Celtic’s start to the new campaign has been a disastrous state of affairs.
This was supposed to be a clean slate for everyone at the Hoops but even with Ange Postecoglou at the helm, the vibrant future which stood in front of them now looks like a murky mess instead.
They are no longer in the Champions League and they have started the Premiership season with a defeat to a newly-promoted side.
The board have copped some criticism for failing to back Postecoglou in the transfer market but some of his decisions during the club’s 2-1 defeat to Hearts on Saturday were peculiar.
Stephen Welsh was dropped to the bench in favour of debutant Carl Starfelt but his defensive partner Nir Bitton was a calamity at the back again.
Scott Bain made an error in goal, one that Vasilis Barkas may have avoided, while James Forrest’s inclusion at left wing probably won’t be repeated. Odsonne Edouard continued to look a shadow of his former self in attack but it was Forrest who proved more wasteful in attack.
The winger struggled with fitness issues throughout 2020/21, featuring on just 13 occasions in the league.
He was a player who Neil Lennon and co missed significantly as they lost their grasp on the title, but if you expected fireworks from the Scot this season, you may have thought wrong.
Forrest was inconsistent against Hearts and struggled significantly with his end product, spurning a wonderful chance to equalise deep into injury time. The ball fell to the 30-year-old inside the area and, after taking one touch to get the ball out of his feet, he struck a shot which Craig Gordon smothered brilliantly.
At the peak of his powers, it was a chance that he’d usually bury in his sleep.
Instead, Forrest was left to rue what could have been during an out-of-sorts performance. He completed just one of his four dribbles and failed to provide an accurate cross in the entire game. Furthermore, he lost 80% of his duels and lost possession 11 times; the highest number by any attacking player for Celtic.
Forrest isn’t usually a wasteful player but the £15k-per-week earner was disappointing on Saturday, badly letting his manager down.