The reaction to a dip in recent form has been slightly hyperbolic since Saturday’s narrow victory over Motherwell and I think it’s time we took stock of where we are.
Celtic have lost just one domestic league match in their last 39, and that defeat at St Mirren before the international break came amidst a number of changes to the starting line up. Having had two weeks to ponder on that result, the Bhoys came back and won the game against Motherwell 2-1, ensuring our status as league leaders remains intact.
Alongside our two goals, Reo Hatate and Josip Juranovic both hit the woodwork, Kyogo missed an open goal, and McGregor and Jota passed up golden opportunities. Factor in that Motherwell’s goal was a freak error and suddenly it looks like the game could have been 5 or 6-0 on another day, which would not prompt the same panicked reaction.
Of course putting the ball in the back of the net is an important part of the game, but what I’m getting at is the performance isn’t that bad to merit the panic button being bashed. You simply cannot dismantle Dundee United 9-0 and theRangers 4-0 every single week.
At times there will be closer matches where victory will be hard earned. One should also remember that we are missing key personnel in the sense that Carter-Vickers has missed the last two fixtures, quite possibly our most important player and certainly the best defender at the club. His soon anticipated return, followed by the return of Carl Starfelt will significantly boost the team.
So let’s remain calm. We’ve been flying this season, battering teams domestically and dominating in Poland against Shaktar Donetsk. A vastly changed line up performed poorly in Paisley and then the Bhoys came back with a crucial win. One defeat in 39 domestic matches points to things moving in the right direction and with key players coming back from injury I’m sure we will step on the gas again soon.