Now that the dust has settled a bit and we know who we’re playing in the last sixteen, we can focus on the SPL a bit and try and stretch our lead at the top so that when we do face off with the Italians, we won’t be so furious at yet another ‘Euro Hangover’ or two.
We know it’ll be tough. We know we’ll be unfancied and chances are Juventus and their staff will already be enquiring about who they’ll be getting in the quarter finals. And that’s fine. We’re used to this sort of attitude.
And I wouldn’t change it for a thing.
The general buzz and excitement between the fans leading up to the draw today was fantastic. Twitter’s servers must have been pushed to the limit with the continual trending of #CelticLastSixteen. No doubt forums and Facebook and other social media followed the same sort of theme.
It’s what I love about being a Celtic supporter. Other than actually defying the odds and seeing us be successful. When everyone’s all pushing towards the same load, there’s nothing like it. In 2007/2008, for those final games, every fan thought positively and concentrated on backing the team to the hilt to see us achieving three in a row.While that title triumph at Tannadice wasn’t solely down to happy vibes from the support, it certainly helped.
The Celtic support that is made up of hardcores on forums and social media is rapidly growing. Daily. As a result, I feel that while Twitter is a very good thing, it occasionally causes a divide between fans. There’s too many people who, when they say something, will automatically believe what they say to be correct. I’m all for freedom of opinion and beliefs but when you find people out there who won’t listen to your argument because ’PHIL’ said something different – whit’s the point ? I realise everyone can’t, despite what Rodney King requested, all get along but the very basics of respect for your fellow fan is sadly lacking more often than not.
That’s why it’s been a very welcome change to have everyone parking their motors in the same garage in the last few days. Mostly every fan has been focused on the anticipation of who we’d draw and how we’d fare against them! No one seems to have taken our position in the last sixteen for granted. We know how fortunate we are , even if we still to deserve to be there. To be in the mix with the likes of Bayern, Real Madrid and Dortmund is a hell of an achievement, especially when you actually look at the sides who haven’t made it to the knock out round this season. Last seasons winners are out and we’re in. Revel in it, because we should be gloating like pigs.
Looking at other British clubs forums and Twitter feeds, it makes me feel very fortunate I was brought up as a Celtic supporter. The likes of Arsenal and Man Utd fans simply expect to get to this stage every season and it’s nowhere near as much of a buzz for them. I would hate for us to ever get like that. I’d be very surprised if the majority of their fanbase even bothered to watch the draw unfolding. The day us Celtic fans ever take the Champions League for granted is the day we no longer have the overwhelming hysteria to look forward to before, during and after these special matches.
Not that I wouldn’t like us to progress to the Last 16 every season, of course.
But being the underdog suits us. We’ve been written off before and surprise everyone with how we react. Sometimes including ourselves. Whether that be in Amsterdam 2001, Barcelona 2004 or Moscow earlier this year.
My call to arms is for all Celtic fans to create that excitement before the match in February with Juventus.
There’s nothing like it !