The last week has been highly amusing to me.
Seven days ago, in the aftermath of the Kilmarnock draw, the Bolingoli story broke, and we were off to the races. Sevco fans were overjoyed.
They put their potential eleven-point lead in the bank and started to dream of us dropping the points that would cement it in place. They believed, absolutely, in that lead, as if it already existed, as if they didn’t have to play games and win them in order to secure it.
I didn’t concern myself with what they were saying over there. Frankly, the Bolingoli situation did us more harm than the dropped points because they dented momentum and will force us to squeeze two additional matches in somewhere.
I was not concerned with the potential of an 11-point gap even if it had transpired; one thing we’re good at is putting a run together.
That lead would have been a phantom construct, and Sevco fans know it.
They could still make it nine points by winning this coming weekend, and nobody is in the least bit concerned about that now.
I knew that if we signed a striker we’d be well on our way to restoring equilibrium to our world. Once we bring in a centre back, and particularly if it’s Shane Duffy or someone of that quality, I think most of us will think we’re good to go.
In contrast, Sevco’s confidence has been rocked by a single bad result and Gerrard’s inability to change tactics on the fly. Our own performance against Kilmarnock was dreadful, but Lennon wound up with a totally different shape as we chased the winner … when we have our squad up to snuff we’ll win these games as a matter of routine.
But the Ibrox supporters watch a manager who has not learned anything in two full years at the club and they worry.
They see weaknesses in his tactical approach.
They see a dumb refusal to adapt.
They watch like-for-like changes and despair.
Their fans know Gerrard is a loser. This is the thing.
They sometimes forget it for a brief spell, but then they go through a bad day and it all comes flooding back. On this site, and other Celtic blogs, we know what Gerrard is and never waver from the belief that he’s only a couple of good results away from the next reversal … he cannot build league winning form.
We’re going to own this lot, and one of the reasons why is that our club keeps a cool head no matter what is going on elsewhere. Listen to the way our players have spoken the last week to see it; not one of them was concerned with the prospect of an eleven-point lead at Ibrox, not one of them felt under additional pressure.
We know pressure. We know we can handle it. They cannot, and we have known that from the start. Sevco fans do too, although they sometimes forget.
But at the weekend they had another big, rude reminder.
Reality has hit them, and when that happens you think back at the fantasy and wonder how you could ever have believed in it.
Until the next time.
That’s their curse.
There’s always a next time.
But for now, their confidence has been shattered by a single result.
At the weekend, we need to pour on the pain.
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