Celtic need to correct early-season wobble immediately


WHEN Brendan Rodgers faced questions over his future last week before the trip to Tynecastle Park, it seemed to be just another attempt by the media to stir up goings-on at Celtic.

There’s no getting away from the fact that the board could have shelled out a bit more in the transfer market, but ultimately Rogers still had the best side in Scotland and one that really should be making it to the Champions League group stages.

What a difference a week can make in football as the Hoops suffered their earliest league defeat in 12 years with a loss to Hearts and crashed out of Champions League qualification for the first time in three years.

All of a sudden it seems that Rodgers may be cutting a disgruntled figure around the Celtic Park and rumours of his frustration are more than a cheap attempt at a sensational headline.

After the loss to AEK, Rodgers stated unequivocally that ‘it’s not rocket science’ and if clubs want to guard against complacency then they need to add to the group.

To give the Northern Irishman his due, he is completely right on the merits of how complacency can creep in, but you can’t help but notice that he has absolved himself of any blame, which can only mean that Rodgers and the powers that be are on a collision course for a boardroom showdown.

It’s hard to get away from knowing that AEK Athens have spent well less than Celtic; in fact, over the last five years put together, AEK have spent less than Celtic paid for Edouard over the summer.

Celtic looked unbeatable at the end of last season and even the neutrals couldn’t see how they would ever relinquish their grip on the Scottish title, but in the space of a week that air of invincibility has gone and for the first time in many years, the Scottish champions look vulnerable.

At 1/8 in the latest football betting at William Hill, Celtic still look like the outright favourites for the title, but for that to be the case, Rodgers needs to address this early season wobble and see the Hoops stabilize immediately.

A few back-to-back league wins as well as reaching the Europa League group stages will go a long way in seeing that winning mentality come back to Celtic Park. The club needs to leave the Champions League disappointment in Athens and begin drawing up a new list of goals for the season ahead.

Despite Rodgers’ anger at the way the transfer market has gone, there is still serious daylight between the Bhoys and the rest of the league. There’s no reason why Celtic should falter and begin to hand the initiative back to the clubs that have been in their wake for the last seven years.

There are always going to be disappointments even if you are enjoying the level of success that Celtic are so it’s crucial that the club and the supporters put these recent let-downs into perspective.

The more that the in-house fighting or at least public disapproval goes on the more the door for the rest of the league will go from being ajar to fully open.

Football doesn’t give you any divine right to achieve what you think you are supposed to, it only rewards hard work and maybe in Rodgers’ defence, adequate investment as well.

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