CHARLIE NICHOLAS has been more measured in his critique of Celtic this week in his express column. Instead of criticising for the sake of it, and indulging in hyperbole, the former Sky Sports pundit has cited issues with the team which nobody could really argue.
Alarm bells are ringing at Celtic but some context must remain that they would only be three points behind their city rivals should they win their game in hand.
However, recent form and performances haven’t been up to standard, even when we do manage to get a result.
With the fixture list piling on the pressure, Celtic haven’t got much time to regroup and it’s up to Neil Lennon to work on the fly.
Nicholas believes there will be a lack of trust between the manager and some of his players right now. Neil knows he will be the one who pays the ultimate price if results don’t go our way.
Charlie also cites Duffy as a player who was never suited to Celtic’s system and wonders why Neil Lennon and the club pursued the deal.
“The biggest threat to Celtic’s charge for Ten In A Row is themselves.” Nicholas told the express as cited by SunSport.
“They are on the edge. It is not so much a case of worrying about the challenge of Rangers, but more about their own form.
“They need to sort themselves out before they even consider what is happening across the other side of the city.
“Celtic are in a hugely dangerous position.
“Celtic are in the midst of a run of games in which they are vulnerable and look stretched to the limit. They are on shaky ground.
“Lennon was brought back to the helm because the club knew their squad was the strongest in the country and he would guide them to success.
“The manager insists there is no panic but if they lose to Lille in the Europa League on Thursday and get knocked out of the Scottish Cup – killing their hopes of a fourth successive treble in the process – then it would transform the whole outlook of the season.
“That would put things under serious review, and I’m not referring to Lennon’s job.
“I mean, who is the manager going to trust in terms of his players and the formation he deploys?
“There is a long way to go in the title race.
“This is not the time to hit the panic button, but Lennon has a lot of pressure on him because there are five or six players in his starting line-up who aren’t doing the business.”
“Shane Duffy is one of them. He looks lost in a back three.
“This was a guy who was signed as a big, physical presence who would bully strikers.
“However, Celtic don’t need a bullying centre-half – they need a ballplaying one.“