Yesterday morning, as Celtic fans were preparing for the game, they could have given themselves a laugh if they were so inclined by walking into the nearest paper shop and asking for the comic that masquerades as a Sunday newspaper.
In it, they would have found a truly toe-curling piece of arse licking sycophancy that could have induced vomiting in people not used to reading similar from the same paper and the same author on the same subject. It was the showering of not only praise but hero worship on an Ibrox boss from a hack who some say even has Celtic leanings.
Well they lean in a very weird direction folks, because I worried about Keevins whilst reading the piece, a fan-boy gushing over how good Van Bronckhorst is.
I worried because he’s getting on a bit now and I don’t know how he’s going to get off his knees without somebody giving him a hand.
Yes, it was that bad.
Aside from pouring honey all over the Ibrox boss – I don’t even want to think about what happened next – he suggested that Celtic was “wounded” and gleefully anticipated a bad result at Tannadice. That didn’t go terribly well for him.
No sooner was that piece digesting, but Jackson came forth in the same shabby publication today to write his own article.
It dripped with the same slobber.
Oh he gave Celtic plenty of credit but the upshot was that the Dutchman already looks like an upgrade on Gerrard and that a manager running out on a club and taking his whole backroom team with him on the eve of a cup semi-final actually “did them a favour.”
Dear God. Isn’t it amazing how quickly they anoint a new messiah?
And all this nonsense is built on Van Bronckhorst securing a win over a dreadful European opponent who defended like a guy trying to walk across a carpet of marbles in his slippers; a single goal victory over Hibs, decided by a late penalty kick; a win against Martindale’s team, as if there was the slightest shred of doubt about that, and their defeating a side we annihilated earlier in the campaign.
Of the four games, the only real test was Hibs and they only got away with that because Ryan Porteous made one of his customary high-pressure mistakes. Anyone watching knows that they were far from being brilliant. They were actually far from even being good.
But the clown car is filling up with the Cult of Gio, and even as it’s doing so Celtic continues to motor forward. That win yesterday was our best domestic performance of the whole campaign so far.
We swatted aside a tough and resilient opponent as if they weren’t even there.
We could easily have racked up a cricket score, but three goals and three points better off than we were before we rolled into Tannadice is better than some of the hacks thought we would do, and that’s reflected in Keevins piece and also in the shell-shocked Jackson’s.
Both cling to the hope that the Dutchman is the answer to Ibrox’s prayers, but there are signs aplenty that far from fixing things at the club that there is even more negativity swirling below the surface. As the E-Tims boys pointed out, this is the new boss bounce phase they are in … when the shine comes off of this all the old problems will re-surface big time.
It is Celtic who are building up a head of steam.
It is Celtic who are starting to do what we had failed to do earlier in the campaign; win away from home, and in some style. Are there issues still to be fixed at Celtic Park and Lennoxtown? Of course, and no-one would even deny it, but this team is in far better shape than our critics assumed we would be at this point.
The four-point gap actually flatters the club across the city, and we are slowly, but steadily, turning the pressure gauge up, and we’re not looking for favours from anywhere else any longer, we’re just getting on with the job so that we’re in the right position to capitalise when the breaks come.
But for now the media has a new hero. The press has a new pin-up.
It’s ever the way of it when a new manager rolls into town over there.
Keevins’ article played up the new boss being Dutch as if it conferred magical powers; I remember a Dutch manager at Ibrox winning the manager of the year award and telling the hacks “See you next year” before Martin O’Neill knocked him off the perch and sent him on his way again in under 18 months.
Amazing that the desperados don’t remember stuff like that. Their sense of history is about as finely developed as their journalism, and that’s in the toilet.