Billy Dodds and Pat Bonner have absolutely torn the Celtic players apart this afternoon after a shocking slump against Ross County at Parkhead.
The Hoops’ disgraceful run of form took them to only two wins in 10 games today. However, this afternoon’s match represented their first game at home to a bottom-six side throughout that run. The 2-0 loss sends Celtic crashing out of the Betfred Cup at the first hurdle.
Neil Lennon has typically taken the brunt of the criticism after another shocking individual and uninspiring performance from himself. Supporters have also turned to Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond for allowing things to get this bad.
But today, the players have finally started to take plenty of criticism for their own woeful individual displays. Both Bonner and Dodds were covering the game live on Sportsound, and they couldn’t help but rinse today’s Celtic flops for their on-field attitude. Speaking live on-air today, they said the following:
Billy Dodds (16:06): “I thought the Celtic performance defensively was horrific and going forward I honestly thought, and I’m not one to make bold statements, a lot of the players had chucked it. Three or four I could name – I mean Albian Ajeti, Odsonne Edouard, Tom Rogic, Haten Abd Elhamed, there was just nothing.”
Pat Bonner (16:09): “How many times did Ross County goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw have to make a save today, a real save? Nothing. Albian Ajeti had one chance, incredible.
“For me, you’ve got to point the finger at the players. The four players Billy Dodds mentioned (who had ‘chucked it’), you’ve got to include Kristoffer Ajer into that. There was talk about him leaving the club and he just looks like he’s not interested. Celtic have put him into that position where teams were looking at him.”
Players avoiding criticism
Both Dodds and Bonner make great points here that simply cannot be ignored. Sure, we can criticise Lennon, Lawwell, and Desmond until the end of time, but these players are far better than this and we all know it.
Who honestly could you pick out against County today and say they did their job well? Vasilis Barkas made an unimpressive return to action, whilst Albian Ajeti and Odsonne Edouard were barely in the game. Ryan Christie, Tom Rogic, and Hatem Elhamed were also brutally poor performers this afternoon.
This does all come down to the manager by the way. We all know that. He’s the one who has to develop a mentality and footballing philosophy at the club. That is, after all, what a manager does. They manage the team, and therefore their attitude reflects poorly on their boss.
However, they can’t avoid individual criticism. We’re still seeing too many pull out of tackles. We’re still seeing Kris Ajer and Elhamed caught easily in possession. We’re still seeing Nir Bitton and Christopher Jullien play ridiculous passes that are easily intercepted. We’re still seeing Ryan Christie dance around the ball but fail to produce an end-product.
To only create one genuine goalscoring opportunity against County at Celtic Park is nothing less than a disgrace to the jersey. That alone shows you that there’s a massive attitude problem at Parkhead and that plenty of weeds need to be removed.
We’ll see what happens in the coming hours/days, but we’re well into crisis territory at Celtic. It’s just sad to see at this point.