The Men Who Lost the Ten: “Players have taken their foot off the gas, taken their eye off the ball,” says former Celtic Captain

A former Celtic captain has told the current Celtic squad that they owe the supporters a victory tomorrow at Ibrox after failing to grasp the significance of the Ten-in-a-Row target.  And Paul Lambert reckons that the players selected tomorrow by Interim Manager John Kennedy had better make it fifth time lucky against theRangers this season if they re to salvage any sort of self-respect from a campaign where they have failed collectively and individually.  It’s hard to disagree with a word that Lambert has had to say to Sky Sports.

Photo by Stuart Wallace

And Lambert reckons that the Celtic players should be grateful that there will be no supporters there tomorrow. “They’re lucky there’s no fans there. if this was 50,000 Rangers fans going to Ibrox, they’d be coming in party mode, they’re probably thankful there’s no support there,” the former Celtic captain said.

“A win makes no difference, all it’s going to be is ‘we’ve beaten (the)Rangers in a season’. That’s all it’s going to be. it’s not going to rectify the league, but it might give the Celtic fans something back.

“I think they have missed the support. Players have taken their foot off the gas, taken their eye off the ball, thinking ‘well we’re just going to get Ten-in-a-Row, it’s going to be easy’.

Photo: Andrew Milligan

(the)Rangers have stepped up to the plate. Celtic haven’t performed in the games they should’ve done. I certainly think the Celtic support’s been a big loss to them,” was Lambert’s assessment of this sorry season for his old club.

There’s obviously more to it that just missing the fans, although it’s fair to say that the support would have certainly made a difference and the depths of levels of performances fallen to would never have been tolerated. Davie Provan made a good point yesterday about too many playing for themselves, working with their agents for a move and there is no doubt the over-reliance on loan players has had a major negative impact, especially as the huge wages some of these guys are lifting has caused disharmony among the club’s lower paid players, many of whom reckon that they’ve contributed much more to the club.

Photo by Stuart Wallace

And of course when it wasn’t working – and by the time we lost to Sparta Prague Reserves at Celtic Park – everyone but the Celtic Board could see that it was time for a change – nothing was done. There and then the ten was lost. Hell, we still don’t have a manager with an Interim boss taking charge against theRangers for the third time tomorrow.

And since money has been mentioned it’s worth reminding anyone from the club reading this that near on 60,000 Celtic Supporters pitched up with full price season tickets last summer – with little or no expectation of seeing much football, if any. You tell us of a support of any other club that can match that sort of commitment?

Photo by Stuart Wallace

So Paul Lambert is correct, tomorrow is about the players playing for those 60,000 fans who funded the club through a global pandemic only to see the project that was a decade in the making squandered. You owe us a performance and a victory Celtic and tomorrow is the last chance to salvage some sort of self-respect for yourselves.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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