A Celtic State of Mind – St Mirren post-match with The Podcasting Poet, Kevin Graham

We scored five but it’s hard to say that this match ever caught fire or generated any sort of excitment. Both teams took the result with the minimum of effort… minds were surely on more important things.

St Mirren were tidy and toothless. Pretty patterns suiting a stuffy shape but no end product. We were flat. The crowd was flat and sparse. We all just waited on something to happen. We are going for our ninth title in-a-row.

We have a three o’clock kick. We are told that this is the perfect storm for football. Today proves different for some reason. Empty spaces and lack of atmosphere, even amongst the most vocal. That’s one for the decision-makers to consider why this is and worry why this is.

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The second half was far better than the first. We moved the ball quicker. We got into space and we tried those forward passes instead of waiting on someone else trying those forward passes. It’s easy to play the simple pass, even when the break-the-safe pass is the one that finds its target. It’s harder to the play the pass where your target doesn’t need to break stride to take it and when it’s one that splits open the defence or creates a chance.

The players we look at to do this get more hassle from the stands. Guys like Rogic and Forrest we are always looking to do that something special. To take on their man and always be brave. That’s pressure on those lads. James Forrest has been playing a role that doesn’t bring out the best in him but he’s trying and got his reward in the second half today. A decent shift. Rogic has been in and out the side but he showed flashes of that man we all fell in love with today. Only flashes. Not full blown but it was enough to remember what makes him an asset.

The day belonged to Leigh Griffiths. He was told that he wouldn’t be playing football anymore. He’s been told from those who should know better that he doesn’t do enough. His first goal was a great side-foot volley finish. His second was football intelligence and a sink. The third was pure Leigh Griffiths. Creates space at the edge of the box for himself to get an accurate shot away. It’s the type of goal that he’s scored all his career. The type of goal that others wish they had a player who could score them on a regular basis. They are just jealous beneath the abuse.

A day complete without much fuss but with some moments that reminded us of days past and hopes for the future.

Kevin Graham

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