David Potter on why Celtic Must Win At Pittodrie – “Defeat would mean that the Manager’s position would be in jeopardy”

It is time to stop the rot. Celtic must win at Aberdeen. The League season, one feels, is teetering on the brink. It is of course nonsense to suggest that Celtic couldn’t win the League even if we lost at Pittodrie. There is, after all, an awful long time to go, and mathematics tell us that you can neither win nor lose a League in October.

But it is not as simple as all that. A defeat would mean that the Manager’s position would be in jeopardy. It would be three defeats in a row, and although I personally would want to keep Neil Lennon, an awful lot of people wouldn’t, and the pressure to sack him might become irresistible. This would be a disaster for this season, and the “Sack Lennon” brigade really have to ask themselves who they would replace him with, and would the new man have a magic wand?

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There is also psychology. Confidence and belief are all important. Another defeat would plunge us all into depression and pessimism, while giving further encouragement to the west of Glasgow and their allies in the media. All in all, it would be far better if we won at Pittodrie, and the problem didn’t arise!

Relationships between Celtic and Aberdeen have been distinctly unbalanced and one-sided these past 20 years. Those who believe that “all good things must come to an end” will think that Aberdeen must start beating Celtic soon. The good news about that one is that there is no such law of probability or inevitability. Celtic have beaten Aberdeen repeatedly because they have played better. If they play better at Pittodrie (and indeed Hampden next week) they will win again.

Arguments are raging about the best team and the best formation. The formation argument is less important than getting the best men available on the park. The one thing that was so obviously lacking last week against Rangers was “fight”. It was not that men were in the wrong places; it was that they did not challenge and tackle. We are still waiting for answers as to why that was the case. They can apologise for that by winning against the Dons. But they will only do so, if they get off to a good start and show who is the Boss at an early stage. Otherwise I fear for Celtic FC this season.

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There are some players who must be under the microscope if they are playing – Elyounoussi, Ntcham, Duffy, Barkas and much as one hates to admit it, Scott Brown – they all spring to mind, and they must produce the goods. There must be goals, shooting from a distance if necessary. Crosses must be accurate. I hate the idea that Jeremie Frimpong has reached the limits of his ability. Let’s see how good you are, Jeremie!

Team selection? I want to see Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths on from the start, and I would prefer Greg Taylor at full back

But most of all, I want to see a recognisable Celtic performance. We have Aberdeen again in a week’s time in what is arguably a more important game, but let’s just deal with this one first. Europe is of lesser importance. We must win our Scottish games.

David Potter

On this Day in 2017 Celtic win 3-0 at Pittodrie – a repeat today would do nicely Bhoys! “This was the game we were supposed to lose. Nobody gave us a chance. This should be all the motivation needed for today,” @CelticLisboaa points out…

About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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