In Ten Days Celtic Will Resume Hostilities And We Have Our Rivals Running Scared.

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To understand where we are right now, you only have to look at the hysteria on the social media accounts of our rivals. They are touchy right now, about everything.

You cannot mention their finances without them freaking out.

You cannot mention our signings without them coming on to sneer.

You cannot remind them that we’re ten years from Administration Day without them banging on about “55” and the alleged “150th Anniversary.”

Yeah, they are unhappy with their lot in life. They are trying to pretend excitement and optimism, but they know too much uncertainty surrounds their club. You can see what we’re trying to build at Celtic.

It is less clear what is being put together over there.

We all know that their fans are an angry bunch, but I’ve seen them come ever more unspooled as this season has gone on. They expected to be well clear of us right now.

They certainly didn’t expect us to have taken the first trophy of the season.

Most importantly, they thought Ange was going to be a disastrous appointment and instead have found him ambitious, ruthless, driven and smart. He is also media savvy; they are not used to seeing a Celtic manager with the hacks running scared.

It’s been a long time since I saw my fellow Celtic fans this optimistic.

It is a long time since I saw the lot across the city so unsettled.

They are the ones sitting on a six-point lead, but you can tell that they are worried that it isn’t enough, especially with a trip to Celtic Park on the way and no assurances about what kind of team they’ll have for it.

They understand that the second half of this season is going to be a battle, and their current boss has not been tested in a real scrap yet, and that plays on their minds.

They know a bunch of their players are leaving in the summer, and that bothers them. They know interest in those still at the club will be all over the papers this month … and that it will unsettle people.

And it scares them. And so they are snappy and aggressive and angry.

I know this first hand. There are a handful of them who stalk this blog, reading every word, and desperately trying to comment on every piece. Not one of their comments every gets through; they have restored to all sorts of pitiful behaviours to do it too; some of them come back over and over again with different email addresses.

It’s not that they have nothing better to do, although they clearly don’t; it’s that we are in their heads right now in a big, big way.

And what’s in our heads? The simple pleasure of watching our team.

We have three new signings to look forward to when we start against Hibs, and they are exciting players who we’ve been waiting to see for much longer than just the last week or so.

I cannot wait for that game, and it is especially exciting because it looks as though we will be playing it in front of a full house. That’s another thing you daren’t mention for fear of driving them nuts, which is why I take such pleasure in doing so now.

There is something in the air as we head towards the next round of games.

The Celtic fans are buzzing. The confidence is flowing through us.

All of Scottish football can sense it, but our rivals most of all. And it has them eating the stuffing out of the padded walls.

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  • Frankie Pearson says:

    The turmoil among their fans is tremendous going mental about a player coming on loan from across the water, not sure where their next penny is coming from, can they keep the lights on!

    • Seppington says:

      The boy’s name is SANDS??? I don’t want to think of what creative horrors they’ll come up with to abuse him with if he turns out to be a dud.

      Surely Ronny wouldn’t loan THEM a GOOD player, right? Right?

    • Bob (original) says:

      Having attended a number of NYCFC games in the past – at their pitch with weird dimensions as it is temporarily laid over the the Yankees’ baseball diamond – the standard of play was typically ‘low’. The foreigners in the team easily stood out.

      To be fair, this Sands guy could turn out to be a star in Scotland – but as a relative unknown player here, it does give The Rangers & the SMSM the opportunity to talk him up.

  • David Kenyon says:

    Let’s see how the games pan out.
    I’m confident/hopeful.
    Their fans might be slightly concerned.
    Doubt their players are.

  • Roonsa says:

    I am done reading about how they are this or that. We heard all this before and during last season and look how that turned out. We won the League Cup but we didn’t play that lot. We haven’t beaten them in God knows how long. If we don’t beat them in Feb then I suspect it’s done in terms of the League. Beating them is absolutely our top priority in my opinion. Then we can talk about how they are feeling.

    I much prefer to keep my powder dry. They are 6 points ahead for a reason – they know how to win football matches. So do we but we also struggle against teams that park the bus. When they played Livingston on that disaster of a football pitch they were 2 up before Livingston knew what had hit them. That’s all the fans care about. If you asked me what would you rather: a team that wins with not so healthy accounts or a team that finishes second but the board are all going home with nice healthy bonuses …. ?

    It’s football. I don’t care about how much money in the bank account as long as we can keep the lights on.

    • Seppington says:

      Your glass is never topped up, is it?

