What a week. Just about to sit down to do a preview of tomorrow evenings league game against St Mirren when I stumbled across the breaking news of its postponement. After the no show performance from Celtic at Kilmarnock on Sunday this was a chance for redemption by the seven or eight players who were posted missing, to show their determination to deliver title number 10. A number of factors could be highlighted for ineptitude and lack of class. Plastic pitch? Definitely a factor. No fans to push us over the line? Well I think so. Add these to Kilmarnock’s display of anti football and Celtic failing to have a Plan B.
The dust has settled and I’m a bit more measured in my opinion on the whole disappointing episode. It was a draw on a plastic pitch that should be illegal in top flight football as should adjusting the pitch to a size that is very difficult to entertain 22 grown athletic men, a referee and the ability to create anything resembling a game of football. Fast forward 48 hours and we find that something even worse was playing out unwittingly in front of our eyes. A professional footballer taking the field in a Celtic shirt and putting his colleagues and opponents in possible danger of COVID-19.
This player took an unapproved trip to Spain last Monday, returned on Tuesday and failed to let anyone know he had left the country. He should have been in quarantine upon his return but felt it better to remain silent. He resumed training and featured in the game on Sunday. Let’s face it, Boli Bolingoli has not set the heather on fire since we signed him from Rapid Vienna. He is not the first name on the team sheet and is basically still on a probation period. He broke strict guideline rules from the Scottish government, the SFA and his employer, Celtic. Now with the postponement of only the third game into a new season he has wasted Celtic and St. Mirren’s preparation for the game, Celtic’s whole programme for Covid prevention and cost Sky TV some serious amount of money. More than that for me is his dishonesty and apparent attempt at a cover up. Celtic can’t trust him as he has cost us big in so many ways.
Neil Lennon had to face the media today in what should have been a build up for the fixture tomorrow but had to go public about the total lack of respect shown by a Celtic player. Especially after the publicity surrounding eight Aberdeen players who decided to go out on the beer after playing miserably against their biggest rivals rangers. Hardly something to celebrate. They succeeded in robbing Aberdeen of game time and two actually caught the virus. Idiots the lot of them. Lennon looked absolutely mortified in his interview and three words highlight his and the clubs feelings toward Bolingoli-Mbombo. “Shocked, Livid and Appalled.” And now the powers that be will carry out a thorough investigation and deal with the matter at hand, I would think harshly as well.
If he never kicks a ball for Celtic again he will only have himself to blame. He has put his employer and management team in an embarrassing situation where they have been left to make contact with all the SPFL teams and apologise. He will be left in no doubt how his teammates feel about him and it is hard to see a way back for a player who has looked average to poor mostly. His one lucky break is that he won’t have to face the Celtic support and maybe he can now take another trip back to Spain or Belgium but only this time he can stay for as long as he wishes. It is now a matter of waiting to see if we as a club will face any disciplinary from the SFA or the SPFL but hopefully we can handle this in-house. No game V St. Mirren on Wednesday and no game against Aberdeen at Celtic Park this weekend in what should be a momentous season. We are now playing catch-up with everyone else and one man is to blame.