There was never any question of Ange indulging in any triumphalism yesterday, although some of the garbage we have had to put up with in recent weeks gave him every reason to do so. A five point lead and a massive goal difference is great to have, but Ange remembers well where this club was after six games last season and was never going to play that game.
Let’s be blunt and say what has to be said; there is no comparison between where we were this time last year and where the Ibrox club is right now. We were a club trying to move forwards. Once we got our feet under us, there was no stopping this team.
At Ibrox they have a number of big problems and with the closure of the window there is no way to solve them until January at the earliest, by which time they might have an even bigger set of issues to deal with. There doesn’t look like any prospect of them putting together the kind of form that we were on the brink of at this same stage in the race.
Even then, at that point, we had turned in two fantastic home displays in the league, which gave a hint of what we were about to produce over the course of the campaign. We had played some excellent football in Europe, to qualify for the Europa Groups.
So you could see that Celtic was on the right track. You could see that once we had some basic stability that we were more than capable of going on that winning run. I said so at the time. The media didn’t want to acknowledge it, but we made them do so in the end.
I understand why Ange won’t gloat. He simply expressed the fact that based on our form and based on the standards he wants us to meet that we will be very difficult to stop. This is September. There is a long way to go, and as I posted earlier we got here by treating every game and every opponent with the utmost respect. We take nothing for granted.
Still, we have an idiotic media which thinks it can trap the manager into saying something daft. I don’t know why they’ve not twigged yet that this man simply isn’t going to do it. He recognises the bear trap for what it is; he’s got too much class and too much savvy to step into it. Indeed, it is such an obvious one that only a very silly manager would.
So I wasn’t surprised in the least that Ange sidestepped anything that hinted at over-confidence. What did take me by surprise was the reaction from Jota.
He was asked a daft question about it on Sky, and he actually laughed as he pointed out that it is only September.
This is exactly why I am personally very confident; Ange has drilled this into every single person at Celtic Park. Confidence is one thing. Arrogance is another. We have learned the lesson from last season’s comeback that such a thing is possible.
It is why it will not happen.
Ange and this team will remain focussed and determined and because they are they will simply not allow it to. Every point counts. Every victory matters. Every game is massive. Every goal we score is crucial.
If the hacks think anyone at Parkhead is going to be tricked into appearing too confident they better think again.
Even if it wasn’t stupid, nobody at Celtic thinks that way.