The “Butland For England” Media Guff Contradicts What Celtic Fans Have Been Told For Years.

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If you’ve been following events across the city the last few weeks you will know that they got temporarily excited and then massively disappointed by the “news” that Jack Butland had not been called up for England. To most rational people that was no “news” at all. We’d expected it. Perhaps we realised that Butland is largely a triumph of hype.

But perhaps we’ve simply been conditioned to reject such thoughts. Conditioned by who? Why, by the very people who were expressing their shock at the announcement. Because they’ve spent years telling us the very opposite of what they were saying that day.

For years, for two decades, we’d been hearing variations of the same theme whenever a Celtic player was on the brink of his national team; “Players don’t get called up for these countries from the SPFL.” Even as recently as last season we were hearing this about Jota.

It’s been a constant every time we’ve had a top footballer at our club who had ambitions to play for his country and the country in question was one of those which mostly chose its players from the top leagues.

And it makes a surface kind of sense, both then and now. When Virgil Van Dijk was being talked about as a possible Dutch cap the question was asked about Scottish football; “Who is he really being tested against every week?”

In Europe, yes, that makes sense, but that’s a half dozen Group games and they were very often bad. So, who exactly was his “form” based on shutting out?

We heard it at the time, we fought the battle against it in our heads although our hearts sort of recognised the truth of it, and the media was proven 100% correct.

Part snobbery, part realism … it added up.

The Dutch never really took the idea seriously until he was in England. He signed for Southampton in the summer of 2015. In October that year he made his debut for the national team. Some said it was a key reason in his decision to move.

I know this much; whenever he was linked with a move elsewhere the media would bring up his international ambitions, and they would hammer home the point that he would never get that recognition whilst he played in the SPFL.

He is not the only example of a Celtic player pilloried for ever believing he could be an international for a major nation whilst playing in this country. Fraser Forster was told much the same.

During their outstanding form in the O’Neill era Alan Thompson and Chris Sutton were told over and over again that they would never get capped whilst playing for our club, although our club was, at the time, punching its weight in the Champions League and seeing off an Ibrox club which was spending tens of millions of pounds on footballers.

That’s why, when I first read the Butland stuff, stories which began on the Ibrox fan forums, I thought we might actually be the victims of some specialised trolling. Then it leaped into the mainstream media and I suddenly realised it was being taken seriously.

An Ibrox club which most weeks doesn’t register a shot on target against it might send its keeper to the Euros with England? It’s vaguely absurd. “Aaah but Europe …” is their answer.

So games against a team from Luxembourg and the Czech Republic are special are they? “Aaah but Benfica and Real Betis …” Well, Benfica were dreadful over two legs and still put them out, and Betis scored twice in Spain and were barely able to get up the pitch at Ibrox.

Even if you accept those games as good ones, that’s a handful of matches. When they’ve faced decent teams – i.e. Celtic – he’s conceded goals. He is nothing special.

He is a better keeper than we’ve had in a while, but a Joe Hart in his prime wouldn’t have seen this guy in his road to a Wembley starting slot. Indeed, the only reason this lunacy is being discussed anywhere is the injury crisis England faces amongst its keepers.

And even then, even with a couple of its backup picks out, he wasn’t selected, and no rational person ever expected that he would be whilst playing in the SPFL.

Only the Ibrox fans, who do live in a fantasy land, and the very sports media which has made this point over and over and over again when the player in question is at Celtic.

Funny that, eah?

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  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    The Scummy Scottish Football Media Lying For Liebrox….

    Quelle Surprise – Not, Not, Not, x 1 million times there then !!!!

  • SSMPM says:

    He won’t appear for England in their squad for one reason. He’s not good enough.
    It obvious that the big talk build up is for one reason and that’s simply to fetch as much profit for him as they can and in as short a time as they can.
    That’s sign of how much they think of him is in quickly they can get him away.
    Weirdos. We may end up getting more for Mikey Johnston whom I’m increasingly thinking we should keep here.
    Chances of that are slim though as our board are a selling board too.HH

    • Jimmy says:

      Mike Johnston has had his chance time and time again and produced nothing. He cant cope with the pressure of being a Celtic player. Championship is his level. Butland has done very well and shown himself to be a good keeper. Wont happen but I would take him for us. Your logic that his transfer fee will be lower than Johnstons just doesnt add up.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Butland is arguably one of sevco’s best signings in recent years.

    Yes, he is a decent keeper for the SPL.

    But, imo, because sevco got him on a free transfer,

    perversely, that has somehow enhanced his ‘value” now?

    Butland’s maybe come onto his game in Scotland,

    but it’s all relative.

    He’ll be touted by the SMSM as ‘on the fringes of the England squad’

    if / when sevco try to sell him – and it won’t be to an EPL team,

    but probably a Championship team?

    Or, we could buy him – as back up to our new, first choice keeper

    we sign this summer…? 🙂

  • harold shand says:

    The English media and Gareth Southgate don’t give a f*ck about Rangers . who plays for Rangers or Scottish football full stop and it’s making these thicko hun hacks go of their nuts

    Ha ha

  • SSMPM says:

    MJ has been injury free for longer than I can ever remember and is stringing some highlighted performances as he did prior to his most recent loan commenced.
    Aye it’s in the English Championship but then that’s a higher standard than the SPL. Btw I certainly didn’t write that Mikey J will achieve a higher transfer fee than Butland (but if you like him that much I know where you can go and see him). I wrote that we “may” end up getting more. Logically to me that presents as a touch of irony Jimmy. HH

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