After another groundhog day moment in the Champions League midweek, Celtic return to Celtic Park for league business against a Motherwell side who have just lost their best player to Celtic.
Three years on the trot and three years being knocked out of Europe’s premier competition in the qualifying rounds. Frankly its not good enough, given the opponents we have been beaten by, I have no doubt should we reach the Europa League group stage and come across Ferencvaros again we would beat them.
Its almost like the club don’t realise how difficult a task it is to qualify for the Champions League, it creeps up on them and by then its too late, we are knocked out.
Many have blamed Neil Lennon, he is certainly culpable with the decision to play with no recognised striker and taking an age to make any changes, the fact he has decided to start the season by abandoning the successful 3-5-2 formation we played with since Christmas also doesn’t add up. His statement afterwards was also inadvisable, certain players don’t want to be here and that the game was easier than he expected.
For me, this problem runs deeper, we have seen mixed European results by every manager and have only reached the Champions League group stage four times in the past ten years, I think its safe to say the fans, board and club are deluded if we truly believe Celtic are a Champions League club now.
Why do we never have the summer signings lined up, ready for pre season, get them used to the other players and have a better chance of qualifying. Do the club wait to see how far we make it in qualifying before going for top targets? Possibly. This needs to change, if we want to reach the Champions League.
For their part, Motherwell were in Europa League qualifying on Thursday and won 5-1 against Glentoran at Fir Park. Their league form hasn’t been great, three defeats and two draws. David Turnbull left The Steelman and finally joined Celtic, a year after he failed a medical with the hoops.
Can Celtic get back to some sort of form? Fingers crossed.
Mick Kane hails from Glasgow. He has been hooked on Celtic since he went to his first game when he was 7. Celtic beat Hamilton 8-3 at Celtic Park on the 3rd of January 1987. His favourite player at the time, Brian McClair scored four goals.
He started going regular as a 16 year old when Celtic played at Hampden for the season, being a Southsider it meant a short train journey to get to Hampden. From then he has had a season ticket travelled around Europe for games as Celtic became the dominant force in Scottish football again. A nice change from growing up during Rangers run to 9 in a row.
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