This is one of those articles which even as I’m writing it, I can’t believe that I am.
Because it’s ridiculous.
The subject matter is absolutely barmy, the kind of thing that if someone had told me it without my having seen it for myself, I would have flat out refused to believe it.
On the night that Celtic got an outstanding result against Atletico Madrid, in which Brendan Rodgers played a starring role, the BBC’s Scott Mullen penned what amounts to a love letter to the brilliance of Diego Simeone, the snarking, arrogant cynic who at full time tried to ignore Brendan Rodgers attempted handshake.
You could not make that up.
Entitled “Celtic 2-2 Atletico Madrid: Diego Simeone at centre of Champions League anarchy” – the aggregator headline was worse, it referred to him as “absorbing” – this piece is so detailed on the Atletico coach that I wonder how its writer saw any of the other incidents he describes in it.
You’d think that a BBC Sports Scotland journalist might want to focus on the manager of the Scottish champions or on some of the brilliant performances from our players … this is what Mullen wrote about instead, and it just about sums his organisation up.
This is how he chooses to start this idiotic missive.
“Diego Simeone scrunched his nose, gave a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders, and waved a comforting hand in the face of the anarchy raining down around him. It was a small gesture in a big moment. His Atletico Madrid team had just conceded a startlingly early Champions League goal at Celtic Park, but the man in the big padded jacket on the touchline seemed unperturbed.”
The anarchy raining down around him?
Surely the BBC man doesn’t mean the celebrations of our fans, right?
Because that’s what the “anarchy” he’s referring to is a reference to.
This section … dear God.
“By the time the clock hit half an hour, the jacket had been ditched. You half expected Simeone to be down to his bare chest by the break.”
It certainly sounds a lot like Mullen wished he had been.
This is not journalism, it’s gushing fan-boy prattling.
So is this bit.
“Simeone’s team switched from flummoxed to phenomenal at the flick of a switch at times, mostly at the feet of Griezmann.”
I must have watched a different game from him. At no stage was that Atletico Madrid performance “phenomenal.”
I’ll tell you who was phenomenal; Palma for the time he was on. Maeda. Kyogo. Mat O’Riley, and Brendan Rodgers. Brendan Rodgers who gets not one shred of credit from this muppet in the whole of his ridiculous piece.
“Despite his gesturing, frantic pacing, waving and appealing for composure from his lot, their attacking momentum effectively ended when Rodrigo de Paul picked up a daft second booking,” he writes of the red card.
A deserved second booking might be another way to put it, but only if you don’t work for BBC Sports Scotland.
As for their attacking momentum, it didn’t end then at all.
It ended when our manager made the tactical changes which tightened us up and made it more difficult for them to get through our lines.
Imagine a sports journalist from Scotland writing a piece of hero worship on the opposition manager which refuses to acknowledge the role our own played in changing the flow of the game and getting us a good result against a top drawer side.
These people are a joke.
No wonder our fans cannot stand the national broadcaster when so much of their output is as dire, and dare I say as biased, as this.
I read that last night in utter disbelief.
If it wasn’t this it was them banging on endlessly about the record … anything not to talk about the progress we’ve made and the giant strides we could yet take before this Group ends.
We can go to those two away grounds with the same confidence with which we wait for Feyenoord at home.
Maybe if we win all three Brendan will get an article of his own.
But probably one about how Celtic are sure to lose him the first time an English job opens up. There you go, I’ve saved them time writing it.