Dont Look Back In Anger – The 2020 Review
Firstly,on behalf of MAHE and myself,SENTINEL CELTS wishes you all A HAPPY HOOOOOOOOPY NEW YEAR-with the profound hope that the happiness is even greater tomorrow afternoon!
It has truly been a dreadful year for us all,and sadly that has been even more true for so many of us as loved ones have passed away,too often without as much as a tearful goodbye and thank you. I think that had we known what the year had in store for us-2020 hindsight,if you will-we would have stayed in bed a year ago. We can only hope that 2021 is an improvement,which is hardly a high bar to set.
In fact,to need only be better than its predecessor,2021 probably has an easier job than the next US President!
But enough of the politics,as no-one ever listens to me anyway-which explains why we have the current lot as leaders. I think it’s fair to say that no-one ever listens to me at Celtic Park either,but then,as an ordinary lifelong Celtic supporter like the rest of us,’twas ever thus. It is difficult to argue that we have had a fantastic run of success in the decade just gone,but many of us have also warned even as it happened that we were squandering our years of domination,squandering our chance to make ourselves a fixture in European football,squandering our chance to effect changes in the Scottish game which have been long overdue.
But then,at least we can say hand on heart that our leaders are not hypocrites. After all,they could hardly demand better governance of the Scottish game while they presided over a Plc which thumbed its nose at the very thought. And led some fans in particular down a wearisome and expensive railway siding while getting the SFA to finally do its dirty work for them.
But enough of the gloom,let’s dwell on the positives eh? We completed a remarkable fourth successive treble,a clean sweep of the three major domestic trophies. To put this into perspective a little,we had only ever won three in total before this run began,led by our best coach,tactician and man-manager since the legendary Jock Stein who supplied the first two. It is no coincidence that most people old enough to remember Jock would also have our other treble-winning manager,Martin O’Neill,completing the podium in our list of great managers-though not necessarily in that order! That accomplishment should,on the face of it,be quite sufficient to put a smile on the face of many of us as we reflect on the year just gone,but the sad truth is that it was concluded in a quite unsatisfactory manner on the day.and at a very bad time for the club on and off the park.
But I did mention the positives,and we have to focus on them for a bit. There was enough doom and gloom last year,so we can be grateful for the recent emergence in particular of Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull. Now,I’ll be honest with you-when Soro signed I had to google him! And there was damn little information available either. But from the info available,he was clearly hoped for as the successor to Broonie as he wound down his time at the club. Obviously it isn’t easy to replace a legend,even when that legend is more of an aging warrior,but it is well-nigh impossible when you don’t even get the chance! But he has been given that chance now,and he has grabbed it warmly by the throat and with both hands,and he doesn’t look like letting go either. Credit where it is due to Neil Lennonfor playing him and keeping him there,and to PL for sourcing him.
This lad throttles the opposition should they venture near him,and can spread the play about. Shields the defence and feeds the forwards. In fact,I can give him no higher praise than to say that he reminds me of someone who signed for us twenty years ago,and while old favourite Sami might have had his own shampoo advert,this guy could be the poster bhoy for Ultra-Brite!
David Turnbull is a different type of midfielder though-and the type to bring back memories of some true greats of our past who played in similar roles. I won’t burden him with comparisons,but I think you will guess! This young fella can tackle,run,dribble,pass and shoot. Hell,he even takes a decent dead ball! More to the point,his willingness to do so plus his availability to receive a pass makes life so much more fun for our other attack-minded players,gives them the confidence themselves to give or receive. He might not get the Ultra-Brite gig,but if I was his agent I’d be contacting Duracell!
So are these two bright young things-only 22 and 21 respectively-enough to make me forget about a crappy year? Hell.no! But some might say that they definitely maybe part of the masterplan for a brighter future. And with that thought,I’ll raise a glass to you all for being here with us as we venture into a brighter future.
Twenty twenty was testing for many, but it didn’t throw my life that much out of kilter, and although overall it gave the blogger more than enough to write about, the long spell without games brought it’s own special challenge to football sites.
The fact the globes major talking point is a very divisive subject we have tended to stay away from, just made life even more difficult.
Still, we got there and in our own style.
The year’s first big challenge was facing the possible fact the Celtic facing online community could lose some of it’s precious characters through this virus. Many of us have moved from a name on a screen to actual friendships through the blogs, meaning departures hit harder than usual.
I thank my lucky stars we have not experienced that grim reality, our fears were just that so far and long may it continue.
Then came the event that probably did have the biggest impact of my year.
George Floyds death was the straw that broke the camels back, and spawned its own movement that many were just waiting for.
Black Lives Matters first priority was to remove racisms defenders and enablers starting at the very top.
They faced unprecedented opposition by way of a record number of votes against their chosen duo, but overcame it.
Hurdle one cleared, hurdle two is ensuring their champions bring real and meaningful change.
A slogan to stand behind, conviction, and each other, got the job done.
There’s a lesson there Celtic fans.
I’m delighted this family went out and stood up for BLM and justice.
Rest in Peace George Floyd. I think you would be happy with what you sparked.
Footballing wise to witness a quadruple treble is territory I never thought we would find ourselves in, but it’s through no fault of our own we took twelve in a row.
The fans standing by their club and fully subscribing for the VST’s show just how much they love their club, and if anything helps me commit to fighting for a healthier club that will not only listen to them, but be proud of them also.
This coming year could be monumental for our club, change is heavily desired and if it’s not forthcoming perhaps the fanbase will start taking steps to push it through.
There is a real chance 2021 season ticket sales could collapse through disgust and mistrust, which makes current events compulsory viewing as they will form the basis of that decision.
It’s notable the number of scandals engulfing the national sport have dramatically decreased since the odious Traynor left the scene, something I long suspected.
Regarding the website it’s clear a community is emerging, not just a collection of voices, and that’s something we can all take some pride in as it took us all to achieve it. This week has seen four different authors, maybe unique in Celtic cyberspace, but the ultimate aim of a different author every day of the week remains.
A blog is only as good as it’s posters though, and without your support we wouldn’t be here, thanks all from both of us.
May the new year bring you better times than the last.
I’m proud to be among you.