Among all the media hype in the build up to the weekend’s Lesser Glasgow Derby, let we, here, cut through the bluster, bullshit and bravado.
Sevco are “on-form” at present. With 9 wins out of their last 10 games it would be folly to underestimate them but equally as foolish to believe the hype surrounding them.
They beat Aberdeen 2-0 at Ibrox which of course deserves plaudits as Aberdeen are supposed to be the second best team in Scotland. They then stuttered to a 2-1 away win at Ross County who were incidentally piss poor in the first half of that encounter and the Messiah Murty readily acknowledged this post-match.
A kind draw in the Cup, saw them face Fraserburgh away at Bellslea Park winning 3-0 courtesy of a Windass hat-trick. We’re continually bombarded with this information by the press.
The wheels came off when Hibs visited Ibrox with the Easter Road side showing their mettle in a 2-1 reverse. This mob’s home form isn’t great – most Bluenoses would admit this.
Ours is marginally better but we have drawn too much.
Celtic need to show the same grit and determination this weekend. We need a spirited and glossy performance. There’s a lack of “white noise” coming from Parkhead. Celtic are keeping silent which is good. Keep it that way, do the talking on the pitch,
Since Hibs, Sevco have faced Partick who currently sit 11th, Ayr United a lowly League 1 side, Hamilton who are 10th in the Premier and St. Johnstone who mysteriously dropped 4 players from a winning team from the previous week and Falkirk whose only decent result this season has been against Dundee United.
Their form, regardless of who they’ve faced, has improved since we last played them, but only complacency will beat Celtic on Sunday, that and and any lack of fight.
Sevco, their fans and the Scottish media are desperate to turn this into a title race. What is happening here is the hype is building them all up for one all-mighty fall. If Celtic win on Sunday the nine point gap will return with the Bhoys having a game in hand which could then be 12.
Celtic has faced Brechin in an equally kind draw (they are languishing at the bottom of the Championship) seeing them off in a 5-0 win and also lowly Partick away. Despite taking a 2-0 lead Celtic let the opposition in and looked patchy at times. They faced sterner opposition in Neil Lennon’s Hibs with a goal separating both sides in Celtic’s favour.
The other half of Edinburgh visited Celtic Park midweek with Celtic performing to their best. This kind of free flowing football must be adhered to at Ibrox. From Jekyll to Hyde, we fell on our own sword to Steve Clarke’s much improved Kilmarnock side. To say we were off form that day was an understatement with perhaps James Forrest the only one to be given pass marks.
After the euphoria of the 1-0 victory over Zenit, Celtic drew 0-0 with St. Johnstone. Despite dropping seven players Brendan Rodgers still believed we had enough in the arsenal to shoot the Perth men down. I thought he got that decision wrong. It was far too many to change but at least I understood the thinking behind it.
An abject performance in St Petersburg saw the Hoops knocked out of the Europa League.
Woeful to watch.
Then we went to Pittodrie, just days later. Many had written Rodgers’ men off before a ball was kicked but lo and behold the Celts delivered and comfortably.
There were cries of Aberdeen lying down, McInnes getting his tactics wrong. Former Rangers man Gordon Dalziel dismissed this saying Celtic were simply the better team.
Celtic made tough work of the first half in the tie against Morton but realistically ran out comfortable winners with a Dembele brace and Eduoard finding the pokey.
None of the top four has beaten this “off-form” Celtic side as yet.
This Celtic side has a superior goal difference of 11 over Sevco with a game in hand, 28 over Aberdeen and 30 over Hibs.
Admittedly we’ve been hard to watch at times and we’re certainly not the Invicibles of last season but we’re good enough to take all three points at Ibrox.
What I’ve yet to see discussed – only James has mentioned it thus far, as an aside – is a draw on Sunday. As he pointed out, Celtic doesn’t need to win the game. The gap will be six, possibly nine should Celtic win against Dundee in the re-arranged fixture.
In the run in to the business end of the season, Celtic will welcome back the likes of Roberts, Griffiths and Armstrong which will make us stronger.
I’d imagine Paddy may be included in the squad for the Ibrox visit. The injuries we’ve faced as a club this season have been mind-blowing. It’s lead to a lack of continuity. We’re lucky to have the same team from fixture to fixture. Continuity is key for any successful side.
All this talk of title challenges and us running scared is a pleasure to listen to. I even read a blog yesterday stating that only Kieran Tierney would be an immediate pick for Sevco’s Starting XI.
Utter bluster, utter bullshit, utter bravado.
Fill yer boots though.
Write us off at your peril.
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