Thursday’s result isn’t as important as domestic football, just give us a performance and enthusiasm

Celtic are never going to win the Europa League this season, but we can win the quadruple treble and ten in a row, therefore for this campaign, you’d have to say that Europe isn’t as important as domestic football.

AC Milan are top of Serie A and have a huge budget compared to us, they’re epxected to win. A good result could be the springboard to greater success and it’s always nice to win, but with our current predicament the main thing that fans want to see is a decent performance and some enthusiasm.

We have been poor most of the season. Late goals at Tannadice, McDiarmid Park and Riga glossed over bad performances, whilst we were less than impressive in our 2-1 win against St Mirren. Our play has been slow, laboured and lacking in creativity. We’ve adopted a bizarre 3-5-1-1 formation, that leaves us open at the back and yet not much of a threat going forward with only one striker.

The players have lacked enthusiasm, the manager said those who don’t want to be here should leave but then nobody was sold. This all culminated in an average Rangers team cruising to victory over us in first gear. Not one of their players actually played well, they just have an identity, settled side and shape and that was enough to beat a team that has no style of play and an ever changing line up.

We have by far the best players in Scotland but the system isn’t working and the players don’t seem up for it. Thursday night is an opportunity to create a turning point. The pressure is off in terms of the result, fans just want to see a cohesive team, show effort, desire and play with purpose.

Ditch this 3-5-1-1 nonsense, get a back four and let’s push on. This is the arena in which Lennon excels, up against superior oppsition, whereby we can be tough to beat. A good performance can help us turn a corner and hopefully four at the back is maintained for our domestic campaign. In the SPFL we dominate possession so we can still have two strikers with four at the back quite comfortably. We can always adopt the 4-5-1 for the extra man in midfield if need be, but most weeks we are capable and dominant enough to play 4-4-2 with Griffiths and Edouard up front.

Fans are deflated right now and frustrated at the perceived inept tactical decisions being made in the dugout.

Thursday night is the chance to go to a back four, pick players in their best positions face strong opposition whilst demonstrating some enjoyment of playing for Celtic. This should be the beginning of selecting a settled side as much as possible, finding a suitable shape and building a well drilled approach, which is currently what is separating us from Rangers. A win is a bonus, but we are owed a performance, which can only bode well for a must win game at Pittodrie on the weekend.

Liam Kelly

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About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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