Celtic Fans Should Put This One Aside. Just As Their Fans Did In May 1995.

Image for Celtic Fans Should Put This One Aside. Just As Their Fans Did In May 1995.

Far be it for me to disagree with James, but…

Winning is one thing. But winning when it matters is another.

No-one wants to lose, especially not to a side playing at Ibrox.

But there’s losing when it is important, and losing when it isn’t.

One of my main early teenage memories is Celtic beating Rangers 3-0 in May 1995.

My 15-year old was excited but couldn’t understand why the Rangers’ supporters kept cheering at the end (in the days where the losing team didn’t spit the dummy and ban rival fans).

My Dad pointed out – quite correctly – that they didn’t care. Beating your rivals in decisive games is something to cheer, not in dead rubber fixtures.

This isn’t to say there aren’t lessons to be learned from today.

Some fringe players got a chance – and didn’t take it. There are areas we need to strengthen next season.

We need a ball winner in the middle of the park. A proper winger on the right who can beat a man.

But this wasn’t our first team, and we will strengthen over the summer.

Anyone of an Ibrox persuasion who treats this as a turning point is welcome to do so. But that way almost certainly lies disappointment.

Perhaps the best way to think about it is this.

In that May 1995 game, Celtic had a cup final to look forward to. That can’t be said of those who were today at Ibrox.

In two weeks, Celtic will be presented with the league trophy. In three weeks, there’s a Scottish Cup Final and chance of a Treble.

If we win that game, who will care about today’s match?

No-one. Do you know why? Because it didn’t matter.

But trophies and success too. Something only to be found in Glasgow’s east end.

Matthew Marr is a regular contributer to this blog. He tweets at @hailhailhistory. He has also written a book about Celtic’s first league title, available here.


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  • john mc guire says:

    on your list should be a goalie not had a good yin from Ronnie Simpson and that also takes in Big Packie .

  • Gerryfr62 says:

    Absolutely spot on. Never heard so much positivity for a team winning a meaningless friendly because that’s what it was.No offence but when I saw Bernabei in the tunnel I knew Ange wasn’t taking the game seriously.
    Today did prove though that we have a few last ten minutes players.
    Let’s get the treble done Hail Hail

  • Drew says:

    No matter what we all think…e.g cup final comin wantin any injuries..leagues won..changed team..bla bla bla
    That was a woeful performance..not one player got pass marks and that was the view from everyone in a player you represent the shirt and badge in everything you do..i’d be here all night if i gave my analysis of each performance but its been many fans..and guys that i read in different blogs..especially CQN..which is still my go to..predicting a pumping for the huns..good guys but really dont know their football..we have been off the boil for a couple of months now..the midfield is not functioning anymore..our passing today was shocking..dont care if we’ve won the league and got a treble should be won..that was unacceptable..our captain had a stinker today and il prob take a doin for sayin that but he has to be sharper and braver..too many ineffective passes…sorry but well pissed of wi that

    Hail Hail brothers

  • Brian Cavanagh says:

    That was one of the examples that i thought of. Also in 2006 after winning the league at Celtic Park against Hearts -we we well beat 4-1 on the last day of the season at Tynecastle. Did Hearts win the league that year -no Celtic did.
    My point is what you learn from these defeats, not what temporary fill up it gives your opponents. Yes no one wants to lose against your rivals – but Ibrox was a vanity win for them- they couldnt win they needed to, we did.

  • John S says:

    This was not a ‘dead-rubber’ fixture, it was the difference between a closed-season of depression for city rivals or a lifeline, hope for next season. Dominance was not prosecuted and was not confirmed. A mistake. Other selection replacements (for first-team reliables) could have waited for the next fixture (depending on injuries).

    • Jackson says:

      Those changes could have been made in next game…..they walked through our lightweight midfield and left side with Kobi and Bernabie too far apart

      • Johnny Green says:

        That midfield is the one that Ange is most happy with. Why he continues to pick O’Riley I don’t know, he has been worse than a man short most of the season and does not deserve his place in the side. With Hatate off the pace, I felt sorry for McGregor who’s own game suffered from carrying the other two.

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    Ah remember when oldco was winning the league’s on the 90s, it seemed like the only game we beat them was the last league game, when the league was already lost.

    They had a bad day at the office, for sure, but in the scheme of things……


  • Johnny Green says:

    It mattered okay, by God it did and, as I said earlier, it was a shot across the boughs warning us that we are nowhere near ready to compete in Europe. We are and ordinary, workmanlike team that will cope domestically. but will get our arses felt in Europe with that squad. Some people treat Ange like a God, but he does have his faults and he is also blind to the faults of some of his players who are simply not good enough. So disregarding this game is totally the wrong thing to do, let’s take stock, react accordingly, lets learn lessons, let’s realise we have problems and let’s fix those problems. We have a couple of months to prepare for Europe, so let’s improve on what we have, let’s upgrade on several positions and let’s give ourselves a fighting chance against Europe’s elite.

    Do not dismiss that result, learn from it!

  • Michael McCartney says:

    After sleeping on the disappointment of yesterday I’m of the opinion that some of us [including myself] had a complete over reaction to this defeat.
    Some of our fringe players didn’t do themselves any favours and we obviously need to strengthen in a few positions but I’m sure Ange will have learned a lot from this game.
    Learning lessons in a game that ultimately didn’t matter can in the long term be a good thing.

  • John says:

    No game is a dead rubber when you play/support Celtic, especially against them.
    We have given them something to cling onto, instead of hanging them out to dry forever.
    Poor all round.
    We were expecting to pump them. The result was embarrassing.

  • Hugh says:

    We need a keeper that can be trusted to actually try and catch the ball, That shot for the first was not hard, either round the post or soft hands where the ball drops and flop on it. To punch the ball out from almost in front of his face is the last thing a keeper should be doing but it seems it is now commonplace throughout the game. To lose the first so early to a side with their tails up was the main cause of the defeat, that and our finishing. Celtic had most of possession following but I think any desire had gone out of them. The changes to back four did not help as did Oh starting, Kyogo I would have thought first with Oh later and we might have got to 1-1 right away. I do not agree with the idea that the game does not matter, Those hoops should never be disgraced through lack of effort,

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