As a blogger, it is always nice when something you write is highlighted somewhere else.
I am grateful to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain this week for flagging my article on Scottish football corruption, just as I’m grateful to the guys at the Endless Celts podcast for discussing my piece on the British League.
It’s always nice to get those wee nods from your peers.
Bizarrely, I got a nod of recognition from elsewhere today, and it’s not the first time recently that I’ve been mentioned in somewhat unusual places.
Part of my job is to monitor the bonkers Ibrox fan sites; they’ve taken to following this blog and writing about it.
Obviously, it’s nice. Thanks for reading, guys, and all that.
But if you’re trying to start a debate with me you better bring your A game and between yourselves and the Ibrox News site which featured the blog in the aftermath of the Scottish Cup tie, you’re really not doing that yet.
The snarks being fired at me are pretty weak. It’s almost not worthwhile responding.
But I am going to respond to today’s piece over at Vital Rangers, because they have sneered at my recent editorial saying that their team are bottlers.
It amazes me that they would put up such an article for two reasons; first, their own readers won’t appreciate their giving this blog the publicity and secondly, a lot of them think the charge sticks.
Regular readers of this blog know our writers cover all of Scottish football; don’t let the name of the blog fool you. We write from a Celtic perspective, hence the name of the site, but we cover the game with the wide angle lens.
We’re a Scottish football site with a Celtic focus. Vital Rangers is a Sevco site.
So it must be unusual for their readers to see the name of a Celtic site in the headline. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still nice … but for them, a little jarring.
The thing is, what’s more, a lot of them know their team are bottlers.
A lot of them have said so.
A lot of their site editors have branded them as such.
Their forums were fizzing the other day, and a lot of the posters were expressing their view in terms much harsher than that. A word that sounds an awful lot like “flight bags” was being used a lot, and that was one of the nicer ones.
None of that would matter if the truth of it were not evident in the actual stats.
They claim to be the biggest club in the country. They are the second best, but let’s not quibble.
Theirs is also the second biggest wage bill in the league.
They have won just one trophy in Gerrard’s three tenure … in nine attempts.
Out of six goes at the domestic cup competitions they’ve only got to the final once and have not tasted silverware. If they had to travel to Hampden they’d need a map. We could walk there blindfolded.
Their players might not be good enough to win trophies on a regular basis – I think we’re going to find that this year the won the title under exceptional circumstances which won’t be repeated – but they should have been good enough to do better than one final in six attempts at the knockout competitions.
What’s more, their fans can’t handle playing in front of crowds.
That’s the giveaway here; they won the title in front of no fans.
Their own support puts the players under pressure, and under pressure they crack.
When there are expectations on them they fold, they can’t perform.
Except, this season, against us and let’s face it we’re not 20 points behind on the back of games against them … it’s because we’ve been dreadful against everyone.
Their players are bottlers. A lot of their fans believe this.
The media won’t write it, but this blog and others will. I understand why that bothers a lot of them … they know it doesn’t portend well for the next campaign.
That’s the reality they are going to have to live with though; Celtic will be back, much stronger and ready for battle.
If they slip even a little, if just one break goes the other way, we’ll be all over them and that’ll last only until we’re in front of them.