Well, here’s the obvious good news - we’re through to the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup.
The bad news is, yet again, Celtic put in a performance so symptomatic of what has been an unconvincing season so far, and that’s really strange to type as we are only three games away from another treble.
Saturday’s game against Partick Thistle showed Celtic at their best, and worst, in equal measure.
Our attacking play in the opening quarter of an hour was a joy to behold. Quick, direct and fluid, and James Forrest yet again being the standout for us with a quickfire double, the second of which was a superbly drilled effort from range.
Somehow, despite being so comfortable, we let Thistle back into the game when Doolan intercepted an idiotic backpass from Jozo and his cool finish made it ‘game on’, in theory, but in all honestly The Jags never really had it in them to equalise, but it was extremely disappointing that our energy levels waned after the blistering start, when I was expecting to go in four or five nil up at half time.
The second half was a largely flat affair, and yet again, after looking to kill Thistle off when Forrest completed his hat-trick, Jozo’s stupid pass let in Sammon, who was able to hold him off with ease to make it 3-2, and if it wasn’t for the fine defensive skills of Kieran Tierney, it may have went to a needless replay against a team we really ought to have put out of sight in the first half.
I have no idea what’s going on with the squad’s fitness at the moment, but the glamour trip to Dubai didn’t look like it’s given them any freshness at all, and many of the team on Saturday looked devoid of any energy in the last ten minutes, not boding well for the upcoming Zenit game, which will most definitely be a fast paced and intense affair.
Jozo’s been abhorrently bad in Europe this season, apart from a decent display away to Anderlecht, who it turns out were probably one of the worst teams in the competition, and his display on Saturday will have left Gorbachev and co rubbing their hands with glee. Aleksandr Kokorin must be relishing the trip to Celtic Park up against him in the form he’s in just now.
We were pretty much given a bye to Hampden too, with Morton very unlikely to cause us any problems in the quarter finals.
We’ll focus on that nearer the time, but the build up on the site this week will be for Thursday’s match with Zenit.