Not a season for the faint hearted
During the off season a discussion with a friend and fellow Tim convinced me to switch my stance for this campaign.
Firstly it was pointed out that what has seemed like a never ending cycle of board bashing was likely to fall on deaf ears for this special campaign, or grab little attention among a fanbase obsessed with a common goal, the next game.
Secondly, that the fans probably deserve to be left alone solely with the league to focus on and no plans or plots should distract from a season that will surely live long in the memory no matter what happens. Our big years tend to get viewed, memorized, and reminisced to death after the fact, like Seville I guess.
Thirdly, the chap was insistent that no matter how much sense you spoke or what you said, the heightened tensions surrounded this tenth campaign, which many thought they would never see let’s face it, would bring many Tim’s to throw reason and rationale out the window through their nervousness, and that ‘phenomenon’ would only increase as the title race got tighter.
All three of these reasons have lead to a purely football approach from myself these days but recent days have shown just how true that third prediction would become, uncannily foreseen by a bright mind.
The above table shows that as of right now we are outperforming the last three title winning teams in every possible way, yet you wouldnt know it by perusing Celtic cyberspace.
If told the strikers are numerically the best we’ve had at this stage for five years would you have agreed or queried the fact?
Similarly would you easily accept the true fact that if unbeaten at this stage of the season we go on to win the league every single time under Lenny?
Despite our points tally at this stage only being equaled once over the last decade can we appreciate the fact we are in a great position which could be bettered only by being absolutely perfect?
At the weekend our manager threw his own little jab back regarding those detracting Broonie after our captain had a good game in the Hoops.
It shows that social media is getting viewed and can get under the skin, which Neil might have wished to keep private.
But that’s not to say he doesnt have a point, whether you agree with little digs at the support or not.
He will know and see the above table, and surely it will give him reassurance that we as a team are on the right track for this title defence of all title defences.
We just had the first game of our mini block of five go well, and as shown are we on track domestically. Pushing Sarajevo aside wont be easy I imagine, but should the team manage it that should only further cement the fact we are nowhere near as bad a team as some would have you believe.
And it would also point to the fact that alongside this league points haul which is impressive and usually a precursor to victory, our manager and team have their affairs in hand and under control.
Most of us would agree the team hasn’t really found its feet yet, and there’s further disruption on the horizon with Eddys future unclear, Ajeti injured, and a new left back admittedly being sought. If I had given you that option before the season began to be in this position, unbeaten in the first eight games whilst statistically our best form in five years, you would no doubt have accepted it. So would Neil, so would the team.
Plus if this is where we are at while finding our feet, what will we look like when we hit stride? Perhaps it’s that very point that is striking fear into our rivals, for eight games is just under quarter of the season played and still with all their woes the mighty Glasgow Celtic are unbeaten and on target.
As fans we are all invested, sometimes far too much, but Lenny would be quite correct in asking for some breathing space considering these stats.
The league is going according to plan, despite squad upheaval, despite losing the twelfth man, and despite all the pressures this one campaign brings.
This should be recognized.
Keep the faith and let’s watch our bhoys continue stacking up points hopefully remaining unbeaten as we emerge from this mini block of games. If they don’t, the support can and will question but everytime they do is one step closer to the Holy Grail.
Lenny can sort out the men for the ten, but he just can’t sort out the nail biters, especially this year.
The above by Mahe.