For such a long time, it looked like a 0-0 draw, so overall maybe 1-1 was fair, but how annoying it was to go down so late, and one fears that Conor Hazard has had his one moment of glory in the Scottish Cup final. That was dreadful goalkeeping and weak defending from Shane Duffy, when I was all prepared to give him the benefit of a good report tonight!
It was not a great night for Celtic on the park (let alone what happened off the park, which will continue for some time, I fear) but there were a few things to be happy about – David Turnbull’s free kick, the performance of Stephen Welsh spring to mind – but so many players were disappointing,
Mikey Johnston particularly so and the young lads all visibly tired near the end. It was good to see them getting a game, and I certainly feel that I would like to see a little more from Karamoko Dembele. But basically, we need to have a centre forward – and tonight, all four were missing. And some of the more experienced players like Callum McGregor and Ismaila Soro were less than 100% tonight – but then again the last few days have not done them any good either.
It all, of course, goes back to Dubai and the sheer folly of it all – but the people that have suffered the most from it are Celtic themselves. The pressure on the Executive and the Management is hardly likely to ease as a result of all this. The rest of the season promises to be a nightmare, one feels, with even the Scottish Cup, the only target left to us, now in some uncertainty as it will now be some time before we know who our 1st round opponents are likely to be. It has not been a great day!
But the thing to remember is that we are still Celtic. We still have a past and a future, even if there is little going on in the present. This season is probably a write-off, but it is not unreasonable to believe that next season can be better. There clearly have to be and there will be changes, but we still have to retain the faith that things have to improve. Gavin Strachan came across quite well, and I hope that there will be some sort of a slot for him in the future set-up.
We cannot really blame the pandemic, which has affected everyone else as well, but why is it that we have not coped with it nearly as well as other teams?