David Potter’s Ten Point Plan for Celtic’s Ten-in-a-Row Campaign

It is perhaps difficult this Sunday and Monday to be happy after what we saw on Saturday, but let us “accentuate the positives” (as they say in education) about Saturday’s horror.

An acquaintance of mine shouted at me from the other side of the street this morning. He seemed to be saying something about mud all over the strips – something like “We’re mucked”. I didn’t hear him correctly because of all the cars, but whatever it was he said, I can’t accept it.

We have an appalling performance yesterday of the like we have not seen for many years. But we are not finished. We must wash that game out of our system, get rid of any depression and fight back! Remember the following Ten Points…

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1. The League season is about a quarter gone. We have 28 League games left, including 3 against theRangers. That is surely ample time to get things right.

2. Apart from the League, there are another four competitions this season – two Scottish Cups (and we are in the semi-final of one of them), one Scottish League Cup (and we have won the past four of them!) and the Europa League (OK, our record in Europe is absolutely disgraceful, but you never know in these strange times which are affecting the whole continent). And although I have never believed that you can trade one tournament for another, a departure from Europe might not be a total disaster in the circumstances of this season.

3. The management and players now know that they are in a fight. There must be no shirking or slacking. Those who do not want to play for the club must now be named and, if they wish to go elsewhere, they should be accommodated in their desires. Someone apparently “leaked” the starting XI. Who was that?

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4. The management and players now know the depth of the feeling among the support about Saturday. They have only to have a quick skim through Celtic Noise if they don’t believe me. The unhappiness centres not so much on getting defeated (that happens sometimes) nor on the mistakes made (that also happens sometimes) but on the apparent resignation from early on in the second half to the fact that defeat was inevitable, the “giving up the ghost”, the passing of the ball across the field and even back to another defender. Even our old enemy Ally McCoist had never seen Celtic do that before! He was as mystified as anyone!

5. Michael Stewart on BBC Sportscene who usually talks a lot of sense, expatiated at length about field positions, strategies etc. A lot of that rang true, but the basic problem was that we didn’t get to the ball before theRangers did. We were not in their faces enough. We did not seem to WANT to win as much as theRangers did. Victory goes to those who want it.

6. If we recall it – and it seems now so long ago – we were in a similar position at the start of 2020, yet we emerged triumphant. And that was because we mopped up all the points against the other teams, whereas our opponents (who had been wished a Happy Blue Year by The Daily Record – remember that?) faltered and cracked – simply because we kept winning. Remember three points for beating Aberdeen or Livingston or St Johnstone are still three points. The League will not be won in the head to heads v theRangers, important as they are. It will be won in the other games.

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7. We have now put ourselves under a lot of pressure. But Celtic teams play better when they are under pressure, winning because they have to win. No more half-hearted performances like Saturday!

8. The fact that we have a game in hand and will soon have more need not be a problem. There will be plenty of time to play such games in the New Year, the time of year when Celtic traditionally play well, and, who knows, crowds may be allowed back by then? The important thing is not to lose any more, not to go further behind, and to stay in touch.

9. We must now regroup … and fight back!

10. Hopefully that comes along in May!

David Potter

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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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