Can One Win Flick The Switch And Get This Celtic Team Playing Again?

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What does it take to make a malfunctioning football machine start to roll? I’ll tell you what stops that from happening; dropping points. The draw against Aberdeen halted momentum and that was the worst nightmare of all us who were excited about having it when football stopped for the winter break. We were really buzzing then. We aren’t now.

And yet … and yet … and yet …

In the last seven games we’ve won six and drawn one. There are fourteen games left. Here’s the news; if we win thirteen and draw one, we’re champions. The clock is running. The situation is not as advantageous as it was, but the task in front of us is straightforward enough. Win, and keep winning, and it doesn’t matter how the wins come.

And I still get the feeling it’s take just one … one big win, one big performance, to get the swagger going, to get the team gelling, to give the opposition the fear every time they come up against us. We’ve seen opponents actually attempt to come out and have a go at us lately. I would have said that any side who did that was risking annihilation. But it’s not been so.

Yet I feel that we could have demolished some of these teams had we taken our chances or been that little bit more creative, and once we put the right run together, I think we’ll be very hard to stop. Hell, we’re already hard to stop. We’ve got 61 points from 25 games already; that’s still remarkable, that still makes us a tough team to beat. But if we regain momentum and start to dispatch teams with more ease and comfort that grows its own legend.

That starts with the right mentality. That’s where I agreed with Rodgers last night; our win, coming so late, was a sign of mental strength. That mental strength is what will give us the edge.

The thing we need to do right now is be a little braver in moving the ball. I find it hard to fathom what it is that Rodgers is trying to do right now though, because what won us so many games under Ange was movement off the ball; we maintain a rigid shape right now and it is simply not working. When players are moving you pull opposing players out of position and if you have smarter, better players you will find it easier to work in behind them.

We aren’t doing that, and instead we’re playing this game where we hold the ball and try and draw individual players out towards us. But teams aren’t daft enough to do that for the most part … it’s just not working.

We’re not much more than a minor tactical tweak away from getting it right, that’s what’s so frustrating. A small change to the system, one little turn of the dial away from being able to blow teams away again, and I just wonder if the jolt it gives you when you win a match late might be the one that we need to get us back in the hunt.

It can happen. We’ve seen it happen.

Late goals have sparked big runs before … and even though we’re not playing well, that we won that at all will taken a little of the heart and the confidence out of our rivals.

We know ourselves that there is nothing more frustrating that a rival that just keeps on racking up the points, and we’re watching them do it right now and in doing so it’s easy for us to forget that in some ways they’re watching us do the same. And we’ve beaten them on this seven games stretch of matches, so we’re in the midst of a better run than they are.

Anything can still happen in this league, but form is something that can fall away for teams just as quickly as they find it … which means that we can find it as quickly as it can fall away. When you look at where we are right now and what we need to win this title, it might seem that this team doesn’t have it in it to win this title … but in some ways they proved last night that they do. Because in the end all that matters are the points on the board.

In Ange’s first season we dropped points in four of the first seven games; three of them were losses. We then won four in a row, but that was followed by one of the most frustrating afternoons I’ve ever had as a football fan, the 0-0 draw with Livingston at Celtic Park. But from there, we won six in a row, and that was followed by another horror show, the 0-0 at St Mirren.

But we won the next eight and that put us on the road to the title, so that even when we drew 0-0 at Hibs we didn’t really look back. Are we capable of going on an eight-game winning run? Yes, we are. Even if we need to grind out every single point.

It will only take one though. One big victory, one barnstorming performance, and I think this team will be swaggering again. And sometimes, to get there, you just need that jolt, that result that reminds you of how strong this team can be in the face of adversity.

Was that last night? Time will tell.

But it might have been, that’s the beautiful part. Just maybe.

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  • Dan says:

    Wish I could agree James, I think our win was as much mental weakness from Hibs as mental strength from us. There seems to be something worrying about the body language of the players. The Abada situation will not change, he is simply not performing and not with the group at the end of the game due to the Palestinian flag. I don’t think the dressing room is as good as it could be. Rodgers has a massive job in front of him and right now I don’t feel assured. Hope to god I’m wrong

  • DixieD says:

    Sunday will be a tough one at Paisley, but I fear the next home game against Kilmarnock. Our first home game since the window closed could lead to a toxic atmosphere if it’s still 0-0 at HT. I hope we get a couple of early goals to get the home crowd on side, but I fear what could happen if we don’t. I wonder if the board will be in their seats for that one?

  • Bob (original) says:

    With Hibs having a terrible run of form recently,

    and off the back of a 0-3 mauling at home from St.Mirren.

    I [& probably many others] thought that last night was

    going to be THAT game where we – finally – slipped into gear and

    blew them off the park…and then go on an impressive winning

    streak to retain the SPL. 🙂

    THAT game has to come quick though…?

    And as an aside: whilst impressed with Miovski’s scoring record

    his overall game didn’t seem great?

