David Potter’s Reflections: “A bad show, all round! “

06
Feb
2018

Posted By kevingraham

Posted in Articles, Match Reports

To a point, but only to a point, we can blame injuries and Kilmarnock’s artificial pitch for this defeat, but the fact was that this was a very poor Celtic performance, more or less totally unrecognisable from the game against Hearts on Tuesday night in which we had done so well.

A team like Celtic cannot really complain too much about injuries because they have the resources to do something about it. That said, to lose both your central defenders within about 20 minutes of each other was a bad blow compelling a total rejigging of the team. Kieran Tierney who had started well suddenly found himself a centre half instead of a potentially dangerous attacking full back, and Nir Bitton is not really a great centre half either. Jack Hendry suddenly found what playing for Celtic is all about.

Although Brendan Rodgers quite rightly refuses to blame the pitch, it would be naive to suggest that the surface had nothing to do with either injury. They might not have happened on grass, and in those circumstance, things would have been a lot different.

But a good team must raise its game when it has to, and this we woefully failed to do. I suspect that Charly Musonda’s experience of all weather pitches may have been limited up to now, and goodness knows that Moussa Dembele was all about today. It was all the more disappointing after Tuesday, but it seems to me that the proverbial “long hard look at himself” is in order. I had watched the game for about 30 minutes before I realised that Moussa was playing! That really says it all, does it not? There is no point in having potential if it is not being delivered!

James Forrest was another disappointment with a particular frustration being his reluctance to go for the corner flag and cross. The situation in the second half demanded that, surely. There seemed to be a lack of confidence, and I wonder whether he feared there were more devils in the pitch than there really were? Scott Sinclair was another who failed to deliver when we needed him. Olivier Ntcham and Scott Brown earned pass marks, but Eboue Kouassi, after not a bad game on Tuesday night, was sadly anonymous.

The sad fact was that we failed to force corner kicks until very late in the game, and were once again reluctant to shoot. A feature of last year’s Invincibles was that they scored loads of goals from the edge of the box, taking the defence by surprise. Why has this aspect of our play dried up?

A bad show, all round! Maybe we can pretend it didn’t happen, but although Hibs did us a favour at Ibrox to limit the damage, Aberdeen nevertheless have gained three points on us, and ominously, they have now begun to win the routine games against Ross County and Hamilton (and even Kilmarnock!) – something that did not always happen last year. We will have to watch them, and we really cannot afford too many more feckless displays like this one. February 25 may now be an important day.

It is now a test of Brendan Rodgers. Possibly for the first time in his 18 months, he is under a little pressure. He must now hope that injuries heal up quickly, and most of all, THE SUPPORTERS MUST NOT TURN ON HIM, as they did (lamentably) on Ronnie Deila. He needs our support as well, and that would include a large attendance in Saturday to see Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup. We must win that one, or else the treble is gone.

A defeat, take it on the chin, but then fight back and move on.

2 Comments

  1. Mike Bhoyle
    Posted February 6, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I’d just like to add…
    Steve Clarke has to be commended for his game plan…and for his players carrying it out.
    This…imo…more than anything…contributed to our defeat.
    They allowed us to play a slow build up from the back….then strangled us in their half…and we didn’t have players on the night to pick their way through…
    Admittedly the pitch didn’t help….but our two wide men…as you pointed out…were missing on the night…and James Forrest in particular, needs to step up.
    His idea of wing play and mine are miles apart.
    Passing the ball back or sideways all the time, may be safe….but its ineffective.
    Bottom line is…they were better than us and deserved the win.
    And as long as BR learns something from it….that’ll do

  2. Posted February 6, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    We can do without “supporters” who are shouting at Brendan Rogers for only his second loss in 70 odd games, how very fickle they are.! We cannot win every game and those shouting must be very good at thier work ,if they do not have an off day!! Go and shout some where else, and let us support Brendan and the famous Glasgow Celtic! We get enough stick here in Scotland from the mason and the other jobs, so there is no need for our own to be shouting Thier mouths off! Hail Hail.

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