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One Result Doesn’t Change The Trajectory Of This Celtic Team … Or The One Across Town.

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Every time we lose a major game, I go through the same routine. I do an immediate reaction piece, I have a few beers – usually more than I have when we’re winning – and then I eat well to cheer myself up. Then I drink large amounts of water, take some headache pills in anticipation of the hangover and then I get some sleep.

That means that when I wake up in the morning I’m tuned in and fresh. I’m fresh right now, as I write this.

What all this helps me to do is gain perspective. That’s why what I write in the morning after a defeat is sometimes markedly different to what I wrote in the immediate aftermath.

When we lose we’re emotional. When that goes we can be analytical.

So, this is where we are.

On 12 May 1865, the Battle of Palmito Ranch began, just outside of Brownsville, Texas.

The Confederate Army won the battle.

But it was already too late for them to gain anything from the victory; the war was over. Lee had been captured in April at The Battle of Appomattox Court House, and on 10 May Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederation, had been arrested and imprisoned. The Battle of Palmito Ranch was a pointless engagement, the last of the American Civil War.

The South started that war in the firm conviction that it would win, just as Hitler believed that Germany could take on the whole of the world.

The North had a vast industrial economy and the ability to raise many more soldiers. Their numerical superiority was more than 2-1 when the war began and that number went up.

Yesterday was the equivalent of that modest Confederate victory; a futile, one-day triumph after the war had been decisively won.

Our war was only going to have one winner from the moment this season kicked off. Our strengths are too great and in Ange we have a master strategist. When the next campaign begins we’ll be well placed.

Victories are good. Sky Sports News thinks that they have the bragging rights for the summer.

Wow. Bragging rights.

Because you’d rather have those than a treble, right?

As Matthew Marr brilliantly put it yesterday, we’ve had days like yesterday before on both sides … who even remembers that game in May 1995 which he wrote about? The Ibrox club had just won their 7th title in a row and were on the brink of closing a deal to sign Gascoigne.

That result mattered a lot less than the game against Airdrie which was to come within weeks, and which delivered us the Scottish Cup. But their fans were not in the least downhearted that afternoon.

They knew their club was still in control.

What we need more than anything right now is calm.

To approach the next few weeks in the same measured manner we have all this time, and to ignore the swirl of noise in which we’ll find ourselves. Ibrox has won a battle, but we won the war.

The next one will be starting soon, and no matter what their fans tell themselves, we’ll still the favourites.

Listen, what a night of rest and recuperation has allowed me to remember is simply this; teams, no matter how good, lose games. They have off-days. They don’t show up.

We missed chances yesterday which would have won several games … more importantly, we have won the ones that matter. The ones that decided the title. The Hampden matches that delivered trophies.

We’re the club on the brink of the treble. One loss won’t change that.

Our club is richer. Stronger. More focussed.

Our playing pool is better. Our footballers can do it under pressure, when it counts. And when we lose we do not look for people to blame or point fingers … we learn. We learn lessons and go again.

We are no poorer today than we were yesterday.

We are no weaker today than we were yesterday.

We are no less powerful today than we were yesterday … and yesterday we were as strong as we’ve ever been.

Believe me, folks, we still are.

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18 comments

  • Paddybhoy67 says:

    Aye, a wee bit of perspective is good, James. Adding up all the ifs and buts (Oh’s miss, O’Reily’s miss, Goldson’s handball etc) it could have been different, but it still hurts – hate losing, hate losing to the other mob even more.

  • Johnny Green says:

    James, I think you could do with a bit more sleep if that is your conclusion. That sort of result has been coming for weeks, we have struggled in a few matches, but still the manner of that defeat was shocking. It wasn’t just a bad day at the office, it was a humbling experience and our players offered nothing in reply to their hungrier approach to the game. We are talking about a team in a state of flux, that have a mouthy manager and players of the same ilk, who usually do their talking off the park rather than on it, yet they pissed all over us.

    I certainly cannot ignore it, I cannot just get over it, and I hope Ange is every bit as angry as me.

  • John L says:

    We need to get over this but at the same time we should examine it. We should not be resting our best players for that match, that could have and should happen next week, anyway let’s move on and let them stick those 3 points on a shelf in their empty trophy room. Hail Hail.

  • Bob (original) says:

    The team has looked a bit jaded since as far back as the last international break.
    But, like the Champions they are, they continued to grind out the results.

    Today wasn’t a surprise, but there are positives.

    We can’t get complacent: our squad is good, but not that good.

    Ange might have a clearer idea of the players he needs to replace, to strengthen the squad further ?

    A wee end of season fright just might help loosen the purse strings at Parkhead a bit more…

    …whilst Beale can talk up this Ibrox win all he wants to sell the ST’s, and it just might tighten the purse string even further at Ibrox?

    If Beale’s team is good enough to beat Celtic now, then they really don’t need to spend money they don’t have at Ibrox for next season…? 🙂

    sevco, Scottish Dead Rubber Champions, 2023.

    Mibbees get a star on their jersey for that?

