Today we’re playing for another bit of history.
Today we’re playing for 67 domestic matches unbeaten.
It’s a remarkable achievement and one we were never supposed to reach. It should be an impossible number in the modern game, when top clubs have to play European ties on top of a busy schedule and nearly all title winning teams have international players on top of that.
The critics have been trying to devalue our achievements ever since Brendan became manager, but this one defies them because it is clearly incredible. None of the teams of yesteryear managed it; there has never been a team in the history of the Scottish game with this much consistency and nobody is willing to claim this era is the worst of all time because plainly that is sheer nonsense. So they are stuck with how to respond.
Their change of tactic has been brutal, and predictable; now we’re cheating our way forward. The run would have been stopped but for decisions that went our way; forget that the stats tell a different story, that we’re one of the teams in the bottom half of the penalty kick table, that we’ve seen stonewall decisions go the other way … unable to devalue it at the expense of every other club they’re now accusing us of pressuring refs.
They hate this. It’s the ultimate symbol of our dominance, a number that just goes up and up and up.
They can’t argue with it or downgrade it, and I think they worry – quite legitimately – that the longer it goes on the less it will affect our players and start to become something that gnaws at the minds of everyone else. Teams will start to think there’s no point in showing up for games against us. The psychological effect on our team is obvious; they play like they think they can’t be beat. If other clubs get the same idea … who knows where this ends?
This is what really scares them and it’s the reason the whole country has been highlighting our decisions this week; they want to handicap us as much as possible before we reach the tipping point where teams think it’s a waste of time showing up.
It’s coming, and they know it.
Today we make it 67. A special number, for a special time, at our special club.