After a competitive first half Celtic stepped up a gear in the second to swamp Kilmarnock. The back four, aided by the protection of Ismaila Soro, contributed to our first clean sheet in nine outings. David Turnbull picked up where he left off on Thursday with another assist from a corner kick, this time converted by the renewed Shane Duffy.
Celtic’s run of form extends to only two games but if any innocuous effort encapsulated it more it was the run Patryk Klimala made deep into his own half to pick up a throw-in that ultimately led to the second goal. The movement of Turnbull, Soro and Klimala (when he replaced Odsonne Edouard) has transformed Celtic into a team easy to play against into a solid operation that looks confident.
I never expected our play to right itself by moving Kristofer Ajer to right back and adding Soro and Turnbull to the midfield. After St Johnstone, I didn’t expect Neil Lennon to find a workable formula so quickly, I doubt he did either.
After demonstrations against Neil, the players and the running of the club (which I assumed was a metaphor for not sacking Neil), the appetite to demonstrate against Neil and the players has dissipated, although I am unsure if the lack of a sacking still counts as a demonstrate-able event.
I did not back Neil Lennon to get the job in 2010 or in 2019 and as recently as a week ago, I didn’t think he had a hope of getting a decent 90 minutes out of this squad. It would have been easier to have a bloodletting than for the board to tell us their man has the best chance of turning things around.
I still don’t think we will win the league this season, but it would be a Celtic fans with a heart of stone, or at least a tendancy to overreaction, who would campaign to tear our infrastructure asunder right now. Get results for the next three weeks and see what happens next.
Our Annual General Meeting was held by videoconference this afternoon. The highlight, not for the first time, was Celtic FC Foundation’s chief exec, Tony Hamilton, who explained that the Christmas Appeal in 2019 was our best ever and that our Football for Good campaing this year now topped the £1m mark.
Peter Lawwell gave a robust defence of strategy. The year between summer 2019 and summer 2020 saw the largest spend in the club’s history, £35m across the transfer windows. He affirmed his manager’s credentials and made it clear the board remain committed to the title fight this season. It is difficult to do rallying calls by recorded AGM videolink, but this was as close as we are likely to see.
Some of us have juices flowing at the prospect of a fourth consecutive treble. We won the fourth treble in our history in 2017. Yes, this clearly is pitchfork time.