Defeat Certainly Not The Worst Thing For Celtic

Hearts humbled Scottish Premiership champions Celtic 4-0 at Tynecastle earlier. The capital were deserved winners and in finding a win they became the first side in Scotland to record a victory over Celtic in seventy attempts since Brendan Rodgers took charge at Parkhead.

That 69 game unbeaten domestic run, which saw the Hoops side collect the treble last term, is an astonishing feat.

Alas all glorious runs come to an end and to be honest it has felt like the invincibility aura that has surrounded this Celtic side has been slipping for a wee while now.

They weren’t at their best in recent weeks as they dropped points against Motherwell and Hibs. At times it was as if the players were being a bit cagey as they tried to protect the unbeaten run.

They broke record after record but by the end you could see it was getting a bit nervy and a few flaws have appeared this season.

In losing, maybe just maybe Celtic will now become stronger.

The players will now have a freedom to be creative again and not playing with the fear of finally losing. Losing today, should mean that they don’t have a burden weighing them down in their next game.

It is also a wake up call for some of them and the management team will no doubt dig a few out and demand more. They have coasted in a few games this term and maybe they’ll think twice about doing that too many times in the future.

Rodgers will no doubt learn a lot from how his squad deal with this loss. He was quick to get his message across to them after the full time whistle, getting them into a huddle on the pitch at Gorgie. He will now demand a response from them and if he doesn’t get one then I have no doubts he will drop or even sell any star that doesn’t respond in the right manner.

Surely the manager will re-focus his pool and get them going for the title, another treble and a decent run in the Europa League.

Brendan will say to them that losing feels terrible, so don’t get used to it. He’ll also say that the rest of Scottish football will think they can do a similar thing to them and that hope has to be taken away from the opposition.

I’d also expect that the Celtic boss will be speaking to Chief Executive Peter Lawwell about bringing in reinforcements come January.

The defence hasn’t been great, especially in Europe, and it definitely needs to be improved upon. I’m not surprised to see the club linked with a new centre-back in the form of RB Leipzig stopper Marvin Compper. I’d be surprised if others didn’t follow in the next month.

I don’t think goalkeeper Craig Gordon has been entirely impressive so far in this campaign. Whether that sees him dropped and/or a new keeper being brought in, only time will tell.

Selling Stuart Armstrong and signing John McGinn from Hibs wouldn’t be moves that would surprise me. Armstrong’s deal in the summer wasn’t really a sign of commitment and if a decent offer comes in, I’d imagine Rodgers would listen. McGinn has been great for newly promoted Hibs this season and his performance will have caught the attention of a few scouts. Celtic should always be on the look-out when it comes to talent in the Scottish market.

The run is over and it’s now time for the Celtic side to try and start a new one. All eyes will be on them on Wednesday night as they entertain Partick Thistle at Celtic Park. If they can return to playing with creative freedom and a nice fluid attacking style then you have to expect them to return to winning ways instantly.

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