Celtic Fans, Don’t Let Tonight Spook Us. This League Won’t Be Won On Goal Difference.

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Tonight, the media is going to go insane with the overhype. We know this before a ball is even kicked at Ibrox. We know this because some of them are starting to hyperventilate already. The Ibrox club has a chance to go top. To do so they only need to win by a couple of goals, and when you consider the shocking state their opponents are in you can take it to the bank.

Believe me, I’ll be thrilled to be wrong. But I’m not. I suspect they will win tonight at a walk, and all the emotion that is already gushing into the editorials will be unleashed in full. They have been waiting for this for a couple of years now. They will enjoy their moment. It is the duty of everyone at Celtic Park to ensure that a moment is all it is.

This title race is not, as some have suggested, “going to the wire.” We will win it on points, with games to spare. There’s a prediction for you.

Once this lot lose the aura of invincibility in which the media is determined to project them – utterly ignoring, as I said earlier, the fact of our win before the New Year – I think they could rapidly lose their way. Their new manager is being painted as a conqueror; all their managers are painted that way after they’ve won a couple of games and although this guy has started well so did the last two before him.

Every boss over there is a messiah. I was amused to read some of the gushing praise poured on him over the weekend by the very same hacks who were calling The Mooch a figure of substance and who were ready to make Van Bronckhorst a saint on the spot. They never learn, no matter how many times we beat the lessons into them.

This will be the same. He’ll be the big hero until he’s not, and they will scratch their heads and wonder what happened to convince them otherwise. This guy hasn’t felt pressure yet, but he will, because now he’s not the plucky upstart chasing the champions anymore, if he does this tonight he’s the guy who got his nose in front and then blew up.

That’s real pressure. Go top tonight and that’s what he carries on his shoulders. The media may not put it there, but the circumstances do and the expectation in the stands will be turned up to full and they will certainly expect him to make it over the line.

We dropped the ball in the chaotic week between 10 and 16 December when we lost two games in a row. Those results didn’t come out of a clear blue sky, but they were sufficiently shocking to rock this club to its foundations. We let this fall out of our hands, they didn’t come and grab hold of it. We should still be well clear of them. It’s our fault we’re not.

So don’t buy into any of it, any of the hype that is about to explode over our game, any of the hysteria which is about to engulf our club. It’s been just over two years since we usurped Van Bronckhorst’s team to go top and we’ve held the destiny of the title race in our hands ever since. This is a night they didn’t foresee, and so of course they are reading into it more than they should. Some of us will do the same.

But the rest of us should keep cool, and let it wash over us. Our business is Saturday coming, Kilmarnock at home, and the job of winning three more points. Everything else is noise, and listening to the moon-howling never helped anybody.

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  • Bunter says:

    I’m pretty sure Celtic players and the Celtic coaching staff are quietly watching, reading the press and listening to the triumphalism over there.
    It’s giving the bhoys an incentive and purpose and this Celtic team will slap them down. I can see us going on a sustained winning run – all the way go the league title, and, as James wrote in his piece, comfortably on points.

  • SARAH says:

    5mins added on 1st half, 10mins added on 2nd half with no major injuries or var reviews…I wonder why……

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      A good point Sarah – But tragically this is only the start of it truly ramping up from the Cheats with whistles, flags and monitors…

      There’s not much Celtic can say about a match between Sevco and Ross County but the County Caretaker Manager should be screaming from the heavens about this but probably wasn’t…

      I’ve no way of finding out if he did or not as I don’t do Scottish Media –

      Perhaps a banner at Parkhead in storage on Saturday for The Kilmarnock match along the lines of ma favourite warcry of…


      And unfurl it when Beaton does Cheatin…

      Because as sure as night follows day – He Will !