  • Michael McCartney says:

    I think that what angered a lot of Celtic fans was the way we approached yesterday’s game, from the 1st minute they showed total commitment, whereas our players seemed shocked by it all.
    Our midfield got overrun in large periods of the game and the fringe players who came in looked off the pace.
    As you say James, in the big picture that game didn’t matter as long as lessons are learned. Onwards to the treble and hopefully a few signings to strengthen for Europe next season

  • Mr Vincent McSherry says:

    We have (and still are!) having a grand season, League cup in the bag,league championship in the bag ,potential treble coming up! What’s not to like?!

  • Martin says:

    We’ve been poor since Kilmarnock away at least. This was coming. I won’t panic over one result, but we’re certainly not meeting Ange’s aim of finishing the season stronger than we start it. Play like that in CL and we’re losing most games.

  • Dora says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Celtic for all the wins this season, especially against the huns.
    Always enjoy Qing up in Patrick Powers to collect when beating them.
    Yesterday, you couldn’t have backed Celtic after all the partying of winning yet another title, injuries, no fan’s allowed in that Kip, almost a 2nd string side and when CCV doesn’t play-Celtic look weak!

    I for one, still haven’t come down from Celtic winning yet another double with another treble on the cards…it’s truly unbelievable!
    Yes it was lame yesterday but one could have predicted that loss, maybe not in that fashion but, it’s all about the TREBLE!!!

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Naebody does delusion and hysterical hype like the ibrox crowd and their media, we know that and even tho they couldnae beat us in the games that REALLY mattered, they’ll make all sorts of this. What ah want tae know is, how we’ve slowly went from bein a well drilled aggressive side tae a team that’s lookin more and more like we’re goin right back tae 3 seasons ago imo. Maybe some personnel in that dugout, wi too much influence on Ange ahm startin tae think. Need tae improve and strengthen key areas before the CL starts.

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    It’s the hope that kills them lolol

    hH

  • John S says:

    The trajectories haven’t changed but Celtic have given oxygen to a suffocating rival. An opportunity missed and an embarrassment that a team in the hoops should not want to win this fixture at their absolute utmost. Never stop ? Never got started.

  • John Copeland says:

    Yesterday’s tired performance told me a few things with one in particular standing out ! Celtic need a no nonsense midfield enforcer who would turn round to the odious Cantwell and Lundstram and the like , who growls and barks , try your snide assaults on me and we’ll see what the craic is ! A big Roy ‘ feed the bear mark 2 ‘ Aitken is needed with dig , power and stature .

  • James Collins says:

    All that he said is true but you are only as good as your last game and you dont want to give them any encouragement and that’s what happened you have given the other half of the city a wee bit of belief and the last old firm game leaves a bad taste in you mouth

  • Johnno says:

    I understand the disappointment, yet some of the knee jerking reaction about it has been a bit over the top also imo.
    One poor result and even poorer performance doesn’t define a whole season and nor should it either.
    In a good few ways, I’m actually relieved it’s happened, and makes it far easier for Ange to address them during the summer, as they have been evident for the past number of weeks now.
    You can learn far more in a one off defeat, than the continuous winning when complacency can become the biggest enemy, and how you actually react to setbacks remains key in continuing to move forward, not unless we stand still of course.
    Ange has had 4 transfer windows and we have used them sensible and improved upon each one.
    Also over a course of a season, we have improved upon last season already and the season isn’t even finished yet.
    So are we going to let 1 result change the trend that has been set within the club?
    Can’t see that happening myself.
    Believe our actual squad depth has to improve, especially with 6 CL matches, international breaks, injuries etc etc as we have still been over reliant upon to many players with rushing players back from injury and loss of form isn’t accounted for within the squad, especially within the younger player still.
    Don’t see the need for pressing the panic button, and certainly not going to let the amount of bullshit coming from the scum have any impact upon myself nowadays, as still the effect of the 10iar season isn’t forgotten, yet I refuse to relive it either when so much success has been gained since and made that whole season a distant bad memory.
    Hopefully that approach won’t change and still have full confidence in Ange finding the solutions to a few problems that have risen lately

  • Dan Dwan says:

    When McGregor is off the boil (which in fairness is a rare occurrence) the team undoubtedly fail as a unit, Hatate form has dipped since returning from injury which is not helping either and Jury still out on Koboyashi,Bernabei & Oh. Ange will have learned a lot from yesterday and I expect at least 3/4 new additions in the coming months.
    Onwards & upwards HH

  • Dando says:

    See next season I’m not interested in winning the league and guaranteeing £30m+ in champions league money or winning the League Cup and the Scottish Cup treble……

    All I want is to be victorious in the final (irrelevant) Glasgow Derby of the season…..

    HH

    • James Forrest says:

      Haha 🙂 Yeah the “bragging rights.” All any football fan really wants, eah?

  • Thomas Daly says:

    Wonder what it feels like to be a deluded,as I said u think (THEY 2012)had won the champions league the way they celebrated CLOWNS.

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