When are you vying for a place in the group stage of the Champions League you have to make good decisions. The second leg between Celtic and Cluj was riddled with bad ones.
Without trying to deflect from Celtic’s many errors, I want to mention the match official. The referee had a shocker and failed to clamp down on Cluj’s continual fouling whilst happy to dish out punishment to Celtic with great ease.
This kind of handling of the game allowed Cluj to carry on unpunished for a long spell. Despite not playing the same way, Celtic suffered cautions without the same leeway.
Celtic’s biggest problem though was themselves. The set up from the outset was all wrong.
Neil Lennon obviously didn’t see the game at Ibrox last December. If he had he’d have known Callum McGregor shouldn’t play left back.
Our midfield was all over the place and had to endure a first half of errors. Half time saw a much more positive approach but up until then Celtic had failed to impose themselves as the home side.
Even with the glut of goals that followed Celtic kept shooting themselves in the foot. I won’t catalogue them, it’s still a raw wound.
Shipping four goals at home though is reckless. The blame goes squarely on Neil Lennon and his players.
Everyone is at fault. It isn’t our transfer activity or anything else.
We had more than enough to deal with Cluj. There is nobody to blame but ourselves.
Now we have one last throw of the dice to stay in Europe until Chrismas. AIK are 2-1 up from their away leg against Sheriff Tiraspol and play the second leg on Thursday.
We will play the winners. At this stage you’d have to say AIK are favourites.
With the Champions League cash now gone we can forget about strengthening the team the way we’d have hoped. Expect bigger exits than entrances.
You got this one spectacularly wrong Bhoys. I’m off to drown my sorrows in the Canadian wilderness.