Over the weekend, the Usual Suspects in our “esteemed” press corps were busily imparting their wisdom on the mental state of the Celtic squad.
This was nothing I didn’t fully expect after Neil Lennon made those disastrous comments in the aftermath of the Ferencvaros game. You just knew they were going to generate speculation and that the press would have a field day.
From now until the window shuts, all of these clowns are going to be reading the tea-leaves and predicting our future. Every time a player is injured or is dropped there will be an outbreak of fever and the cast of the Muppets will be in a frenzy.
This will never be truer than in the case of Odsonne Edouard.
The hacks who already confidently, boldly, predicted his sale before the Champions League catastrophe are emboldened not only by the result but by what the manager said. They are more arrogant in their “predictions” than ever before.
So what’s the truth in all this? Well, we have the Celtic manager, we have Edouard himself and we have the player’s agent. All three of them are adamant that he is focussed on our club and on the ten in a row campaign. All three of them.
And then we have the media, trying to read smoke signals and do back-of-the-fag-packet maths. Some of the hacks have all but called Edouard, his agent and Neil Lennon liars. All have agreed that if a big enough bid comes in that Peter Lawwell will take the decision out of the hands of all else involved, and if that means shuttling the player down to West Brom then so be it.
Forget that the player and his agent might not fancy West Brom or some other dead-end … the press thinks this is all about money, which in Edouard’s case it never was. This is guy who, more than any other player at our club these past few years, has a career plan which him and his agent have talked about many times before.
Those two men have a very clear idea of where they want to be in the next couple of years, and both know some relegation battler or mid-table scrapper like Newcastle isn’t it. When high-end clubs are on the hunt, why would he move for the money this time? Because he’s in his early twenties and the money is going to be there in two or three years anyway.
His next club decision will be a footballing one, like Moussa or Kieran made and that’s a handful of clubs. Clearly we’d have been in a better position had we made the Champions League Groups, and we pretty much need to make the Europa League ones or he will go, for football reasons, but he also does get ten in a row and the idea of immortality.
A lot of people in the press sneer at this, but that shows their own prejudices more than anything else. There are people in our squad who do understand the significance of this and do want more than just a few quid in the bank at the end of their careers.
Look at Shane Duffy; why do people reckon Duffy is moving to Celtic Park? He’s taking a wage cut to do it and of course, ten in a row is one of his stated reasons for it.
Edouard, his agent and Celtic have spoken up on this … if the media wants to call them all liars then so be it. Doubtless, if Edouard does go in this window – if he and the club get an offer neither can refuse from the point of view of the numbers – the hacks will crow about being right. But any hack, like Jackson, who suggests that Edouard has been agitating for a move behind the scenes, is lying through their teeth because that has not happened.
His piece yesterday was another lamentable disgrace, with its not too subtle suggestion that Lennon and the coaches believe Edouard isn’t really injured and is having them on. Jackson does not have a single source inside Celtic Park, this is dredging from the bottom of the internet forums and nothing else, putting two and two together to get nine.
Edouard has behaved like a professional from the day and hour he walked through the Celtic Park front door.
If only the hacks who cover our sport had an ounce of that in them.
The CelticBlog aims to keep getting better and better. If you like what we do, please subscribe and never miss another article. If you’re on Facebook, join us on our Facebook Group or share us on yours, and if you’re on Twitter remember and re-tweet all our work.