Today we take the field at what’s certain to be a rain-lashed Hampden, against an Ibrox club which is ever more surrounded by hype. I said in a piece last week that one of the things that motivates this Celtic team is anger. It is.
Anger over our achievements not being fully recognised for what they are.
This is the greatest period of domestic football dominance in the history of the Scottish game, and the team who have accomplished it may not have peaked yet. Think on that for a moment. This team may not even be, yet, as strong as it will be.
There is some evidence to suggest that this team is already improved from the one which wrapped up the first of our three trebles; the results in Europe under Lennon. We would not have gotten those last year, nor the years before that. We would certainly not have beaten a team like Lazio – who dispatched Juventus yesterday – home and away.
Yet all the hype before this game has surrounded how much Sevco has “improved.” Few have bothered to talk about how much better we are. The couple of bad results we had have been put in the rear-view by recent form … yet that form has barely been acknowledged.
Professionals don’t care about constant praise; it becomes white noise. But they all expect, and demand, respect for their achievements. That’s what this Celtic team does not get as the media pours all the honey over the club from Ibrox.
Our players deserve more respect than they’ve had these last few months.
The hysteria about the so-called great form at Ibrox has been a source of immense aggravation to all of us, I’m sure, so imagine how it must feel to players who have been so consistent and brilliant to read over and over again about how this is all about the club across the city.
So today, that’s the job.
To push back against the hype, to shatter the egos of the Ibrox club and its arrogant, presumptive fans.
They really do seem to believe this nonsense that it’s “their turn”, as if cups and titles were handed out on a revolving basis instead of won by the team who puts on the show and plays better on the day.
Today will belong to the team who combines the will to win with the talent to make it happen. We have both in spades, and hold a decisive advantage in either area. No club wants to win more than one which is already winning … and the better footballers is a given.
Ladies and gents, enjoy this one. Savour every second. I’ll see you all on the other side, and if all goes according to plan it’ll be for two pieces; one celebrating our triumph … and the latest Fear and Loathing article.
Let’s remind of the truth they find so hard to take; Glasgow’s Green and White.
How well do you know the history of Slapping Sevco? Our latest quiz is online right now … you can take it at the link in this piece, or by clicking here. There’s no better way to get in the mood than to cast your minds back to some of the skelpings we’ve already handed out!