After almost two months of misery Celtic fans have been given hope from the wins over Lille and Kilmarnock.
David Turnbull and Isamaila Soro in midfield has given the team a fresh dynamic while Conor Hazard in goals has looked more assured than the two internationalists that have been rotated in front of him this season.
When Celtic reached the final of the Scottish Cup by beating Aberdeen last month Soro and Turnbull were unused substitutes with Hazard not even making the bench.
After beating Kilmarnock today Neil Lennon brought up loyalty and the hardcore in his post match comments but there is little backing for sentiment among fans when there is a trophy at stake.
No club has ever won the Scottish Cup four years running, last year Celtic finally managed to win it for the third time running despite holding the record for winning the trophy.
There is plenty of places on the bench if Lennon wants to call on the hardcore but today’s team had Callum McGregor, Kris Ajer and Odsonne Edouard in place which far outstrips any experience that Hearts can call on at Hampden.
Hazard is more deserving of a starting place than Vasilis Barkas; Scott Brown, Tom Rogic and Ryan Christie can start the match from the bench, it was as a substitute that Rogic scored the winning goal in the 2017 final win over Aberdeen.
Lennon has a full week to consider his team. A little momentum, understanding and cohesion has emerged over the last two matches that deserves to be built on rather than stepping aside for the hardcore.
Don’t want to be negative because it was a great game but the ending ruined it. Talking about next week and players that got them there, take away the sentiment! Best players right here and now and train we’ll deserve to start. End of. Leave Brown/Barkas on bench #CelticFamily
— Craig Wilkinson (@xfitbhoy) December 13, 2020
They’re also the players who would’ve got you sacked if you kept playing them, Neil
— Martino (@martino67_) December 13, 2020
Thats why he needs to go, its the ‘hardcore’ not performing and his unwillingness to change that caused current issues. Get him gone
— Kolo (@kev14cfc) December 13, 2020
Great performance today but does Lennon not realise that the players who got us to the final is also the players who have got us to the position we find ourselves in just now. No time for sentimentality, get us the ? for the quadruple treble with the team who is hungry for it!
— NickyMick??????????? (@NickyNackyNoooo) December 13, 2020
Performance > Sentimentality
— ????????? (@EtienneBojan) December 13, 2020
No time for being sentimental you play who is in Form at the time we are starting to get someplace for god sake dont mess it up being sentimental ?
— ???????????®?™? (@COYBIGCMONHOOPS) December 13, 2020
Great idea drop the players that’s got the team playing for the ones that’s failed to perform this season and risk kicking the confidence built over the last two games right out the team
— fuzzy ? smell the glove (@fuzzywuzzy39) December 13, 2020
That blind faith in players for the cup final is what will lose him his job.
— Free Rogic. (@celticforever9) December 13, 2020