Celtic: Enjoy our success or let corruption define it as meaningless?
These are the days now that we must savour
And we must enjoy as we can
These are the days that will last forever
You’ve got to hold them in your heart. (Van Morrison)
Thank you for the days
Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me
I’m thinking of the days
I won’t forget a single day, believe me (Ray Davies)
These are days you’ll remember
When May is rushing over you with desire
To be part of the miracles you see in every hour
You’ll know it’s true that you are blessed and lucky
It’s true that you
Are touched by something
That will grow and bloom in you (Natalie Merchant)
I am going to make a hard request. I am going to ask you to
forget that the events just prior and post 2012 ever
happened or, to be more precise, that Celtic, the official club
and board , had not reacted as they did.
We still have the situation where Rangers went bust and a
tribute act entered the 4th tier of Scottish football but we will leave aside any shame or disbelief that many of us felt at our club’s reactions to these events.
It’s a hard ask, I know, and I do not intend to avoid those issues but cover
them in another, separate, piece for Sentinel Celts.
However, for the present, I want to concentrate on the football, the primary purpose of our club, I believe. Should we be happy with 21st Century Celtic?
Should we be deliriously happy that this is the longest period of dominance
we have ever enjoyed in Scottish football? Should we be unhappy or despairing that we are not really relevant as a European force anymore and the heights we scaled in the 60s and 70s are hard to imagine nowadays or foresee as returning in any imminent future?
Or, is there a balanced approach to be had in accepting our limitations but striving to be the best we can be within those limitations?
My view is that we have been soured by success. Since Martin O’Neill arrived in 2000 and added his football expertise to the legacy of financial and structural re-build that Fergus McCann dragged us through in the 90’s, we have had unprecedented domestic success.
14 league titles won and only 5 lost. 8 titles in a row achieved since season 2011/12 and in a strong position to match the record this year with a view to setting a new one.
9 Scottish Cups and 7 League Cups won and we last lost a cup in 2015/16 when we lost a semi-final to the Ibrox club on pens in April, the year Hibs won it, having earlier lost the LC semi to Ross County in January.
This season, so far, we have played 25 matches , losing only 2, resulting in us being top of the league, top of our Europa Group and in the LC final.
We have scored 73 goals so far this season and we are only just into November.
So, are we pleased and are we entertained? Has it gone as predicted or is it better or worse than we thought it would be?
Well, remember, we are putting aside the 2012 implosion issues for the present.
I am pleased that, in a tense situation, heading towards a possible 9iar, we have started well and performed with a style and to a level that has been more carefree than we could really have expected. I was opposed to the idea of Lenny getting the permanent manager’s job this season though I was extremely grateful for his willingness to take over in the wake of Brendan’s traitorous departure.
I see no need to disparage Brendan’s coaching abilities because of his double dealings with our club. I am quite happy to see him as a great coach but a flawed man.
Similarly, whilst I feared for Neil’s health in being appointed as Celtic manager, I was
disgusted by the level of vitriol he faced about his coaching abilities on his appointment. The PR stunt after our SC victory inflamed passions, but this man, who has done so much for us as a club, was being dismissed as a coaching dinosaur, and a failed manager at Bolton and Hibs.
In being so derided he joins every player who has contributed to our recent success.
We have keepers who were belittled as 3rd choice at Southampton & who never leaves his line, or who once tried to score from a corner against us, or were not good enough for Dundee.
We have right backs who were projects bought through Lawwell connections at Man City, or another Dudu dud or a guy who could not get a game for a poor Stoke outfit.
We have a young CB who is a converted midfielder,and a slow lower league Frenchman.
At LB we have an unknown Belgian, a journeyman Scot,and a converted winger all trying to replace a £25m player.
In midfield we have a past it Captain who for most of his career could not be trusted with 5 and 10 yard passes, a moody Frenchman, an overplayed Calmac who wants to go to Leicester soon, and a guy who was on loan to Aberdeen recently and whom we would have sold as makeweight to finance a deal for John McGinn.
On the wing we have an empty jersey and a coward who is nowhere near as good as a guy who is languishing on Norwich City’s benches and reserves or a guy who could
not get a game with a poor Southampton team.
Up front we are headed by a non Centre-forward striker, who is probably a left winger, and is French, therefore moody. He is backed up by an untested Ivorian and a disintegrating bad boy.
Finally,our manager, is backed up by an over-promoted “defensive coach” who is merely a Boardroom spy, and an Irish fellow with no great coaching background.
Yes- Cluj was very bad, I would prefer we were mixing it at CL level, even taking the thumpings, but this team needs time to grow at Europa level and is well capable of
attempting an ambitious last 16 or so.
Yes, we deserved nothing from the Livi defeat on plastic.
But that’s 2 matches out of 25. They are, so far, the blips rather than inherent weaknesses.
Given our sporting record over the past near 20 years and our complete dominance of the last 9 domestic trophies, I have to ask the Sentinel Celts-and not just you on this site-why are we so angry and why are we so dissatisfied with our team?
Yes, it could all explode at the final hurdle on in trying to set a new record but the question still has to be asked.
Why would we not have the balance heavily weighted in terms of our multiple success over our occasional failures?
Why was WGS sacked for failing to win one title out of 4, despite having preserved our CL credibility at a time when the handicaps being place upon us, as a peripheral club, were increasing?
In pure football terms, why are we jeering our way to 9iar? (Please try to do so without commenting on Res. 12 and the demise and corruption of Rangers and, subsequently,
Sevco.There will be a chance to address that in my next
article for Sentinel Celts.)
Jackson Browne wrote a variant on the “These Days” theme…
These days I’ll sit on cornerstones
And count the time in quarter tones to ten my friend
Don’t confront me with my failures
I had not forgotten them (Jackson Browne)
The above is by Setting Free The Bears. We feel we will thrive by giving a platform to all to be heard. If youve got a point of view to put to the crowd simply write it out and send to email@example.com
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