They have been European Champions and appeared in two European Cup finals. They have won their domestic league 47 times. A club with a very proud history. And yet, it took former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers only 90 minutes to lead Celtic to the most embarrassing defeat in their history as Celtic lost 1-0 away to part-timers Lincoln Red Imps in the Champions League on Tuesday night. The fact that Rodgers did not see the defeat to a a side of firemen, taxi drivers and customs officers as an embarrassment does not bode well for his future at Parkhead.
Speaking after the game, Rodgers said:
‘It was a game that we dominated and had enough chances to score, but sometimes it can happen in games like that, one ball up the pitch and they’re in.
‘We’ve given ourselves a bit of work to do. I saw enough from the game, we created enough to go through. Of course you never want to lose the game. You let the local team have their night, we press on, another week’s training and be better for it.
‘There’s no embarrassment. We never took our chances and they took theirs. The second leg will be different.
‘There’s no panic. We’ve got enough quality here to get through to the next round. It’s a two-legged affair, our objective is to get through. I think the players gave everything that they had. The message (to the fans) is to stay calm. I always felt this qualification phase would be based on the second legs at home and we’ll need their support.
‘It’s congratulations to them. It’s a good win for them. For us we accept it. Over the course of the two games if we didn’t get through I’d be concerned. We have to put it right in the next game. We’re making no excuses. We’ll be fine for the second game.’
Rodgers sounds like a man who just oversaw a good performance by his team. Was he watching the same match as the rest of the world?
Playing against semi-professional opposition, most of whom put in a full shift in their day jobs before turning up for this Champions League second qualifying round tie, Celtic were nothing short of appalling.
While they might still turn this tie around in the home leg, Brendan Rodgers has a big job on his hands convincing the Celtic faithful that he is the right man for the job. The jury is very much out on that this morning.