When Ange was asked about the Ibrox change of manager he famously said that he was more concerned about what he was going to have for his dinner that night than he was about their new boss. When The Mooch sat down for his evening meal he would have been choking on large servings of doubt, served by Ange Postecoglou.
For all the media games, for all the confidence which oozed from The Mooch and those around him, the quality of Celtic was still enough. Even on a bad day, the gap remains nine points.
People will call this title race over.
At the very least the mad fantasy that they could “win the Old Firm games” and claw back the gap has now been held up for the farce that it always was. Even The Mooch should recognise that.
It’s now mathematically out of their hands.
Forget all the bluff, bluster and otherwise nonsense in the press … this is what matters.
We can still trip over our own shoelaces and drop this thing by the side of the road, but let’s be honest; if that happens everyone at Celtic should be down at the job centre filing for unemployment.
It’s out of the question.
The manager might not want to call it – and he’s right, of course – but there are eighteen games left and I’ve never watched a Celtic team I’m this confident can carry on until the last day without losing a game.
I cannot be alone in mentally counting down to when we can officially put ribbons on the trophy.
I think every one of us feels exactly the same way.
This might not be done and dusted, but our opponent is reeling around the ring and if this was Marquis of Queensbury rules and not a bare knuckle brawl in the back of a boozer it would have been stopped already or the towel chucked in.
Alas, poor Sevco have to soldier on until they collapse.
At this point, most of their fans just want put out of their misery.
Remember the arrogant strut of them just two years ago, when they had won a title and thought they were cock-of-the-walk?
They were “back where they belonged”, as though Norman Bates FC belongs anywhere but the nuthouse and the corpse’s clothes put back in the closet where they belong or better yet burned in a big bonfire in the garden.
This delusion is only one of the myriad number of them that the club over there suffers from.
If there’s a cure they aren’t interested.
All their grandiosity is in ashes today.
All their egotism has been for naught.
The gap between the clubs is measured in the points tallies, yes, and in the goal difference, of course, and in the quality of the players out on the pitch … but these things don’t do justice to the actual scale of what separates these sides from each other any longer.
These clubs are eons apart. We are heading towards a bright future.
They are clinging on to a past that they should have left behind.
When Sevco was born it had the chance to build something from nothing; that exciting, it’s liberating. Instead they clung to the detritus of Ibrox and made all of its problems their own.
They ported over all the hate, all the extremism, all the lunacy and every bad habit.
Had Norman simply put Mother’s clothes on the world could have left him sitting up in that ramshackle mansion overlooking that seedy motel and carried on regardless … but Mother was a killer, and so for Norman it was only natural that he continued the family business in more ways than one, and that was where all the problems came from.
And so it is today that fear and loathing stalk the halls over there, much as the stalked the Bates Motel.
Fear of reality.
Fear of Celtic marching over the horizon and leaving them as Just Another Scottish Team, reduced eventually to the level of the rest and waiting for the dreaded day when one of the rest gets smart and ambitious and grows strong.
The loathing is also directed at numerous targets; the players, the board … and at a world that seems not to care if their club lives or dies.
Not The Mooch though, although that will come.
They remember, they said, what happened in 2012 … all except the dying bit, of course, and around which they have built the most preposterous fantasies.
So much of the loathing reaches outward, for the rest of us, and as per usual that’s the wrong target for their attention.
The real problem is in the mirror, and when The Mooch is gazing into it tonight and he asks it who the fairest of them all is and it tells him Ange Postecoglou he should take it like a man and walk back into the kitchen and pour a long drink of water and remember that this was their “must win” game, their coming out party, their big home match, their road back to the title race …. and they failed.
Then he and the fans over there should start acclimating themselves to the reality of that.