Two words that make Celtic fans of my generation grab the stress ball in both hands and bite down hard on it.
I have been listening to Charlie Nicholas for years, and I’ve even read some of his newspaper columns. I remember him as a player as well, although my memories are of a guy hanging onto the fag end of his career and not the swaggering superstar who looked like a Celtic legend in the making but got out of town just as fast as his ears picked up the sound of Do You Think I’m Sexy? blasting out of the first London nightclub he went by.
That would be the Charlie Nicholas my mate swears blind he saw campaigning for a Tory, on the back of a truck, in Maryhill Road with a pair of leather trousers on. Charlie Nicholas the posing wannabee eejit who always thought he was better than us, and who ruined a career that could have been up there with the best of them on the back of a catastrophic decision which should have called his judgement into question forevermore.
A lot of people of my generation aren’t aware than Arsenal wasn’t the only club who was interested in him at the time he left Celtic. He was wanted by a lot of sides, all across Europe, and why not? Because it was obvious that he was an immense talent. One of the clubs who wanted him was Liverpool; they would go on to win the European Cup the following year.
Nicholas didn’t move to London for football reasons, and everyone knows it. He went there for more money and because he was smitten by the idea of taking his leather trousers and swanning about on the nightclub set. It was a ridiculous move, one that nobody close to him could believe. His time there was not entirely happy on the pitch, although there were high points as you would imagine with him being a genuinely talented footballer … but it’s where he got the nickname Champagne Charlie, and the first of his drink-driving bans.
It was a toss-up this morning (a tosser-up, you might say) between Walker and Nicholas to see who would be first to get their faces on the telly to predict that Brendan Rodgers was off to London, and in hindsight it was kind of obvious that it would be this clown, because he went there himself and probably doesn’t have the least regret about it.
But not everyone is so easily seduced by bling. London isn’t the attraction for some that it is for others, and Brendan has no reason to want to go there. Don’t let the tan and the teeth fool you, this isn’t a guy who’s going to be out on the dancefloor every night, or stuck in a corner snorting talcum through a rolled up twenty.
Some people care about values, some care only about value. Some folk are seduced by bling, and others see it for exactly what it is. Fake. Transient.
All this is nonsense anyway because there’s no vacancy until the end of the season and Arsenal won’t open talks with anyone any time soon. There are one or two other candidates in the frame, and if we’re talking about bling, let’s be honest; Brendan Rodgers, manager of Celtic, doesn’t have the “wow” factor Arsenal fans are looking for.
Check their forums out if you don’t believe me.
They do believe they can bring in a bigger name. They are right, if by that you mean someone who the hype machine will spout a lot of nonsense about. Ancelloti is but one such name, and I suspect that’s closer to the mark. The EPL is the only league where “success” is finishing in the top four and I strongly suspect their supporters have had enough of that already.
Shit, if Brendan wants a high pressure environment running a top four side with delusions of grandeur, ungrateful fans, unrealistic expectations and a whole lot of media hype he doesn’t have to go to London; there’s a challenge much closer to where he is right now. And yes, there would be a lot of shall we say “scepticism” about his appointment (and how!) but he’d have to deal with that at The Emirates anyway, right?
I think those two scenarios have about the same probability; i.e. zero.