“A week is a long time in politics.”
Harold Wilson, possibly never a truer thing.
But in Scottish football a week is a hell of a lot longer than that.
Last Saturday, we were getting prepared for an onslaught, weren’t we?
We were in trouble, weren’t we?
We were running scared of the Gerrard wagon train, weren’t we?
No we were not! But the media coverage might have had you hiding under the bed.
The spin before last week’s game was directed towards the promotion and assistance of the establishment club, the one that calls itself Rangers but are now Sevco in all but name. Rangers would never have had such a dreadful run of games against us.
On Sunday at 2pm everyone outside Celtic was in shock.
They shouldn’t have been and I will come to that in a minute, but it was akin to a 5 year old watching as a magician pulls a sweetie from their ear.
The magician here was Brendan.
But it wasn’t magic he conjured up, he simply focused this team.
The team meant business and when they do that they will beat anyone in Scotland comfortably.
In spite of that, not only did they vastly underestimate our club, our manager and our players, but they overestimated Sevco’s ability to test us.
And all of this is forever mixed with their belief that we should be second class in Scottish football and they are better because of who they are.
(Or rather, who they think they are.)
This has been highlighted more as the week has gone on.
Immediately after the game, I heard some took issue with the way the Celtic team went round the pitch to the fans; they said this was rubbing it in to the 800 (that backfired didn’t it) fans who were allowed in, and who couldn’t be trusted to leave in an orderly manner.
We won, but because we are Celtic we should just nod as if we’re embarrassed by the victory or something.
What our enemies – in their haste to write a negative story – have not considered is that Celtic has, for the last two seasons now, gone to the fans after every home game.
Did they walk across that little bit slower last Sunday?
Maybe, why not though?
It was at the end of a hard week in an even harder month of relentless negativity and pressure and we rammed it all down their throats.
Again, Celtic should not be allowed to do that in the eyes of some.
Since that game there’s been no uproar from us, no promotion in the SMSM, we have behaved with dignity, as James has already said.
One weekend column – from Alan Rough – told us not to get carried away.
The thing, we didn’t. We haven’t. Not at any point.
The other side though, wow.
Talk about ego, arrogance and petulant, toys out of the pram behaviour.
First off, we had the unusual spectacle of a player in a team we’d beaten easily on the day – Goldson – coming out and saying that “Celtic not that good, we were expecting Barcelona.”
I suppose he should be thankful that we aren’t as good as he thought we’d be.
They’d have been on the end of the kind of hiding that ends careers early.
We also had to listen to their manager drone on and on about a non existent foul in the build up to the goal, saying the 4th official agreed.
Imagine Brendan, any manager of ours in fact, saying that after a defeat to them, or indeed anyone; he and our club would have been slaughtered.
How many times is Gerrard going to get away with this? It is not trying to build a siege mentality, he is claiming they are being cheated. That goes beyond just making excuses. What were we told for years when we pointed out actual cheating “never defeated, always cheated?”
The difference is, that was never the official policy of the club.
Yes Gerrard admitted that McGregor should have gone, but how could he not?
Outside of a small group of Ibrox holdouts, like Walter Smith and McCulloch, only the members of the SFA disciplinary panel believed it wasn’t a sending off.
And for that not to be retrospectively punished proves that any attack on a Celtic player is being sanctioned.
How else are you going to get three people who don’t meet to dismiss something like this, especially when the rules are so vague?
But that’s another debacle for later.
The media reports, while in the main stating that we deserved the win, can by summed up by Keevins;
“I underestimated Celtic and over estimated (Sevco) … in this game only.”
Sevco are over estimated because of the bias towards them; I wasn’t aware until this time last week that this is their worst star by an Ibrox club since 1989.
It is worse than Warburton’s, the last Englishman in the hot seat and who’s team was ready to roll over us.
It is worse than the start made by Pedro.
Neither lasted the campaign.
Warbs fell, replaced by Murty, Pedro fell, replaced by Murty …. but surely Gerrard can’t fail, can he?
Hold on; what odds do you think I’d be offered on Murty being the next Sevco boss?
Seriously though, why were we underestimated?
Yes, our transfer window was mediocre at best, tensions within the boardroom were exposed, Boyata’s agent tried to force a move and Dembele left after disgusting behaviour.
All of this was reported on every day, and the “Celtic in crisis” graphics were wheeled out.
I’m just surprised that the old cracked crest wasn’t used again.
But this is why we hired one of the best managers in the business and he took control on all counts; transfer issues, Boyata and his return to the team and finally telling Dembele to piss off. This is why he is as good as he is. That and our squad, who are still – man for man – better than anything else in Scotland.
All that negative publicity was purely about trying to keep us in a place that they feel we should be full-time, at the back of the bus, as I’ve said many times, and I will not stop saying it until it stops being how they look at us.
I won’t hold my breath.
All of this, this effort at engineering some kind of crisis atmosphere around our club; emphasise the bad, underestimate them, tell them they are not that good, ensure that attacks on their players or by the establishment players are not punished … it its about keeping us down, the same old trick to stop us being successful.
As James said, Operation Stop The Ten is in full swing.
But they forget, as they always do, that we are better, we are stronger and that we will win in the correct manner.
We are Celtic.
They enjoyed a few good weeks when they thought they could batter us down.
They did not enjoy the last one.
David Campbell is a Celtic fan and blogger from Glasgow who has had a very nice last eight days.
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