What a day that was yesterday for our press corps.
Doing spin control for Ibrox on this ticket thing, and slandering our supporters as one of the causes.
Not their finest hour.
But let’s face it, considering their history it’s probably not their worst either.
But they were also owned, comprehensively owned, by Ange Postecoglou at the latest presser where in spite of having more targets to shoot at than a Ukrainian sniper he hit the mark with every single shot and he took down everything in his path.
David Martindale? “He clearly has sod all better to do as manager of Livingston than talk to the media.” He didn’t put it in those exact words but that’s the gist of it, that’s what we’ve been saying on this blog for a while now. Martindale loves the spotlight. They clearly aren’t giving him enough to do over there, and that’s on them.
Craig Levein? In an echo of what we said during the week Ange pointed out that his proposal – and that of certain media people elsewhere – is just an appeal to “the lowest common denominator.” He destroyed that argument by talking not only about his own successes but those of other clubs, including St Johnstone winning two domestic trophies in one campaign.
The Japanese national coach? Ange trashed his bizarre nonsense with a comprehensive segment on how well players from Celtic did at the World Cup and how good some of our players, those who are constantly linked with big moves to Europe, are. Nobody at those clubs thinks less of them because they come from the SPL.
It was a demolition job but here’s the thing; a lot of it was inspiring stuff as well.
We’ve had a week of some of the worst coverage of the game here – all of it negative – that I’ve seen in years and it is a total outsider, a guy who is in this country for 18 months, a guy with no skin the game, who yesterday offered up a rousing passionate defence of it and its standards and laid out its path for the future in a way no mainstream journalist either dared to do or had the imagination for.
That is damning. That should be shaming to them all.
But as I’ve said before, if they were capable of doing their jobs, if they cared about those jobs, if they had the slightest regard for professional standards I wouldn’t be doing this.
No-one would need the bloggers to do this.
70% of what I cover on a daily basis is related to the media.
That’s astonishing. Think about that.
If these guys raised their game just a little bit they could put a lot of us out of business almost overnight … oh I’d still make a living and write about Celtic, but a lot of this stuff would be utterly un-necessary.
Everything Ange said was perfectly elementary.
I wrote during the week about how the French title has been won twice in the past five years by unfancied clubs in the shadow of the richest football team on the planet, the one with Mbappe, Messi and Neymar in it.
So when people like Levein propose weakening this league by removing the two biggest clubs in it in order to make it stronger I wonder why in God’s name no-one in the media made that point or a similar one.
And let’s be honest here, this is Craig Levein’s argument we’re talking about here, not that of Johan Cruyff.
The Piltdown Man probably had a higher IQ than the ex-Scotland boss who once went 4-6-0 in a must-win game.
I’m just astounded that it took our manager to do it yesterday.
Talking about his title win in Japan, he reminded the media that it had been 15 years since that side had accomplished that.
“I’m not saying it is easy to do. In many cases it is a really massive jump. But you are either aspirational or not. If you want something to improve, you don’t bring it to its lowest common denominator.”
Think about progressing everybody else.
Each club taking responsibility – a dirty word in our game apparently – for improving, rather than dragging the overall standard into the gutter.
We had one “journalist”, and God how I loathe using that word in this context, whose proposal to save our national sport this week was to change the five subs rule back to three, with the logic being that it would force Celtic players to leave the country because they weren’t getting enough minutes.
That’s what we’re dealing with here, the Mr Muscle of intellectual heft.
I still have to pinch myself to be sure I didn’t imagine that article, but no that was an actual thing.
A so-called journalist actually wrote that and his paper actually published it.
Ange Postecoglou makes these people look like pygmies.
He defends Scottish football in a way none of those who are paid to promote it are willing or able to do.
The Mooch spoke about the same issues this week.
Did he defend Scottish football? Did he bollocks.
His suggestion was that we lock Craig Levein and some like-minded individuals in a room and let them come up with the blueprint to make the national sport better.
Well, unless we’re filling that room with poisonous snakes first I don’t think that will help.
Read those words and then read what Ange Postecoglou said instead yesterday and you tell me whose vision of the game you would prefer to see realised? Because really, the media has spent the whole week telling us that the game here is shit and their solution is to, as Ange put it, lower the bar.
Their answer is to make things worse than they are already.
You have to wonder who would really benefit from that.
And it’s quite easy to work it out.
In their dream scenario, if we piss off to the EPL and leave behind a wasteland, do you think they’ll opt to cover that? The Brave New Dawn for the Scottish game? Christ, they’ll abandon ship in two seconds flat.
The fixture list won’t even be out before they are clamouring for passes so they can swan about Old Trafford and The Emirates as if they too are amongst the big boys.
Can you even imagine what Barney Ronay and Jonathon Wilson and the rest of the elite media would make of Keith Jackson and Hugh Keevins for God’s sake?
It’s like one of those fantasy dinners where you put Albert Einstein next to Danny Dyer.
No, listen instead to a guy who has not been here long and who they cannot wait to pack up his pencils and leave.
These are the words of a true statesman and a man with more passion for this game than they can fake.
“If you want to raise the standards then you try and attain the highest standard that already exists. So try and build teams up to that rather than give everyone a lower bar. Mate, I lived in Australia where there is a salary cap, where there is equalisation and, let me tell you, there is no one in Scotland that would enjoy that walk for one second.”
Incredible. A dose of reality. And hope.
One of the things this game badly needs is a better media covering it, because otherwise I really do think that the rest of it is shot.
Without that I think we’re pissing in the wind because you need people who recognise our strengths and want to promote the game in a positive way instead seeing us as a glorified feeder league for the ones down south.
Yet no sooner had Ange said those words than a national title had made him “the favourite” for the Crystal Palace job.
You could not make that up.