David Potter’s Reflections: “we did not, for good reason or bad, field our best team”

29
Oct
2017

Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Match Reports

I was delighted to see the players being clapped off the field for reaching 62 unbeaten Scottish games in a row, but no-one will say that this was one of our better performances. The edge has been taken off Wednesday night, sadly, but there were two mitigating factors. One was that the swirling wind was a leveller and not really conducive to good football, and the other was that we did not, for good reason or bad, field our best team.

It was a shame that Patrick Roberts got injured (quite badly apparently), for some of his play was quite superb, and the outcome might have been a lot different if he had stayed on. Scott Sinclair’s appearance was therefore quite sudden, and Scott never really got into the game.

The first half saw some fine football from Celtic with the important qualification that we could not score against a packed and organised Killie defence until Eboue Kouassi sent that lovely ball through to Leigh Griffiths to show us all what a simple game football is after all. Just a shame it could not be replicated in the second half, but sadly by that time Kilmarnock had got their tails up and really played rather well, their goal being deserved for the fine move leading up to it. By the same token, Celtic seemed to have lost their momentum by that time in spite of the substitutions.

The less well known players all acquitted themselves with honour. Particularly impressive was Michael Johnston – some nifty footwork here -, and we look forward to a lot more from him. I have never been too thrilled with Eboue Kouassi, but he had a good game today, and Olivier Ntcham was competent. And Kristofer Ajer did nothing wrong either, although his booking was a mystery to me.

So where did we go wrong? Hard to point the finger at anyone in particular, but we do need Scott Brown, and perhaps there were just rather too many “squad rotations” on the one day. It is a good idea, but possibly one or two at a time, might I suggest? Tommy Rogic started well, but seemed to tire a little in the second half, and it might have been an idea to take him off when Moussa Dembele came on, or possibly earlier.

We should have won, but this game is maybe a timely reminder that, contrary to what people may think, there are no easy games in the Premier League. Every game will have to be worked at. I have said before that the only team that that can really beat Celtic is Celtic themselves. We have far more resources in terms of players and fans than anyone else. And these games at home that we “should” win are as important as anything else! But we are still ahead of our main challengers, and we have gone 62 games without losing! That is remarkable.

The crowd was very supportive, as always, with the repeated “Celtic Glasgow” chant very impressive. The weather was cold and windy reminding us that winter is not far away. The referee Mr Walsh had not a bad game over all. Kilmarnock had a good day. Celtic? Let’s say we have seen them better, and look to see them better in the future.

Which brings us to Tuesday. Let’s go into this game with the right attitude! None of this “we are not in the same league” “we are defeated before we start” sort of nonsense! There is no point in being in the Champions League if we think that. Let’s give it a real good go. A defeat in itself will not alienate the support or earn us ridicule from our rivals, but it might be a different story if we fold as miserably as we have done in the past against top European opposition. After all it is now official that we have the best fans in the world. I don’t see why we can’t have the best team as well!

4 Comments

  1. R
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Roberts was superb !!?

    Do you mean last season ?

    He’s constantly lost possession in our last 3 games

    Anyway…..mon the hoops on Tuesday.

  2. Tyneside No1
    Posted October 29, 2017 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    If you were manager ask yourself these questions. 1) Have we a squad good enough to win the league. 2). Did we field a team capable of beating Kilmarnock 3) Being in Europe after Christmas will bring valuable additional revenue would that not be a priority over this league game.
    We have just equalled a 100 year record. Would you have jeopardised this for a stronger, fresher team on Tuesday , I don’t think so. Keep the Faith

  3. tom campbell
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    Something has to be done about persistent time-wasting. Perhaps the answer is to take time-keeping out of the hands of the referee and allot it to a totally independent official (preferably with a watch that works).

  4. franny kiernan
    Posted October 30, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    david, you seem a wee bit conflicted with this reflection on the game on saturday, can i say.
    we played very well in the first half but failed to find a route throught the forest of killie players which is hard for any team.
    brendan utilises the players as he sees fit and to cope with any given game (or those coming up)
    as you say all games are important as big jock said you only get 2 points, nowadays 3 for beating sevco or any other team, so it’s a truism that all games important, home games included.
    i cannot for the life of me see why the gloss was taken off our easiest victory ever against aberdeen, how does that work?
    the omission of our captain and your finger pointing comment then too much squad rotation implies that brendan is to blame, however a manager has to do just that and manage resources as he sees fit….we still equalled willie maleys record, so your are being a little damning by faint praise methinks.
    i sense implied criticism in your words, of whom in particular, i’m not sure, i implicitly trust the manager and steadfastly stand behind him and the players he chooses.
    so to tuesday evening, i was over in munich and saw some encouraging signs, although bayern have the better players of that there is no doubt, but our players play as a well orchestrated team and in any given game, this can bring it’s rewards against a team of individuals…..hope springs eternal just to give us a filip and boost for the future as that is where berendan is building for
    so come on david, say what you mean, don’t try clever innuendo or insinuation

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