It’s been a while since I wrote two pieces in one day, and even longer since I did a piece which contrasts us with the mob across the city. But something James said at the end of the last article, the one on their transfer stories today, made me sit up and take notice.
At the moment, we’re focussed on who we’re bringing in. That’s where the excitement lies during the close season. Fans always want to see the team getting stronger. Celtic fans are getting the benefits of that. Although we still may lose Christie and Eddie in this window, our supporters know that the team will likely emerge stronger when it closes.
There is a buzz about Celtic Park right now as we watch these guys start to bed into the team. As I reported earlier, there are two deals supposedly near completion; the one for Juranovic – which even Sky Sports says is just about done – and the one for the Greek striker. Both are exciting deals. Fans love periods like this, and the anticipation of watching a new signing play.
Where is the anticipation across the road? For the next two weeks everyone over there will be fretting over who is likely to go. If they sell a couple of players for high value deals (stop laughing, it could happen haha) the manager might get some scratch for a new player. Otherwise, their fans are going to have to make do even as Celtic ramps up the excitement.
It is no fun watching your rivals splash the cash whilst you count the pennies. They had anticipated a collapse in our season ticket sales which never came. They had anticipated Champions League cash which isn’t coming. Instead, we get to spend and they watch us edge ever closer to having the team that will turn out their lights.
Who will they lose before the window shuts? It haunts them to think it might be someone they can’t easily replace. Do you notice the number of stories about Roofe being their best striker which have appeared in the media of late? What’s that tell you about the likelihood of Morelos still being at the club in two weeks’ time? Someone inside Ibrox thinks he’s going to go and they don’t have the money to bring in someone who can take his place.
This transfer window has been more fun than we thought it would be when it started out. Who knew Ange had such a keen eye for players? If we keep on buying on his recommendations this might be the best placed we’ve been before a season in a long time … a far cry from the absolute shambles many of thought that this was all going to be.
The question is, if we bring these two new bhoys in – and especially if we can get Christie to sign a new deal, which is one of the most important developments there could be – what can our neighbours do to restore the feel-good factor over there?
Without money they are without options. There are some in the media who will tell you that if they don’t sell and don’t buy that they’re still in a strong position, which is true up to a point. But Morelos would rather be somewhere else. We suspect Kent has had his head turned by talk of what he could earn in England. Kamara and Goldson have contract offers but until one of them signs there have to be doubts about them as well.
We may lose Christie. We may lose Edouard; indeed I think we will. But look for a moment at the way the team seems to have bonded again. Whatever issues plagued us last season with unhappiness in the camp, they are a thing of the past. Just as we’re looking steady again things don’t seem quite so settled over there as the media would have had you believe.
That Champions League knockout is part of it. The financial element of it stopped them from being able to do further transfer business. But players who thought they’d be on that stage know they no longer will be … and that may have had a decisive impact.
In the meantime, we wait to strengthen.
They wait to weaken.
That might be the game-changer, that complete reversal of fortune from what they expected.
It’s going to be an interesting fortnight.
The Rumour Guy is a Celtic fan and blogger from Glasgow.