Oh man, it’s almost time.
Tonight, Hibs kick off the Premier League campaign at Ibrox and that means that our own match is edging ever closer, and I know that all of us feel the same longing for it to get here. The World Cup has been great, which genuinely has surprised me, but international football is not the real thing and it has never been the real thing as far as many of us are concerned.
I have watched international matches where I got caught up in the game.
I will watch the World Cup Final with a great amount of interest, particularly as I believe that Messi’s moment has arrived and that he will finally prove once and for all that he’s the greatest player of all time. I sat with my whole family and watched Scotland v England at the Euros and would have celebrated long and loud had we got the victory we deserved.
But I would take greater pleasure in the least Celtic match than I would in the biggest game involving two countries, even when one of them is mine.
I never get the elation I get watching Celtic from watching Scotland or any other team. I never get the sick dread late in a game if we need a goal. I can enjoy watching a team score a last minute winner, but nothing is like watching Celtic do it. There might be better experiences in life than that but only a handful, and they generally don’t get discussed on a blog.
I’ll do a piece later on the fixture list; I’m intrigued by what’s in front of us and in particular as there is no winter break this year; we have, in effect, had it already and now we’re heading towards the midway point of the campaign.
What will happen over the next few months could determine more than just the destination of one league title. As I wrote last night, the pressure on the Ibrox board will grow and grow over the summer if they are not perceived as having closed the gap and if they can’t give The Mooch the resources to put up a fight in the next campaign.
The stakes are enormous. Bigger, perhaps, than they were last season … and having lost our ten in a row and facing our own rebuild and needing to get the manager decision absolutely right I thought it was our most critical campaign since we stopped Rangers’ quest for 10. It was an immense success and a storming triumph. This one will be bigger.
That’s why I cannot wait for Saturday, for our team to take the field, for this manager to get them rolling again, for the next three points, for the next extension of the lead, for a win at Ibrox, for a League Cup semi-final, for winning the trophy and on and on.