If you were able to somehow go back in time, to the era when the Roman army was the finest military force in the world, and if you were somehow able to hand one of their enemies a truckload of M134 Miniguns and then watch what happened I guarantee you one thing; the legionaries would not laugh when they saw those weapons being deployed.
The Romans would not have recognised their design but they would have known to be afraid long before those guns started ripping down their massed ranks. Their engineers were always busy designing new ways to kill and they would have understood the concept of ballistic weapons very well, as they had perfected a number of them.
Everyone who has ever studied weapons and war knows there is one immutable truth; wars are not won by sides who stay on the defensive.
They are won in offense, in going after the enemy where he lives.
And major honours are generally not won by teams who play with eleven men behind the ball.
They go to the teams which can strike hardest in attack.
Only an idiot laughs in the face of heavy firepower.
Sevco fans are laughing at us over this transfer window.
They are the stupidest people alive.
Their reason for gloating is that we haven’t strengthened our defence; they mean the one that carried us through an unbeaten domestic campaign last season. They mean the one that was far and away the best in the league. No, we didn’t strengthen that.
No all we did was hand the manager a couple of M134’s.
Like I say, they are the stupidest people alive.
Let me tell them why it’s not really of great consequence that we didn’t strengthen for Europe.
I wish we had, but I realise that it would have been largely symbolic and probably ultimately futile. We’re going up against two of the best attacking outfits on the planet, and that scares me and it would have scared me had we signed two top class centra backs.
But to the bigger picture, for them, Europe could hardly be less important.
They were knocked out by a team from Luxembourg, and not even the best team in that tiny country.
For them, Europe is irrelevent.
Their midweek schedule is Coronation Street and hoping The Apprentice airs early.
We have achieved our primary goal for the season in that regard, by getting to the Group Stages of the Champions League. It didn’t matter what kind of group draw we got, the chances were better than average that we’d come up against at least two quality sides who would be expected to beat us.
Last season I wrote of how I was not ashamed at the beating we took in Barcelona.
We were an SPL side going up against one the best sides in world football, with the finest strike-force in history. I predicted that they would do the same to far better teams than us, and one of those teams was the PSG side who we face in this campaign … they’ll have a few additions of course.
I fully expect PSG to turn us over.
And I expect Bayern Munich to do the same.
Here’s an overview of how the sides have fared in recent years.
PSG reached the Round of 16 last season, where they suffered their shock reversal in the Camp Nou after they had stunned the Catalan’s with a 4-0 win at home. For the four years before they were in the quarter finals each and every time. They are a European giant, and no two ways about it.
Bayern Munich’s record is even more incredible. Since 2009-10 they have been in three finals, winning one, three semi-finals, one round of 16 and last season’s quarter final. Along the way they dispatched Arsenal 10-2 on aggregate, winning 5-1 home and away.
Our games are against Anderlecht.
If we can snatch something from the four matches against those colossal teams it will be a minor triumph in itself.
A win will be a result on a par with the one we secured at home against Barcelona in 2012.
Even if we lose six games out of six, it has no impact whatsoever on our club’s financial position, or our league chances. We will be going for seven in a row come what may.
Sevco fans do realise that, right?
That our European results are of no consequence to them?
What is of consequence to them is that Moussa Dembele is still at Celtic. He terrorised them last season. So too did Scott Sinclair. He’s still there. Leigh Griffiths is raring to go. Guess what? We have midfielders who terrorised them too; young Callum, Brown, Armstrong, Rogic.
All are still at our club, the Invincibles.
We signed the best player in the SPL outside of Celtic Park. We bought a top class midfielder. Patrick Roberts is back at the club on loan and we added to all this existing firepower with a top class youth prospect from France.
We didn’t need him.
That signing is overkill.
It’s like the redundancy option in nuclear war planning; three bombs, five ICBM’s and four submarine launched warheads all targeting the same one mile of ground. You only need to hit it once, but you plan for all eventualities and if the end result is that a single patch of earth is pounded so hard it leaves the imprint of God’s hammer in dirt you consider it a job well done.
That’s what our forward line options are like.
Like nuclear redundancy.
Like bringing out the miniguns against soldiers carrying swords.
Offence wins wars and league titles. What good is it to Sevco fans that we didn’t strengthen at the back? Brendan now has more tactical options up top than ever before. Did we not beat them hard enough last season, home, away and at Hampden?
Are they crying out for further lessons in this campaign?
Those lessons are coming, sure as night follows day.
The scariest forward-line machine in the recent history of Scottish football has been put together at Parkhead.
And it’s coming for them …
They aren’t going to know what hits them.