Deep down, I think you would be hard pressed to find very many of our supporters who actually enjoy, in any way, international football.
The exception to this rule is during the summer, when Celtic aren’t playing and the need for something to distract us is high. I don’t think the Nations League is all that good and it stops our players from resting.
Still, for football fans who would otherwise be climbing the walls (that’s all of us, I suspect) just being able to watch Celtic players doing their thing right now has to be better than not, and in the past few weeks we’ve been treated to four of them scoring goals; Abada, Ralston, Maeda and Giakoumakis, the latter last night with an absolute beauty.
Ibrox fans, in contrast, are trying to get excited because a couple of their players are doing modestly well in Nigeria, with the onus on how they can leverage those performances into interest from clubs abroad.
They are desperate to sell.
Ralston’s performance earned rave reviews and now has him firmly in the driving seat to be the number one right back for Scotland.
Abada’s goal saw him get praise from his former manager and one of those Monopoly money valuations.
Maeda showed his country what we already knew of him; that this is a fine, fine footballer and a huge asset.
But it was last night’s goal by the big Greek, the absolute pick of the bunch, that would have had the warning lights flashing all over Scottish football, and especially across the city.
It is clear this confidence is sky-high. It is clear that the big chap is only going to get better and better and better, and he’s already won his first top scorer award here.
Maeda and Abada’s goals only add to the sense that we have more firepower at our disposal than other Scottish clubs can handle, and this is without even considering the impact a fully fit Kyogo with a restful summer behind him might have.
Scottish clubs don’t even know which of our forwards they will be facing on any given day; that makes it awfully hard to build a counter to us as all three of them bring something different to the mix. Maeda, because of his pace, is a lethal counter attacking striker. Giakoumakis is physical and a true penalty box poacher. Kyogo … well, he’s just got it all.
There are rumours – and so far that’s all they are – that we’re contemplating signing yet another forward; God help this league if we do.
This forward line is scary enough, and the way we can rotate it and still not lose anything in regards to quality … that’s a hell of a thought going into the next campaign, and makes us all the keener to have this international stuff over with so that we can focus on the thing we truly care about; Celtic.
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