Fear And Loathing At Ibrox: The Boos Ring Out As Motherwell Hit The Glass Jaw Hard.

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In the unlikely event that any of the regular readers of this blog find themselves climbing Everest, once you get to 26,000 feet you enter what’s known as “the death zone.” I love that. There is so little breathable air at that altitude and its damned cold into the bargain that your brain cells actually begin to die of oxygen depletion without the right equipment.

To function at all up there you need to prepare yourself well in advance and understand the risks, and even then, there are people who just don’t make it. It’s hard enough to perform the simplest acts necessary to survive at that height, let alone anything more complex.

No wonder the Ibrox boss sounded weary and ready to pass out in his interview just then. As someone smarter than me once said, it’s tough at the top.

There have been title contenders before who looked like champions in the making and who were undone by a single punch. All through the years of watching professional sports there have been teams who looked good specifically because they were under no pressure. Pressure is a terrible thing for some clubs. Some teams fade, others fold.

And then there are those which rise to it and make magic happen. Tomorrow at Tynecastle we’ve got a chance to go back on top of the league. If we do it, the pressure falls on us again. We’ve looked better without it, but we’ll take it because a far worse feeling has fallen over Ibrox tonight, and with it a dark question; “Did we just blow this?”

That fear, it will eat away at their insides if we win tomorrow, and it should. They won’t have the pressure of being the team at the summit, but a harder kind to bear; the pressure that goes with having had it in your hands and let it slip through your fingers.

We know what that’s like. We have to guard against that at all costs now. But we look like we might be in the ascendency. They look like a team caught in the headlights of an on-rushing car. Hard enough for them to perform when they had a cushion … imagine the pressure now not to let Celtic pull away? Managers get sacked for that kind of thing.

As I said previously, the media was happily spinning away its narrative about how Manneken Piss was the manager who had restored credibility to their club and they were perfectly happy to see improvement and convince themselves that there was a title challenge next year.

But all that went by the boards when we shot ourselves in the foot and let them back into the race. A new feeling grew, that they might just be in the race. That’s pressure in itself. Worse though, by far for them, when they went top there was now pressure to get across the line.

Suddenly, he’s the one who might have blown a title lead, he’s the one who might have surrendered an advantage, and if that’s how it turns out then he’ll be facing hard questions instead of a summer of quiet and calm. It’ll be mayhem over there instead.

Today Motherwell crashed a fist into the illusion of Ibrox invincibility. The illusion. We knew that it was an illusion because – whisper it – we’ve beat them already under this joker, a fact which the hacks have gone out of their way to airbrush out of the narrative here. He’s a one-dimensional manager. I’ve watched most of their games, they are not a good side. They are better organised than they were under The Mooch but that wouldn’t have been hard considering his public park style of football, which has gotten him sacked twice in a year.

But the media is always looking for the next Ibrox hero and if they have to ignore evidence, twist statistics and even lie to themselves they will, and they have and they do and that’s all they’ve done here again. If we had kept our head, we’d already be miles in front of this lot. If we’ve found our feet and our form, we will win this title.

I am enjoying the moment tonight. Tomorrow might be a different story and we might be singing the blues again, but if we’re back on top then this flips the script in a way that they will find profoundly shocking over there, and we’ve got free midweeks from now until we roll into Ibrox and so there’s no excuse for us not kicking on and going there top of the table.

That’s why tonight it’s fear and loathing again on their forums. Old threads which have been forgotten have been resurrected; doubts about Goldson, about Lundstrom, about Dessers, about others in that squad of theirs, and doubts about the club and its mentality. Fear of a revitalised Celtic, and of what that might mean to them.

I barely need to talk about the loathing. It’s there in all its savage forms. Refs are getting it tonight in spite of a dubious penalty and a full eight minutes added onto the end of the second half. The Grand Conspiracy Of The Unseen Fenian Hand is being debated again and the madness and the hatred are reeking off every online page. I’m strapping on the gas mask and diving in nevertheless, because those forums are a fun place to visit sometimes.

More than anything else, I think we’re all entitled to smile with some satisfaction at those in the mainstream media who declared this title race over with because they couldn’t see us not dropping points and they had convinced themselves that the Little Pissing Man of Ibrox was the greatest thing since the last manager they hailed as a conqueror in the making.

Fools. They know again that they’re in a title race, and if we win tomorrow then we’re the ones with the advantage once more. You think the fear is through the roof right now? You think the loathing is bad? Wait until this time tomorrow and see how it looks then.

Their side no longer look like swaggering wide-boys. The warm glow in which their manager has managed to bask in spite of us giving him a going over at Parkhead has faded. He’s just another Ibrox boss again, no different than the others we’ve seen off in the past dozen or so years. Only absolute cretins believed he was more … a number which includes the whole Ibrox support and much of the Scottish sports media.

