It’s not been a good start to the new year has it?
Losing to the Ibrox Tribute Act, despite them not having a shot on target for the entire match, fans at each other’s throats, and a very poorly timed trip abroad while most of us are still stuck in the house thanks to the ongoing pandemic.
What next for Celtic, what next for Neil Lennon? Is there any way I can just go into suspended animation until 2022?
Since the answer to that third question is, unfortunately, a resounding no, let’s focus on the first two.
Celtic probably aren’t going to win the league this year. It’s still possible, but very unlikely. I believe Rangers will drop points soon, the cracks are there for all to see. However, I don’t see them losing three more games than we do before the end of the season, and that’s assuming we can beat them twice.
In some ways, had we been comprehensively beaten on Saturday it might actually have been easier to take. Generally, a loss hurts less if you know, deep down, that the better team won.
But I think we can all agree that clearly wasn’t the case on Saturday.
Brother Madden did his promotion chances at the local lodge no harm by letting Alfredo Morelos assault multiple Celtic players with impunity. Of course, the minute one of our players had a momentary lapse in judgement, he couldn’t reach for his red card fast enough. Yes, you could make a case for a red card, but it was marginal.
Unfortunately, the specific way this game played out means any substantial change in the next few weeks is highly unlikely. The board didn’t sack Neil Lennon after a run of two wins in ten games. I don’t see them sacking him now for losing a Glasgow Derby where we were, undoubtedly, the better team. He’ll probably walk at the end of the season, even if we do, by some miracle, come back to win this league.
Going the other way, knowing our board and how they operate, we could see key assets sold in January, now that the league appears beyond us. Expect bids to come in for the likes of Edouard, Ntcham, Ajer and Christie, with at least one, possibly two of them moving on.
Don’t expect any big incoming signings either. With Covid being what it is now, no one is going to want to move to a new country until this whole mess is under control. Recruiting from within Scotland is a non-starter, as I genuinely don’t see any players elsewhere in the country who, for the time being anyway, are good enough to come into the first team and make any kind of meaningful impact.
All we can do now is support the team when they play. By all means, continue to voice your displeasure about how all this is being handled off the pitch, and come the end of the season, demand that those who let the ten slip away are held accountable.
If could manage to put that mob from across town in their place twice more before the end of the season, that would be welcome too.
Let’s just rack up as many points as we can in what’s left of this season and see what happens. It would be an almighty upset, but in the bizarre world of football, stranger things have happened. Maybe, just maybe this isn’t over yet.