Andy Walker gives his damning verdict on Celtic’s performance within the 2-0 defeat by Rangers within Sunday’s Old Firm clash, and just asks: are they committed?
It’s always a bitter pill in order to swallow when you’ve lost a casino game against your greatest rivals plus I’ve spoken to more than a few negative and dissatisfied Celtic supporters given that Sunday’s pitiful display against Rangers.
Granted, Covid-19 problems saw Neil Lennon without Nir Bitton, Hatem Elhamed, Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard. But remember, Rangers too were without a notable number of players. Kemar Roofe, Nicola Katic, Joe Aribo and Ryan Jack port could all have expected to begin the game had they been completely fit.
In justness, the simple truth is that Rangers were definitely the better side and dominated every factor of the game.
Everyone concealed from the public view at Celtic will tell you how solid the squad is this season because the chase is on for an amazing 10th title in a row.
I agree on paper there’s lots of options for the manager in every placement but you can only describe the team as strong if they are totally dedicated and focused.
The best question is, are they?
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What I saw through the Sky Sports gantry at Celtic Park working alongside an similarly bemused Ally McCoist was a Celtic side lacking in effort, very little dedication and a shortage of aggression towards what was an impressive Rangers side.
Total commitment is the 1 quality supporters should be able to take for granted in most player who wears the remove.
The question of dedication, focus, mentality and attitude continues to be raised by Neil Lennon themself.
In the immediate consequences of the painful defeat to Ferencvaros in the Champions League qualifiers in late August, the Celtic manager produced the startling claim that he believed some of his players didn’t wish to be part of the club and were looking for the transfer.
His information to the players was that they had to complete better and get their mentality plus attitude right.
“If some of you don’t want to be here after that leave and let us work with gamers who want to be here” were their exact words.
Whenever asked if it was his impact that some players don’t wish to be at the club, he added: “Yes, in some cases”.
Properly, the transfer window has come plus gone and the least every enthusiast should expect is a group of gamers with their 100 per cent priority plus emphasis on winning an historic name.
Even the finest sides can lose a big sport but in view of the level of functionality that we saw from Celtic, from the reasonable question to ask.
It’s now well-known that will Lennon’s team was leaked the night time before and that is disappointing for any supervisor but to go into it at duration is a deflection from the far more severe questions that should be addressed.
If this Celtic squad is as solid as we are meant to believe, why possess they been outplayed in the last 3 Old Firm games? Why had been changes not made earlier possibly in shape or personnel?
It’s not good enough to merely toss Shane Duffy up as a center forward in the last five minutes to try and repair a game where you’ve been outclassed and inferior in every department for your previous 85 minutes.
Vasilis Barkas was signed in a cost of £5m to take the desired No 1 jersey from Fraser Forster, Scott Bain and Craig Gordon. He has still to show your dog is better than any of his predecessors.
All three who seem to went before Barkas have made essential saves at crucial points within big games for Celtic plus I’ve yet to see the Greek goalkeeper make the type of save that maintains Celtic in a game or maintains their lead. He was responsible for Connor Goldson’s breakthrough objective.
Another £8. 5m has been spent on strikers Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala, who each played against Rangers. Even permitting the poor service they received, this says everything that Celtic failed to strike the target even once in the ninety minutes.
In justness to Lennon and Celtic, it is a team that has bounced back very well from previous defeats. Losing in order to Rangers last December strengthened Celtic’s resolve to absorb the pain of that beat and go on an unbeaten operate.
It’ll take something such as get back on track this time round and am believe the results in the next few weeks can confirm all you need to know about the quality of this Celtic squad and the players’ commitment.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be on Celtic Park on Thursday night time for an AC Milan side within the opening Europa League game. Such a pity we can’t see your pet in the flesh.
After that it’s Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie, Lille away in another Europa Little league clash, Aberdeen again in final season’s Scottish Cup semi-final then Sparta Prague and Motherwell prior to the next round of international fittings.
Results in those online games will tell Lennon how good their squad is and maybe, more importantly, just how dedicated they are to the cause.
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