Yesterday, I caught Clyde on the way back from the game and the whole of the bus I was on laughed as Hugh Keevins and the panellists sought to pick holes in the performance.
He’s not the only one. Every hack seems to think the defining aspect of our play in the next week will be about how we defend, not on how teams are going to stop us from scoring at the other end.
Which, to me, is the larger question, and they one being avoided.
In the last six games we have scored 24 goals; for the hard-at-maths like Keevins that averages out at four per game. We’ve conceded four in the same period, two to Hearts and two to Jablonec.
The Ibrox club had a game today and it’s just finished.
They’ve conceded twice in it.
In the same six game spell they’ve lost one at Dundee Utd, four against Malmo and one so far against Ross County. That’s seven goals conceded over the same period, three more than we have.
If you check out the forums over there, they are seriously worried about their own defensive frailties, but the press has apparently failed to notice them.
So I’m moved to wonder, what’s this all about?
What’s this focus on the Celtic defence rooted in? Easy, really. Anything not to talk about the chances we’re creating and the goals we are scoring … and we are scoring goals for fun right now.
Ange is building a forward going dream machine, following one of football’s most obvious criteria; it doesn’t matter if your defence leaks like a sieve as long as your strikers have their shooting boots on.
For the record, our defence doesn’t leak like a sieve.
It has improved game on game. We also have a top class keeper, which the press somehow highlights only when he “gets us out jail”, as if that’s not the job of a goalie, to be the last line of defence.
It’s pitiful how far they are going to paint this picture of our team as somehow struggling. We’ve won six in a row.
The club across the city has lost three in six. But we’re the ones under pressure?
We’re the ones who should be worried going into this week?
We go to Holland with a two goal lead.
We are more than capable of scoring over there. Indeed, we’ve scored in every competitive game we’ve played this season. Every single one. If we get a goal over there they need to score four to beat us.
And why should we fear Ibrox, with this power-house team on the front foot?
If they keep Kyogo quiet, as St Mirren did yesterday, they do so at a cost. Which is Abada, Edouard, Turnbull and other running riot instead. They can’t keep all of these guys double marked.
The way we’re playing football, someone is going to get through the lines.
Even more impressive than the goals we’re scored are the sheer number of chances we’re creating; as I said last week, we create more chances now in 90 minutes, and more shots on goal, than we were creating in a half dozen matches in the last campaign.
Honest journalists would focus on what we’re doing so very, very right instead of what they imagine us to be doing wrong.
But too many of these guys, of course, were predicting doom and disaster from Celtic this season and there’s an element of bruised ego in this nonsense; they are loathe to admit that they’ve gotten it wrong and are looking for anything which supports their initial predictions, however weakly or pathetically.
It’s typical of these people not to want to pay us our due respect because doing so means that they must reverse themselves and track back and admit their own stupidity.
But denying it won’t lock out the reality of it. They know they’ve made a mess.
Something special is happening with this team, and they know that too.
Ange’s revolution has just started. When this window shuts, phase one of it will be complete … and we already look far stronger than we did at the end of the last campaign.