I've done a lot of thinking about Celtic since last Thursday's game against Valencia. Before the game I had no confidence at all in us getting any kind of result primarily because, right now, we are not good enough. Quite frankly the sight of Emilio Izaguirre alone, a player past his best two years ago, was enough to put the tin hat on any aspirations we had of winning the game.
What I have been thinking about a lot is what are our actual aspirations, as a club, in Europe now? We have taken some serious gubbings in Europe since Brendan Rodgers took over the club and in all honesty I've not seen a single thing done to try and address this. The signings we are making seem to be designed, almost exclusively, with a view to being sold on for a profit in a couple of seasons. Similarly, the loan deals we have done (and I am a huge of fan of Weah) don't suggest any kind of long-term strategy.
So what are we doing?
I'll lay my cards on the table right now. As a 44 year old fan, my be all and end all right now is 10 in a row. For those of us who had to live through Rangers (IL) cheating their way through the entire era of David Murray, it means everything to first win another nine in a row then win 10 in a row. Honestly. I will die happy if this happens. That's why I am not overly-critical of any performance we make in Europe as I know what matters most to me right now.
Do the club feel the same?
I have no idea. The last time I saw Peter Lawwell (about 18 months ago) I asked him if he would be staying around for 10 in a row and he looked at me as if I had just asked him if I could take over the reins of the club for the remainder of the season.
I know it is a pretty blinkered view to essentially not give a shit about Europe for the next two years but that's where I am and there's nout to be gained from bullshitting you.
The other factor is, of course, Brendan Rodgers. There seems to be acceptance among some that this will be his last season. Now, I know the relationship between him and Lawwell isn't exactly tickety boo but I am struggling to envisage any scenario that sees him win the league this season and then be allowed to walk away before a crack at 9 and 10 short of the board telling him they won't back him.
A lot of Celtic infuriates me. I don't like the tourist road the marketing department are speeding down, I don't like the archaic way the ticket office is run and I hate the way a lot of employees use Celtic to gain personal perks.
With that being said, I am essentially holding my tongue on all these matters for the reasons outlined earlier in this blog.
However, I would like a heads up every now and again from the club as to where we are going (I genuinely can't remember the last time Peter Lawwell properly addressed the support) because it does seem like as our CEO advances his own career as European level, the club slides further away.