In the summer, after the transfer window had ended, I applauded the club for the turnaround in players. The Hoops began the rebuild with Ange, seeing 11 players coming in the door. That’s a lot of players and many fans were satisfied the club had backed the manager as well as they could have in the summer.
I thought the turnover of players and the new faces in were great, but I bemoaned the clear lack of squad depth. When I put these thoughts out onto Twitter, I was quickly told to behave and ‘what else did I want?’…Squad depth, that’s what we needed and still do.
Being branded with the ‘some fans are never happy’ moniker after my comments left me hoping I would be eating my words and that the supporters who were happy would have the last laugh on me.
If the winter break began on Sunday, they might have just about squeezed their point of view in.
Sadly, the game at St Mirren was the jumping-off point for a team running on fumes. It was very clear Ange was coming into the club to play high-intensity football. There was always going to be injuries, not to the extent we now see, but there was always going to be scope for some major call-offs.
In Paisley, we started with Moffat, Abada and Johnston as our front three. Two of these men would struggle to make the bench in a fully fit squad and that front three is a far cry from Jota, Kyogo and Forrest [Abada in his natural position].
Had Celtic been at full strength or even close to full strength, I have no doubt they would have beaten St Mirren. The Bhoys still had chances in the game to win but the quality and composure weren’t there.
It was prevalent after the Bayer Leverkusen away game, the chasm in quality between our first team players and our fringe bhoys is wide. The game in Paisley only backed up that assertion.
In any other window, 11 players would have been more than enough. Given the club had mismanaged our playing staff to the point this kind of turnover was needed at an absolute minimum says a lot.
Our slow start in the league and the two defeats to Hearts are Livingston are the games that have effectively put us six points behind our rivals.
The board must ensure Ange gets what he wants this January. All eyes are on the St Johnstone game, it’s a must-win for Celtic against a side who know who to stifle attacking creativity.
We must regroup and refocus. We have a cup in the bag and we’re far from down and out.