The Hysteria Over The Celtic Boss Shows Who’s Really Feeling The Title Race Pressure.

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In some quarters today, the Celtic manager is accused of cracking. In others, he’s a sexist. Others still clear him of that charge but accuse him of being condescending. I’ve rarely seen such an outpouring of fake fury or heard such a level of white noise over nothing at all.

For the last two years all you’ve heard in Scottish football is about how we really need a title race. I say the last two years because in the COVID campaign few in the media were talking about wanting to see one. They were just happy that their own team was top. Instead, the talk was about how long they might stay there. They had all sorts of big ideas.

All the talk of how they were glad there was a title race this year went by the boards the minute the Ibrox club was top. See, these people don’t really want a title race at all. They want a coronation. They want a parade and an open top bus, and our role in that is simply to lie down so they can start to plan it. The first half at the weekend was perfectly in keeping with how they saw the story unfold. The story Rodgers has been talking about.

That second half performance wasn’t part of the plan though. Nor was the bullish attitude of the Celtic boss at full-time, nor the way the late goals rallied fans and players and brought them together again. The second half was everything that’s been missing for months, even the late goal was reminiscent of last seasons team more than this one.

The fury at this upsetting of expectations is rampaging through a media today which has nothing bad to say about Celtic for once and so has fallen back on a pathetic and inconsequential attack on the manager. But you know what? He’s not the one who sounds rattled at the moment. They sound more rattled than he does. They sound more unhinged.

And it’s obvious why they are. This really threatens to mess with the whole little story they’ve been telling themselves for the whole time Manneken Piss has been in the manager’s office at Ibrox. That story has a few twists and turns to come, I think, and there are a couple of them which only now have started to loom large in people’s thinking.

See, when he arrived at their club all they wanted was improvement, all they wanted was for him to narrow the gap. That Celtic might endure a mid-season collapse and they might eliminate it altogether wasn’t in anyone’s thinking at the time.

When it became clear we were in the midst of a mini-meltdown the idea that they might soon be top would have been harboured for the first time. But it wasn’t a reality, just a tantalising maybe, perhaps out of reach.

But their story of how Ibrox was on the rise and Celtic was sliding into mediocrity was one they could have carried all the way through the summer, and into a big build-up the sort of which Van Bronckhorst got and then The Mooch after him. A third summer in a row about how “this time” the Ibrox club had the right man and the right plan.

He would have gotten away with it because he was miles behind when he came in and this was him at the start of getting his team together. That would have sold season tickets and shifted papers and given them all a warm summer of happy thoughts.

But that went by the boards the second they went top. See, this is no longer ours to lose. The media has virtually crowned them champions … and it’s only now that the danger in that starts to come into focus. For what if Manneken Piss can’t close the deal?

What if this Celtic team, this much maligned side, with this much criticised and written off manager, somehow manages to rally, stage a fight back and wrenches it from their grip? What does that mean to Rodgers? What does it mean to the Ibrox boss, more to the point? He’s gone from being a wannabe conqueror to just another head on Rodgers wall.

That’s the last scenario these people want to face. The Ibrox point painted as the loser in a duel with a Celtic boss who they considered down and out. Their club facing a summer of sweat and turmoil and torture, with real doubts amongst the fans about the players and their head coach. Celtic, newly invigorated with some big questions about the manager answered.

And that’s why, now that it’s started to dawn on them, that they are panicking. They are, not us. Because we know we’ve been dreadful this season and can only improve.

Rodgers is battle tested general and these players have amongst their number multiple title winners and even treble winners. This rot in the papers about some of these guys having never been behind … I must have missed that part where we started Ange’s first season so badly that at one point, we were sixth. We were trailing that season all the way to 2 February … and won it.

So there’s pressure on both sides of the city, and not the sort either club expected. But it’s who is built to cope with this pressure which will make all the difference, and I know we can handle it, even as our run of games is tougher than theirs is, and that’s rather the point, isn’t it?

Because if we can win our games before Ibrox and we go there still able to swing the race back in our favour that day, a draw pretty much does us and we’d be more confident than them.

And that’s really not supposed to happen, because we were supposed to chuck it at the weekend and spend the rest of this season steadily unravelling whilst they capered to the title.

