Catching Celtic And Ibrox Is “Possible.” But Clubs Won’t Do It Until They Get Real.

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There are a lot of things football fans do very well, but one of the most interesting is the ability some of them have to imagine themselves in a fairytale when in fact they are in the midst of a nightmare.

I know there are Aberdeen fans who are pretty excited at the rollercoaster ride they are on right now in relation to their stand-in boss, especially after last night. But they are on the Aliens ride; this is “express elevator to Hell, going down.”

Coming back from three down is obviously exciting. Had they won the game their fans would be overjoyed right now. But going three down in the first place, especially so early in a game, should be worrisome. In fact, it should be terrifying.

There is no happy ending here. Things haven’t gotten better; they’ve gotten worse and this is a symptom of a wider issue.

Hibs are hanging onto their manager for reasons passing understanding. Hearts are enamoured with Steven Naismith to a ludicrous degree; they’ve settled for solid third and no trophies. Aberdeen are where they are, lurching from crisis to shambles and back to crisis again.

It stuns me that Warnock has a job in the SPFL, and especially at a club which aspired to be more. That so many people in the game here were excited by this appointment is abysmal.

None of these clubs takes itself seriously. None of them is reaching for the next rung. Hearts at least only appear frozen in place, not knowing how to make the next jump or take the next step.

Aberdeen and Hibs look like sides who have chucked it. If they are striving for an identity, or a position I could not tell you, honestly, what it is. They’re nowhere.

Warnock sparked some debate, at least, when he suggested that there’s no reason why Aberdeen can’t be striving for second. They were there not that long ago after all.

But they have to make the effort, they have to get real about it and right now they don’t. That they have that buffoon in the dugout in the first place is how you know that.

Is it possible? Of course it is possible, and as I’ve said it will happen when one of these clubs is able to consistently beat the ones around them and then sets its sights on getting results at Celtic Park and Ibrox. Look at the state of this league.

It’s amazing to me that no club has emerged to do this before now, but the reason why is obvious and it has nothing to do with money. Hearts have gone through more managerial messes than any club in the league. Aberdeen continues to. Hibs … I don’t know what it is that Hibs are trying to do.

But none of them appears to be inhabiting the reality of this thing. All of them should be aiming for those European players and giving it their all, because European football income is the path towards them getting better and this game getting better.

Hearts at least seem to get it; the one thing that would have stopped them selling Shankland to Ibrox if an offer had come in was the idea that they might be risking Europa League Group stage qualification on what would have had to be a modest amount of cash in hand right now.

But the others badly need to get it together.

Because this game is terrible right now and they are a big part of the reason why. I want a challenge. I want a better class of team in this league.

But inexperienced fumblers … and aged dinosaurs? Is that really the standard of manager they think will take them to the fabled “next level”?

For God’s sake. No wonder these clubs are a mess.

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  • Pat says:

    To compete in the SPFL, seriously, clubs don’t need to beat us for rangers, they need to beat all the other clubs and then it becomes a shoot out. Aberdeen or Hearts have far more resources than the rest of the league but are nowhere near capable of this. Until they do so, none of them will compete.

  • HowlinBadger says:

    Colin is definitely not the answer.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      He is the answer to speaking out about bent officials with whistles, flags and monitors though…

      He was in England and was last night as well –

      Brendan out to spend some time with him and learn a little courage from him how to address this very thorny (for this fan anyway) Celtic issue on this subject…

      That issue is our (The club) SHAMEFUL BLOODY SILENCE on the matter !

  • Stevie Bhoy says:

    All these clubs are pish James. Only way to describe it. Aberdeen, Hibs, Dundee United, Hearts should all be striving to be like AZ Alkmaar or Braga. That would at least represent a challenge and force the Celtic board to move to the next level. They have the fan base but theres absolutely no thought process there. If they cannot afford to pay a decent UK based manager and coaching staff then why not look abroad. Theres so much better out there. They only need to look to Scandinavia, Holland and Belguim or maybe even Bundesliga 2. They have no ambition at all

  • Michael Clark says:

    The biggest problem we have in Scottish football is the lack of money. Players with any calibre cost money and Scottish clubs don’t have it. I remember when the the old English 1st division was played on parks in worse condition than ours is now. But SKY came along and bailed them. Clubs like Bournemouth, Brighton & Hove Albion who are seaside resorts can spend 20 million on a player. Scottish football can’t afford that and that includes Celtic and Old Firm FC

  • goodghuy says:

    James I’m sorry to disagree with you pal.. but I actually like Neil, he is an old school working class manager, of the old days, not a bad thing that actually. He has had a decent career, and I like his working class interviews. Aberdeen should be doing better than they are doing. But apart from that, Come on you boys in green . HH

  • Tam's son says:

    The diddy also-rans need foreign sugar daddies like DD, lol.

  • Brattbakk says:

    Come on James, things are tight for these clubs so it’s a huge gamble to go for it. Probably most clubs are too cautious but Celtic can’t lecture on that. Warnock has a wealth of experience that I think will benefit Aberdeen and he might see out his career there (a couple of years I mean)

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