Neil Lennon has today bemusingly taken some solace from what he described as “total domination” against Ross County at Celtic Park.
The Hoops are out of the Betfred Cup at the last-16 stage after the Staggies secured a historic 2-0 win in Glasgow. Goals from Ross Stewart and Alex Iacovitti ensured Lennon’s side saw an early exit – officially ensuring that our run of consecutive domestic trophies ends at a maximum of 12.
Celtic managed a total of 76% possession and 14 shots to County’s nine on the day (BBC). Yet, despite all of that, the Bhoys only really came close to scoring on one occasion through Albian Ajeti as County chose to put everyone behind the ball and defend deep.
Yet Lennon has bemusingly stated we had full control of the game and tried to big up what he perceived to be the positives.
Speaking to Premier Sports post-match, Lennon said: “In the final third we had chances, we had total domination of the game. We’ve been in that situation a lot of times but we’re not finding the answers at the minute.
“Albian’s unlucky with the one that comes off the post, but our final ball at times today was poor. You always believe with the way they dominated and their positioning, but we just lacked that cutting edge today.
“We get around the back of them a few times and the final ball was too long, too short, or it hit the first man. It’s been endemic of our season so far.”
County had no desire to dominate the ball
There is absolutely no consolation to take from the idea that we had the vast majority of the ball. County had planned that from the start, and when they go 1-0 ahead, they’re hardly going to come out much and look to control the midfield.
Why would you against this Celtic side? Not when you know you can pack your defence with two banks of five and four and easily keep us out. They knew that if they got to Tom Rogic and Ryan Christie quickly enough then they would easily shut off the service to the two strikers. Without that we have nothing going forward.
Where you judge Celtic is in the chances they create. Today, we created one. It wasn’t even plural as Lennon suggests. We had one with which Ajeti smashed the post with. That’s not good enough, and that shows who truly had control today.
Domination of the ball and domination of the game are two different things entirely. If you ask Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell, what’s the betting he was fairly relaxed for most of that? There was no reason for him not to be.
Lennon is trying to make himself feel better about the situation by making it sound as if on another day we would score four or five. That couldn’t be further from the case. We’ve had plenty of other days this season where we’ve seen exactly the same dreadful level of performance.
It’s time to suck it all up now Neil. There were no positives today. To pretend that there are is to take part in a false reality that many of us just aren’t interested in entertaining.