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Has A Section Of The Celtic Support Become Too Spoiled By Success?

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Last week, as I was surveying the landscape after our European defeat, a defeat which even more than the St Mirren one brought us all down to earth a little, I was amazed to see the reactions of some in our support to what was the kind of European reversal some of us have become painfully accustomed to.

Over the weekend, even though we won, some of these same people were stamping their feet in anger over a game we won but where they thought the manager and some of the players had shown nothing to be encouraged by.

And I realised something; a lot of our fans can’t handle defeat.

In part, this is understandable.

Because a lot of our fans are too young to really remember anything else.

I am not holding this against them; I envy them their great experiences, although I shared them.

I wish I’d grown up watching nothing but untrammelled Celtic success. I wish I’d seen only our nine titles in a row.

Unfortunately I wasn’t born in that sort of era.

I saw Ibrox winning everything; that was my football upbringing. I saw the Rangers nine in a row. I saw us go seven years without a trophy. I saw us finishing fourth in the league. Imagine that. Fourth.

This generation has never seen anything like it.

One season without any success at all – albeit in the one season we could least afford that – and they were ready to storm the barricades.

Every defeat for these guys is a crisis.

Every mistake by a player and they want to kick that guy into the reserves where he can rot until someone does something worse.

They will never have seen the truly awful players my generation endured.

They will never see us sign a Willie Falconer, a player the manager (Lou Macari, Jesus wept) freely admitted wasn’t that great but all we could afford, or a Wayne Biggins.

They will never experience the rollercoaster thrill of watching a truly awful central defence … their criticism of Welsh-Jenz could only have come from fans who never experienced The Sieve.

There was a season where Pat McGinley, a midfield signing from Hibs, was our top scorer.

They think European embarrassment comes from losing in Germany?

We lost in Switzerland, 5-1, in the Nightmare In Neuchatel, in the UEFA Cup back in 1991, a night that is still seared on the memory of every fan who attended the game.

A brilliant writer on this site, Paul Cassidy, put together a series of pieces for us on what he called The Dark Days.

Every fan of the current generation needs to read those, and because I firmly believe that this is required reading I’m going to release them all – one at a time – over the course of the day.

Just to remind people who’ve forgotten, or never knew, what bad looks like.

We lived through those days, somehow.

To us, these are the sunlit uplands we were promised.

These are the glory days.

I cannot understand anyone who doesn’t take pleasure in them. That’s not these guys … but they never learned to cope with the lows either, because they grew up with nothing but success.

Believe me, those lows were much worse than anything we’re going to see from this side.

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6 comments

  • Thecelticfamily says:

    Still stealing other people’s pieces I see!!

  • Brian Cavanagh says:

    Spot on- under Macari in spring of 1994 the club was within hours of bankrptcy – and saved by Fergus McCann- gates at some stages were as low as 10,000- and we all hoped that things would get better – and Tommy Burns RIP and Fergus McCann started that journey. Since 2000 there have been only 4 seasons when have not won a trophy. ‘If you kmow your history’ should be the message to the crisis driven fans

  • Woodyiom says:

    Spot on James – these kids (and they are kids) are like the Man U fans who grew up watching Man U from 1990 onwards who simply didn’t know what their club was like pre Ferguson – they know now heading for 10years and counting !!!

    No-one has a devine right to win anything and these fans need to learn that pretty damn fast. Since MON walked in the door we have pretty much had non-stop success but at some point in the future that wheel that will stop and our rivals will take-over for a while (hopefully the “while” will not last too long but it WILL happen) and these kids need to learn that’s when a fan shows his/her true support – through thick and thin – “faithful through and through”

  • SSMPM says:

    Agreed though you’re clearly too young to remember and feel the emotions of the mid/late 60s and 70s. That at least gave us some great memories and resilience to cope with some really terrible years ahead. Though we did have some fine players in that time, the decline was hard to handle.
    The crisis across the city in 2012 was the ladder to our younger fans’ expectations. I hope the son of Frankenstein club are never allowed to find and utilise a fraudulent financial scheme to benefit from, it provided us with some terrible years, in spite of the self-harm it caused their monster parent club … eventually

  • John G Harmon says:

    Get the videos from 1965 onward whch shows what a grest club Celtic are, see the team thst Jock Stein nurturted to win the Eurpean Cup in 67 and get to the final in 70, plus the UFEA Cfinal12! We are a great club our problem is finance to buy good players, we made Henrik Larrson famous and bought him cheap, never criticise a club who where the first Scottish (British) club to win the European cup and we can still compete with the beat! I’ been a Celtic supporter for 60yrs and stayed with Charlie Nicolas wheh I was around 14yrs old, so HH the Celts go marching on win, lose, or draw!!!

  • Finbar muldoon says:

    I remember Macari signing two guys from the british army. And muggleton and Wayne biggins were guys he could go to the betting shop with during the week. HH

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