and it’s especially bad for one like us, one which has dominated this game for years.

And because we have, we’ve lost sight of the hard graft and the dig and determination which built that lead in the first place. That team today looked uninterested and unfocussed. The manager had the look of an animal caught in the headlights. He made some bad, bad calls today but if those players had been a bit more driven and determined and not feeling like they only had to show up to win, we might have gotten at least something from the game.

Too many people at this club have, for want of a better expression, become lazily complacent. We’re also carrying too many passengers.

Mikey Johnston, just go and spare yourself and the rest of us any more of this. We wanted you to succeed. Successive Celtic managers have been waiting for you to develop into the finished article. The development phase is over. You are not, and never will be, a Celtic calibre footballer. Time for everyone to face facts. It’s over now.

Greg Taylor is too lightweight to be playing fullback at the highest level. He has a good skillset but he’s easily bullied and that means we’re in trouble whenever we come up against a side that can indulge in a bit of rough-housing. I like the guy; I think he was one of the better players last seasons in a system which suited him.

But we don’t play that system and he looks miles off it in the one we do play.

Natt Phillips we could go on about until the cows come home today. He was like a man short this afternoon, it was a woeful performance and the manager actually kept him on for the 90 minutes in what, to me, was a marked insult to the big guy on the bench. It’s inexcusable to keep on a playing who isn’t performing whilst you have other options.

Man management is this guy’s strong suit, so what the Hell was that? Rodgers comes across as a man so desperate to have the players he thinks this team needs that he’s stopped managing the ones he has right now. He played the shame card last weekend, and the dreadful truth is that he had to, but that’s why he didn’t rag them out today after the game; how can you?

That’s not a card you can play every week and still have it hit with force. He’s not that kind of man anyway. But he’s either not weaving the old magic or it’s not working … is he the most complacent of all? This job cannot be about coasting. This club cannot be about coasting.

There is too much complacency all around us. It’s time to snap out of it.

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  • Charlie Dornan says:

    100% Right here,James…got to share this…

  • Gordon Raeburn says:

    Today had nothing to do with complacency. It was to do with the facts that there were too many dudes out there, there was no fight, substitutions were baffling and Nat Phillips is never a football player. Can I also state again that I am not deluded by the Luis Palma myth. He is not this great player some seen to think. Today he showed what he mostly has and is someone who hides when the going gets tough. I hear all the slating of Mikey Johnston but Palma isn’t much better.

  • BroxburnBhoy says:

    All of this is a bit harsh. We lost a game. The other team worked very hard and on a rain lashed plastic pitch we got hussled out of the game. Sometimes even the best teams lose a game. The first loss of the season. There is certainly need for more focus, more resiliency and better management of some situations. I see this as a blip and one that as you say will shake up some complacency

  • king murdy says:

    i wasn’t able to watch the match…
    but i was not at all shocked at the result…you mentioned philips, johnston and taylor….i mean…i, and many fans said johnston was not celtic quality AT LEAST 2 YEARS AGO….ffs !! and he is still here and getting game time….i like wee taylor…but he is not the quality that we require…philips is a stop-gap…he never looked sound, so at least he’ll be returned to merseyside ..we still need a keeper, striker and a defensive midfielder and a left sided centre back….all these things were glaring BEFORE rodgers stepped in the door !!!!
    WTF did he do all summer ?
    i wasn’t in favour of his return…typical celtic fc board decision…not what you know…but who you know….sooooo fukn lazy….
    we are handing the huns the title…..
    definitely….”a club like no other….”

  • Johnno says:

    Doesn’t a high level of complacency lead to a stinking attitude James?
    As that was all that was on show in the 2nd half today, along with enough long periods within games so far this season imo.
    And what’s making that worse is it happening against the so called lesser teams within the SPFL, including home games also?
    Something seriously isn’t working properly within this Celtic team currently, as the standards of performances are erratic to say the least, and from a majority of treble winning players?
    Starting to call into question the methods of Rodgers presently?
    Never had a problem with his appointment and returning to the club?
    Was expecting a new dimension added to the team within the style of our play?
    Adding a bit extra within the games of the existing players with a better form of tactical awareness added to the overall team, from last season?
    Games could and should have been won far easier, so the newer players could be integrated into the team, upon far higher confidence levels?
    It’s just not really happening imo.
    Where is the sight of players playing with confidence and enjoyment within there games?
    The lack of freedom in there play and a knowledge of what the manager is expected from them, seems to have totally disappeared from ourselves?
    Will be expecting Paulo to play in a CL match, yet nowhere to be seen within an SPFL match, how does that make any sense whatsoever?
    Have the likes of motherwell, hibs and kille and st Johnson become so good now, so regarded as not good enough for such games?
    To many questions arising and without sight of any answers developing within this Celtic team currently imo?
    Is this going to be the methods of Rodgers, breaking down what was working and making the club all about him and using every excuse under the sun for its failings?
    If that’s the complacency and stinking attitude he really wants to bring into our club, then it would be better all round if he just fucked off sooner rather than later imo?

  • Jim hughes says:

    Yes and you defended him and the boring sideways play all season. I posted we were in trouble with highly paid boring sideways football.

    If you have the guts call him out

    Are you still banning me?

    • James Forrest says:

      I thought I did in the match report. Or did you not read it?

      If you think I lack guts you better guess again.

      You weren’t banned. You trying to be?

  • Murph says:

    Mate, I’m of the firm belief that Lawwell and Co have already decided to cede the top spot in favour of his business partners at Ibrox. If another team playing out of Ibrox goes bankrupt it’ll affect his bonus arrangement so it’s not in his interest.
    The only way to reverse this situation is to withhold money; since that is how it works. Make the bonus system contingent on progress and you’ll have a different outcome.
    This of course is complete conjecture and I have no way of knowing. The current custodians are either incompetent or complicit

  • Mark b says:

    My comment is same as it has been for 3 years. We need a LB CH DM CF and now GK. we have 70m in the bank but we don’t spend it. Madness. Our rivals keep on winning. They are not as bad as people make out and we are not as good. CCV and Hatate are seriously missed. Watching Philips for five minutes tells you he wouldn’t get a game at Falkirk. Seriously it’s that obvious. We have many squad players we need to release. Johnson Kobayashi Turnbull Lagerbielke Forest Bain Seigrist (if we don’t play him ever!) Hideguchi (if not already gone)

  • Frank Connelly says:

    Taylor wasn’t the only one who couldn’t handle the rough-housing as you call it. As I said in another post the whole Mid didn’t fancy it. Your right though that because of the injuries this team picks itself every week with no real pressure being applied by the squad players. I can see the usual sevco tactics in the up and coming game were they bombard us with high balls into our box given the height they have up front now. Not class but height. The back 4needs to be addressed NOW so we are ready for that mob cos our current back 4 wont cut it

  • Celticfcman says:

    I respectfully disagree with the entire article, except for Nat Phillips. It was a bizarre game with so many obstacles, no one looked disinterested. No focus, yes, but that was down to the crazy mix of pressure, weather, and pitch. There are certain places you struggle, Rugby Park being one of them. BR’s 1st stint was littered with struggles at Killie. Usually won, but a lot of tight and uncomfortable matches. Ange had Jota, Hatate, Maeda, Abada, and Kyogo all playing in a system they were perfect for. We had none on the pitch, other a late Kyogo sub who is not playing well at all. Good lord, we are in 1st, and January is only weeks away. We’re always in a title race, and we keep winning titles. Patience, it will all come good.

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