That loathing they feel is really for themselves, and it’s more than earned.

Now it’s down to us tomorrow, to turn the pressure cooker up to full.

Oh what fun to watch it blow.

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  • Dinger says:

    BBC billy boys club var video advantage rangers

  • goodghuy says:

    Oh absolutely fantastic, what a present that was. I will watch tomorrow’s match and enjoy it now, I was actually expecting tomorrow to be must win, and now the hoops can strut there stuff with no pressure at all, and anything’s a bonus almost. Come on the hoops put on a performance of the season tomorrow. HH

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Yep clemmont and there he goes, shoutin about red cards, but shhh ! Don’t mention the diamonde incident on Wednesday night. Ye couldnae make them up. Hopefully we can take advantage of this tomorrow.

  • Stewart says:

    It’s the 3rd time this week peanut heed has been putting it out there about the refs being not on the boil with his team,,,if others complained as openly and regularly as him he would be getting ridiculed in the media about pressure,, instead they happily put it out there,,, if we can get the result tmoro I think it the start of a bit of emplosin over next cupla week,

  • Roonsa says:

    Thankfully it was just a matter of time before that particular question got answered. It is especually pleasing given that we beat Motherwell on their own ground last week.

    As for tomorrow, we must answer the questions being asked of us. Forget how hard that lot are going to try. Even if they did shut down against the huns last week, there’s no way they were saving themselves for us against the Hibees midweek. And if Hibs had someone who could put the ball in the net, theyd have won that game easily.

    Hearts might be 3rd but they are piss poor. If Celtic are truly back to some sort of form, we’ll do that lot by a couple of goals at least.

    Bring it on.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Will be a further psychological blow to sevco if we do the business

    tomorrow – and then we’d be sitting top of the league through next

    weekend with the SC ties being played.

    Plenty of time for sevco to reflect on whether or not they have the

    bottle to win the league…? 🙂

  • Partick Bhoy says:

    Come on Celtic,lets do this tomorrow.
    We go top,we’ll stay there. HAIL HAIL.


    Don’t count our chickens…the MIBs & the VARMen oan the Sky will be primed for ramorra
    after the collywobbles at the DebtDome to day.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      My Goodness – How very true your prophecy was indeed Sfathenadirofchiftiness !

  • SSMPM says:

    Well looks like a couple of theories have been blown apart today.
    That getting to 56 first is beyond our reach.
    That theres not plenty to play for yet.
    That the leagues gone and theirs as the seasons over already.
    That our very own emotionally uncontrollable fans know better. (I know you have the right to complain but other Celtic fans have to listen to it and what makes your rite to moan and bitch more important than other’s rite not to have to listen to it). God I hope we don’t blow it tomorrow & I have another week’s worth of moaning it to listen to.
    Of course the one that wasn’t disproved was the one about the rankers getting dodgy non contact penalties when they’re behind in a game, playing shite and not going to get back into it without the refs help. Mmmm am I moan? HH C’mon a Hoops

  • John Smith says:

    Never seen that result coming today,,let’s hope we capitalise tomorrow,,,,,

  • Gerry says:

    We don’t expect or rely on others for favours, so today was an unexpected gift!
    Notwithstanding the obligatory penalty they received, to get them back into the game, their fragility and overall mediocrity, was highlighted by Motherwell. Their fans were particularly scathing about their defensive flaws, and especially big Goldson !

    Obviously it means nothing, if we don’t take care of the Sevco cousins, but that is how it should be…worry about our own performances and results, and ensure we get the three points.
    Clement Freud, like his fanbase, will be close to implosion, if the next few results go against them and we strike back to the top. No excuses Celtic…time to confirm that our club is always number one !!!

  • BJM says:

    The sfa appointed sevco supporting officials for the hearts game is going to make the game even more difficult.
    Robertshun hasn’t got over the goal jota scored at hampden when every player on the park stopped for the foul on oriley Except for maeda . As for cheatin Beaton on var assisted by mc billy you could have the perfect honest mistake storm.
    Come on celtic hit top form and don’t let these sevco supporting jokers cheat there way through the game.

  • John L says:

    Yesterday Dessers fell down in the penalty box ,and I swear there was almost a tear in his eye as he looked for a second penalty, it is expected now, it is just something that they naturally expect, you know, just part of the norm lol .

    They are a different animal when their twelfth man can’t help them or their thirteenth, fourteenth or fithteenth , it was joyous to watch and I may even force myself to watch Sportscene.

    Still in our hands. HH

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