It is a classic fallacy of Scottish football. No sooner does someone utter that a team’s second 11 could win the league, they are brought down to earth. Ninth placed Motherwell failed to take anything from Celtic Park on Saturday, but the champions were well below par for the second successive game.
If we were at the Plastic Pasta Stadium in Livingston, or bumpy Tannadice, the blame would immediately go to the surface, but even though Celtic Park looked immaculate, our passing was poorly executed.
Ange Postecoglou has already pondered this problem this season. Three of our four opening league fixtures were punctuated by periods of poor passing: Aberdeen, Ross County and Hearts. The system then caught fire against Dundee United, Ross County in the League Cup, Newco and for 50 minutes against Real Madrid.
There were periods of worry in the game against Shakhtar Donetsk that, remarkably, St Mirren were able to make more of. Motherwell may well have watched and learned. Wednesday will inevitably inject change into Celtic veins. There will be more space in advanced position and let’s hope any sense of casualness will evaporate.