We have all the excuses in the world, but if you cannot beat Dundee United, or Livingston, teams with vastly weaker squads than the Celtic teams they denied five points to over the last 8 days, you do not deserve to win the league.
Celtic will improve. Kyogo Furuhashi, Callum McGregor, Greg Taylor and James Forrest are known quantities who will lift performances and results. Georgios Giakoumakis will surely also add something. When we get Christopher Jullien fit he will bring experience to the back line. Right now that matters little, six points adrift after seven games is the form that leaves confidence on a knife-edge.
Jota was outstanding, a one-man siege of the Dundee United back line, he deserved more from those around him. Again, Liel Abada timed his run into the box perfectly to head home at the back post. Anthony Ralston committed to a tackle a minute later and suffered an unfortunate ricochet. It was not the worst defensive error you have seen from Celtic this year, but from there, Dundee United made no mistake.
Albian Ajeti was already having an afternoon to forget (think Kazim-Richards, but less mobile) when, within seconds of conceding, Abada’s cutback found him three yards from goal. The striker snatched at the chance and sent it high over the bar. Ange Postecoglou had no choice to persist with Albian, although surely we will see little of him when fitness allows others to play.
James McCarthy was clattered early and scarcely left the centre circle before being replaced at halftime. This pleased most around me, but it took Ismaila Soro most of the second half to retain possession. If McCarthy is not yet fully fit, he should be left before further reputational damage occurs.
On another day one of the three chances that rattled United crossbar would have gone in and the chat would be about digging out a win the way champions do. Instead, we flattered to deceive, the way those with nothing but sob stories at the end of the season do.