Celtic are on the brink of a Champions League exit, but in the long term is it such a bad thing?
After having such an exciting Champions League run in last season’s competition, Celtic are in danger of falling at an earlier hurdle this time after their 2-0 defeat to Kazakh side Shakhter Karagandy.
They have lost some of their key players from last season’s run in striker Gary Hooper to Norwich and Victor Wanyama to Southampton – the latter for a decent amount of money.
But is this a case of Celtic trying to take one step back so they can make two steps forward, by thinking more about the long-term rather than the here and now?
If that is the route they have taken, then you can hardly blame them. Barring something catastrophe they will end up as Champions of Scotland again this season so they will feature at some stage of the competition next season – and any fan of the club will have realised having a serious tilt at winning the competition this season was going to be a difficult task, if not a bit far-fetched. Reaching the stage they did last year will be an achievement.
But in that time Celtic can use the money they have received for the likes of Hooper and Wanyama to build again for the future, perhaps by investing in youth which has seen the likes of Tony Watt come through the academy, or spend it on a few bargains – remember Wanyama signed for £900,000 and sold for £12.5m.
Celtic do have some handy players at their disposal, Kris Commons is perhaps one of their best technically whist Georgios Samaras is a handful for any defence to deal with on his day. Maybe Celtic will produce another one of their great nights at Parkhead and overturning this two goal deficit.
Neil Lennon said after the game that he believes he has the side to come through this tie, and not many people will doubt that, there were some poor displays on show and the goals were poor to give away.
But in the long term how much sleep will lose over the situation if they don’t? They may miss out some cash but one step back could easily result in two steps forward.
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