Celtic Has Played Our Cup Final Rivals Twice This Season And Know We’ve Nothing To Fear.

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After all the dust settles and the controversy recedes, after all McInnes’ foot-stamping and Jackson’s moon-howling are forgotten, after every cynic and critic and Ange hater has taken their shot over VAR and after The Mooch has gotten the first of his free-transfers from some English club’s treatment table signed and sealed and marketed as a world beater, and after Celtic has sealed the deal for a striker which will along Giakoumakis to go we will arrive, at last, at Hampden to face the Ibrox club in whatever new form it takes.

There will be some who will claim that new signings make them a different team, but the bulk of that side who played against Aberdeen will be there. The man in the dugout will be the same one. The style of play will not have radically altered.

The press loves the guy. That much is obvious. Keevins article on him, at the weekend, was vomit inducing stuff, almost on the level of that which he used to write about Van Bronckhorst before he, like the rest, turned on him and clamoured for his head.

What I saw yesterday, from both sides, was fairly naff football. But it was noticeable how easily Aberdeen found space between the Ibrox centre backs. It was noticeable how they were beaten by balls played on the deck and even, at times, by some pretty basic route one stuff. They aren’t a team to be feared. A veteran midfielder came in and dominated their own players so thoroughly some of them should have left the field in embarrassment.

There is no question in my mind that if we show up as if we mean business that we will get the business done and secure the trophy. We’ve played this side twice. There are some who will have you believe they were utterly dominant at Ibrox; I would urge them to go and look at the possession stats from that day. They show that for the lie that it is.

If we play the way we’re capable of then we’ll leave nothing standing of The Mooch’s monument to self-delusion. What frustrates me, and it’s one of the few things about this team that does, is that we’re clearly much, much better than they are. But we’ve given them cause to believe otherwise, and we’ve done it more than once.

But the two absolute beatings we’ve given them have demonstrated what we can do when we come out with the right intent and our football clicks. They have beaten us just once in the last five encounters, the Scottish Cup semi-final where I thought we switched off. At Ibrox we were miles from our best and still left with the share of the spoils.

I don’t know why anyone on their side of the city would be confident about the cup final. When we raise our game they cannot live with us, so their only hope really is to get us on a bad day. Even dire officiating didn’t make all that big a difference in the league game and I don’t expect that if we come with our guns loaded that it will make a difference here.

I’ve watched them a lot now and when you do that you can see the glaring holes and their capacity for making huge errors. We play better football. We have better players. We have a better man at the helm. I believe these things add up to our being favourites. I believe we will more than justify that tag. In short, I’ll believe we’ll do them.

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  • Johnny Green says:

    Agreed,, it should be a straightforward victory. I will be betting Celtic to be winning h/t and f/t on the day, easy money.

  • jrm63 says:

    The game at Ibrox was really poor. It only produced 4 goals because of 4 horrendous defensive errors. The number of actual chances created was minimal though I take your point about possession stats. The current left back makes Basil Bolongoli look like Cabrini. He is a defensive nightmare and glaring weakness. The left side of our defence has been appalling over the past few games.

  • Frank Connelly says:

    Agree with jrm63. Taylor needs to be fit and Starfelt more wooden than Pinocchio. He just looks so nervous on the ball. Thats my only concern

  • John says:

    Strange title for a piece james, we know we have nothing to fear? Surely it should be, they have something to fear?

    I said it before the last game, its not about them, its about us.

    When we beat them at CP, their fans and media pals said they did not turn up. We said we stopped them from playing and were brill.

    The game at Ipox the roles were reversed. The is the nature of the beast.

    We turn up we win. Simple!!!

  • S Thomas says:

    They won’t be as easy to beat as you seem to think James.. you said the same thing about us going to, Ibrox, and in truth we were lucky to come away with a point. Let’s start dealing in reality here, they have not been beaten since they changed managers. I am of the opinion that if we are at our best, and the pitch is better, and it allows the football team to play, then Celtic should win the match. But I don’t agree with your assertion, that it will be turn up and win. I think we will have to play well, and no silly off days again.

    • Johnny Green says:

      No one is interested in a comment from a fake Celtic fan, you are fooling nobody Billy Boy.

  • king murdy says:

    this is reading more and more like a fan boy blog….really getting tired of it….how about a wee bit of objectivity….
    all this stuff about an easy victory…no problem…etc etc….you could have cut and pasted the article from prelude to previous match v huns…
    the fact is that they are a different animal(sic) now that beale is in the door…
    you are so quick to mention they are a shambles at the back……and so quick to slam starfelt criticism….starfelt is a fukn disgrace….a joke…and a complete liability….
    if we play as well as we can do…yea we will win….but it is not a “gimme”…..

  • Eldraco says:

    We cannot play a cup final with starfelt and Hart . The latter not only needs time out but we need penalty cover.

    Alistair J ( unpolished gem) needs to start. Calmac into forward position and mooey ( one of our clubs best) also starts if so.

    Fearless hard tackling and able to ride one are needed fast run at ur marker play is the order of the day, beat him commit one other on you and you start to break them down, play everything on the ground no high balls except sets. Do this, do it well. 4-0

  • Peter cassidy says:

    Anything can happen in a cup final staunch Mick will have them pumped up for it. The game on the second Celtic very poor and where very lucky to get a draw fat boy missed a few sitters but the final won’t be that easy let’s not get carried away Celtic to win 5 nil

  • Martin says:

    A cup final and you’re predicting results? Brave.

    We were dogs hit against them at ibrox. And we’ve been that bad at other grounds and snuck a victory. You can criticise their team and scoff at their frailties, but we have them too. “If we play as we should” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there, James.

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