This season has been a disastrous state of affairs for Celtic and if anything typified that, it would be the Bhoys’ defeat on Sunday.
Having already been usurped by their biggest rivals in the league, the Hoops were left to rue shambolic defending and poor finishing as they were knocked out of the Scottish Cup.
Does that sound familiar? Of course it does. Time and time again this term we’ve witnessed defensive mistakes let the manager and indeed the club’s supporters down.
We’ve also seen a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal. That was perfectly summed up when Benjamin Siegrist made 12 saves in a 0-0 draw with Dundee United.
On this occasion, everything went wrong again as they suffered a 2-0 defeat in the fourth round to Rangers.
Odsonne Edouard missed a simple chance in the second half from a matter of yards out and then saw his spot-kick saved later on. A good chance for Mo Elyounoussi also went begging after the break.
Though, had they been better from a defensive point of view they wouldn’t have been left chasing their tails.
Rate Laxalt’s performance out of 10…
John Kennedy must have been left fuming with his two full-backs; Jonjoe Kenny and Diego Laxalt.
The duo were described as “abysmal” by The Athletic’s Kieran Devlin and it was clear to see why. Kenny reacted too slowly for the opener and then struggled to track the run of Ryan Kent for the second, diverting the ball into his own net.
Unfortunately, it was Laxalt who was considerably worse. The Uruguay international has been rather inconsistent this season and this match summarised perfectly why the Hoops shouldn’t be lusting after a £7.2m permanent switch.
As Rangers broke forward down the right for Steve Davis’ opening strike, Laxalt wasn’t even in the frame. He vacated his role down the left and Steven Gerrard’s men were able to profit.
When the ball was finally swept home, Laxalt was standing in the centre of the pitch just outside the penalty area.
Speaking in his half-time show on the A Celtic State of Mind channel, Paul John Dykes said he was “horrifically out of position” and “nowhere to be seen.”
Though, Laxalt was worse for the second goal. Joe Aribo got down the right again and then led the left-back a merry dance. The Rangers winger produced a tremendous piece of trickery that sold the Uruguayan completely.
Aribo then whipped a ball in which Kent managed to divert home with the aid of Kenny.
John Harton was scathing in his assessments during Premier Sports’ live coverage of the match. The former Celtic striker said it was “such a poor attempt” at trying to mark Aribo for the second.
He then claimed it was a “horror first half” from Laxalt, suggesting he “does nothing.”
With his woeful opening 45 minutes in mind, it was not a surprise to see him dragged off at half-time in favour of Greg Taylor.
Perhaps the £57k-per-week earner ought to be dropped for good next time out.
AND in other news, Forget Hjelde: Celtic could have their new Ajer in 17 y/o never-seen in the first team…