If you’ve ever been stood up on a date, or failed to win a competition in which you thought you had a chance, or been turned down for a job interview you were sure you had in the bag, you have two choices; you can do a lot of self-analysis and recrimination and then convince yourself you never wanted it to begin with, or you can suck it up and move on.
When it comes to the transfer deal for the Aussie midfielder, Celtic has already sucked it up and moved on.
There’s nothing wrong with reminding yourself that you would have been the better choice –that’s human nature and there’s a little justified egotism in it – but it’s important not to dwell.
We have no intention of doing so, and this thing would be forgotten already.
Except for Chris Wilder, who went in front of the cameras today and talked … well, outright nonsense.
It’s like going to the pub with your mates after your date has failed to show, only to see her in the bar with another guy before she spots you and runs over blathering on about it being a pal from work and she just got the nights confused.
You know that feeling that the person you’re talking to thinks you’re a mug?
Well that’s a bit like how I felt listening to what came out of his mouth today.
“There is a lot of nonsense being written which I need to get to the bottom of in terms of blowing other clubs out of the water with fees and in terms of wages,” he said.
“That’s not just with Riley, that’s with Flo [Balogun] and with Aaron Connolly too.”
He then went on to make a convoluted case for why those players “wanted” to be there.
Ange himself made no bones about this; he got the impression that Riley simply preferred what was on offer at the club from England’s second tier.
Everyone knows this comes down to money.
What else is it about?
A better standard of football?
The SPFL? I daresay it is, but he’ll never play in Europe and the Premier League is a distant dream which their club has been having on and off for the last five years.
They’ve spent fortunes trying to go back up and this season is another long shot.
He didn’t sign for money?
Because footballers are known for their charitable outlook, and for turning down the cash, aren’t they?
Was it the bright lights of Middlesbrough which appealed?
As a Glasgow boy I’m not disparaging any city as a weird place to want to live, but their biggest local attraction for theatregoers remains the Town Hall, there is no Newton Mearns and Loch Lomond is not conveniently situated just up the road for a short drive away.
Say whatever you like, but Celtic is a sexier option by far, and I don’t mind losing out to the money because we do play in a league which isn’t rolling in cash and his new club has not been afraid to spend stupidly to return to the even stupider Promised Land of the EPL, but I do mind being spoon-fed a lot of bullshit that the money wasn’t the clincher.
Kid yourself on as you like, Wilder, but really … you’re not convincing anybody else.