Celtic returned from an away trip at Rennes just the other day, and are ready to play a major match at home to Kilmarnock.
Without fanfare. Without hysteria.
Without screaming in the papers about a schedule that we knew about – which everyone knew about – months ago.
We have asked for no special help from the SPFL. We’re getting on with it.
Across the city, they played at home. There was no journey to stiffen the muscles or deprive folk of sleep. They kick off a mere 45 minutes ahead of us … and all I’ve read from their quarter is moaning. Moaning about kick-off times. Moaning about everything.
The Record today has Kenny Dalglish “sending a warning” to both Glasgow clubs about not using the European schedule as an excuse. Maybe he missed that only one club that plays in Glasgow is trying to, and it isn’t ours.
This is called “getting your excuses in early.”
At Ibrox they are well known for it.
“We’re not complaining, it’s the way it is, we’ll get on with it,” Gerrard said. Before he started to complain about it. “But for the likes of ourselves and Celtic, you would like to think that our own league would help us in terms of kick-off times, but they go the other way and make them earlier and give morning kick-offs.”
Do you notice how he dragoons us into his argument? When we haven’t said a word?
Because we know TV rules this issue and that early Sunday kick-offs are part of the price we have to pay for failing to get to the Champions League.
In the meantime, Celtic prepares and works and gets ready for the next two games, against Kilmarnock today and then against Thistle in midweek. The one after that is against Hibs at Easter Road … at 12:30 next Saturday. Another early kick-off.
But it’s also another chance to add to the points tally before other sides start their afternoon.
We have become used to this schedule.
For ten years now we’ve had Group Stage football on top of a domestic calendar of games.
We built the squad for this explicit purpose, and that will start to become obvious as we go forward.
We’re in good shape. Here’s to another three points today and the continuation of the manager’s excellent winning run.
It’s a pleasure to watch this team, and this has been a big month already with more big games to come.
Our team for today’s game has just been announced too; Ollie starts and so does Bauer.
Greg Taylor will have to wait a wee while longer for his first start … but he’s on the bench.
CELTIC: Fraser, Bauer, Ajer, Jullien, Bolingoli; Brown, McGregor, Ntcham, Christie, Forrest; Edouard
Subs: Gordon, Taylor, Elhamed, Hayes, Elyounoussi, Rogic, Bayo
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