The Record’s “Champions League Doom” Assessment Is Hysterical And Nonsensical.

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The Record is indulging in one of its pet pastimes again, I see. It is ringing the fire-bell about theoretical developments in the Champions League, this time about the possibility that Scotland could lose its automatic spot in the Groups because of the European results of this campaign. In the same breath it claims the credit for our current position belongs with Ibrox.

It is hard to take such idiocy seriously. Celtic has a Champions League point already, and might well secure three more in our next home game. Ibrox will be lucky to see another goal far less a point. And you know what? Even if Celtic gains no more points and neither do they and we lose that automatic spot, that’ll be no more than a reflection of reality.

The way that tournament has changed is obscene, but we deal with the world as it is and not as we would like it to be and in the real world one point out of 12 is not deserving of an automatic Group place and zero points out of 12 certainly isn’t.

If the countries behind us can overhaul us in the space of time that is left before that place is lost to us then it’ll be because they deserve it and we don’t, and instead of bitching and wailing and moaning about it The Record could attempt to offer constructive ideas as to how we might better our position. They won’t though because they don’t have any.

There is no reason why Austrian clubs should be doing better than us or Belgian clubs doing better than us. Celtic, at least, has a philosophy which might just get us there and make us credible. Ibrox continues to think that outdated answers – long ball anti-football and spending money it doesn’t have, the stuff that works here at home – might provide solutions.

I don’t blame Hearts for their performances; they are in European Group Stage football for the first time in ages and pushing a boulder up a hill. If they invest the money they make from it wisely they can look to improve over time, and they will.

The Record simply hasn’t adapted itself to the reality that their favourite club isn’t as good as it thought it was. I read, with incredulity, their panellists predictions for the Liverpool game, which in hindsight are just laughably bad.

But they need to start adapting themselves to the facts of this, and to another fact. If we win this title and they continue to disintegrate as a club that place will never be an issue for them anyway. And I’m confident that once this team is fully adapted to Ange’s style, and if it continues to develop, that we’ll be more than capable of qualifying anyway.

And if we don’t, well then it’s possible to conclude that we just don’t deserve to be. The system might be a grotesque parody of what it was once, but it is still – and always will be – based on merit. We will get whatever we earn, another concept I understand they struggle with.

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