Sunday’s result at Celtic Park has been coming for while now. The warning signs have been visible in this and other Celtic fixtures.
The big question for Celtic now is what are they prepared do about it? Everyone is accountable so nothing can be left to chance.
So many of our players looked off the boil. That has been evident in the weeks building up to this game.
Is it fatigue? A lack of hunger?
Neil Lennon must have some inkling. He’s not entirely blameless himself because for the last two games against Gerrard he has been dominated.
Celtic stole the League Cup and that should have been a huge signifier for him. I didn’t expect Celtic to lose at Celtic Park, but now Gerrard can score that one off his list of things to do.
You saw the joy on his face at winning on our turf. It’s a hurdle cleared and now gives his side a chance to go a point clear when they finally take on that game at hand in the new year.
Of course, to do that Lennon and Gerrard will both have to hit the ground running when the season resumes on 18th January. That will be the Scottish Cup, so league duties will not get underway again until 22nd January.
What Celtic have to achieve in this window could have a huge impact on the rest of the season. The coaching team have to identify what has made the players so flat lately and get us back to where we were.
I agree that additional personnel will be welcome, but you don’t necessarily solve a team problem by throwing more players at it. The players have be playing competitive football non-stop since 9th July and so have Gerrard’s.
So fatigue shouldn’t really be a factor in this debate? Is it simply just that our rivals wanted it more than us?
I’d hate to think we are getting complacent. If it isn’t that then I’m running out of ideas as to what it can be.
Whatever it is, Celtic have a couple of weeks to identify it and work the problem. If the league comes down to these matches between Lennon and Gerrard then the indication is that Gerrard will win based on the last two encounters.
We’ve had more than enough warning. Now show us you’re going to do something about it, Celtic.