Gordon Smith. Aaah. You have to hand it to him.
When he gets it wrong, he goes all in.
He was an ex-player who became an agent. An agent who became a crap journalist. A crap journalist who ended up the second worst CEO in the history of the SFA.
He then went on to be the last guy in the room not to realise what Craig Whyte was up to at Ibrox, going to work for him as CEO there just before the iceberg hit.
In any normal football media environment, this guy would be regarded as a joke and treated that way. Not here. Not in Scotland, where he remains some kind of national figure, as ridiculous as that actually is and sounds. Here, he’s seen as some kind of elder statesman, which is pretty laughable to those of us who remember his Greatest Hits.
Smith was talking about Celtic at the weekend. You can guess, I’m sure, that he wasn’t saying anything complementary. In fact, what he was saying took absurdity to greater heights than ever before. He suggested that Celtic may have been psychologically traumatised from losing last year. That we might be in a bad headspace and feeling inferior.
This is ridiculous of course.
Our players were well below themselves last season, playing crap football and being buffered by so many different storms I sometimes wonder that Parkhead is still standing. But most of that was down to simple bad management more than it was down to anything else.
If there was a psychological weight on the team that might have been something to do with the way in which the manager constantly talked down his own players and lost the dressing room.
Ange has brought a new atmosphere and focus to the squad … we appear unlikely to repeat those kind of mistakes again.
On top of that, there will be significant squad turnover; how exactly does he think players who are new to the club will suffer the psychological effects of something that happened before they arrived?
Those players who are still at the club were, not that long ago, celebrating a quadruple treble and looked absolutely unstoppable in the domestic sphere.
So where is Smith getting this guff from? From his own mind, that’s where, from his own collection of anti-Celtic fantasies. I said in a previous piece, earlier in the week, that anyone basing predictions on how we’ll do in the coming season by what we did in a campaign where we dropped points in 16 games out of 38 is a complete mug.
That most certainly won’t happen again.
That was a bizarre season, in unique circumstances. Our players realise that, and those who are staying will be stronger than ever. Those who are just coming in … they’ve never heard of Gordon Smith and don’t care what he thinks.