      They have a settled side, we have been going through a squad rebuild with a new coach/playing style and have had a ton of injuries to boot. That we are only six points behind with a trophy in the bag is a God-damned miracle when you think of how we were all feeling this time last year. Yes, the upcoming derby games will be crucial but are you not confident that with players back from injury in a team that’s much more gelled than it was when we played them last time (and in truth they were lucky to win that day, we should have gubbed them). I firmly believe we will roll over them comfortably if we have players back and the new signings work out well. They have (so far) one loan in and their best prospect gone, I can’t see them spending more in total than what we’ve spent on say Ideguchi alone, even then I’ll be surprised if they go anywhere near that amount. The Lying King and Big Mike are all hovering about waiting to swoop for their cash, more troubled times ahead for them and boardroom drama seldom breeds confidence in a team.

      As for your comment;

      “If you asked me what would you rather: a team that wins with not so healthy accounts or a team that finishes second but the board are all going home with nice healthy bonuses …. ?”

      Here’s a hypothetical for you; imagine that for your entire life Celtic had constantly existed at the very edge of financial ruin in order to keep winning. Then imagine we come to a time when shock horror it’s a pandemic no fans in grounds season curtailed yadda yadda yadda. In such a scenario, can you honestly envision a Celtic board who would be willing to put in THEIR OWN MONEY to keep the club going? No chance. We be dead and a Sevco-esque laughing stock before you know it. Do you think you’d be happy with that?

      I sure as hell wouldn’t.

      • Roonsa says:

        For all your accusations that Sevco are a laughing stock, who was out wrecking George Square? Meanwhile Lawwell is off with a golden handshake leaving a trail of destruction behind him. But, never mind, eh? The balance sheet looks good.

        As I said, this is football. You can play accounting all you want. I want to see Celtic win.

        • Seppington says:

          They were wrecking George Sq. because they were handed the league by us and our implosion from refusing to sack Lennon. Not to mention a copious amount of “honest mistakes” from the Brethren just to make sure.

          Only one of those things is happening this season. Have some faith.

          • Roonsa says:

            I do have faith that we can do it. I am just fed up hearing “puffing” like they are running scared or they are on the ropes. Talk is cheap, let’s see what happens and talk after the next time we play them.

    • Gordon Ashley says:

      I wouldn’t be as sure as you think you are that you have kept all of those lurkers out of the comments section.. I smell a rat

    • Harryboy says:

      Hell mend them! Wonder what ‘new tactics’ they will come up with to assist them? Or are they using them all alredy.?

  • MArk B says:

    Spot on Roonsa. James I love your blog and the effort time and dedication and the opportunity you provide for us to comment. But this article reads like one of theirs when they recruited Joey Barton or got promoted thinking we were scared. We were not scared then and they are not scared now, nothing like it. They are 6 points clear and we have not beaten then in over two years….and not looked like doing so either. Right now they are better and know how to win matches. Yes I hope we catch up but we must must must learn how to beat them and stop giving up 5 points to the likes of Livi. As for those who think they are in financial difficulty they have a Board backing them with finances and sellable assets they ARE NOWHERE NEAR ADMIN so get in the real World. If they win the league the CL 30m plus another sale or two will see them in good financial shape that is the gamble they are taking, it looks like it will work. I Want us to win not have money in the Bank and be losing its madness to have that as a Strategy for a football club.

    • Seppington says:

      Their “saleable assets” aren’t worth enough to pay the bills and clear the debts if they don’t get CL money next year. If they were to sell every one of said assets they’d end up with a team full of kids who’d be mid-table at best for years until they could build the club back up. Do you think their morons I mean fans will be happy with such a scenario?

      I’d rather have a few fallow years success-wise and have my club’s long and proud history remain intact than half to scramble about tying myself in knots pretending The Celtic were the same club I grew up with.

      I might be wrong but it seems like you and Roonsa are young lads who have known pretty much nothing but continual success for Celtic. Take it from someone who lived though the the death throes of the Kelly and White regime…some things are more important that trophies. Success can come and go but the club must always remain. The real club, not a hollowed out joke of a facsimile like the disgrace over the river.

      • Seppington says:

        (half = have. I have no idea how that happened)

      • Jim Duffy says:

        Correct ,seppington,who wants their team hovering near administration ,/ liquidation,I remember when David Murray got his pet bank to foreclose on Celtic debts and we nearly went under,don’t want to be near any of that again.

