Monday, 23 May 2005

Losing the league

I had hoped that we could stagger over the finish line. I could see that the team was way past its sell-by date. I knew that me and you could put a couple of goals past our creaking defence. But yesterday was still hard to take. And today at work was painful. I've never seen Celtic fans so down.

We were three minutes short of winning the league. But, in truth, we are six players short of a decent team. I don't buy the "if only we had scored a second goal" argument. We were watching a team implode - a team capable of losing any sort of lead.

Even the mediocre bunch that wear the Hoops these days should have taken care of Motherwell - but many of the players didn't even have the will to win this single game. The second half was surreal. 45 minutes from winning the league and seasoned pros like Sutton and Lennon do a disappearing act. Only Petrov looked like he gave a shit. The rest looked like their mantlepiece didn't have any spare room for another medal.

O'Neill isn't blameless. He's made mistakes this season. But the players must shoulder most of the blame. They're among the most highly paid footballers in Europe - and they're beaten by a mob whose entire first team is paid less than Neil Lennon.

It's a pity that the same players who gave us so much pleasure two years ago should finish by letting down the fans and their manager.


  1. It was quite simply awful. But the signs were there against Hearts. To have had a 7 point lead earlier in the season and then 5 points with 4 games to go and still lose it is quite unbelievable. And to lose to a completely second rate Rangers team.

    I think O'Neill shoulders the blame. Even looking at the last game. After Celtic totally controlling the first twenty of the second half Motherwell were coming back into it. Couldn't we have made some tactical switch or used some subs just to break up the game, waste time keep the ball. He could even have taken Beattie back off. You would think he could use players he has on the bench or why have them there? I don't think it is good enough to hope that the players you have on the pitch will hold on. I think in general that MON makes poor use the pool of players he has.

    Anyway are you still up for a few pints or are you too disillusioned? If so what time do you want to meet etc.

  2. I'm still up for meeting. I think we'll be over this by Friday because the bottom line was that a poor Rangers team were better over the season. Not just in terms of consistency, but they play better football.

    It would be good to win the cup for O'Neill (think what we were like 5 years ago), but I've got my doubts that they will be able to pick themselves up this week.

    This season has been awful. I could count on one hand the decent games I've seen.

    I'm going to the game so can be in the Last Post for 6.30. If you are not going to be there then let me know. I'm not sure if Dennis/Stephen will be there. I'll give them a ring.

  3. Yes, it's been a bleak season in terms of quality of football.

    Personally, I think that we'll hammer United on Saturday - to prove the player's loyalty to MON - but it will only prove to me that their attitude was wrong last weekend.

    I'm still up for the Last Post on Saturday. I'll be there at 6.30pm.

  4. See you at 6.30. Last night I watched Liverpool. I went out at the start of the second half to collect Catherine from the guides. Came back to find it was now an unbelievable 3-3. Then we watched the next hour without a single goal. Catherine couldn't believe there had been 6 goals in the game!
    Great for Liverpool. It is completely mad that they can't defend the trophy.