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March 19, 2012Posted by on
Yesterday should have been the start of a treble for Celtic and Neil Lennon, but the team put in a dire performance against Kilmarnock. Why did this happen? In my opinion it’s all because of attitude.
It can be said that in the last couple of weeks Celtic’s performances have started to slacken off. It’s understandable in a way as the league is virtually won, but that doesn’t excuse the performance of yesterday. The players seemed to have a sluggish attitude from the off, exemplified by Gary Hooper’s miss in the first five minutes, which seemed to affect his contribution to the whole game, which was negligible. The midfield, which is typically Celtic’s strongest department went missing, and the defence were not up to standard, as Kelvin Wilson’s efforts in trying to defend Killie’s goal. In fact the only player who can be exempt from criticism is Fraser Foster. The players, in my opinion, seemed to take Kilmarnock lightly, they believed the hype which has built up around this team in their admittedly very impressive unbeaten run. It was always risky to take this Kilmarnock side lightly and so it proved, as they created as many clear-cut chances as Celtic and it can arguably be said deserved their win. The team selection was also a mistake, as Samaras – who has probably been in the best form of his Celtic career – was on the bench (and brought on far too late) and the fatigued James Forrest was thrown up front in a desperate attempt to get a job. So from the players and management the game was a collective failure, one which will hopefully be put right this weekend.
The other attitude problem, and I know some people might not like this – was from the supporters. The Celtic fans – to an extent understandably – have been pre-occupied with impending demise of our closest rivals. In fact during the game yesterday the people behind me seemed to spend more time discussing Rangers then concentrating on the game. People seemed to be distracted by this and take victory for granted – and as a result the atmosphere yesterday was generally flat. I know these things shouldn’t matter, but perhaps some more encouragement from the fans would have pushed us over the line. Another thing which slightly disappointed me – and I know a certain contributor to Celtic Underground agrees with me – is the way that people reacted to the defeat by claiming it doesn’t matter, it’s only the league cup, Killie deserved to win etc. That doesn’t wash with me I’m afraid. This Celtic team have underachieved badly recently, and yesterday would have been the perfect opportunity to put that right. If the players, fans and management get the attitude right for next week then perhaps we can have one of the most memorable days in our history.