Celtic attacker Ryan Christie sent some heartfelt comments towards the support before being hauled out of his presser on Sunday.
The Scotland international has been one of the mainstays of Neil Lennon’s flops in recent weeks. The Inverness-born star has produced a string of underwhelming displays over the past two months, with Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Ross County perhaps his worst yet.
But Christie wasn’t the only one either. Tom Rogic, Albian Ajeti, Callum McGregor, and Odsonne Edouard also all struggled to hit acceptable standards. And that’s left consistent questions over whether this Celtic team cares enough about the 10-in-a-row season.
Out of the Betfred Cup on Sunday and out of both European competitions before Christmas, the storm clouds have gathered at Celtic. Yet Christie was keen to stress the players are giving their all despite their dreadful form.
As quoted by the Glasgow Times, Christie said: “I think the most important thing that everybody needs to know is that we still care. When you go on a run like this, people automatically say that they don’t care for the club or they’re not trying their best, whereas every single person out on that pitch today was absolutely desperate to get a result to put things right.
“That’s why it is so frustrating when people do say that we’re not caring or we’re not trying our best. Nobody would be at this club or would have done so well in their professional career if they didn’t have that attitude going into every single game.
“But it’s hard, everyone is hurting. We hurt as much as them. It must be horrendous for them sitting at home watching us, the team they love to see win every week. Going into the game, it sounds stupid to say, but I just felt so confident. I felt this was the day it turns.”
Then is it the manager Ryan?
These comments didn’t seem to get much traction amongst the Celtic support after the bigger news that Christie had to be hauled out of the presser due to the demonstrations outside Celtic Park (Scottish Sun).
However, let’s tackle them.
There are two options for supporters to take swipes at for the performances. Number one is the manager and number two is the players. Christie himself has stated here that everyone is giving their all and that there is no lack of desire in the dressing room. You get the feeling many in the support would dispute that claim.
But let’s say Christie’s right. What’s the problem then Ryan? Surely you have to turn to the manager and say if the players are trying as hard as they possibly can to turn things around then the poor results are on him. Poor team selection? Poor build-up to the game? Poor matchday tactics/in-game decision-making?
It can’t be that neither the players nor the manager can be blamed here. It’s one or the other. Christie is at a loss to explain our poor form, and that’s a massive concern in itself. If you’re playing for the manager and giving it your all yet still lose 2-0 to Ross County at Celtic Park….nah, we’re not having that.
The players have been doing their best to form a defence around Lennon in recent weeks as the barrage of criticism has rained down on him. They’ve been trying to protect him like a shield wall. But they can’t then turn around and defend themselves too. Someone’s got to be blamed here, so who is it?
Regardless, it doesn’t look as though our form is turning anytime soon. Especially not with some of the clear denial coming out of Celtic Park.