Beware The Media Narrative On Celtic’s Opponents Tonight.

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The media has gotten its ducks in a row for once.

They don’t always get there, but this time they’ve played their cards to perfection.

The idea that Celtic has a great chance tonight and should be confident of victory is nearly universal. Lazio have been interpreted as a team in crisis, a struggling side, a team which is past its best.

All of that and more continues to roll out of the media machine.

If Celtic beat this team tonight then all of the above will be offered to mitigate our achievement.

If we don’t then we’ll be castigated for failing to beat a club which, if you believe what you’re hearing, might be one bad result away from on its knees.

It is obvious. It is transparent. And it is working.

I’m moderating my own expectations. We’re facing a damned good team this evening and nothing changes that simple fact. They are capable. They are strong. They are dangerous. They have a number of outstanding footballers in their ranks. It will be no disgrace not to beat them, and because of that I will regard it as a genuine triumph if we do.

At this level, I would treat every opponent with respect, because that also reflects well on any result we’re able to get.

I think we need four points, as I’ve said all along, and so even one tonight, followed by a win over Feyenoord at Celtic Park, would get us the number we might require to get out of this group.

To get six would be shooting for the moon … and yet I think we can, without going over the score about it. At Celtic Park would should fear no-one, but that’s not the same as thinking that you can beat anyone.

Lazio fall into that category of “maybe.”

Maybe on the right night with the right performance.

Where everyone gets every decision spot-on. Where players take their time and that extra half second to make the perfect pass or the perfect run.

That’s what it’s going to come down to in a sense, to perfection, to being 100%.

It’s because perfection is tough to achieve, and essential to winning games like these, that I’m going to be able to cut the team a little slack tonight. I hope for a win. Do I expect one? Not really.

Because Lazio are a better team than we are and one of the best in this competition.

That has to be viewed realistically, and although the media may want to present them as being in some sort of state I am listening to none of it and no-one else should either.

We have a chance. Definitely.

If we play brilliantly across the team and if the Celtic fans turn it into one of those awesome nights under the lights, then we can do it. But the challenge is enormous and the media should not be trying to dress that up for its own ends.

If we win tonight, I want the credit that goes with having defeated a top team from one of the top leagues in Europe. If we don’t win, I don’t want it dressed up as some kind of disgrace and that’s what’s behind these claims that Lazio are in bad shape.

I expect the toughest possible game tonight, and I hope for a big, big performance.

If we get the big, big performance we can get something from it.

If that happens, man oh man, everyone involved should hold their head up high.

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  • Johnno says:

    Certainly not one to listen to anything the Scottish media trys to claim about us.
    Nothing but based upon hun jealousy.
    Build it up as no big deal if we win, but ready and hoping to slaughter us in a defeat.
    The Scottish media loves nothing better to do than slate our European record, and in return, our support needs that trend to change also.
    Yet what won’t get reported is that in our last 9 CL games at least, and same will apply yet again tonight, is that we still haven’t been able to field a 1st choice defensive line?
    A disgraceful hindrance we continue to keep finding ourselves in still, but moreso with the unfortunate state of injuries to key defenders.
    To gain results at this level, there has to be some form of confidence gained that clean sheets can be found at this higher level.
    Easier said than done, as the scum found out last season, with a settled and regular defensive set up in place also, yet how did that pan out for the scum?
    Without keeping a clean sheet, the extra pressure turns upon our attacking players to be far more clinical in front of goal.
    For ourselves getting both sides of our game right has to be the objective at a higher standard, especially against the higher caliber of players faced.
    Any victory can’t be under estimated for the achievement gained, but none will be given our way from the eejits that exist within the Scottish media

  • John L says:

    Shocking , we all seen it coming and our governing body are spineless. Heads up James, Feyenoord didn’t win today but on the stats, they bossed A Madrid a bit . Good luck for tonight Celtic Hail Hail

  • Henriksgoldenboot says:

    James. Sending this while watching the game and I’ve been studying one player intently tonight, who I want to say isn’t quite cutting it at champions level despite numerous attempts. While I’ve made my feelings clear previously on Greg Taylor and his limitations at champions league level, who again showed his vulnerability, the player I want to highlight is Rio Hatate.

    I’m sure I’ll ruffle a few feathers here with my opinion but it needs to be said. He kept getting caught in possession tonight much the same as he did in the Feyenoord game and this ridiculous dropping deep towards the back 4 he does where again he gets caught on the ball and puts the defence under severe pressure. His passing tonight also was mostly wayward and woeful.

    He had one good game against Real last season and that’s because they stood off him and gave him time to play the ball because he was never really a threat to them. I’ve come to the conclusion he looks better than he is at SPL level because that really is, like Taylor is his level.

    And the final whistle has just gone and I feel for the Bhoys as they worked manfully tonight and tried their best, Scales (again) Maeda (again) Yang to name a few, but yet again we show our soft underbelly and are undone. The only consolation is that we take this as a Brendan Rodgers work in progress. Well done tonight Bhoys. God bless

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    I think realistically this season in Europe has come too soon for Brendan and the new players…

    Injuries and silly suspensions haven’t helped either –

    Win the league and let’s see how we go next year in Europe under Brendan…

    It’s a really rigged tournament but I think we could do a wee tad better next season !

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