Watching your favourite football team is something fans love more than anything.
Or at least, it is supposed to be.
But we all know that there are times, there are games, there are runs, there are spells and sometimes there are seasons when the sense of something going calamitously wrong grows and grows with every week that passes.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all felt that way for at least a couple of months. The fury that has erupted over the signing policy was based, in no small part, on the understanding of what we’ve been watching here, the understanding that this thing was coming apart and that only an infusion of the right quality was going to put a stop to the slide.
The complete failure from everyone at Celtic Park to add that requisite level of quality has led us to the brink. This season isn’t over, not by any manner of means, but right now it is ending one week at a time. Nobody doubts at the moment that we’re very close to a tipping point, where the whole campaign just implodes. Every game brings it closer.
The board carries the bulk of the responsibility for this.
The summer transfer window was one of the most incoherent messes I’ve ever witnessed.
The January window was just unforgivable.
Nobody in the upper echelon emerges from it with a shred of credit or a single excuse to make. It was a lamentable failure, and when Kilmarnock come to Parkhead a week on Saturday the directors are going to be subjected to a response which will shake them in their shoes.
They deserve every bit of it. Every bit of stick. Every bit of criticism. They are done. There’s no coming back for them, the enmity of the fan-base is now a Fact, they will never be able to escape it. These people once dreamed of a shining legacy; instead every single departure from the board, when it comes, will be greeted with derision and contempt.
But the manager, he has a lot to answer for here. This team is awful to watch. The football is chronic. The state of that performance tonight … it’s one of the few times in my life where I’ve watched my team win and felt that we had watched a massive injustice done.
Not because of the decisions – the two penalty kicks were spot on, and the confident strikes from Idah belied the pressure he was under to score them – but we did not deserve three points and Hibs certainly did not deserve to leave that ground without any.
Rodgers and the team were acclaimed tonight at full time by fans more relieved that grateful, but he knows that this doesn’t pass the smell test.
What we watched tonight was a mess, an absolute shambles saved by a late penalty kick. There is no point in sugarcoating that as anything else. People might want to sit back and enjoy the moment, but I did not enjoy any of that.
I am getting no pleasure out of watching this team at the moment; instead every match has the same mounting frustration attached to it, and watching the manager stand there as though he had morphed into David Martindale, clueless except to resort to the most basic ideas, is perhaps the worst thing about it. He gets no credit whatsoever tonight.
That was as incompetent as the directors have been. His decision to play Idah was vindicated, but he persists with the same formation – except when he changes mid-game to that ineffectual version of the 4-4-2 which allows us to be overrun in midfield – and refuses to properly adapt.
This still feels like a season that’s unravelling. That late winner was vintage Celtic, and we got very good at those during Ange’s two campaigns, but those campaigns never felt like this, those performances never looked like that, where you would not have been terribly surprised had Hibs won the match instead of us.
We’ve won the game. Yes, and I suppose in the morning I will feel the appropriate emotions including a not inconsequential surge of relief. But I feel flat and empty after watching that, as though part of my mind is already resigned to how this is all going to go, as if I’ve already started to mentally adapt to the idea that this might be a meltdown.
This feels like one of those movies where you went into it with anticipation because the first few in the series were great, only to find with half the film to go that you are bored shitless and wishing you’d done something else.
There is time left for the film-makers, who you’ve always admired, to leave you stunned and feeling it’s been worth it, but that time is running out one minute at a time and you cannot see a satisfying conclusion.