  • Guillermo Mac says:

    The media have made a big thing about the psychological effect of being on top, albeit on goal difference. Unless the rules have changed, in the event of equal points and goal difference the team that has scored more goals is in the lead. If this is still the case, although I am aware that all sorts of jiggery pokery will be applied to make it not so, then Celtic are still league leaders. After all the fanfare before tonight I think this should be highlighted on Celtic sites. I know it won’t be in the MSM

  • Gerry says:

    To look at your closest challenger, is a natural action in a two horse title race, but the only thing that matters in our season, is how WE perform and play ! If we continue to win our games, then their form and results are completely irrelevant, regardless of opinions !
    With our SMSM salivating at the thought of their favourite team climbing to the summit, ( and now failing twice,) our attention is completely focused on Killie, getting a convincing victory and exerting the pressure back on them.
    I’ll continue to maintain the belief that we shall win this title. It’s for others to opine as they see fit !

    • Guillermo Mac says:

      I think Celtic will now pull away from Sevco as they are a much better side despite some shoddy displays.
      Nonetheless, I am now hearing that in the event of equal points and goal difference then the team who has triumphed in the face to face matches is given the nod. Celtic are still in the lead regardless of both situations (most goals scored or best of head to heads). The media are saying it is neck and neck. It is not. Just saying like.

  • Michael Clark says:

    I have to say your taking this all in your stride and your right, there’s a lot of us will go into panic. Keeping cool when its the 1st time they’ve went to the top of the league in I don’t know how long is challenging in itself. However, Celtic’s form will need to improve and soon because were given them all the encouragment to push on. Surely Rogers will have to change his strategy because this is the same side that scored goals for fun last season.

  • harold shand says:

    The planned media sp*nk fest party has been cancelled this evening

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Anti climax for the sports desks throughout Scotland, even with 5 minutes added on above the 1st 45 mins and 10 mins added to the 2nd 45 mins with no VAR checks and no serious injuries you can see the influence the MIB are going to attempt to have in the final months of the season.
    Celtic have got to get the revs up and not give them any more chances this season to go top.

  • SSMPM says:

    I’ve been reading many of the board apologist or transfer the blame on Rodgers comments on here and frankly I wonder what’s going on in some our fans heads.
    We don’t need to wait until the league is lost or so tight to recognise the problem.
    The board has failed to invest in the team over the last two transfer windows and failed to support Rodgers to bring better quality to the team. Simples. Injuries have highlighted the lack of depth in our squad.
    I liken it to a car who’s suspension is collapsing or that’s tyres are wearing thin. Replace them and strengthen the car car’s ability to function again. Idiot talk. If our players come back strong from injury and Asia Cup we’ll win the league but the vehicle needs some work doing. C’mon a Hoops

  • Jimmy says:

    Spot on SPPM.
    Don’t know where you get your confidence from James but if you can bottle it I will definitely have some. You said a few days ago that our defence of the other night is a real worry. I find it terrifying. I have read about when CCV and Hatate come back we will kick on. There is absolutely no guarantee of this. Both of them will be injury prone this season.
    The board are a disgrace and the message should be sent on Saturday at the Kilmarnock game. Not signing players was a horrendous and reckless act. Think some people need to waken up. I Don’t give a shit about any of the press. Our problems are self inflicted. We are a very ordinary team with many starters who should be back up at best. We are in a dogfight for the title due to the mismanagement at the top of our club. Time to realise that.

    • James Forrest says:

      No, I said our defence wasn’t good enough for Europe. And it’s not.

      • Jimmy says:

        Your right James. Frustrating sad and very worrying that the powers at be don’t have the love and passion for the club as the fan’s do.
        I really hope that the fans get the message across to them on Saturday. Wake up or leave.

  • Frank says:

    There is a danger in assuming that just because last 2 Rangers managers haven’t worked out that this one won’t.
    He couldn’t have done much better so far. One match lost 2-1 at your nearest rivals, hardly any points dropped otherwise.
    He has a good track record, and with I believe poorer quality players than Celtic have has closed the gap.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Sorry Frank – But your ascertation that the last two ‘Rangers’ manager didn’t work out is incorrect as Rangers died (c.2012)…

      However from what I read on The Celtic Blog about The Scottish Football Media, they indeed may well agree with your wording of Sevco, but I respectfully don’t !

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