This International Break Will Be Awful For Celtic Fans … But Steve Clarke Needs A Good One.

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Most Celtic fans I know hate international fortnight at the best of times. You spend every day of it anxiously scanning the news and hoping that nobody picked up an injury.

You get frantic about it every time you hear someone got took off early in a game.

Then there’s the wait to see Real Football start again, especially if things are going well. Which they are in spite of the defeat.

Which brings me to another sunny point; when you go into international week on the back of a loss it feels like an eternity until your team gets the chance to bounce back. If you let yourself get caught in this swirling vortex of worries and niggles you can go mad.

There are coping mechanisms, of course.

Like if you enjoy watching a particular country, whether it’s your own or someone else’s. It also gives some people time away from football all together, although I don’t know many fans who do want that.

Still, it’s an option and you’d think the telly will be better than it’s been this past week.

But let’s be honest, most of us are going to be right where we always are; watching the footy, whether that’s at home or in the pub or whatever. The Nations League. God. What a stupid tournament that is, as many of us feared it would be.

Next up, of course, is the World Cup so what most players here will be doing is fighting for their places in their national squads for that competition. That might make some of the games tastier affairs than they might otherwise be.

Amidst it all – and a possible source of headlines – is the possible future of Steve Clarke.

For Scotland fans and Ireland fans we have a game against each other, sandwiched between two games for Scotland against Ukraine.

They will be doing what they’ve been doing for months now; putting everything into representing their nation as best they can. The last time they played Scotland they won 3-0. Another performance like that and questions will be asked about the Scotland boss. He needs, he badly needs, to put points on the board here.

Two of the fixtures are at home, with the Ukrainian return fixture in Poland.

Especially in the home games, he needs wins.

For Celtic fans, our main focus will be on hoping that nobody gets injured and when you see the number of players we have out on international duty that’s a concern that will be carried over many match days and many games within them.

Not so much at the other side of the city, where their number of international players is pitifully small and shrinking due to call offs already.

Hopefully everyone makes it back to Celtic Park in good condition … cause come the start of October the serious business starts again, with two months that will go a long way to telling us exactly what kind of season we’re going to have.

Maybe we should see this is a chance to catch our breath before the deep dive into that.

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  • Johnny Green says:

    The International break is nuisance value as far as I am concerned, it’s a boring gap in our domestic season that we can do without, with the main concern being the possibility of injuries. I just like us to get it over with as quickly as possible and get back to business.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Seeing as I’m bored and with little to comment on I would like to mention Hatate’s gum shield. It annoys the fk out of me, particularly the colour. I would much prefer a green one if he really insists on wearing one.

    I told you I was bored 🙂

  • Johnny Green says:

    Okay, another comment prompted partly because of my present tedium, but partly related to the topic since he is in the Scotland squad.

    It’s no secret that I am not a big fan of Greg Taylor, for as far as I am concerned, apart from him not being a great footballer, he is far too WEE to be a defender.

    At the first goal on Sunday a ball was shied into the Celtic box to an attacker being marked by Greg Taylor and all 5′-7″ of him propelled himself about 4″ off the ground. It was actually quite a comical attempt and the ball was duly headed onwards across the Celtic goal and then into the net, I am not saying he was solely to blame, but his lack of aerial prowess was there for all to see.

    However, Ange seems to like him, and his Argentinian cover is of exactly the same stature, I just don’t get it as I consider GT a weak link.

    Celtic gave Europe the concept of attacking full backs in ’67 but Jock Stein made sure that his full backs were first and foremost able to defend.

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