David Potters Reflections: “bottom line is that Celtic remain eight points ahead of Aberdeen, and eleven ahead of Rangers”

31
Dec
2017

Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Match Reports

CELTIC  0  RANGERS  0

The boos at the end of this game from some Celtic supporters (but only “some”) were surely unwarranted. The performance was a little disappointing, yes, but there is a world of difference between a poor game and a disappointing performance on the one hand and words like “garbage” “rubbish” and a lot worse hurled at players who finished 2017 eight points clear in the Scottish League, the Scottish League Cup already in the bag, still in Europe in February, and one domestic loss in the calendar year of 2017! The players surely deserve some credit for that, do they not? Clearly some supporters never saw 1961, 1978 and 1993. Now, those were bad!

It was, however, disappointing that we did not win. Much has been made of “mental tiredness” and “too much football” and “needing a rest”. I am not sure that I buy into that in its entirety, but if it is true, we now have a winter shutdown. That excuse will not be possible when we take on Brechin City, Partick Thistle and the two Edinburgh teams before the end of January.

The positives were Scott Brown, Craig Gordon and Kristoffer Ajer. Dedryck Boyata was all right. Some others like Kieran Tierney, James Forrest, Stuart Armstrong and Callum McGregor were a little below their best – and they are all great players and match winners on their day! Some others perhaps do need a rest. Mikael Lustig I have always liked, but his distribution today was poor. Scott Sinclair also needs to freshen up. He had the misfortune to miss that dreadful chance at the end of the first half, and was generally below par. And Moussa Dembele was frankly, poor. He did not look as if his heart was in it, and his languid departure from the scene was a collector’s item in body language. Frankly however many millions we can persuade someone to hand over for him this January might just be worth it. And how it hurts to say that of a man who did so well last year when he and Scott Sinclair could read each other like a book! Moussa still can sink a good penalty, but Leigh Griffiths “I’m the man” statement at Dens Park after a brilliantly taken goal was something we could have done with today at Celtic Park.

The game, though exciting and retaining of one’s interest to the end, was not a classic with too many misplaced passes by both sides, and Celtic seeming to panic in the second half in the face of some Rangers pressure which was of the hysterical Scottish variety rather than the thought-out, planned type. Scott Sinclair will suffer the horrors of hell when he sees his misses, but so too will some of the Rangers forwards as well. It would be difficult to say who was the better side, but does it matter? The bottom line is that Celtic remain eight points ahead of Aberdeen, and eleven ahead of Rangers. Sixteen League games remain, five Scottish Cup games and nine European ones if we reach the final (“ho! ho! ho!” as Santa Claus might have said!)

There was a great deal of talk before the game about Bobby Madden, his Rangers sympathies and gambling problems. But I thought he had a good game today, and he was certainly not to blame for what happened (or didn’t happen). This game is perhaps best relegated to the back of one’s memory. In real terms, the game v Aberdeen last year was far more significant.

So where stand Celtic at the gate of the year? Hard to say. I would like 2018 to be as good as 2017, but who knows? Will the personnel be different? Probably. Who will be the challengers? Obviously Rangers and Aberdeen, but there may be strong challenges from the Edinburgh teams – and a joker in the pack in the shape of Kilmarnock. There is much to look forward to, and a Happy New Year to everyone!

9 Comments

  1. Larry
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    I have never and never will boo my team. They, like me want to win and want to play the best they can. I am a supporter from late sixties to present day and If you saw some of the rubbish that we did before big jock came along you would kiss br arse.

  2. Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Why do the smsm constantly write utter bs regarding Sevco.My team Glasgow Celtic are in no way Anything to do with that corrupt Club.All we read is Old Firm this and Old Firm that,The Old Firm is No More.That ended in 2012 When the Cheating Corruption Tax Dodging finally caught up with Rangers 1872.They can Ram there Old Firm slogan right Up there Hunbelievable Arses.Our Oldest Glasgow Rivals are Partick Thistle,Thats not a wined up thats just Simple Truthful Fact.HH We made a mediocre at best Club look half decent at Paradise.Now theres an open top bus at the Crumble Dome in celebration at winnng a Draw at Parkhead lololol….

