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Is Celtic the drunken friend needing support and a taxi to the finishing line?

Jerry Taylor has delivered a brilliant analogy of Celtic’s season as the home straight, the stgger, the final month approaches.

It has been a far from vintage season, perhaps we were spoiled during two seasons of Angeball but the 23/24 team are on course for a domestic double even if Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Aberdeen served as a reminder that absolutely nothing can be taken for granted.

At no stage in the match against a side battling to avoid being involved in a relegation play-off did Celtic look in control, the opposite was often true with the defensive unit looking especially vulnerable.

Thankfully Cameron Carter-Vickers and Joe Hart stood relatively strong but the whole cup-tie highlighted how much work will be required on the squad through the close season.

It will require some inspired recruitment work to replace Hart with Matt O’Riley unlikely to be involved again next season.

Taylor went through all of the emotions on Saturday, at lunchtime today he put the season in context on the ACSOM lunchtime show.

18 minutes 20 seconds

It’s not been a great watch this season, when it came to the weekend I was kind of looking on it as a cup final. It doesn’t matter if you are scoring three and they are scoring three, it happens in a semi-final but when you look at the form we’ve had this season it does look a bit worrying, as if we have dropped off a bit. But this is what we’ve got, this is the tools that we have until the end of the season.

The way that I look at it is that we can get on at the team for the next month or so or we can look at the Celtic team like your drunk pal.

Aye, it’s not pretty, he’s steamin, he’s made some mistakes but you still love him and all you need to do now is help him get hame, help him get up the road, get him in the taxi, we’ll slag him off during the close season then sober him up in pre-season and hopefully he’ll have some new pals that will help him out. That’s the way that I’m looking at it just now, we just need to get over that line.

While the outcome of Saturday’s cup tie was greeted with delight the celebrations were muted with plenty of grounds for concern over the 120 plus minutes played.

For the second time in a fortnight Celtic drew 3-3, taking a lead into the closing minutes only to be pegged back.

There is a lot to be said for resilience, for sticking at it, for rolling up the sleeves but equally there are glaring deficiencies in a number of areas in the team that Rodgers will surely insist on being addressed in the summer.

Luis Palma and Yang Hyun-jun both looked well short of what is required of a Celtic winger. Jota and Liel Abada set high standards but on the other side at Hampden a relative journeyman in the shape of Junior Hoilett demonstrated that it isn’t too difficult to deliver telling crosses behind defenders that creates trouble.

Rodgers has had a very testing time of it in his 10 months back at Celtic, some of it self inflicted but over the final six matches of the season he has the opportunity to add to his incredible record as a Celtic manager.

If two trophies, in particular the SPFL Premiership title is delivered the drunken friend will have delivered the goods with a fresh start to look forward to with planty of lessons learned.

CLICK HERE for Jerry’s full reflections on Satyurday and the season to date.

CLICK HERE for Rodgers’ Hampden flashpoint


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