There is a fine moment in the Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais movie Still Crazy, about a onetime band who almost made it, getting together again to see if they can recapture the old magic.
In the scene the group are sitting around reminiscing when the ever-magnificent Timothy Spall’s character waxes lyrical on the time they put on their show at the Hollywood Bowl.
To his shock, the rest of his bandmates laugh at him and tell him that they never played the Hollywood Bowl. He is stunned.
“That’s one of my most vivid memories … and it never happened?”
You get the feeling drugs played a part in the confusion.
That’s his excuse.
What excuse do the fans of our rivals have for choosing not to live in the reality of what did happen at the weekend? To read some of their forums they do seem to harbour a fantasy in which they watched a different game from us.
They think they were the better team.
Nonsense. Who says so?
Jonathon Liew, from The Guardian, hardly a biased Scottish hack who hasn’t a clue about the sport.
Who else says so?
Commentators and observers all around the world who thought we were excellent, disciplined and comfortable on the day.
But some of the Peepul are endlessly able to kid themselves on and they are doing so here.
The barmy view persists on their forums that this is not a good Celtic side. They still think their own team has better players. From the ineffectual Ryan Kent to the superstar Aribo to the gnashing whinging Morelos, they are convinced of this.
They cling to the European results as proof that they are some kind of super-club. They’ve beaten one team of note – one – on this run, and I think often when I hear them bang on about it about Lennon’s results against Lazio, home and away.
What’s their record in Europe this season?
Malmo knocked them out of the Champions League.
They qualified for the Europa Groups by beating Alashkert of Armenia 1-0 at Ibrox then drawing 0-0 away. They lost their first two Group Games in the Europa and drew another two. They qualified on eight points. We went out with nine. They beat Dortmund away and then drew at home. They beat Red Star at home and lost away.
It’s twelve games in the Europa with a mere five wins.
The record they bang on about is actually nothing special.
Leagues are not won by clubs pretending to be better than they are, and they mock us for being knocked out by the team from Norway whilst defending a record that looks like that? Are they joking? They delude themselves going on about this run.
But deluding themselves is what they do best, like some aged rocker dreaming of the gig he never played in The Hollywood Bowl. And the longer they try to convince themselves that a team can’t be in the quarter finals of the Europa League and not be a better team than this Celtic side the worse this season is going to get for them.
We play them in a little less than a fortnight in the cup. The chances are – because the league has to avoid the potential for a decider – that we’ll play them again before the month ends. That’s two further beatings we might inflict … and what will be their rationale then? Will they continue to deny what’s in front of their own eyes, continue to imagine things that never were … or will they face up to the fact of our dominance?
That’s a choice they will very soon have to confront. It’s going to be hilarious.