There is a tendency amongst sports journalists in Scotland to change the argument when the facts don’t go their way. Every single time we’re on the brink of a game against the club at Ibrox there is an interesting, perceptible, shift in the ground.
If the Ibrox club have the better players, they argue on that.
If they are form team, they argue on that.
If neither of those things are true, they argue that “the form book goes out the window” and that these games are won on the basis of heart and desire.
Right now there is not a single person in the country who can argue against us being the form team.
Only fools would argue that against the proposition that we are the better team.
We sit at the top of the league. We’ve won the first domestic trophy.
These are facts, nobody can deny them.
Which is why the current predictions in the press from ex-Ibrox players and from certain hacks are based on this other transparent guff.
The form book doesn’t matter in their view.
Only desire and need does.
So because their club needs to win they automatically have an advantage.
Apparently Celtic don’t need to win.
Apparently we have no desire to do so.
Isn’t that the logic of their position? Can you really argue that they need the win more than us?
They need the win to stay in the title race, but we need the win to put us in the strongest possible position going into the split.
Who wants it more? And does that really matter?
Our club will roll into Ibrox on great form, but you would never believe that mattered at all when you read the likes of Neil McCann.
Barring injuries, we’ll have one of the strongest squads we’ve been able to pick from all season … and in spite of a major injury crisis we’re on a momentous run and we’ve clawed back a deficit to go top.
Any sensible person would tip us to win.
Which is no guarantee that we will, of course, because anything can happen once the game kick offs … but let’s be honest, some of the predictions are based on desperate straw clutching.
I mean Neil McCann predicts a win from the Ibrox club; who is even remotely surprised at that?
But for him to defend that on the grounds that “they need it more” isn’t a prediction as much as his getting on his knees and saying a prayer.
That so many of the hacks take that kind of opinion seriously is only part of what’s wrong with the bizarre nature of reportage up here.
It is pathetic.