14 Sep A winter of discontent
You could almost set your watch to the exact time the hysteria would kick in following Aberdeen’s 2-1 victory over Celtic on Saturday.
Dons for the title followed by crisis at Celtic, I am surprised some tabloids didn’t opt for an early attempt at a cracked crest!
Now is not the time to pass judgement on this very ordinary Celtic side, a fair assessment would be January 31st 2016.
Over that period, Celtic will have played Aberdeen on a further two occasions and finished their Europa League campaign.
If the Dons are still out in front and Celtic have been disappointing in Europe, then we will all be assessing a new Celtic manager, a new striker and whether the current champions can catch the Dons in the run-in.
I am already hearing little whispers of discontent from the dressing room and with the impending return of Rangers next season, the heat is slowly being turned up on the Parkhead outfit.
They have the financial muscle to see off Aberdeen, of that I have no doubt, even with a £4m pre-tax loss.
However, the spin-fit champions are finding it tougher and tougher to dupe the better informed Celtic fans, who don’t like what they are watching in green and white.
Zonal marking is an abdication of responsibility for many a Celtic full-back and Boyata is starting to look like the long lost cousin of Olivier Tebily.
Celtic’s defence is why they are not playing Champions League football this season.
I don’t think the fans will be waiting much longer to see Jozo Simunovic at the heart of the defence.
The midfield needs to change and with Dundee, Raith and Hearts on the horizon, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to blood Scott Allan into the team and let the fans see why he was the top player in the championship last season.
Celtic should build their team around him, he goes forward, rather than sideways!
I am a little bemused as to why Kris Commons is so far out of the picture, at least he has a trick and can do something out of the ordinary.
Don’t bet on him hanging around if he’s still kicking his heels on the bench come the transfer window.
I wonder at what point the ‘Temu Pukki’ panic button gets pressed on Nadir Ciftci?
He’s only gone six games without looking like scoring.
There’s still time, yes?
I’d be amazed if Celtic managed a draw in Amsterdam against Ajax on Thursday, it would be a good start to the Europa League if they could get a point.
The Thursday and Sunday fixture list could be a real test of Celtic’s mettle this winter. If Aberdeen can maintain their impressive start to the season, their lack of European football could be a real advantage.
The longer the challenge, the better it is for our game, but Celtic will win in the end or Ronny’s roar will be a distant memory by January 31st, the day after Aberdeen meet Celtic at Pittodrie.