The Last Game At Ibrox Produced One Celtic Hero. There’s A Chance To Make Another.

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As a lot of regulars will know, one of my favourite movies (the only one I’ve watched four times in one day) is Any Given Sunday. Before the last game at Ibrox I invoked that film because of one of the taglines from the movie trailer, “On any given Sunday a hero will rise.”

And with Liam Scales heading into that one, I thought it was his chance to shine.

I was thrilled to be able to report, in the aftermath, that he had done that; that he had, in fact, more than done it. He had made himself the story, he had made himself the hero. Few of us, even those who watched him do brilliantly at Aberdeen, expected such a momentous performance and he more than deserved every one of the headlines.

A day like Sunday is begging for a hero narrative, for something that shocks us all, that takes us by surprise and radically alters our idea about what a player can do for us.

One of my favourite hero narratives is that of Moussa Dembele; I don’t know a single Celtic fan who was pleased when we found out that Leigh Griffiths was going to miss Brendan Rodgers first match against them, because he had threatened to burn through the record books the season before.

Dembele looked like he had something, but until that day his most notable act in a Celtic shirt had been getting a goal in a Champions League qualifier, and that was a penalty kick if memory serves me correctly. It was a big ask to have him step into those shoes.

But wow. None of us would have traded a Griffiths led Celtic for the one we saw that afternoon, and one of the most stupendous individual performances in one of those matches since the King and Lubo were playing in the team. A “perfect” hat-trick and a sublime display … and overnight we had a hero. That’s the way to grab your chance.

Looking at the Celtic team, there are obvious match-winners in the side; Kyogo, Hatate, Maeda, McGregor, O’Riley … the names that ring out. But I’m tantalised by the possibility that it’ll be someone else, someone, maybe like Yang … or Kuhn.

It’s the German I’m thinking of here, a player who has been steadily coming to the fore, a player who might be going into the game on the right side of the pitch where the home team might field a half-fit Sima and a half-fit Yilmaz.

That might provide opportunities to see what this boy can do cutting in, running with the ball at his feet, against the likes of Goldson who doesn’t like that stuff and never looks comfortable when anyone does it.

Obviously, I’ll hail as a hero anyone who puts the ball in the net for us as long as we get the three points. In a perfect world, Kuhn would swing a high ball into the penalty box and Kyogo would get a touch on it and it would deflect off Beaton’s head and sail over the keeper and in.

Forget drinks in his local; I’d buy the guy a beer in the Gallowgate if that happens and it turns out to be the match winner, that’s how much I just want to see us leave with a victory.

A game like this is tailor made to create a new Celtic hero story. If it’s not Kuhn, maybe Adam Idah, scoring the goal he’d remembered for forevermore. Somebody else perhaps. Who are we likely to have on the bench? Iwata? Bernardo? Someone like that?

But it’s Kuhn I keep on thinking about, Kuhn running at Yilmaz, cutting inside the box, Goldson being flat-footed as usual, and the German curling one past the keeper.

Thoughts like that have danced through my mind all week long.

They will be with him all the way to the kick-off. The perfect way to get rid of them would be to replace them with memories of instead.

That would be ideal. That would do nicely.

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  • Bunter says:

    I like your thinking James. Kuhn looks like a bit of class and a game changer. But for me, I feel Bernardo can become a hero tomorrow. He can go past people in midfield, can score and has a bit of dig. Leave there tomorrow with at least a point and we’ll win this title.

  • Roonsa says:

    Here’s my prediction for tomorrow. Game postponed due to Storm Kathleen and re-scheduled for AFTER the CP match.

    Advantage sevco. Again.

    If the game does go ahead, it’s not going to be pretty. The Gods are against us.

  • Captain Swing says:

    In your fantasy scenario, I fear VAR would rule that offside and mark the squint lines on the screen to prove it????

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Aye – It would be nice for that scenario to unfold for sure…

    Could also flip the other way ala Ian Andrews (it won’t with Big Joe of course but ya get the drift) or the time Rogan froze and inexplicably played basketball in our penalty area –

    And Beaton scoring the winning own goal – Well now what a dream scenario that would be indeed…

    But they would find a way – somewhere, somehow to disallow it – That much is bloody certain !

  • Effarr says:

    I`ve been imagining Kuhn and Kyogo replicating the “yirker” they scored a couple of weeks ago. I`ve even given wee Jamesy a starring role scoring the winner at the last minute (90+20)
    after being sent on to save the game. I worry a bit though that Celtic may have a single goal lead at half time and it would be back to the backs-to-the-wall, charge-of-the-light-brigade
    stuff in all of the second half. I think the Jock Stein policy, keep it tight, preserve the energy needed for the second half, for 25 minutes, then turn on them without warning.

  • Martin says:

    Lovely fantasy, but of it goes in off Beaton he would disallow it. He won’t be anywhere that can risk that. He will be too busy closing off our passing lanes and seeing non existent fouls in our defensive 3rd when they lump the ball up and our defenders header it.

    I do think Kuhn could cause them real problems though. Look for an unpunished cynical leg breaker on him early doors, then a very soft YC for CCV within the first 25 minutes.

  • William McMurray says:

    If the ball hits Beatons head the game stops James. I prefer your 2nd scenario. C’mon the Hoops

  • pauline blackie says:

    I would take a winning goal for us (Celtic) that bounced off someone backside and went in! ?

  • DannyGal says:

    I feel Celtic will win this one, especially if a fit CalMac starts, but my one big worry concerns the possibility of starting with an unfit CalMac.
    I just feel that thug Lundstram will attempt to maim him early on in the hope (or knowledge) that Beaton won’t pull out a red so early. Fingers crossed I’m wrong!

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