After a comfortable and convincing derby win a few weeks ago, many people had admitted that the ‘crisis’ Celtic were in was a false one, and perhaps the tamest one anyone had ever seen. We hadn’t tasted desperate, not really, were still in Europe no matter how disappointing the Champions League exit was and were (and still are) still equipped with a squad of internationals that every other side in the country is envious at.
After a poor performance and 2-1 defeat at Rugby Park on Sunday, with the manager not doing himself any favours in particular, the melodramatic calls for his head and the ‘I know some inside information about why he’ll be offski soon but I cannot reveal anything’ patter has been tweeted by over the top reactionary individuals who should know better, considering they are comfortably over 40 years old.
Let’s get this out of the way - this site has never been one for Rodgers love in’s, even when he was winning double trebles and smashing Rangers comfortably. Rodgers has, in my opinion, carried out the basics domestically that other Celtic managers failed to do through negligence. With the resources and the finances we have at our disposal, even under Ronny Deila, I felt trebles should have been a minimum. I’m not a spoiled man, I’m a realist, just like Bayern Munich and Juventus fans, who watch their clubs stroll to league successes year after year, expect that from their teams as well. When you have fans online boasting of just how loaded we are, compared to every other team in that league, then of course you’re going to assume trebles should be done routinely.
Then again, I have never been involved in top level fitba, and I am sure that it’s a lot more difficult than that, with egos and personalities to manage, relationships with tetchy board members and transfer deals being too complex to complete, then of course there’s obviously another side to it away from my very black and white outlook on being a Celtic manager.
If you ask ANY other manager in that league what position and squad he’d rather have right now, they’d turn around and say ‘Celtic’ - even Stevie ‘Mr’ Gerrard.
There is no panic from me despite this sluggish start to the season simply because.....it’s the start of the season. If this form continued and carried into December or January, then fine, I’d put my hands up and admit it’s a serious cause for concern and the reactionary tweeters who love having that big voice of theirs were more than justified.
After the Kilmarnock game, I wasn’t coming on ranting, raving and generally being a drama queen, because there’s plenty of other people that can do that better than me.
Letting the dust settle, I think Brendan Rodgers is still a very good manager, despite his major flaws, who will be able to galvanise that squad and take nine points out of nine in the next three league games, against Aberdeen(that’s already a win anyway), St Johnstone and Hibs.
In August 1994, the knives were out for Walter Smith and his Rangers side after they crashed out of the League cup to Falkirk, Europe to AEK Athens(them!) and lost to us in the first derby of the season. The broken badge patter was out, the ‘HUMILIATED’ headlines quickly drawn up by Keith Jackson and co and the Daily Record hotline callers demanded him out the door.
A few weeks later, they racked up the points en route to eventually winning their seventh league title in a row.
Even Ronny Deila’s Celtic team in 14/15 had a horrendous start to the campaign, and when Hamilton beat us 1-0 in October 2014, we slumped to sixth in the league, with many pressing the panic button. We would then go onto smash teams to win the title by a considerable margin.
I know in today’s social media age where individuals have thousands of followers, many can be easily influenced to listen to hyperbole and it has been a trend online for many years now, but screw the nut if you think Celtic won’t turn this around and be in a commanding position by the end of the year.
If we aren’t, I’ll admit I was wrong and don’t have a clue.