Well, what about that?
So much for the Hampden Hoodoo.
You know the press is desperate for something – anything – to cling to when they’re bringing that one out, and it wasn’t the only piece of sheer clinging to hope I read before this one kicked off. The Herald did a very helpful piece on Brendan’s career record of zero trophy wins … funny how they never did that with other managers who arrived in this country without one. We know what Brendan offers … trophies or not.
That, as well as the Hampden Hoodoo, have been laid to rest in a single afternoon, one where our dominance and class showed throw and made sure there wasn’t the slightest doubt as to the outcome. We were brilliant, pure and simple. Every part of the team did what it was supposed to, from the front men to the defence, which was superb.
Tom’s goal, which started it all off, was magnificent.
No less special was that scored by James Forrest, a guy who I gave more stick to than any other in the team when Ronny was here. Indeed, I said at the start of the season that he exemplified the word “useless”. How things have changed. This is what really good managers do; they don’t sign 20 odd players and hope that some of them are good. They make small changes in personnel. The rest is about making those who are at the club better, and he’s done that.
Those two players – Rogic and Forrest – were on the way out before Brendan arrived.
They were done. They were leaving. Neither wanted to sign a new deal and it looked as if they would depart over the summer. Before long they had contracts and were vital cogs in the wheel, and I’ve never seen either player play better than they are right now.
Big Moussa scored from the penalty spot, but his was a quietish day.
Teams know all about him now; he was well marked, but that, ironically, left Rogic, Forrest and Roberts the space to exploit. When your team has this much firepower there are no good choices for the opposition manager, who was typically abject and clueless anyway.
Honestly, how long are Aberdeen’s fans going to stick with this guy?
Maybe they’ll tolerate being second best, in the league and days like today, but if he doesn’t secure that spot then surely the hard questions need to be asked about him. He is a serial failure and life isn’t getting better for him or for his team. He’s taken them as far as he’s able.
This is the most dominant I’ve seen a Celtic team in a cup final for many years. If there were any residual concerns about our record at the National Stadium there was no sign of them. The players looked comfortable and confident throughout. Decisions were made with cool heads and they backed each other up when that was required. We closed down Aberdeen every time they had the ball. Our energy levels were incredible.
And what about the fans who were there? The 67 minute “light show” has become a special part of the atmosphere and it was stunning today. The noise the supporters made was brilliant; it’s not for nothing that during his interview with French TV yesterday Moussa mentioned their constant singing and the way a ground sounds when they are in full voice. They gave the players tremendous support and that was a huge factor in how the team performed.
This was a special day. It was a measure of our dominance over the game here, and it made some history with it.
Our 100th trophy has been secured. Brendan has his first one, and the hacks have one less stick to beat him with, but to be honest it was a pretty pitiful one anyway, akin to that branch Basil slaps his car with in that famous Fawlty Towers moment.
And the Hampden Hoodoo is no more. Brendan was asked about that during the week, and he told the hack who asked, “Well I wasn’t here then,” which was the very best answer he could have given them. Because this is his Celtic team now, and everything’s different.
What a fantastic occasion it’s been.
The March to the Treble starts here.