Kilmarnock 0-1 Celtic, Motherwell 2-1 Aberdeen. Ronny summed up today better than I ever could… “Fucking yeah!”
We don’t need to kid ourselves on though, Celtic were dreadful (again). Performance-wise it was up there with the worst in a long list of drab displays this season. But we saw something today that has not been apparent for a number of month’s now, we saw some passion.
The importance of hunger, desire and unity cannot be undermined in this title race. Aberdeen have had it in abundance this season, and up until now, we have not. Did we display a win-at-all-costs mentality throughout the game today? Simply, no. To use my buzz word of the year, we were passive once again. Of course we tried to win the match, but there wasn’t the energy and drive of a team desperate to fight and win for each other.
Tom Rogic’s last minute screamer, and the ensuing celebrations could be the catalyst we have been waiting for in this disappointing season. There was jubilation in the stands; fans and players connecting at long last, and the manager showed he still has some fire in his belly.
In my last post I highlighted our lack of scoring late winning-goals throughout 15/16. Aside from a stirring display of attacking football, these are the moments which supporters remember most. Today’s goal was huge. I truly believe it saved Ronny Deila his job (had we drawn at Rugby Park and Aberdeen gone on to beat Motherwell, that surely would have been goodnight Ronny). The team selection was uninspiring, the performance was lacklustre, and my belief in us securing our 5th league title in a row was waning. But nothing does euphoria quite like a last minute winner, and a goal of the season contender at that.
During the match I considered Ronny Deila’s and my own rationale. If insanity is doing same thing over and over again and expecting different results, I’m not sure who is more insane: Ronny, for picking the same player’s time and again, or me, for watching those same player’s and clinging on to hope of an improvement in their play.
I say it time and again, but the players who aren’t giving their all for the manager need to be ditched. Whether he is the right man for the job long term or not is irrelevant. Right now our focuses need to be on winning football matches. It’s Ronny’s call who pulls on the shirt each week, and he’s going to have to learn to identify those not willing to fight for him, very quickly.
The likelihood is there will be changes in the summer, hopefully these will go beyond the management and coaching staff. But for now we are 4 points clear in the league (with a game in hand), and have a Semi-Final of the Scottish Cup to win.
It is time for that rallying battle cry now, Ronny. Celtic must ride today’s wave of good-feeling, these are the moments you can use to inspire; roll out the clichés about Celtic’s win being the sign of champions, laud the passion of the supporters. We need momentum, belief and desire, and today is the best place to start.
Whatever your thoughts are about the current management, you get the feeling it may be down to the influence of the fans to drive Celtic on in this title race. You’ve got two weeks off to get your voices back after today… Let’s hear you against Hearts.