It was a game I felt Celtic could win. In the end it was a game that Celtic never really turned up for.
I watched the match, the post match interviews, listened to the post match analysis and took in all of the viewpoints. I didn’t disagree with much of it at all.
Borussia Mönchengladbach, despite the loss of several first team players through injury, were the stronger team by far for the entire match. This disappointed and frustrated me immensely.
After going for the jugular against Manchester City, I expected more of the same from Celtic against the Germans. But Germans being Germans they outclassed Celtic in every area of the park with efficiency.
This wasn’t a thumping. This was more of a lesson in better use of the ball, movement and positioning.
Celtic played like the away side all night with the supporters the only element that suggested otherwise. The Germans strolled through Celtic Park like it was a walk in the Rhineland.
Personally, I wasn’t under any illusions about the gap between our two nations and their top flight football leagues. However, I thought I had seen enough so far from Celtic this season to get a result on Wednesday night.
Brendan Rodgers summed it up simply by saying “they were better than us”. He wasn’t wrong either and even he pointed out that that is the level Celtic must aspire to.
I’m fairly certain in time, Celtic will be playing at a better level under Brendan Rodgers. In fact they already are, but we are still off the pace for the Champions League.
Improvement will come at a cost and will need to be done within budget. Playing in Scotland does not help that situation, particularly when many clubs lack the financial input to get near Celtic.
Celtic are a big club in a small pond. I have no doubts that in a bigger pond, Celtic would be able to cut it.
Many outside of Scotland disagree because they base their decision upon how they see Scottish football. What these people fo not realise is that Celtic have the fan base, stadium, marketing and anything else you care to mention that in a wealthier climate would do very, very well.
Scotland is not that climate. I don’t believe that Scotland will ever be that climate either.
My home country can aspire to many things, but when it comes to football it is a marshy landscape. So for Celtic, they must do all they can to survive in Scotland’s financial climate whilst flying the flag in Europe until a solution can be found.
Right now, Brendan Rodgers will be seeing the club through the rest of this group stage and assessing what he needs to improve upon that. Whatever is available he will get, but we will have to wait and see if it is enough.