The arrival of the season’s first international break is like the Christmas cessation of hostilities during the First World War.
Comfortable victories over Sevco and AIK helped to heal the wounds of our baffling performance against FC Cluj and ensured that much of the vitriol surrounding that performance and our coach petered out…for now.
Welcome as our performance at Ibrox was, it highlighted just how emotionally attached to the Old Firm brand many of us are. We don’t hear much talk of boycotts any more and we seem to have slipped into our addiction to the ‘world’s greatest derby.’
The trouble with addictions is that they thrive in dishonesty and denial. They lead us to doing things that we know are bad for us, but just can’t stop. In our efforts to justify and rationalise the addictions we just delude ourselves and usually convince ourselves of just about anything.
Make no mistake, it’s a toxic fixture. In every meeting there’s always a victim on the field or off the field. It’s an opportunity for our darker sides to emerge and justifiably stick the boot in literally and metaphorically.
The euphoric high of a convincing victory exacerbates this and a state bordering on insanity usually prevails. A victorious coach who many believed couldn’t coach for toffee a couple of weeks before is immediately elevated to a precariously lofty position. Every tactical decision and substitution is hailed as a work of genius.
Paradoxically coaching reputations are often left irreparably damaged by a defeat. No matter the circumstances, failure in this fixture remains a capital crime. It’s filed under ‘resentment’ in the support’s elephantine memory.
In the wake of a victory players who a couple of weeks previously couldn’t pass a ball or who had poorer coordination than a worse for wear reveller on the dance floor at the Barrowlands, miraculously develop previously unidentified superhero footballing capabilities.
So much rests on the result that a victory or defeat gives life to a peculiar form of myopia that seems to blind us from the facts that the standard isn’t great and the game remains undermined by a climate of cheating and financial foul play.
Many of us suffer from this euphoric loss of proportion in the adrenalin rush of victory. It’s why we keep coming back. Our day to day struggles and concerns are forgotten for a while. Even the pain of a defeat provides an escape from what’s really bothering us.
And that’s no bad thing, we all need a break from the daily stuff.
Other things happen too.
After a few days, the withdrawals from the high of a victory in this fixture always kick in for me. A sense of regret kicks in. It’s almost like I had a few too many and those doubts about what I did or said the night before begin to trouble me.
In this case I just feel embarrassed that the mood-altering effect of the Old Firm narcotic has got me hooked or high again. The immediate aftermath of a victory against or loss to Sevco is a dangerous time.
One side in our internal debate about the strategy and direction of Celtic Plc very quickly takes to the keyboard. Whatever the result one side or the other wastes no time in grabbing the bragging rights. On this occasion, we’ve had brickbats thrown at the so-called panty wetters.
Deep down we all know that the keyboard keys are currently being sharpened by the other side of the debate and come the first reversal the tit for tat bloodletting will resume.
Our two welcome victories allowed the momentum behind our team rebuild to peter out. As usual our transfer dealings in the window had more subplots than Hamlet.
Talk of the return of Victor was wide of the mark. Whether it was ever a possibility we’ll never know. But if it was ever going to happen the minute Jonny Hayes scored our deserved second any hope of a return of Victor disappeared.
So too did the talk of Birger Meling.
Days before our victory at Ibrox our Chief Executive was rumoured to be negotiating Meling’s transfer. That bit the dust with Sevco’s capitulation.
Stevie Gee’s selections and their inept performance meant the Lennoxtown bins saw some more action on transfer deadline day.
The Sevco board didn’t spend much time sitting with the withdrawal pains of humiliation and reached for the sedative effect of the transfer war chest the following day.
Their £7m transfer of Ryan Kent ‘on the never-never’ is intended to have the impact of Clark Kent. It’s either an inspired move or knee jerk insanity?
Other Ibrox creditors please take note.
Kent’s acquisition after competition from absolutely nobody, may have bought Stevie G and Dave King a bit of time. But if Neil Lennon does Nine in a Row…
Glibby might be better off spending his retirement in his condo in Robben Island.
Predictably Celtic’s Balance Sheet came out the Transfer Window stronger and we have an inkling of what’s coming next thanks to the contents of the bins at Lennoxtown.
Worrying rumours about the Plc’s intentions regarding Eddy have already circulated and any doubters should remind themselves of the contents of our leaked recruitment strategy.
Two goals for the French Under 21s on Thursday look to have sealed Eddy’s fate. If I were Eddy I wouldn’t be signing any 12-month contracts for the gym or internet for 2020.
From the window, we have an interesting mix of permanent signings, loans with an option and loans without an option to buy. Given the mediocre nature of Sevco and their commitments with the Europa League, I’m pretty optimistic.
Should it be this close?
But it’s not easy making the league look competitive given our resources.
It’s a question that’ll peter out so long as we keep our noses in front. That’s the holy grail. Keeping our noses in front and hoping that Sevco don’t self-destruct.
On the subject of who replaces Peter? My money is on Vince McMahon for the Celtic Plc hot seat.
My only question would be if the WWE has equipped Mr McMahon with enough experience of illusion of and kidology to grow the Old Firm model?
Mr Lawwell has set a very high bar in that regard.
On reflection probably not…But the surname ‘McMahon’ sounds Irish and that’s a positive in the Old Firm sectarian, piranha fish bowl…
It’ll never (£) Peter-out.?
Above article is by THEGOMBEENMAN.
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