First off, let me point out by saying I’d very much rather be in the Champions’ League than not in Europe at all. So yes, if you pushed me, I’d probably admit I envy Rangers’ position. 4 points after 2 games is pretty good for a side who hadn’t won in Europe for 2 and a half years before Wednesday night.
However, that’s where the ‘praise’ for Rangers ends. I am not one of those people who buy into the Co-Efficient theory that we must support Rangers in Europe because if they win it’ll be easier for Celtic in the future. What a load of old tosh. Let me tell you, I take nothing but great amounts of pleasure and laughter watching Rangers get horsed in Europe. I hope that they lose every game they play, be it in the league, cups, and especially Europe. Some of the funniest nights of my life have been spent sit infront of the TV watching Rangers play in Europe, especially last years competition.
However, I’ve been caught up in a few arguments here and there about the state of the Scottish game. Apparently we should all support Rangers and be happy that they do well, so the Co-Efficient goes up and in the next few years Celtic will start getting easy draws in Europe…Easy Draws? I think Braga and Utrecht especially prove there is no such thing, for Celtic anyway. Rangers victory on Wednesday night didn’t help Celtic, Rangers aren’t in the Champions League to help Celtic in later years, they’re there for the money and each to their own and all that. So who will supporting Rangers to improve the Co-Efficient actually help the most? Rangers obviously, and I am not one for helping Rangers, nor indeed supporting them in Europe.
And I’ll tell you for why.
I hate Rangers, I hate everything they stand for and everything they believe in. There is not one single thing in life I hate more than Glasgow Rangers Football Club. If they went to the wall tomorrow then good riddance to them, I could just start hating Hearts just that wee bit more…
But its not just my hatred of that Rangers that creates my ‘stuff the Co-Efficient’ attitude, its all my love for Celtic, and my belief that as a Celtic fan, we can beat anyone in a one off fixture, Ok recent history hasn’t been to good for us, but as far as Celtic in Europe is concerned, bring whoever on whenever and wherever they may be.
Scotland’s Co-Efficient was struggling before remember and Celtic went on to beat Juventus, Porto, Liverpool, Blackburn, Barcelona, Celta Vigo, Stuttgart, Boavista, Anderlecht, Lyon and that improved Scotland’s Co-Efficient as a whole despite Rangers losing to teams like Viktoria Zizkov.
And what proceeded to happen after Celtic improved their own and Scotland’s Co-Efficient?
Champions League 2004/2005
So the Co-Efficient helps you get a good draw? Ok then, so what happened as the Co-Efficient continued to improve?
Celtic this time qualify, further improving the Co-Efficient, and Scotland’s national team is doing extremely well as well, So what happens? Ok you guessed it.
Celtic again qualify, and Rangers also get a tough draw with Lyon, Stuttgart and Barcelona, however they fail to qualify, and also Scotland fail to qualify for Euro 2008 so Celtic still continue to fly the flag for Scotland in Europe.
Rangers then go on to lose to Kaunas in the 2nd Qualifying stage of the Champions League, and Celtic also fail at the group stages. Scotland fail to qualify for the World Cup, Rangers don’t even win a corner in the 2009/2010 Champions League and Celtic crash out of the second string tournament, the Europa League at the group stage and also teams such as Dundee United, Hearts, Hibs, Motherwell and Queen of the South have failed in the early rounds of Europe and Celtic then go on to go out of both the Champions League and Europa League qualifying rounds at the first stage.
So what difference would Rangers winning one game in the Champions League make?
At the current moment, whether we like to admit it or not, Celtic cannot compete with the ‘big boys’ of European football anymore on a consistent basis, not like 5-10 years ago anyway. Celtic can hardly compete with the so called ‘diddy pub teams’ now. That has nothing to do with the Co-Efficient being low and Celtic being handed a hard draw as a result. European Football is simply the luck of the draw and whether or not Celtic can overcome their opponents.
Also the argument that Scotland will now only have 1 place in the CL qualifying stage is a bad thing. Why exactly? Why is that bad from a Celtic point of view? Shouldn’t we be winning the league anyway? Why should we be concerned that theres only 1 place available? It is ours and it should be ours anyway!
So to round off?
You Can Stick Yer Co-Efficient Up Yer Letterbox
So to Saturday, and my adopted homeland Hamilton come to Celtic Park, well when I say adopted homeland, I spend two days a week there at Uni….So as you can see the emotional bond is strong. Obviously. Will Celtic have to worry much? Probably early doors as Hamilton, like Celtic, tend to start games very well. Last week’s first half for example, Hamilton 2-0 up over Kilmarnock who then went on to secure a late late 2-2 draw and hit the post with the last header of the game. Expect a 3-6-1/5-4-1 formation from Billy Reid’s side as they will try and play football as well as contain Celtic. They’re quite a handy wee side Hamilton when you think about it, they more than matched Rangers a few weeks ago, then stupidly giving away the game late on. That’s Hamilton’s problem, stupidity. Celtic are a team on fire and should have no problems seeing off the accies. A routine early goal, again from Scott Brown(?) should see Celtic cruise it… Didn’t I write last week an early goal would result in a resounding victory? Take absolutely no notice of my predictions but I’ll go for 6-0 Celtic with a hat-trick from any of our strikers and Big Dan Majstorovic to break his duck.
Hamilton will be a happy place come Monday…Well I’ll be there it has no option!
All that remains to be said is enjoy your weekend as much as I’ve enjoyed writing this blog for your enjoyment and entertainment.