    BUT, having just read his own quotes in The DR today;

    he became a professional player the hard way, and he seems

    very level headed, appreciative – and has the mental strength to succeed.

    We have to buy him in the summer, imo.


    Our biggest obstacles are the Mib’s & ‘ VARmen oan the Sky’ ( bit of Bowie in there somewhere).

    We can put the run together but the bigots wae flutes, whistles, flegs and monitors will keep assisting ‘Der Hun’s’ passage
    ( you call them that again courtesy of the Scottish Law Lords).

    They will still throw us the ‘token’ awards to maintain the fiction of impartiality but when push comes to shove , the Glasgow Derby games, we will get nowt.
    The rewards for ‘thum’ are too big. The Bloo Room Board have went all in.

    Every point is a prisoner between now and the Season’s end. I think we will rue the lead we threw away, courtesy of our Board.

    I hope not, but after the 10IAR fiasco ( which I predicted on this blog and others , even prior to Covid, that we were not going to be allowed to win ), It would have heralded the death of the Tribute Act’. We were meant to sit on the sidelines for a few seasons. However Lennon & Pistol Pete Bolloxed it so badly that the Board had to act fast then ended up hanging on grimly for Eddie Howe to make up his mind.

    That we ended up with St Ange of the Antipodes was a miracle. ( James you really must investigate the Dom McKay exit. What ‘dead bodies did he trip over in the Board Room and how much did his silence cost us?).

  • Eldraco says:

    Play two up front james 442 more off the ball and we are home.

    Lets get it done and lets get rid of the lawells before summer.

  • Eddie Marzella says:

    I think a lot of fans are wondering the same thing ! To be honest it’s hard to see where the spark will come from but Idah looks like a guy who is determined to succeed and the squad definitely needed a bit of freshness ! The last 3 performances have been very consistently poor ! Maybe the big guy getting both goals last night and securing the win might just give us a boot up the preverbial ! We defo can go on a run , we had just been in one prior to the break , so let’s hope BR sorts this out as it’s absolutely rotten to watch HH

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Lookin at the games at CP, Aberdeen and again last night ah just don’t share yer optimism. It looks tae me, as if we’re declinin in performance every game. If we can get all our players back fit within the next few weeks, who knows, there’s still a big chance. Tho thats a long shot. What we did in that window would’ve went a long way in decidin how our season went and as it turns out, it was next tae nothin and it’s showin already. The recent performances are never league winnin form. BR’s tactics have tae be questioned as well. Obviously hope ahm proved wrong in the comin weeks, right now ahm no seein anythin that exactly inspires confidence.

  • Jimmy Quinn says:

    The minute One kids himself in life. It’s never ending
    Spiral especially in Football.

    Form day one when I heard the news Rodger’s
    Is considered for the job. I said this is a slap on the face to the Celtic supporters.

    He betrayed us on massive scale. Personally I think he’s past his sell by date. I don’t need much evidence to prove this.

    Sad to say there’s more horror stories coming

  • The great jc says:

    Seems like Brendan is back to his old time tactics of tippy tappy crap football, that Ange binned from the very beginning,,,
    it will win us nothing now that the refs are blatantly ignoring every cheat and deflection that the Goldson, taverns and cantdo wells are rustling up, aided and abetted from their nonsense blethering boss.
    Hoping its all inClement weather coming their way from now on…..

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Wish I shared your optimism James,we look sluggish, unwilling,bereft of ideas how to break teams down,the only glimmer of hope is that sevco are no better but it still doesn’t make for good viewing,the way we’re playing at present.i think both ourselves and sevco would struggle in the championship in England at present and god knows what tier in England the rest of the SPFL teams would cope.

  • Cyril Donohoe says:

    We seem to have a problem when teams have a go 2 hf Saturday n same last night, playing catch up most 2 hf ,if we wise up to this it will be a big positive, undoubtedly CCV n Taylor are massive , we appear totally dependent on the wide men n once again teams have twigged it .Rogers needs to be smarter here n think outside the boxes

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Hope you’re right James but I’m afraid pessimism has taken over my brain. How many wingers have we got but none of them can hit the byline, in fact Gregg Taylor when he’s playing hits the line more than any of the wingers.
    Talking of GT and CCV, what a miss these two players are, the games against Aberdeen and Hibs have proved that.
    The 4 players I’ve got to praise from last night were Hart, Ralston, Scales and Ralston, who put in a wonderful tackle to win the ball which lead to the winning penalty.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Hopefully it does indeed trigger confidence and some slapping about of a few opponents with big scores…

    But with this lot I’m not so sure –

    We just cannot seem to score penalties apart these days…

    But Shankland and Miovski did this midweek as well as last weekend and probably will this weekend as well !

  • Jimmy Quinn says:

    I don’t hate him. Just don’t rate him nothing snide
    About opinions .

    Celtic men don’t run away on the verge off Treble Treble..

    His signings are Awful. 9 wingers Really ?

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