After an edgy last few minutes Celtic took the three points at Dens Park against a dogged Dundee.Sometimes it is enough to get the three points and get out of Dodge ( or Dens) and that is precisely what occurred last night.
We edge ever closer to the title but it is fair to say we are not getting there with the style and swagger that we all anticipated after the Winter break. Up until then Celtic had been playing three games a week between European commitments and other games. We had anticipated that Celtic would return refreshed and raring to go and were looking forward to seeing some vintage, champagne football. We had our appetites whetted after a scintillating second half at Ibrox Park when Sevco were repeatedly sliced open as chance after chance was created.
I am not being churlish here as the domestic season continues without defeat and a domestic treble is still very much ours for the taking, however it is my view that we have not height the heights I had hoped for.
My biggest concern is our first half performances. Of late we have appeared sluggish and pedestrian in the first halves of recent games and our forwards are not getting the chances they were getting prior to New Year. Yes Moussa and Scotty have banged a few goals in but for long periods of games we are not making goalkeepers work for their money.I think the last complete performance was ICT away.
Last night was a case in point. It took until nearly half time for us to seriously threaten the Dundee goal and when we did it was due to two efforts from our central defenders, the latter effort a goal from Jozo.
I did not think that wee Jamesy had a super game overall but crucially he was the difference between the two sides. His cross for Jozo to score was good but his delivery for the second goal was sublime. The wee man raced down the outside and pinged a perfect cross for the ever willing Stuart Armstrong to flash a header home.
Dundee scored a magnificent effort when their sub turned Dedryck and raced forward before smashing a shot high past Craig. Brendan showed he was pragmatic with the removal of Scotty and the introduction of big Erik to shore up the defence. This did the job and the three points were winging their way to Paradise.
The team worked as hard as ever but a wee bit of sparkle is missing at the moment.
Moussa was off the boil again and this should be expected as he is just a kid and it is very difficult to remain at the top of your game for a season. He seemed to pick up a wee knock and finished the end of the game injured. He could do with a wee rest.
A big criticism of BEIN Sports last night. At half time they had Old Firm Highlights. I thought we would be seeing some epic games against the old Rangers and you can imagine my shock when it was this season’s games against Sevco. Hardly Old Firm, a term that died in 2012.
I hate International breaks and can only hope our players come back to Celtic Park unscathed and we can get this title wrapped up as soon as possible.
Hopefully Tom Rogic will be returning for the tail end of the season. We have missed his creativity and ability to shoot from outside the box. When the big Aussie plays we look a more dangerous team. Big thanks to Tom and Brad from Canberra for arranging for the signed Celtic top.I know the team must get continually approached to sign stuff and it is really appreciated.It will be framed and is now a precious memento in our household.