Celtic’s late draw at Motherwell was always coming and the failures were glaring.
As soon as the team was released, fans’ hearts were in mouths at the various changes. Not a reserve team by any means, but it was an interruption to the recent rhythm.
Fortunately, Jonny Hayes showed he has a place at Celtic but Cristian Gamboa proved he doesn’t.
Celts punished for chopping
Brendan Rodgers will now know himself that he shouldn’t have made as many changes as he did.
The team were very sloppy in possession throughout as a makeshift XI were flung together.
Game-changers such as Tom Rogic and Odsonne Edouard were dearly missed from the start.
Olivier Ntcham’s bizarre starting position at wide left also left a lot to be desired.
Gamboa must be finished at Celtic
Above all Gamboa confirmed he is far off being a player at Parkhead.
Consistently losing the ball in the first half and failure to track back when losing possession is just poor for someone in his position.
The Costa Rican may have slipped through the net had The Bhoys won but he was to blame for the late equaliser.
Gamboa’s failure to clear his lines on more than a few occasions allowed Danny Johnson in on goal.
This is one performance too many for the in and out right-back. We must strengthen in January.
Penalty practice required
If there is one thing the team must get right, it’s spot kicks.
Two matches in a row has seen both Scott Sinclair and Leigh Griffiths be denied by the goalkeeper.
Rodgers trusts his life with the Englishman’s spot kicks but couldn’t take last night’s due to being on the bench.
Griffiths perhaps wasn’t the best player to take due to a return after a tough spell. Perhaps Scott Brown should take the captain’s role and return to penalty taking.
It wasn’t all bad
There were some positives to take from the game which would be hyped up had the Celts held on.
Additionally, Ryan Christie went on to score yet another important goal.
Both players have made their cases to extend their stays in the first team.
Celtic must win against Kilmarnock
Saturday’s match at Parkhead is now even bigger than it was going to be.
Steve Clarke’s side are top of the Premiership going into the game but Celtic have two games in hand. A Killie victory would create clear space between the two sides – a frightening prospect.
Rangers’ failure at home to Aberdeen opened the race for top right up.
Rodgers must make sure his team are up for what will be a massive challenge.