  • Tom Foolery says:

    I’m not so sure we do have them running scared. It looks likely that we will be be missing our 3 recent imports for the sevco game as well as Kyogo and Rogic and on top of that Turnbull will probably be missing…and that doesn’t take into account any possible ‘hamstring’ injuries we might incur. So unless there is another 3 quality signings on the horizon it looks likely we will be a weaker team than the one that had the disastrous draw in Paisley. All talk of ‘running scared’ should be put on hold until after the sevco game

  • SSMPM says:

    Settling for a EL competing club status is the Liewell, speculate to accumulate, model with success only in a rank league suffice for our CEO and board. We want and deserve better from the club. Ange wants to and is taking us and the board back there to the international club status, a CL club, but its a long road and I would rather we invested more in the squad now to do so. We do have the resources. Recent player sales have meant we’ve spent well within our means. The rangers are vulnerable financially so we can up our game pretty much unchallenged, and we need to. The rangers are ahead of us, their squad remains intact and we need to overtake them. We as a club can take even more team development investment now and see where it takes us, maybe the league is a big hope, but a stronger squad gives us more of a chance. HH

    • Seppington says:

      If we somehow manage to win the league this season (£30m CL money?) + the (hopefully) end of the pandemic, we might see some purse strings being loosened. As things stand, the board (like it or not) rightfully won’t splurge much beyond what we have to this point. There won’t be another Edouard at £9m-level purchases for a while I think, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be able to compete.
      I have been stunned and delighted at how Ange has taken the game to sides like Leverkusen and Betis, it’s as if he has instilled a belief that we should feel second-best to no-one, which is how it should be. Scottish domestic football would produce a much better national team if players were taught to go for it in every game whether they’re playing an Arbroath-level team or a Celtic-level team. If they were to think about it, most years it doesn’t actually come down to goal difference and getting beat 4-2 after trying really hard to attack and get goals is more beneficial to morale than clinging on to a 1-0 scoreline after spending 90mins with 11 men behind the ball hoping for a chance from a counter attack.

      Let’s see some more Angeball-type thinking in Scotland instead of turgid Wattienaccio pish…

  • Darren James Kerr says:

    They are not running scared, we should be though at the thought of then winning auto entry to all that cash, which will save them. We did not step on their throats hard enough when we had the chance and we will pay the price. They are ruthless we are too forgiving. Do unto the man as he would do unto you…but do it first.

    • Seppington says:

      I’m not scared of them winning that CL cash as I was already resigned to it before Ange appeared. I’m much more confident we actually have a real chance to prevent it now, though them winning it would be of course be regrettable. It would only kick the can down the road because they have a compulsion to throw caution to the wind and thus will end up back at square one.
      Agreed that we should have crushed them under our boot but well Lawwell and the board’s obsession with the “Old Firm Business Model ™” put paid to that, eh.

      What’s done is done and what will be will be…so I guess we’ll see?

    • Mark B says:

      Seppington thank you for the compliment saying I’m young and only seen success. I’m 59 and saw all three nine in a rows up close. I was there when we lost to Raith and even Partick 4-1 in 71 and saw us nearly go to the wall. I was in Boavista Seville but also saw us buy John Dowie Wayne Biggins. I bought shares to ensure we never went there again. But I want us to win. They are better than us today and we have mismanaged our position of power. They are getting financially stronger not weaker. We need to buy more quality.

      • Roonsa says:

        In a nutshell, Marky B, you old git 🙂

        Roonsa (a fit as a butcher’s dog 52 year old) – I first started going to games in the season we lost the 10 the first time round!

      • Seppington says:

        They’re not better than us, absolutely not. That six points is an aberration, an illusion. They are where they are with some serious assistance, never forget that.

        • Mark B says:

          We haven’t looked like beating them for over two years. They grind. They score a lot against us from set pieces. We can argue about refs etc etc. We won a league cup when Julien scored when offside they just came next time and won at Celtic Park. I’d rather win than think of reasons why we don’t win. We lost first three away games. Dropped five to Livingston …. Couldn’t score against a depleted St Mirren. Lost at Ibrox yes to a set piece again. Let’s win … we score our pen against Livi and just one against St Mirren and the gap is two. We score just one at Livi and the gap is zero it’s simple. That’s the issue we can solve not referees or any other excuse. Jock didn’t need excuses. Put the ball in the net then argue he said. One goal in each of those three easy games and we are top of the league. It’s simple it’s about us not them.

  • JimBhoy says:

    How much of the Sevco lead would have been there without the genorosity of the compliant referees. Pen here and there and some red cards to help out. Potentially 7-8 points could have been dropped there.
    The teams in Scotland know what’s going on as do sevco.
    Sevco also know it will not go on much longer and Celtic are on the rise.

    • Seppington says:

      This is my thinking too. I believe in the derby games they’ll need some seriously obvious masonic help to not get skelped. If Ange gets the team at 100% and in full flow they will need a record number of penalties…

  • Joe Hanley says:

    Happy New Year James. I agree with all you’ve posted on your blog. Im really looking forward with optimism to the next few months. HH

  • Anne Reynolds says:

    Can’t wait to see the new guys,exciting time for celtic

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