Why is the media so blind, and stupid, when it comes to its dealings with Celtic fans? Why does it think it can bully or intimidate us with shit stories which never go anywhere but which are designed to make it look as if we’re one departure – that of the manager – away from a full-scale meltdown. This is not new, of course, but it continues to be wearying.
Not because it’s scary. Just because it’s boring.
Yesterday it was the turn of former player Davie Provan, a guy I remember from growing up but who precious few Celtic fans who I know have very much good to say about. It might be something to do with his making a media career out of taking shots at us, and Scottish football in general, with an EPL centred view that is blind to all else.
He was the guy who in 2010 said the job was no longer a big draw. Since the hour Brendan took over he’s been writing articles about when the manager would leave.
He’s not a great writer either, by the way.
His piece yesterday wasn’t even strictly about Celtic; the main column was something about the Scotland squad. It was unmemorable dreck, exactly what he produces every week, on a subject I no longer care about. The rest of his “column” was broken into those little forty-word opinion bubbles that Sun readers like so much because they are perfect for a ten second attention span, which is all most of them can muster up.
But contained in there – jammed at the bottom of the main piece and before he pontificated at forty-word length about something else – was an assertion that “his sources at Arsenal” have told him that Brendan Rodgers is very high on their list of possible candidates to replace Arsene Wegner. “Celtic fans, enjoy him whilst you can,” was his snide finish.
There are just, oh I dunno, like a hundred things wrong with that comment.
First is the almost cavalier disrespect it shows to Arsene Wegner, the guy who is currently in that job. I don’t know whether it’s Provan who’s being more of a snake or the so-called sources, but it’s scandalous to be talking about a manager as if he’s already gone.
Does interest translate into an offer for an interview?
Does an offer of an interview translate into an offer of a job?
Does an offer of a job mean that Brendan would necessarily choose to go there?
All of this is distasteful stuff, all of it is the kind of twattery you expect from a hack who cares more about his own name ringing out than he does about honest professionals doing their best in the sport; that a throwaway line is in an insult to Arsenal, Celtic, Wegner and Brendan.
It implies that one club is acting callously and dishonestly behind the scenes, that another are simply mugs who will roll over, it makes Wegner into a guy who’s the last to know his wife is having an affair and Brendan into an unprincipled git just waiting for the first offer from down south before he packs his suitcase and bids us farewell.
And it also betrays an underlying contempt for Celtic, this belief that we lucked into a good manager and that if Brendan did leave we would be bereft.
You know what would happen? We’d wish him well, then the excitement would start over who the next boss was going to be. I’d write dozens of articles about it, the bookies would take bets on it, the records of the likely candidates would be examined like Roman relics and then the buzz would start over the new guy, his possible signings, his team shape, his tactics and we’d wait to see how it worked out.
In other words, life would go on. It always does. We are not a one man club and we never have been. Brendan was the right man at the right time but there will be other managers, other leaders of this team. Nothing is set in stone. Football is forever in flux.
Do the media think we don’t know that? Hell, do they not know it themselves? When Ronny announced that he was leaving I predicted that it would be a disaster for Sevco and not because any manager had to be better than the Norwegian; I predicted it because too many people were under the impression that Celtic was somehow weak, that we had regressed, that our squad was sub-par, that our fundamentals weren’t right.
And all of it was nonsense. Celtic was fundamentally a strong club, but one that needed some kind of kick-start. And Brendan gave us that, but his appointment, whilst important, simply helped to gel all the pieces that were already in place. That’s why most of the squad that won the treble and went unbeaten last year is the same as the one Ronny had.
Because at its core, Celtic is a strong and stable club.
That’s why, no matter what happens next, Celtic will continue to move forward whether Brendan is manager or not. Provan would rather not get that; he’s not alone. Most of the hacks up here believe that we’re a few departures away from a crisis.
It’ll be a while before they get to test the theory; it’s pitiful that it’s all they are clinging to. And like most other of their fantasies, time will prove it to be a fools hope and no more.
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