  3. Posted December 31, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I’ve been a supporter of Celtic since 1966 and these are the good times. We are the best team in Scotland and have lost only one game in the last 71 games. That is a better record than the Lisbon Lions. We will win the league by Easter. I never criticise any player. If they wear the jersey they deserve my support. I just wish some supporters enjoy these times. We have no right to remain the best. Enjoy it while you can

  4. Francis Lester
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I agree totally, if you check the BBC stats for the game we had more possession more corners more shots on goal and on target, so as ts was the case in the last draw we were certainly disappointing but were still the better team. Rangers probably played as well as they can and still couldn’t beat us. We will strengthen in the jan window and continue with our dominance. Lustig has been a great servant but I’m afraid he is one we should be phasing our for the young blood that is Anthony Ralston who I believe can be as good as Kieran. I think sinclsirs dip in form has reflected on Tierney because he keeps drifting inside and has stopped linking with one two’s and overlaps from Kieran which has frustrated the latter. I keep seeing Kieran throwing his hand up in despair as if to say where are you scott. Anyway onwards and upwards we go, I’m sure the 2nd half of the season without all the champions league games will stop the team shuffling and create a more balanced regular and consistent team . COYBIG

  5. Posted December 31, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Will never boo, too many fans taking things for granted, we need fresh investment but since brendan came in guys have been mostly phenomenal HH

  6. Edward
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Thank you.
    Some social media comments on this game by blogs and individuals are frankly a disgrace.
    The booing was disgraceful
    How can any Celtic blog /fan write with such venom about aTeam that has performed like Brendan Rogers’ team
    How can any “so called “fan boo a Team which has lost only one game in 71 in domestic football
    My first game to see our Club play was in 1953 in the Coronation Cup
    I have seen many wonderful games and have had many disappointments but will never boo or bad mouth my beloved Club
    This game was not our finest hour,neither was it anywhere our worst

  7. Gary
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I never booed but I was disappointed by our second half display. I think it was largely down to tiredness and thats been evident from our last four or five games. I actually thought Armstrong played okay, so I don’t agree with him being in your under par camp and Brown played well too. Armstrong is good at Scottish level but was found out a fair bit in Europe. Europe has dented our confidence and exposed our weaknesses but I’d still rather be in it. The result away to Anderlecht filled me with pride though and we should have taken the positives from that. We’ve played 50% more games than anyone else in Scotland, many of those have been high pressure games to qualify for CL etc and win at Ibrox and against Aberdeen to get into this comfortable position and then there was the added pressure we put on ourselves to keep that unbeaten domestic run going, so all that creates mental exhaustion, as well as the physical side. We need to get back to enjoying our game and some freedom of expression but this risky passing and ball retention game (building from the back and playing out of defence) isn’t working and we’re creating problems for ourselves. Ronny Deila was trying that and BR used to mix it up more. Hopefully someone will pay the £20 million for Dembele but I’m starting to think that might not happen and we might need to settle for less. I think the speculation is effecting his game and we’d have been better with Griffiths yesterday. Sinclair needs a break. The boys are only human and they need to recharge but they’ve done excellently to have us eight points clear of Aberdeen and Hibs could still catch Rangers and I have a feeling they might.

  8. John Power
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Lustig ‘s clearances may have been erratic. However he made numerous timely interceptions & I thought he defended very well . We load our left side with 3 players K T, S A & S S , however Rangers played 4 on their right & forced too many crosses into box .

  9. John Power
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Not one of our better performances . We had great control in first half & really should have been ahead by a goal or two.
    Rangers adopted a more agriculture plough right on approach & their strikers were as wasteful as ours .
    Lustig in his pure defensive work was brilliant, although his passing under pressure was poor . That could be said of most of back four & more work is needed by the rest of team in creating space & opportunities for clearing to team mates

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