But we’ve spoiled the plan. We’ve upset the thinking. We’ve changed the narrative, just a little maybe, but enough that it’s hurting already. It will only get worse if we get better.

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  • Bunter says:

    You’re so right James. 12 in a row required. 1 down and 11 to go starting on Wednesday against Dundee. We’re gonna do this guys!

  • MartinKennea says:

    None of the hun media were as outraged when their team was caught up in corruption for over a decade. Yes , for over 10 years.

    • Jimmy says:

      He is feeling the pressure. And so he should be. We are a very ordinary Celtic side at present. He entered into a disagreement of his own making with Jane Lewis.
      We are in a fight against a very poor Rangers.
      I asked you a couple of weeks ago when you wrote that we would win the league with games in hand where you got your confidence from. I would love to have your confidence James, i would feel a lot better but I disagree.
      Last week it was Our captain tearing strip’s off the players was going to turn our season around. Watch the 1st half at Motherwell. Nothing changed.
      Pivotal moments nonsence I hear time and time again.
      Jane Lewis. Hugh Kelvin’s Keith Kackson. I couldn’t give a rats arse what their views are.
      If anyone is tormented by these people then that is on them. People like me, Seeing that mob at the top of the league is torment enough and giving names listed above any value is of no concern whatsoever.

      • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

        No Jimmy, we are NOT in a fight against a very poor ‘Rangers’ as they DIED in (c.2012)…

        However we ARE in a fight against a very poor SEVCO side –

        Like yourself I’m very concerned where we are and how bloody SEVCO have overtaken us and are ahead !

  • king murdy says:

    dead right…lewis and the other bbc huns were SICKENED at the comeback….
    the needling hun cow knew EXACTLY what she was doing….
    fair play to BR….and PLEASE….PLEASE do not apologise…
    for too long…celtic fc have been the good guys…heads down and say nothing as the huns and their apologists caused all sorts of trouble in football circles and society (george square riot, EBT Etc….) and we kept schtum…..FUCK THEM ALL !!!



  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Bugger it… While I’m obviously delighted at our late win yesterday, I’m gutted Sevco are top as it means that I therefore cannot Listen in to Clyde Superscoreboard at this time…

    Because it would’ve been good to hear their rage at our injury time winner –

    Get back to the top please Celtic so I can get ma midweek schadenfreude once again !

  • SSMPM says:

    As we recoup and welcome back our injury ravished squad our points tally and unbeaten run will return with their hatred.
    Which brings me to the Jane Lewis debacle. In the world of bigotry that is Scottish football, society and media and press misreporting I wonder in the hierarchy of discrimination what’s worse.
    The condescending good girl remark of a hun bigot and regular lodge reporting sympathiser week in week out or the never ever reporting of a club and it’s fans that sing regularly about killing Catholics and being up to their knees in Fenian blood.
    Feminism may be the latest shield they try to hide their hatred behind but many women condemn feminism as other women trying to tell them how to think, what to say and how to act. The very accusations they lay against men or ‘Willy eaglets’ as they like condescending say. Not falling for that paper pissing plot trying to mug us off. Apparently our fans, BR and our club are now into hating Jews, women and I guess Jewish women.
    The better nature of their angels are putting us right thankfully. So funny now trying preach their greater than thou Kirkest attitude nonsense hahaha. I’m waiting for all the unionist Catholic hating news channels and programmes across the UK to buy into this shite. Did I forget to mention BBC, Sky Sports and Radio Snide. Hahaha. I can hear a rattle rattling. C’mon a Hoops. HH

  • Roonsa says:

    The hysteria over the interview that Brendan gave on Sunday to BBC Radio Scotland is only partly justified in my view. Take away the silly “good girl” comment then you are left with people who know Celtic are being written off and don’t like to be told that’s what they are contributing toward.

    Brendan is right to be pissed off. But, in my opinion, he did make a balls of how to get that across. Regardless, I am happy he is pissed off. We are not done yet. Let’s see how long that lot can handle the pressure.

  • Frank Logan says:

    The ridiculous fuss being made by the media over Brendan’s “Good girl” comment is way over the top. For instance my wife is sick when we enter a restaurant of being addressed with the corny phrase of “Hi guys” when it’s obvious we’re opposites. So are we going to have the media demanding an apology for that. It’s crazy.

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