I’ve had a wee bit of time out from the blog recently whilst I adjust to a new job. Since last Sunday, I’ve also had a chance to reflect upon the 1-1 draw at Celtic Park against The Rangers.
Many including myself didn’t think anything other than a win was likely. However, what we got in return was somewhat different.
Much like the Hampden cup clash of 2016, the Ibrox club came out with some intent. On that day they got their reward after a penalty shoot out, but it wasn’t the same outcome this time around of course.
I’ll give them one thing, they came at the Hoops with some real purpose. Tried to put Celtic off their stride and for spells even worked, particularly early on in the match.
The only problem I had with the result, other than dropping two points of course, was that Celtic weren’t up to scratch. There are dozens of factors in play in a football match, but why Celtic weren’t playing their at best I cannot answer.
Similar to the Champions League match against Borussia Monchengladbach at Celtic Park, it was as though Brendan Rodgers’ player’s weren’t firing on all cylinders. On that occasion, Celtic didn’t turn up at all.
Was it psychological, physical or tactical? I’m still trying to work it out, but last Sunday was a reminder of that Champioms League tie, minus Germany quality of course.
Celtic seemed subdued on their own turf. If this was their reaction to a team having a go, as The Rangers did, then I am disappointed.
We all know that results cannot always go the way of the team you support. With the way Celtic have been playing this season though, it remains a difficult one for me to get my head around.
In the aftermath of that match against The Rangers, we’ve all seen the conclusive evidence. Refereeing at its most abysmal once again.
As much as I agree that this level of performance from officials should not be ignored, Celtic blew this match themselves. They were at home, on form and with key players available.
We should not have been hanging on to one denied penalty claim as the soul reason to this draw. Equally, the refereeing throughout the match was shocking and cannot be ignored for professional reasons.
Even with the changes that were forced throughout the match, I am still disappointed Celtic didn’t demonstrate their superiority. There is no doubt that they were the more dominant team but chances were few.
This was a massive shot in the arm for the Ibrox club. For them, any celebrations were a massive boost to their well being, even if things continue to limp along for them behind closed doors.
What does this mean for Celtic, Brendan Rodgers and his squad then? Well it is a gentle reminder to stay on top of their game.
A better side might have inflicted more damage on Celtic that day. Just as Borussia Monchengladbach did in the Champions League.
Getting back to winning ways is number one priority today against Dundee. Celtic may not have lost a domestic game as yet but the season is far from over if they want to remain unbeaten.
Perhaps the draw with The Rangers was a timely reminder for the Celtic players to maintain their ‘A’ game. I’m obviously not worried about the league, but this should be and still can be a treble season for the Hoops.
Grabbing the triple crown has evaded Celtic on a number of occasions. If Brendan Rodgers wishes to cement his name in the history books at the club and in Scottish football then this is the time.
Let’s get back to winning ways Bhoys.