Another weekend in which we play second to the Ibrox club.
Does it feel like we’ve been doing that for many, many months now, with grim regularity?
Almost every other week, we seem to be playing a day after them or a few hours after them … it’s a topsy-turvy fixture list this one, and one that seems almost as if it was designed to put us under pressure.
Celtic, of course, has not acted like a team under pressure. In fact, we’ve handled the whole of this campaign brilliantly in that regard and it’s no wonder Ange pointed that out to our critics the other day at his press conference.
Every time the other lot “cuts the gap” that puts the heat on us a wee bit. Especially as we play them next weekend. And yet every time that pressure is on we have risen to it and won our way through. The question is, why does it happen so often this season?
I can’t remember a season like it. Not all of it can be down to Sky; there have been weekends where we’ve played after the Ibrox club when neither of us had a game on live.
Maybe I’m seeing things that aren’t there, but this isn’t the first time this season I’ve done an article on this, and so I know it’s more than just my imagination and my mind playing tricks on me. The split is coming up soon, and all the wailing from across town is about how they will have to play two extra home away games whilst we’ll get two extra at home … but our fixture list throws up weirder scenarios than that at times.
In fact, let me tell you of something that’s literally just happened.
Even as I was writing this piece, I noticed John McGinley of 67Hail Hial, a writer I have tremendous respect for, has opened his latest article with these words; “Far more often than not this season Celtic have been playing after our closest Scottish Premiership rivals in each round of fixtures and this weekend is no different. Ange Postecoglou’s Bhoys will again be playing to restore a nine-point lead at the top of the table after this afternoon’s results.”
It’s comforting to read that. I know now that I’m not losing the plot.
Scottish football is full of these little “coincidences”, these little unexplained issues.
Like the one about how Ibrox continues to set records on not having conceded penalty kicks.
Our game is a strange little universe. Some of the normal laws don’t seem to apply, and just when you think we’ve reached a point where it can’t get crazier it does.
More on that tomorrow, believe me.