Let’s tackle this matter once and for all.
Are Celtic weaker without the fans to cheer them on?
Yes, they are. That stands to reason.
The 12th man in the stands has been one of the greatest weapons in the history of the club; it’s not for nothing that so many excellent players from all over the world have come to Celtic Park and left awestruck by the support.
The same applies to our travelling army, which in Seville blew away everyone who watching.
We are the best fans in the world.
There is no question whatsoever that our team would prefer to have our support at the weekend.
But at the same time, we’ve won at Ibrox where the crowd was almost entirely hostile.
We’ve won European away games with a handful of our supporters in the ground.
Our players know the job and they can perform whether in front of empty stands or ones filled to the rafters with people who want to swim up to their knees in Irish Catholic blood. There are people in the media who hope this will affect us over the course of the campaign; their belief would be much easier to justify if they thought it would affect everyone else too.
But Jackson is just one of a number who is pushing the fiction that Sevco is somehow better off without its fans. No part of this argument makes the least bit of sense. It so weighted down with contradiction, and is so clearly absurd, that it seems almost pointless to debate it.
Yet it is being pushed so aggressively that it has to be confronted.
Let’s open with the obvious one; if this is such a truism why have these same journalists spent years extolling the virtues of the Ibrox support and characterising them as indispensable to the team? How can the support have been a benefit one day and a burden the next?
They think that because the Celtic side of the equation is logical and consistent that they can pretend that the Sevco side of it as well?
Yes, Celtic benefits from its rousing supporters … all clubs do.
The second place this guff runs into itself is with this contention that Sevco’s support puts the team under pressure when they are not playing well; this is definitely true, but it’s equally true for Celtic Park which can sometimes be a tinderbox of nerves and coiled anger on days when the team is toiling.
But Jackson and others – who know this well and have written about it at times and often dragooned it into their arguments about our team and pressure – conveniently omit this from their deliberations as a means of supporting their pitiful assertions here.
Here’s another thing; the same Jackson article as makes this ridiculous point also spreads honey on the Sevco team and talks about how brilliant they are, hilariously not confronting the contradiction that lies in the league table; if the game were stopped right now we’d win the table on average points.
When the game in hand is played we’ll be top.
That aside, Jackson goes out of his way to say how great this Ibrox team is … but if that’s true then why aren’t they missing the fans? Because if they are good as everyone keeps saying, why would the fans be unhappy and thus putting them under pressure anyway?
This stuff is so blatantly Freudian; it’s as if on some level they know the truth and it keeps creeping into their frame of reference although they try hard to deny it.
Here’s what they aren’t saying; some of this brilliant football they are allegedly playing is illusory and a couple of their results have in no way reflected the reality of the games.
Add to that, they’ve dropped points in two matches since we gave them the opportunity to move into an early lead over us. Their fans know that this is the real gauge of how much “progress” they’ve made … the anger is just waiting to be unleashed over there.
Finally, Jackson and others keep on telling us that we’re having a bad start to the season; I’ll take our start over theirs any day of the week, the one that allows us to move clear on points with a game in hand if we can win the home game we have coming up.
We, like they, made the Group Stages of the Europa League.
For a club in crisis, we’re not doing badly.
Ask them about the form book for this one, and they’ll say in spite of our game in hand advantage and that winning it would put us top that it’s the Ibrox club who look better and playing the better football here. So many of them are tipping them on that basis.
Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for a moment; assume Sevco is the “in form team”.
Whatever happened to “the form book goes out the window for these games”?
Cause we hear that every year as well, especially if we go into these matches clearly on top.
Nowhere in any of this, either, is the truth which nobody in La La Land wants to acknowledge because it scares them worse than babysitters being stalked by a masked killer at Halloween; it’s advantage Celtic right now, when we’re allegedly not playing well … how in Hell is their rag-bag mob going to keep pace with us once we do start rolling?
Jackson’s piece is nonsensical, full of wishful thinking to a fare-thee-well.
If he believes half of it he really does belong in the Sevco ward at Hidden Hills.
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