Last night was stupendous, and not just for Celtic.
Last night was stupendous for Scottish football too, not that some of the hacks are writing that.
Ewan Murray wrote today of how bad this result is for our game; tell that to the SPL chairmen whose clubs live a hand-to-mouth existence and for whom the £250,000 that will be coming their way will be very welcome.
They would probably strong disagree.
Last night, over in La La Land the Sevconuts went from predicting we’d lose the game to moaning about how poor Astana were. We will, of course, get no credit from that quarter. One hilarious exchange had one guy muse that we “look no better than last season” to which one of his brethren responded “oh no better than the team which won a treble unbeaten domestically. That’s a relief. We probably have nothing to worry about then.”
Their pain is palpable. I’ll be reflecting on what the result means for them – I’ll give you a clue; nothing good haha – later on … but they are clinging to many straws as they try to find a way to make it look better than it is.
Many are predicting that the Champions League Groups will see “embarrassment” come our way.
These muppets really are too dumb for words.
Our result last night has helped them in co-efficient terms.
Over the next couple of years the system is due to change, making individual achievements mean more than the national average, and for that they should be on their knees thanking us because this year’s score will go on the record and it will help them more than they ever helped themselves.
Because, of course, there’s no “embarrassment” in us going somewhere like Barcelona and losing; better teams than us will. The embarrassment has already happened. It happened to other Scottish clubs. In particular, it happened to theirs.
Not for them the Group Stages of anything … the Luxembourgers took care of that. That’s real embarrassment. That’s the costly kind too. That’s the kind that will be hitting, like a hammer, their chances of a seeding and their chances of ever getting their hands on that pot of gold far into the future.
We will give them a modest hit, and a nice chunk of change.
They should be grateful for both and for something else too; we keep Scottish football in the sunny uplands. Their own credibility is shot. The national team is a flopping like wet clown feet. Teams like St Johnstone don’t even do self-analysis when they are beaten by European football’s sup-par dreck; they shrug it off as if it was nothing. They don’t even feel the shame of it, and that’s disgraceful. And it’s why these sides will never get any better.
Too many teams in this country simply don’t care and harbour no ambition whatsoever.
For example, the price Kilmarnock will pay for the retrograde step of hiring Lee McCulloch will be enormous, and I sincerely hope measured in a relegation. They’re out of the League Cup and have lost the first two matches of the campaign, and on Saturday they have us to look forward to. It’s not impossible – it’s not even unlikely – that they will be bottom come the close of business. That’s where they belong for such dire decision making.
There’s no helping these clubs, they can only help themselves and they show no sign at all of either wanting to or knowing how.
It is to our immeasurable credit that we’ve built a club capable of getting a result like last night whilst surrounded by this.
Our victory and the money that every club will get as a result is a gift they frankly don’t deserve.
This is not a criticism that can levelled at them all; the three clubs which have clearly been making positive strides, or trying to, Hearts, Hibs and Aberdeen, have had varying degrees of success. Aberdeen are clearly a club going in the right direction; ironically, I still believe it’s the manager many credit with that who is their biggest liability. But he has assembled a heck of a squad, capable of beating anyone else in Scotland on their day.
European football has proved a step up for them … but I think they’ve been dreadfully unlucky with their draws the last few years, all but this year where I think they had the beating of the Croats and can perhaps think themselves unlucky not to go through.
Hibs look tremendous. They, like Celtic, are a well-run club who have taken a chance on progressive managers with the right philosophy and they have reaped the rewards for it. Alan and Neil knew how to spot talent and get the best out of them … I think if Lenny is allowed the time and resources to get the job done they will be European regulars.
Hearts look a mess. But that’s because they took a risk on Ian Cathro, and you will not meet anyone outside of Scotland who does not think that was a risk worth taking. He was hamstrung, as Brendan says, by a ridiculous system where the manager doesn’t have full control.
Hey, rumour has it Ronny worked under a similarly daft scheme.
You’ve all seen the results of letting one man, the most important man, run the whole show … and if Hearts bring someone in who has the gravitas to insist on doing it all the way he wants to they will get there.
Until then, we’re flying the flag and we’re doing it alone.
It is not to us to drag Scottish football with us, but our success does benefit the game here regardless.
And yes we will move even further ahead than we are now, with this cash in the bank, but when you look how little ambition clubs like Kilmarnock have it would do them literally no good if we stood still, and even if we were going backwards some of them would be busily doing the same.
Celtic’s success was made at Celtic Park … but it was also made in Scotland and I would hope that Scotland would be proud of that fact.