Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hit harder, run faster, play better

As the dust settles on another European campaign, I can't help be disappointed about the two Juventus games. We effectively gifted them four out of the five goals and Juventus really did not need to move up the gears to knock us out.

Now I should say here that we have no right to even compete with Juventus at this time but when you see the heights this team is capable of, you can't help wanting more.

Last night reminded me of Milan in December 2007. A team who knew they were through and were happy to pick us off through our mistakes.

That's something our players need to learn about. Anyone who thinks they have made it cause we made the last 16? There's the door.

So, what now?

Everything in our power has to be done to be better next season. It's obvious that we are going lose a few players, so you have to imagine that John Park has the replacement lists already compiled and players are already being actively sought.

And what of the manager?

He is at a crossroads in his career now. The team he built over three years is about to break up and he's shrewd enough to know that, after the goals acheved in Europe this season, first qualifying for the group stage and then qualifying from the group stage, he faces his "difficult second album" season next season and this would be the point where a lot of managers would jump ship and move on.

However.

One look at him on the touchline last night suggests he still has the fire in his belly and he deserves the support of Desmond and Lawwell in the summer to build another team.

Celtic are both cash-rich and asset-rich just now and the club policy of buying young, developing, then selling on, will yield another ton of cash in the summer.

That said, it will be offset by low season ticket sales if prices are not lowered and fans don't see building of another team begin.

The one thing that has always held Celtic back, since Danny McGrain was clean-shaven, is not building on success.

Time to buck that trend.

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