Scottish Media Inventing Reality Again

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So, Virgil Van Dijk can’t wait to leave Celtic.

Yes, the headlines are fairly screaming that one at you today, aren’t they?

Imagine my (lack of) surprise when I read the full transcript of what the big man actually said and found that he was a little less emphatic about being in a hurry to get his toothbrush and his swimming trunks packed up in his suitcase than those headlines seemed to suggest.

Van Dijk will leave Celtic at some point over the next couple of years. It’s inevitable.

He’s a good player, though perhaps not as good as some people have suggested, and he has a reputation which just keeps on rising as he continues to improve.

He is a shoe-in for a big money transfer.

Celtic will do well out of that because he was brought here relatively cheaply and will generate a very tidy, very fat, profit when he finally departs these shores.

But there are times when the media seems in almost indecent haste to see him out of the Parkhead gates for the last time.

Since the hour of his arrival, and the very first game in which he played, they have barely changed the record.

All last summer the chorus of predictions about which club he’ll end up at stalked us like ghosts.

You can tell already that this summer will be just the same and it doesn’t matter how many times Ronny Deila tells the media he isn’t for sale.

In this case, Van Dijk hasn’t been misquoted exactly but he has been misrepresented in the shrieking headlines.

What he has said is quite simple, really, and no different from what a dozen players say to the press every single day, comments which pass largely without further publicity; he is enjoying life at Celtic Park but he feels the need to play against a better class of player every week if he’s to develop his full potential.

If a move to a better league was offered to him he would consider it.

Consider it.

Not demand a transfer.

Not down tools until he was allowed to go.

Not contact human rights lawyers and claim to being held here in Glasgow against his will when there was an offer on the table from Bournemouth.

He’d give it some thought.

And if he decided Watford wasn’t going to offer him Champions League football any time soon, that may well factor into a decision to keep on pulling on the Celtic jersey week after week.

I daresay that before long we’ll be reading similar headlines about Scotland’s Player of the Year, the wonderful Stefan Johansen, who’s performances will definitely have gotten people outside this fair land talking.

When he steps onto the Champions League stage I fully expect the phones at Celtic Park to be ringing off the hook.

But let them talk. We will either keep our good players or sell them for big money.

As long as our scouting network keeps on finding these guys and we keep bringing them to the club we’re going to be in very decent shape come what may. What gets me salivating, and gets the press worried, is what happens if we’re actually allowed to grow the team.

That’s why they do this, constantly, to unsettle us, to undermine that ambition.

Today’s headlines come shortly after Ronny Deila launched a broadside at the media over inaccurate reporting as regards comments he allegedly made about Aberdeen.

Speaking to the BBC last week, angrily denounced those stories saying “”Some of the newspaper stories suggesting that I have criticised Aberdeen or Derek are not accurate and are very disappointing. I have not done that at any time at all and my comments have totally been taken out of context.”

Ronny is learning already, as so many Celtic managers before him, that you need to scrutinise every single word the media here says about you.

Martin O’Neill turned his fine mind to them more than once, even resorting to the law when the lies got too much to stomach.

Gordon Strachan’s contempt for the press is well known at all the clubs he’s managed, but here in his home country he must often have felt he was honing it to perfection.

Neil’s problems with the media are much maligned and commented on; he was the victim who they tried to blame for his own persecution at the hands of Scotland’s sick minority.

The media here is renowned for very little, but they are well known for this kind of word twisting to generate headlines.

A lot of people should say we ought to simply ignore them, but this is incessant and I think we have a responsibility to challenge it instead.

Every time they pull this nonsense we ought to be hammering back at them, and making it clear we’ve got their number.

At the very least, it gives our players and our manager and our club cover when they distort their statements in this tawdry fashion.

That’s reason enough for me.

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  • Kenny Macfarlane says:

    We should stop listening to these toe rags, this garbage has been going on since 1888, stop buying from main offenders!

  • Phelim Warren says:

    Delighted that Ronny is not letting them away with any of their garbage. As you say James, if this squad somehow managed to stay together, they could do some serious damage domestically and make an impact in the CL. Sad excuses for journalists alot them are.

  • edward says:

    The Scottish Media have no other players in the SPL who are being followed by EPL teams.They have nobody to talk about other than Celtic players.So they write there nothing stories and pretend they have inside info or real news
    I expect in a couple of years both Van Dijk and Johansen will be ready for the top four of the EPL, but frankly if they want to play at the highest level they should be looking at the top Leagues the Spanish ,German Italian and French
    These are the Leagues and teams for the” creme de la creme” players to aspire to ,not ,Wigan, Stoke and all the other alsorans who make up the EPL .
    Look at who are the quality teams in Europe none of them are English.

  • r mccol says:

    i dont agree about johansen i think a lot more inept performances than staring ones the semi final to name one. only my opinion

  • eebee says:

    As Celtic fans we are all well aware of the SMSM and their ulterior motives. Anything that can be used negatively against players, club or fans use it to stir up resentment, if it is in any way positive twist it to show the world how bad we are, although the media deny it and role out the old chestnut about paranoia. We just have to keep saying it as it is, stay together and our day will come.HH

    • tomtomrembrandt says:

      don’t buy the papers, simple
      put the scum out of business.
      that will end their lies.

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