Too scared to win it?

By Wee Lubo

Well I’ve started this post 3 times now as I’m not really sure where to start, so maybe just start at the start! From the first whistle to the last we just never turned up. There was a nervousness about us tonight that seemed to be uncharacteristic of this Celtic side in Europe this season although if I can just take you back to the opening group game this season against Benfica, the game finished 0-0 and most fans left Celtic Park somewhat satisfied as we hadn’t been turned over by a classy Benfica side who had reached the semi finals the previous year whereas ten of our side that night were making their Champions League debut. However before the game tonight I stated that after looking back at that game the thing that struck me most was that as I said at the time Benfica were there for the takin that night and maybe, just maybe our young team were more concerned about not making a pigs ear of it on their debut but instead were more content not to get beat. That is not a criticism.

I myself left Parkhead that night content we hadn’t been embarrassed by a well drilled and seasoned Benfica team who were unlucky not to get to the final the year before. What I mean is, looking back at the first game it seemed to me we were to scared to win the game, instead, contenting ourselves with not getting beat. The same thing struck me tonight. Right from the start of the game we looked shaky and nervous and it showed when we conceded an early away goal like the Celtic of old, we seemed to be hanging on until the enigma nodded in yet another vital European goal and for ten minutes we pinged the ball about, every player in sync looking like we had finally clicked.

Second half we again looked like we were rabbits caught in headlights for the entire half, no composure anywhere on the park. I think the occasion got the better of our young team, I think the reality of what they COULD have achieved tonight got the better of them. Again this is not a criticism, we ARE a young team, we WILL, make mistakes but I’ve seen enough in this side to know, and believe that they can respond to disappointment and defeat, they will know tonight they let themselves down and will be eager to make amends when the Russians come to town, I for one can’t wait to be part of another special night at Celtic Park and I hope you are too. Don’t be to hard on the Bhoys tonight they will be hurting like me and you, and they will be itching to put it right against Spartak, so lets look forward to that and give them all the backing they deserve as no one would have dreamed we would be in this position when the group was drawn.

Weelubo

Comments

  1. WL

    Whew! I have to say that at first I thought you were going to lambaste Lennon and the team last night. Thankfully, like most bloggers I have read this morning, you turned it round saying we perhaps should be grateful for what we have received so far. In the past we would have been scraping around under the table in the hope of some dropped crumbs, like a team being disqualified, for example.

    I have not seen the game yet as I am trying to convince myself I should watch it. I simply detest watching Celtic being beaten – by anybody. I listened to it on Celtic TV and I have to admit that even on audio it sounded as though the team had been fed on nerve potions prior to the game. I guess you are correct to say “we ARE a young team, we WILL, make mistakes” and growing in confidence may be part of the growing up. It is amazing how they could be so unsure of themselves after such a victory just two weeks ago. Maybe adrenalin has a lot to answer for. I have mentioned elsewhere that the management and the team are a work in progress and even once the job is complete there will be stumbling blocks that will tend to knock the heart out of them. Last night was one but, as you so wisely pointed out, the learning and shaping that should result from these mishaps are much more valuable than an easy ride to the top. The climb up the mountain may be strenuous and it may be the summit will not be reached ever but that should not stop the climbers nor the onlookers enjoying the climb. So far, the climb has been one of the best. We should be “lapping it up” and storing memories to enjoy in old age – mmm, what in God’s name am I going on about. I have been doing that for quite some years now :>).

    Thanks for your thoughts, WL. As always on this site, a very good read and from the heart as usual. Let us all enjoy what is left of the journey and accept the destination that fate brings to us – WEMBLEY!!

    H H

  2. WL

    Whew! I have to say that at first I thought you were going to lambaste Lennon and the team last night. Thankfully, like most bloggers I have read this morning, you turned it round saying we perhaps should be grateful for what we have received so far. In the past we would have been scraping around under the table in the hope of some dropped crumbs, like a team being disqualified, for example.

    I have not seen the game yet as I am trying to convince myself I should watch it. I simply detest watching Celtic being beaten – by anybody. I listened to it on Celtic TV and I have to admit that even on audio it sounded as though the team had been fed on nerve potions prior to the game. I guess you are correct to say “we ARE a young team, we WILL, make mistakes” and growing in confidence may be part of the growing up. It is amazing how they could be so unsure of themselves after such a victory just two weeks ago. Maybe adrenalin has a lot to answer for. I have mentioned elsewhere that the management and the team are a work in progress and even once the job is complete there will be stumbling blocks that will tend to knock the heart out of them. Last night was one but, as you so wisely pointed out, the learning and shaping that should result from these mishaps are much more valuable than an easy ride to the top. The climb up the mountain may be strenuous and it may be the summit will not be reached ever but that should not stop the climbers nor the onlookers enjoying the climb. So far, the climb has been one of the best. We should be “lapping it up” and storing memories to enjoy in old age – mmm, what in God’s name am I going on about. I have been doing that for quite some years now :>).

    Thanks for your thoughts, WL. As always on this site, a very good read and from the heart as usual. Let us all enjoy what is left of the journey and accept the destination that fate brings to us – WEMBLEY!!

    H H

  3. Last night a rock rolled down the mountain. It hit us on the head, but it never knocked us off! Onwards and upwards Celtic, with 60,000 sherpas cheering you on. HH

  4. Last night a rock rolled down the mountain. It hit us on the head, but it never knocked us off! Onwards and upwards Celtic, with 60,000 sherpas cheering you on. HH

  5. WL….That sums it up perfectly for me although I think there is more to come from this young Celtic team this season.

    Last nights performance was not what these players expect from themselves as a solid, cohesive unit. They will be smarting privately that they let each other down, however it will be discussed, dissected and ironed out in team talks…they will deal with it and move on, the Celtic way.

    I think that the Game 6 will see wave after wave of Celtic pressure, confidence and goals……..fasten your seat belt for that one!

  6. WL….That sums it up perfectly for me although I think there is more to come from this young Celtic team this season.

    Last nights performance was not what these players expect from themselves as a solid, cohesive unit. They will be smarting privately that they let each other down, however it will be discussed, dissected and ironed out in team talks…they will deal with it and move on, the Celtic way.

    I think that the Game 6 will see wave after wave of Celtic pressure, confidence and goals……..fasten your seat belt for that one!

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