The Media’s Problem With Jozo’s Tackle Wasn’t Excessive Force. It Was Excessive Class.

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Scotland’s football world really is a snide, horrible, parochial wee place at times.

There are things that happen within its universe that take the breath away. Today we’re being treated to one of those times, a discussion on whether Jozo Simunovic should have been booked for his tackle on Kenny Miller. Of all the wailing and whining going on over that result, this is the worst, the most absurd, the most embarrassing for those involved.

I have heard some right old cobblers about that tackle. Reckless some said. They want to get out the dictionary and check the definition of that word. “Heedless of danger or the consequences of one’s actions; rash or impetuous.”

That tackle was not dangerous, in any way. Kenny Miller is not a shrinking violet, we know that from his own history. Football is a game for players who can take a little rough stuff, but a lot of players do like to moan. Miller never goes through a game without the petted lip coming out. People describe that as him showing “passion” and “commitment.” I think he comes over sometimes as a little hysterical, like my girlfriend when she sees a spider.

To be frank, Miller is a pain in the arse.

If Miller were alone in his pitiful howling at the moon, that would be one thing. But a lot of folk in the media are questioning whether or not the tackle deserved a sanction. Are they for real? I mean, Andy Walker is, but he has the mental alacrity of a grapefruit.

He thought the game should have been stopped.

For what, exactly? Applause?

So the entire Celtic end and all of us watching could give the moment the standing ovation it deserved, prior to the match being restarted? Believe me, the Kerrydale Suite gave it exactly that when it was replayed at half time. And I have been smiling about it ever since.

Numerous Scottish match reports have questioned whether or not it was a foul. I can give them a simple, one word, answer to that question right now. “Hell no, God no, Christ no, are you kidding? I mean, seriously? No. No. No. No. NO.”

And they know it too, because as stupid as the question is they’re really not that stupid, but they are biased and bitter and ignorant.

Paul over on CQN nailed it yesterday when he described it as a genuine piece of world class football in a game where the home side, in comparison to us, barely looked of the standard you’d see in a public park. Celtic produced the only quality moments of the game, and when you consider how many of them there were Jozo’s tackle only looks better … because even in a 5-1 win away derby victory it stood out, head and shoulders above the rest.

Their problem with this boils down to one thing; it was not, as Miller described it, “excessive force.” No, it was, instead, “excessive class” from a player who is growing in confidence and stature (and value) with every game that he plays. He was immense for the 90 minutes. He is a cracking footballer, and I hope he will be at Parkhead for years to come.

What bothers them most watching that tackle is that they can see in it the emergence of yet another player for whom we could one day command an eight figure fee, and Jozo can’t hide his pleasure at being at Celtic right now.

The hacks have highlighted our forward going players this year, and Kieran’s emergence is undeniable. The midfield has won plaudits, especially Armstrong, but somehow they all missed that another first rate footballer was doing his stuff, in our back line, without much fanfare or attention.

They know now alright. That has to be scary for them, because they had erroneously identified our defence as some kind of weak link in the team … and that’s why Boyata’s emergence as a player is also giving them conniptions.

When they look back on the game, and on the performance of our defenders and in particular that tackle, you can almost hear them thinking, “God, not another one …”

Yes, another one.

It’s been there in flashes all season long … but it took a moment of absolute quality to make it undeniable.

I know how they’ve missed it for this long, and why they are scared stupid by an awesome piece of skill; these are the people who’ve spent the whole season waiting for Danny Wilson to “blossom” and praising a 38 year old and begging for the club to give him a new contract. They’ve made excuses for Kiernan and publicly supported the ludicrous decision to sign Senderos … and lobbied for him to play.

They recognise the quality of our big defender … and that they have nothing like it. Not even close.

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