John Hartson has given the media a reality check

By David Walton

September 26, 2018

John Hartson’s comments on Celtic has given the media a dose of reality.

Celtic have lost two of their opening six games in the Premiership this season, winning just three. It’s led to them sitting in sixth place in the table, with the likes of Hearts, Rangers, and Livingston ahead of them.

This has been combined with elimination from the Champions League, before making hard work of Suduva in the Europa League play-off round. It’s certainly not been the start everyone hoped or expected this season.

John Hartson was highly-successful during his Parkhead days (Chris Lee/Getty Images)

Much criticism has now come the way of the Hoops and Brendan Rodgers. Calls that it’s a crisis have been sweeping fans forums and the media recently.

Hartson has now moved to give his piece on how things are going at Parkhead. The big Welshman has laughed off the idea Celtic are in crisis, and put the bad form down to a slump.

Speaking in his column in the Evening Times, former Celt Hartson launched to the defence of Rodgers and Celtic.

“Celtic are not a club in crisis. Crack whatever crest you wish and parade it along the top of a newspaper column. This is not a crisis.

“It is a slump. It is a slump in form and there is a lethargy about the team just now. I don’t think there is any doubt about that. But a crisis? Spare me.

“This is a team that have been untouched domestically for two seasons. They have two trebles sitting proudly in the trophy cabinet. So before anyone starts getting too excited I think you have to give Brendan Rodgers his chance to go and arrest the decline in form.”

“A crisis? Spare me”

Supporters will be split on Harton’s words here. It’s difficult to argue with a former player as experienced as big John was. He experienced plenty of successful dressing rooms as well as plenty of slumps.

There’s no denying that Rodgers’ side are playing some terrible stuff. Celtic haven’t been at their best and have so far failed to get going once more. The football is also dreadful and there’s no signs of it turning around anytime soon.

Hartson can now commonly be seen doing punditry work (AMA/Corbis via Getty Images)

Hartson makes a really good point, however, regarding reading too much into it. It’s easy to look at the league table and get excited if you’re of an anti-Celtic persuation. They sit sixth, and considering their dominance on Scottish football over the years, you’re likely to cling onto anything you can.

Talks of a dressing-room divide is just nonsensical, so where is the crisis? A couple of defeats? Really? Celtic certainly can’t be the only ones in crisis then. Motherwell, St Mirren, Aberdeen, and Killie are surely also all in crisis too.

Of course they aren’t, but it shows just how ridiculous it is to say Celtic’s form is anything other than a bad period.

Rodgers has to start acting, and show that he now knows how to get Celtic out of their dreadful form. If he fails to do so, and this rumbles on for several weeks more, only then can talk of a “crisis” occur.