Florian Kamberi's admission shows how far Celtic have dropped
Celtic’s standards have dropped this season, and Florian Kamberi’s admittance after yesterday’s game shows it.
After downing Brendan Rodgers’ men with a stunning finish in a 2-0 success for Hibs, Kamberi said Celtic aren’t a team to fear. Claiming the title-race was wide open, the Swiss forward stated nobody should be scared of Rodgers’ side.
It was yet another sucker punch to the Hoops, who were dreadful at Easter Road. Despite going into the game on a high after qualifying for the last-32 of the Europa League, Celtic were flat.
Dominated and harried by Hibs’ midfield, Celtic couldn’t grow into the game. It was one of the easier wins Hibs will have all season, and Kamberi rubbed salt in the wounds.
“If you look at them as a club, team and players, Celtic are of course the favourites to win the league.
“But being favourite doesn’t mean anything – it’s the performance on the pitch that is relevant.
“If you look at past years and how Celtic were then they are definitely the favourites – but nobody has to be scared of them.”
Damning indictment of standard drop
Players and managers had, in recent years, been open to admitting the fact that Celtic were too good for their sides. Admitting fear-factors had returned for many Premiership sides, Celtic built up a fearful reputation under Rodgers.
That may still be the case at Celtic Park. Away from home, however? Not a chance, and it’s just a by-product of how poorly the Hoops have performed outside of Glasgow.
Out of their nine away games in the league so far, Celtic have won just three of them. Hibs join Kilmarnock, Hearts, Livingston, St Mirren, and Motherwell in taking points off of Rodgers’ side this season.
It’s by no means a disaster, however. Whilst the fear-factor is gone, Celtic are still in a fairly healthy situation overall. The Betfred Cup is already in the bag for a third consecutive year. Meanwhile, the Hoops still have a game in hand to go top of the Premiership and have progressed to the last-32 of the Europa League.
In terms of their reputation, however, nobody is fearing them anymore. Kamberi’s words only echo what many other players around Scotland will be thinking.
Celtic need to bring that back, and the only way to do that will be through better form.