Brendan Rodgers did not hold back at full time today, did he?
And that was the public face on it.
The private face would have been something else entirely, on a whole other order of magnitude. He said it’s the angriest he’s been in a dressing room at half time in his career. That’s an astonishing thing for the manager of Celtic to say, but not unwelcome.
I want a Celtic manager who expresses his frustration after we’ve played as badly as that. I want a Celtic manager who will not allow our players to fall below a certain standard.
He said at full time that he had emphasised pace and power, a fast aggressive start and what we saw instead was a team which meandered around the pitch aimlessly.
No wonder he was pissed off. Speaking for myself, I said after the game that the first half was the worst 45 minutes I could remember from a Celtic side in years. Years.
That was no exaggeration, and it’s clear that the manager felt exactly the same way. He demonstrated his frustration in public by pulling off Yang. He could have taken off a few others.
As it was, the manager knew what had to be done and he did it.
Off came Turnbull when Plan B didn’t look like it would bear fruit, and once Oh came on and started roughing that defence up the whole game spun. Once Callum scored his equaliser only one team was going to win that match, and I was pleased to hear him talk at full time as well.
He echoed the manager’s sentiments exactly.
As captain, he will not have been quiet in that dressing room and would have made sure everyone knew what was at stake, and when the team needed a bit more than that he personally took the game by the throat and scored that rasping equaliser which swung the pendulum our way.
That was a captain’s response, a captain’s performance overall.
That was a great example of the off-field leader giving the team a much-needed rocket in the dressing room, and the on-field leader showing them the way back out on the pitch.
On days like today you need the leadership to show its stuff.
I think both of them have done that in a big, big way and that’s a massive three points from a place where, at half time, I didn’t see where they were coming from.
Well done to them both, and to the rest of the team as well for responding, especially the subs who dug deep for us and got us over the line.
That’s all you can ask of them.