David Potter’s Reflections: “The green and white jersey is not to be worn lightly”

18
Dec
2017

Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Match Reports

It had to come to an end some time, of course, but this was a shocker. It was one of the most un-Celtic like performances I can recall in recent years. Frankly, we were never in it, especially in the first half when it all went wrong. Andy Walker who has made some crass comments in his time, nevertheless got it right when he said, repeatedly, that Hearts wanted it more than Celtic did. There was no desire, no passion, no appetite in a way that Celtic supporters find difficult to accept. So many players were simply below their best, and frankly we must take the events of this week on the chin, and accept it as a timely reminder that League titles do not come easily. Aberdeen supporters enjoyed that game almost as much as Hearts supporters did. They showed yesterday the same sort of appetite that Hearts did today.They are now in with a chance of winning the League, and Saturday’s game now assumes an ever greater importance.

It is of course very easy to point the finger at Simunovich and Boyata for their errors – Simunovich’s in particular being schoolboy stuff – but the blame must be shared. The midfield in the first half simply was not there. Ntcham was anonymous and deservedly substituted, but McGregor, normally so hard working and productive, was even worse. And Scott Sinclair who was at pains to tell us before the start that he was not “off form” then went out to play a game that looked indeed decidedly “off form”. And the forwards! We ended up with three forwards on the field at the same time – and even then, there was the disturbing tendency to shoot straight at the goalkeeper or a defender.

It was, all in all, an awful day. We now have a major effort on our hands to come back, but we are at the time of the year when we have no time to feel sorry for ourselves. Partick Thistle on Wednesday night will be as committed as Hearts were. They are worried about relegation. But we must match them in every way for commitment. We must want the ball! We must want to win! Let us take today on the chin, for the first time for a while, it has to be said, and let us now fight back.

Brendan Rodgers and the players reacted with dignity to the reverse. That did them a great deal of credit. Nice to see them going to the supporters as well, for the supporters now have a part to play. For the first time Brendan Rodgers is under pressure. The supporters must resist the temptation to turn on him and the players. We must all be there to cheer them on Wednesday. We now have a fight on our hands!

The gloating will be intense. Craig Levein, to his credit, was also quiet and thoughtful, at least in front of the TV cameras but Hearts fans have of course hated us for long before 1986, and they have their moment of glory. The newspapers will be full of the “good for Scottish football” kind of crap that we always get when Celtic lose. Always? Well, the last time was 69 games ago!  Kris Boyd was clearly gloating, but then again he is Kris Boyd. What was harder to take was Andy Walker and Kris Commons using words like “beautiful” and “exquisite” to describe the third goal! Yes, the Simunovich blunder!

A defeat can become a success, if you learn from it. Celtic must do this and quickly. Defensive errors must be eliminated. Did I read somewhere that Erik Sviatchenko might be on his way in January? I would hold fire on that one, Brendan. But, above all else, we must come out of the traps wanting to win every ball. That was totally lacking today. Hearts youngsters did well today.Is there a lesson there for Celtic? We must not be allowed to go stale. We must be fresh and wanting to do well. The green and white jersey is not to be worn lightly.

Oh, and another thing. Hearts two youngsters – when are they going to sell them, I wonder? And to whom?

One Comment

  1. Posted December 18, 2017 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Why would Hearts want to sell the young kids that caused the damage on Sunday
    or is this another plow by the so called BIG clubs to get in the heads of the young
    and upcoming players we have seen this season with the fiasco by Rangers and
    the Jamie Walker saga after getting in his head that they wanted him at no cost
    and refused to pay the market price that was on the player and i also believe that
    Rangers Football Club still owe Hearts 800 thousand pounds will that ever be paid..

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