Celtic’s Start Has Been Excellent, Hence Some In The Media’s Negativity Around It.

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This season is only just underway, but still it has rocked the perceptions of a lot of people who thought they had it figured out before it began. They never expected Ange to succeed last year. So of course, they had to explain it away as some kind of one off.

As a movie buff, I quite often reach into film lore and arcana to explain something in a simple way and so forgive me for doing so again here.

They viewed our success last season the way Apollo Creed of Rocky II viewed the Italian Stallion taking him the distance in the first film. When we meet Creed in the second film he is consumed by anger and disbelief that some “lucky club fighter” was able to hold his own with him in the ring. Fortunately, for Apollo, an explanation is available to hand.

Back in the first movie, at the point where Rocky was training hard every day punching the meat in the slaughterhouse, Apollo was more interested in the financial projections and the rewards of the fight itself, which he just assumed he’d show up and win.

There is actually a moment, in the first film, when Duke Evers, Creed’s trainer, is watching TV and sees an interview with Rocky in “the meat house” going about his business, and he expressly warns Creed that his opponent is taking the fight seriously and has no intention of being anybody’s chump. Creed mumbles something from behind him about also being serious, but he’s sitting at a large table going over bank statements at the time, and Duke is troubled.

He’s even more troubled during the fight itself. He sees that Rocky is more than just a lucky fighter, and that he’s possessed of a hunger and a will to win that Apollo no longer has.

Creed wins the first fight – the place where the analogy doesn’t quite fit – but it’s on a points decision and not the way he thought he would triumph. It’s pointed out, earlier in the film, by Rocky himself, that no-one had ever taken Creed the distance before.

For all that, Apollo deludes himself that a re-match will be easy, that this time he’ll be up for it and this time he’ll end it in the first round, Duke is not so sure.

There are a handful in the media who understand full well what they watched last season. They are the guys predicting that Celtic will win because we’ve just become too good and are too hard to stop. The rest continue to operate in a fantasy world, the likes of which Duke sees Apollo in. What a lot of people don’t remember is that he, alone of Creed’s circle, is not just nervous about the rematch but tries to talk Apollo out of even taking it on.

Those looking at it honestly and sincerely understand that Celtic has become a winning machine. They aren’t kidding themselves on that Ange got lucky because he caught the Ibrox club either unprepared or with their eyes on Europe. They aren’t kidding themselves that Ange’s style was so radical that it caught teams cold but with a summer to study it everyone is now ready for us, which is what some of the more stupid of them evidently believe.

Even today, Jackson – who I’ll be talking about later – is stickling fast to the view that they lost the league rather than Celtic won it … a view you can only sustain if you completely ignore the 32 game unbeaten run we went on including winning at his favourite ground.

Our start to the season has the BBC trying to find negatives in a comfortable away win, albeit one where the crucial goals didn’t come until late, and with Jackson in a fury at the idea that his own club might “throw it away” again.

He ignores the reality that it’s our form that is going to determine whether or not we win the league and not somebody else’s. Even if they are dropping points left, right and centre it is not going to be a net gain for us unless we’re racking up the wins.

We’ve gone, then, to a tough away ground and won easily and we’ve beaten one of the better teams from the Premier Sports Cup early rounds, an Aberdeen side who many think will be up there and fighting near the top when the season ends.

That we’ve done it without even necessarily playing our best football should be an even greater indicator of how strong we are, and whilst everyone has to acknowledge that we’ve gotten the results they continue looking for proof that we’re certain to slip up because whatever voodoo got us through last season must surely have worn off.

Apollo Creed trained like Hell for the re-match, and still lost. And he started aggressively and well and for a while it looked like he might just do what he spent the weeks and months before the fight threatening to. What makes the media’s delusion all the harder to believe is that it’s their favourite club, not ours, which has had the stuttering start.

We play them early next month, and whilst none of us are arrogant or stupid enough to be labelling that one a league decider we know we can inflict a serious psychological blow on them if we keep winning until then and beat them in that game.

Our mantra is “we don’t stop.” The thing that should worry the hacks – and which obviously does – is that sooner or later it starts to look a lot like “we won’t stop.” That’s what they fear. The signs of it are what they are already finding so hard to take.

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  • Mark B says:

    It was very close last season and will be again as quite simply others teams cannot often take points off the big two. Only United beat them last season apart from us. So that means the four games against our biggest rivals are vital. Of course we won it last season but flip the Ibrox 1-2 result around and we lose the league . Yes it was that close . One game.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Mark B you are correct it was that close, there’s no denying it, but would it have been that close had Celtic not had such a bad start to the season with a team that barely knew each other. We do not have that problem this time around and we have made a very good start in our first two games, not excellent like James says though, not losing a goal would have been excellent. Personally I think we will win this league with room to spare, but we should not get over confident for it will still be hard work from start to finish. We never stop.

    • Mark b says:

      They had their best player Morelos out and still got to the Europa Final, beat is deservedly in the Scottish Cup. We can all say if and buts… they lost a two goal home lead to Motherwell and three goals at Ross County that won’t happen again either. So yes we had a poor start all I am saying is they are a good side and many Scottish teams won’t take points off them so it will be close and we should not be complacent. We forget they are Europa Finalists that is a huge achievement we are all jealous and makes them a good side for sure. Also they have figured out how to sell players so their financial position for this year is secure they are way stronger financially that any time in the last ten years. Gerrard changed the game for them.

  • Frankie says:

    There is a lot of cracks over there that will soon come out in the wash, then the smelly stuff will start being spread like manure.

  • Starman says:

    The Magnificent Hoops will be MINIMUM 10 pts clear after the 1st 1/4 when the FILTH have tae play Thu/Sun every wk! In other words they’re getting Fuked by the Belgian Buns BAWAHAHAHAHAHA!!

  • Peterbrady says:

    Will they give the gig to junkie Martindale when donkey hurst gets the Dan Mac after the Belgium’s gub the filth

  • Paul Sweeney says:

    Can see this squad equalling if not besting the 66 game run under Rogers teams can’t wait until next month not through green tinted spec’s but because as you say their built on hype. A blind man could see who the better team is .

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