The full-back crisis which struck Scotland during this international break has been awful. Patterson, Robertson, Tierney and Hickey are all suddenly unavailable.
That has given our duo of Ralston and Taylor their moment to shine.
They will almost certainly both start against Ukraine, and whilst we will be crossing our fingers that the full-back curse doesn’t strike these guys as well I cannot help but feel a stab of pride at this.
Alongside Champions League games, this is where our best players belong, playing for their countries, doing the business for their national teams.
I don’t like international football, but I have always loved it when our players succeed on that stage because it gives them confidence and brings them back to Celtic Park with a swagger.
And although I don’t watch them with the same fervour I used to – although Steve Clarke is a much better manager and vastly preferable to Alex McLeish – I get a kick out of them playing for Scotland.
Scottish teams have built on Celtic players these past 20 years.
We have been the heart and soul of the national team and if you look at the current side it is still full of players with Celtic Park connections. That makes me damned proud.
In my view Ralston is the best right back available to Clarke.
This has been obvious for a while. Taylor is not the best left back available but that’s only because there are two world class footballers in front of him in the running … Hickey I still don’t know about because I still think there’s a lot of hype there and although he can play both sides of the pitch I think our options are better.
So I will enjoy watching our full-backs should they both play in that game.
I will enjoy seeing our boys leading the way as we take on Ukraine in that game, which suddenly seems to have an outsized importance for the national team and the country.
More than anything else, the presence of so many Celtic players in the national team reminds a certain other club of how little they contribute to the side. Ryan Jack and a goalkeeper who most of their own fans think is crap? That’s a piss-poor return.
But that’s the club they have become … whilst ours continues to grow strong. Look how many players we have on duty for their countries in this session. It gives you nightmares, yes, but it definitely gives you that sense of satisfaction as well.