As the Jota saga rolls on, a lot of people have ants in their pants and the media is emboldened to write nonsense, although I have to say that most of the hacks are not going over the score, with a number of them saying it’s a matter of if and not when.
What you do get at this sort of point are a lot of people reading tea-leaves.
Jota’s social media profiles are regularly scrutinised for “hints” about what his future plans are. Nobody should be overly reliant on those things. What can we learn, after all, about a man from his behaviour on holiday?
Well, there is one thing …
They say that fools rush in where angels fear to tread; I’ve never been an angel so without further ado let’s leap into this subject and if I’m proved an idiot later on, well it won’t be the first time and it probably won’t be the last time either.
I have an inkling that there are one or two things we can learn from Jota’s social media pictures, and not just that he wore a Celtic shirt in a couple of them. What stands out most is that this is a guy out there in the world thoroughly enjoying himself.
This is a guy who doesn’t have any concerns. This is a guy whose future is settled and decided.
Whether an actual contract has been signed or not, you see him and you can’t help but think that this is a lad who knows exactly where he’s going to be when the season kicks off … and that does mean, folks, that it’ll be at Celtic Park.
How do we know that? Well, we know that because as far as Benfica are concerned the matter is settled, they’ve agreed a deal with us and they consider him gone. We know it because not once in any of the stories out there is there the merest hint that his agents have other offers or are talking to other clubs.
There hasn’t even been the slightest blip on the radar of anything like that, and that would be the kind of story to worry people.
It’s also the kind of story that the Scottish media would dearly love to write.
Footballers do worry about this stuff, you know. No player likes to have his future up in the air. Jota would not be out there having such high times if there were critical matters to be decided about where he’s going to be next season. And yes, most of that stuff is done at the agent’s level … but these guys aren’t turning us down and looking elsewhere.
They’re not even playing that old agents game of leaking that talks have stalled or anything.
We’re all very familiar with what happened with Eddie Howe last year, of course, and so we’re all keeping our eyes on social media and waiting for the announcement, because then we can all relax a bit and wait for the new signings … this, really, is the one we’re all looking for above the others because he was such an impactful player last year.
My inkling from everything we’re seeing –and just as importantly, everything we’re not seeing – is that this is a player who has no bigger decision to make than about which pair of shorts to put on at the start of a day whilst he’s out touring the hot-spots.
He looks contented. Relaxed.
Secure in the knowledge that the next few years of his career will be spent at a club where he’s already a hero.
For us, it’s like Tom Petty said; “the waiting is the hardest part.”
It’s almost over, folks.
The season just past was outstanding … but how well do you know it? Take the quiz, go up against your mates, and see who gets the highest score on Celtic’s 2021-22 campaign.