In the aftermath of the game at the weekend some of the most ridiculous stuff I read online came from Celtic fans. I’m not joking. As insane as some of the stuff over in La La Land is, our own guys do have an unwavering ability to give themselves the jitters.
First it was Ange, and did anyone think that his emotion whilst talking to Sky was a sign that he is mentally saying goodbye? Christ almighty. Then, and this fever burned far longer, it was eagle-eyed people spotting that Hatate wasn’t in the pictures from Celtic Park and pretty much deducing from that whatever crazy ideas they could muster into being.
And I have to wonder who the Hell, following a title triumph, is scanning photographs looking for signs that there may be trouble ahead?
This wasn’t enterprising hacks looking for a story, this was Celtic fans looking for reasons to scare themselves half to death by dreaming up worst case scenarios. Imagine that for a minute.
Were we always like this? Were there always folks amongst us who even on the really good days cannot stop thinking about what might go wrong? When did we stop being able to smell the roses, to enjoy the moment, to live in the present?
When did we become so bloody easy to scare?
You know, I thought the era of the bloggers and the way we’ve removed power from the mainstream press was in part the antidote to that. But still it goes on, except now it just goes viral.
It never dawned on me to wonder, far less speculate, why Hatate wasn’t there.
If I had thought about it at all I’d have concluded that maybe he had stuff to do, places to be and people to see. Which as it turns out would have been right on the nose.
Guy was busy. He’s allowed a life outside Celtic.
Besides, the guy is a serial winner at various clubs.
He’s seen title parties before, although I doubt one as spectacular as the fans put on at Parkhead at the weekend.
I missed it because I was still ill and in my bed. (I will make up for it on cup final day, you had better believe that.) And for all people know he could have missed it for the same reason. Sickness. Whatever. Plenty of possibilities.
But last night the guy had to deny that he had been in Brighton for signing talks.
If I was him, I wouldn’t have bothered.
Explanations? For what? Because some people can’t hold their water? There was no big mystery to be had and I don’t think he owed us any clarity at all. Still, he gave it and a lot of people will sleep easier because of it.
Still, I wish some of us would learn to calm down, to chill, not to jump at every rumour, not to freak out every time the mainstream press wants to stir the soup. And most importantly, I wish to God people would think before sharing these bizarre theories online, where they leap from one person to another like a virulent strain of the runs.
Abada spoke as well yesterday, and he’s made it clear he’s happy at the club. The man sounds good to go for another campaign. He said all the right things, foremost amongst them that there is plenty of time and he knows it.
He’s young, and I think he realises when he’s part of something good and to jeopardise that for the first English club that offers to throw money at him would be lunacy. The money will still be there this time next year and if he can add a solid Champions League campaign to his CV then there will be more interest in him than ever.
What we have to remember here, folks, is that there is an entire industry out there whose sole function is to leap on, and spread, every rumour that it hasn’t created itself.
It feeds off the anxieties of the kind of people who scoured those pictures and drew their crazy conclusions, and this industry isn’t just about hoovering up hits and converting them into cash; a lot of people in that industry actually hate us and will do anything they can to destabilise us.
There are a handful of games in this campaign left.
Let us enjoy them.
Let us enjoy the start of the close season, as treble winners, without getting into a panic over what the opening of the transfer window might mean or what clubs might come in for Ange or which players might have cold feet or whatever the Hell else goes through people’s minds.
This is a great time to be a Celtic fan, perhaps the best time to be a fan many of us have ever known in our lives. 16 trophies out of the last 20, two behind their magic number and we’re creeping up even on The Lie … this is not the time for spooking ourselves half to death.