Happy Flag Day !
Yes its that time again.
After what feels like the shortest pre season ever the mighty Glasgow Celtic shall once again run out that tunnel in the Hoops and begin another title defence and eight months or so of agony and ecstasy .
Neil Francis Lennon aka the Lurgan Legend will assume the reins we now know and hope to lift title number 9 which has been done only once before by our club of choice.
Being an actual fan he will know exactly what this number entails and how much weight it will bear on his troops as they go about their business this season.
This season may not be a record breaker or offer anything we havent seen before but the collecting of this trophy would put us within grasp of the fabled ten which would really hurt the majority of the domestic game who wish not to see this achieved by Timmy.
Racism is at the heart of that wish but they wont admit it probably.
We begin this new season with 4 new players having joined the ranks in the off season and many departing the first team dressing room whether they wished to or not.
New faces are always exciting and opening day usually see’s a debut or two which , along with the flag being unfurled , cements it as a must attend for most of the faithful.
Today will see some of the Lion’s widows unfurl the league champions flag which you would have to be dead to say its not a nice touch. God Bless those ladies and their dear departed legendary husbands.
The new right back should see some action to get him a little up to speed for the Cluj game which one imagines he will get minutes in. Most eyes will be on this new bhoy Hatem to access if we have the new Lustig or the new Cha . Its worth pointing out the player from the supposed stronger league didnt end up making it with us just like Braafheid who also came from what is considered a much better league.
Where he came from doesnt matter is the lesson,,its where he’s going that counts.
Im hoping Hatem is going up and down that wing all day in the Celtic way.
Gamblers might wanna chuck a quid on a debut goal for our new Isreali signing as theres nothing like starting with a bang and a smaller team at home should see plenty of attacking play.
Another new guy who happens to know a thing or two about debut goals is our new Ukrainian Marian Shved who scored a peach during the week.
A nice wee run out and stretch up that left wing is probably just what the doctor ordered before the all important qualifier next week so expect to see him get a run out today and probably go for glory again. He seems to have a sweet left peg ( just like Thommo ) and has all the attributes to do well for us. He might just be the pick of the bunch when we look back later at this summer’s arrivals.
Defence should see Julien slot in and expect the starting duo to also be Wednesdays starters at the back ( makes perfect sense ).
He needs minutes and this one should be an easy enough test for him to start and take control of our rear guard. I noticed how big he was when he stood next to Jozo who is no leprechaun.
Im a fan of big strong defenders like Bobo etc so automatically like Julien’s stature and should we see long ball footie we have the big man at the back to collect those headers all day long.
Up front and some might well rest our main striker Eddy for the bigger test in a few days time leaving us with a rejuvenated Griff and / or Bayo but I want him to get a run out and some goals ideally.
Between the three of them we will surely have the goals to put the Saints away and then rest and relax with a sub or two.
Bayo played a reserve game midweek which suggests he might be fine for the bench today and if so dont write off another debut goal which the crowd will surely encourage him to try and bag.
Having our third striker finding his feet and a bit of form would be just perfect ,, as would an injury free run for the Ivorian.
We begin the new campaign as favourites which shouldn’t surprise anyone but those who still read the rags who have seen everything in light blue hyped up all summer long,,,good !
The weight of expectation can be unexpectedly heavy !
Last season the defence won us the league with the lowest goals conceded in the country.
Half that defense has departed yet we are still clear favourites even though the golden boot is still with our rivals and they have strengthened in more numbers !
That should tell you the bookies dont see the Stevie hype machine the same way as the media does surprise surprise.
Pick up what passes for journalism sadly and you would place your mortgage on a title upset if you believed them. They won the off season battle as usual which only serves to hurt them even more when we tear away at the head of the pack.
And we will at some stage.
So to those lucky enough to attend enjoy your day ( hopefully in the sun ) watching future heroes in the making bringing home the usual opening day victory hopefully.
Try to remember that Dirk Boerigter looked the biz on his opening bow before bestowing greatness on the new lad’s though.
Its a special day is today which will see new faces take up seats some will not leave until called by the Lord , and new strips that have never even been worn and thus washed before shining brightly and boldly with pride at being finally unleashed .
The nine awaits ,, lets go get it bhoys !!!
Our prediction,,,4 zip to the good guys to round off a great week.
COME ON YOU BHOYS IN GREEN !!!
As always,we will be looking for match reviews to be printed on Monday,the more the merrier!