Sunday, October 18, 2020

The Celtic List

There's a new novel by John Niven called The Fuck-It List. The premise is that it's America in 2026. Donald Trump was President for eight years and now his daughter, Ivanka, has taken over. Frank Brill, the main protagonist, has found out he has cancer and refuses all treatment, instead writing a list of people he intends to kill before he dies. Not that I am saying we are at the point (although judging by Social Media, I'm sure I'm on a few folk's lists) but it's worth exploring why we ended up with that clusterfuck at Celtic Park yesterday.

We were feeling good. Kindae. In the midst of a global pandemic, we were declared champions for the ninth time in succession. I was brought up with tales of our first nine in a row and it felt sweet now to have my own. Celtic announced an online celebration of sorts. I was working that day and only saw it on repeat but I had a message in my Twitter DM from a good friend, Paul, whose opinions on Celtic I have a lot of time for and he was saying he didn't feel it was appropriate for Celtic to have an online party whilst people were dying every day. I don't know if my mind went further than watching it, enjoying most of it, with a few beers. 

Then came the realisation that Celtic were sticking with the season ticket price increase. I thought that was wrong. Admittedly, they thought we would have fans back by September, but the realisation has crept in that fans won't be back any time soon. The club said they would add value to season tickets and this has consisted of an ability to watch all home league games, some European games (unfortunately) a digital programme emailed out and the chance to hear the likes of Gordon Strachan and John Hartson preview and analyse games. 

This came with a backdrop of a season ticket refund for games we didn't get last season being as easy to get as a flu vaccine right now (I'm speaking from experience on the flu vaccine thing) which left a bad taste some people's mouth and threats to murder those who took a refund from others.

On the park things haven't been much better. Damien Duff left the club and John Kennedy wanted to leave the club (For Dundee Utd) whilst Neil Lennon wanted Tommy Johnson and got Gavin Strachan.

The Leigh Griffiths fiasco erupted, with Neil Lennon the volcano, and he was banished from the pre-season tour of France with the manager telling us Leigh wasn't fit enough (something he repeated about the player yesterday-three months on)

Then came the football itself.

A half decent performance against Hibs apart, the rest of the season has not been of the standard that we normally set. Games at Rugby Park and Tannadice were very average whilst the performance at McDiarmid Park would have seen a Mowbray or Deila hung, drawn and quartered. Ferencvaros was the same movie we see at least once, often twice, a season.

Then came Saturday.

Lenny eviscerated the players after Ferencvaros and you wonder if some have got over it. It looked then, for all the world, that a few players would be out the door but none of them went. Missing six players on Saturday, we were always going to be up against it but I think the level of ineptitude coupled the complete lack of urgency, shocked even the most hardcore of supporters.

Where now?

I think Neil Lennon's time may be up. (I'm about 80% on that) I'm not sure if he has lost the ability to motivate the players or they simply don't like him any more but the harsh reality is we can't get rid of unhappy players this side of January, so something has to give. It pains me to say because I love Neil Lennon and what he has had to go through to be first a Celtic player, then coach, then manager should never be forgotten but right now we have history to make and however bad you feel now will be nothing compared to how you'll feel if we don't make that history.

You may even start your own Fuck-It list.

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