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98 Minutes of Frustration at Celtic Park

27 August 2023

I described the performance last week against Kilmarnock as poor and the word frustration comes to mind after sitting through 98 minutes yesterday at Celtic Park. The highlight of last weeks game in Kilmarnock was my first visit to the Peter Scarf CSC club house in Linwood before and after the game.

The committee members who took over an unloved old work mans club have turned it into a bar and function suite that any CSC would be proud of. It is less than a 10 minute drive to Glasgow Airport and they run a 70 seater to Celtic Park for every home game.

Food for thought for Celtic fans flying in and out of Glasgow for games who are looking for an alternative to what Glasgow has to offer on matchday. I travelled to Killie away with them and was made very welcome by all the club members both on the bus and in the club house.

We were all expecting a positive response from the Celtic players after getting knocked out of the league cup in Kilmarnock but what we witnessed was a team who huffed and puffed against St. Johnstone who’s plan to park the bus worked well and they had a goalkeeper on form who gave an exhibition of time wasting.

Joe Hart showed why he is still the number 1 goalkeeper at Celtic with two great saves in a game where he was a spectator for most of the game with the exception of a few back passes which excites nobody.

Celtic had 19 corners and 18 of them were sent into the box for the keeper to catch or to be headed out to safety by their big defenders. On one occasion when Celtic played it short we had a half decent effort on goal.

We have no presence in the opposition box at set pieces so why are we not trying something different. Brendan Rodgers needs to address this on the training and quickly.

Rodgers has been very unlucky with injuries to key players and and we are missing the quality of some of the players who left in the summer. But that Celtic team yesterday need to take responsibility for frustrating every single Celtic fan in the stadium and that frustration turned to loud boos at full time.

Many fans had exited the stadium before the final minute and those who were left in the North Curve were vocal in their disapproval of Rodgers applauding the fans. This was always coming if things were not going well and the keyboard warriors were quick to call for Rodgers to be sacked and to call him a Rat.

Maybe people should just take some time to digest the game before reaching for their phones to criticise the manager and players. Fans are right to be critical of the last two performances and results but making it personal is cheap and offensive.

I’ll be honest I’m not looking forward to next Sunday. I hope Rodgers can come up with a plan to avoid defeat at Ibrox and that the players can lift themselves out of this performance slumber.

We will be watching the transfer window closely this week in the hope of getting some quality experienced players in. It’s a week where we will also find out who will be our Champions League opponents on Thursday.

Andrew Milne is Editor of More than 90 Minutes & Host of the Celtic Soul Podcast