Euro Blame Game Belongs Far From The Pitch After Celtic’s Latest Exit

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It was a familiar Celtic story last night in Rome.

Compete in the game for large spells, create a number of half chances, but inevitably walk away at the final whistle with another demoralising defeat to add to our pitiful Champions League record.

Whilst you can argue how well or not players like Greg Taylor, Alistair Johnston and James Forrest performed on the night, the blame for this one – and for Celtic’s woeful European record in recent times – lies squarely at the feet of the Celtic Board.

It seems that the undoubted annual objective each and every season is simply to finish above a variety of mediocre Rangers sides in the Scottish Premiership table, and to enjoy the subsequent cash bonus for Champions League participation that that brings.

And if that’s what the Board are being measured on then surely a gold star is on its way as they continue to meet that goal almost every season.

The problem however lies in the fact that the Celtic supporters, and almost definitely the manager, cannot be expected to go on accepting the mediocrity that’s repeatedly being thrown our way.

A half dozen maulings in Europe before Christmas every year? With an occasional draw in the mix to keep us sweet?

Is this what Brendan Rodgers returned to Celtic for?

Is this what season ticket holders are expected to accept for their unwavering financial support?

Brendan Rodgers Applauds The Fans On The Final Whistle
Brendan Rodgers Applauds The Fans On The Final Whistle

In the summer we saw an overhaul of the squad that Ange Postecoglou had created as the Australian – along with Jota, Carl Starfelt and Aaron Mooy – departed Celtic Park.

To the tune of all most £20M Celtic then invested in no less than nine players ahead of the new season.

Seven on permanent contracts, and two on loan deals.

So whilst you can’t argue about the fact that the club HAVE spent money, you can certainly ask the question as to how effectively they’ve done so.

The recruitment team must be brought into question at this time.

Of those nine summer signings just two – Paulo Bernardo and Yang – took any part against Lazio.

Had Reo Hatate and our range of unavailable wingers been available I’d argue that none of the two would have featured.

Luis Palma, the £3.5M signing from Greek side Aris, is the only player if all were fit and available that genuinely threatens the starting XI at this time.

The only one.

What of the others? Kwon? Gustaf Lagerbielke? Maik Nawrocki?

It’s almost December yet we’ve barely seen these players.

If the Board are scored on winning the league and qualifying for Europe, what are the recruitment team measured on?

If it’s on recruiting players who are ready to have an immediate impact on Brendan Rodgers’ first team then the results are in.

It’s one out of nine. An 11% success rate.

Things need to change dramatically at Celtic, on and off the park.

Otherwise we may see Brendan Rodgers walk for a second time.

And whether supporters will continue to fund this “strategy?”

That may be a different discussion altogether.

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Celtic v Lazio

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