When I was thinking about writing today’s blog I was going to use the words Sinn Fein in the title. I thought that probably encapsulated how things are in Scotland in relation to Celtic but decided on the anglicised version as I have usually tried to be non political and focus on Celtic.
The events of last week and the fact that after an initial media flurry things have went pretty quiet has me concluding this….
We are not and never will be the Establishment club. We are the biggest club in the land, in recent years we have been the flag bearers in Europe and even when we have been poor we have still been massively outperforming other Scottish teams in a valiant, but fruitless effort to stop the Scottish coefficient sliding off the scale (thank goodness for the changes to the way it is now calculated). But still there are people who resent our very being.
Many in Scotland have no love for Celtic and events last week at Dingwall evidenced this again. What intrigues me most, from afar, is that the true Establishment knows exactly how to play these things out. There is an initial outcry from us but the powers that be in the SFA and SPFL have long learned that silence and sitting it out is the key. This is a long game and they are well practised at it. Their cohorts in the media come up with dubious ” examples” of whataboutery with the underlying message that these things even themselves out over the course of the season.
Well, sadly for us, history has shown that they don’t. This has been evidenced season after season and even with the technological advances in recent years and the explosion of social media things haven’t markedly changed for us. In Scotland it truly is ourselves alone.
This means that many of us will be going into the semi final this weekend anticipating/ expecting to be on the wrong end of a big, definitive refereeing decision. Yup we will be expecting an honest mistake and this means that Celtic cannot be just better than Sevco, but that we must be clearly better than them to eliminate their biggest threat, namely the people officiating the game.
Now I believe that we have the better players and over the course of a season this will usually be borne out by league positions. Last weekend we had better players than Ross County but did not beat them. One goal leads for Celtic sometimes are not enough and we have to ensure that our better players perform better as a team than the Sevco side.
This is their season and a chance for their players to make history by being the first team in their existence to win a major trophy. If they beat us and go on to win at Hampden maybe the names of the players will trip off their fans tongues in the way we can recall the Lisbon Lions.
On Sunday our better players must match our opponents for effort. I am expecting a close, hard fought contest and we must be clinical in finishing any chances that fall our way. If we can do this Brendan and his team have the chance to make history of their own and let us hope that it is Celtic and not Sevco lining up at Hampden in May.
Come on Celtic. Keep that dream alive. Signing off from a humid Thailand. Let’s hope we all have a great weekend.