Our biggest test awaits
Ladies and gentlemen, I’m very concerned about our collective ability to handle the massive test about to come all our ways, that of course is being forced to watch another team lift the title for a prolonged spell.
One reason it will be such a bitter pill to swallow is because we went from record turnover with a world class manager to collapse and period of second best in a matter of three years. It’s shocking as Martin was apt to state.
In my supporting lifetime we have never faced this situation, weve always been ‘just’ a couple decent players or good manager away from competing, this does not look like one of those cases at all, it’s a total top to bottom rebuild.
The PLC wasted time, rested on their laurels, failed to invest long term and ‘our’ just desserts await, as usual it’s the rank and file Tim who will feel the pain most.
That’s not to say we are ready though.
I recall my partner in crime talking of regular 20k crowds in the early 80s, of going to the game not in expectation of a victory, but you were assured of banter between the gathered Tims winning or not. The hardcore accepted the bad times with a joke and a smile then, still attended and supported the team as a badge of honour.
True Celtic fans indeed.
But how long ago was that and how much has the support changed since?
I dare say the 70s and 80s was a harder world for most who filled those sacred terraces, with few on the ground options bar the match or the pub, or a blend of both.
Netflix, the gym, the blog, the caravan etc weren’t around back then, the match was literally the only show in town.
Now we have reached very different times and I’m not sure how we will handle repeatedly falling short.
The blogs are busier when Celtic fail to win, that’s a known fact, but it doesn’t mean we like to moan. When we win we can all see with our own eyes how we achieved victory, when we lose there’s a million and one opinions why, that’s why defeats especially see busy blogs.
We are an opinionated, passionate fanbase, by this stage very used to success. And just as Irving Welsh penned, forgiveness isn’t in the dictionary.
I say forgiveness because accepting second best for a while, would take a lot of understanding of just how we got into this situation, but that’s far away. It irks every one of us that we didn’t use our advantages to lay down foundations to dominate long term, I don’t think the PLC wanted to do that at all.
There’s a lot of taunting to come. Yes I’m very fortunate in that regard, but the scenes in George Square and elsewhere look set to be repeated long term now.
Right when the WATP mentality should be confronted, it’s about to feast on the back of it’s favourite outlet’s success, with anti-Catholic behaviour and chants now publicly admitted by some of the nations politicians.
Each embarrassing event regarding the Ibrox clubs support helps make it harder to accept we lost to the worst club in the nation, maybe in football..
There’s also the pile of debt to assemble the league winners to be taken into account. Financially they fly very close to the sun, too close some believe.
We would accept losing to well run club much much better, not a house of debt that needs the top spot and it’s spoils to ensure this iterations existence continues.
And of course these days we all have our favourite outlets to vent in, whereas before it was the Celtic view and your friends and family that seen the benefit of your views.
The internet gives us all a voice, every different Tim under the sun has access, and therefore it’s an explosion of differing opinions and emotions when it comes to the national sport. You can find friends and entertainment online if you seek it, but equally you can find echo chambers and extreme views which do nothing to sooth the soul, usually the opposite.
We’ve reached the stage were many seeking solace or avoidance of extreme views actively avoid the internet after an event, knowing the foaming at the mouth posters will be out in full force raising the tension and blood pressure.
It’s obvious that most of Celtic cyberspace won’t be pleasant reading whilst we play second fiddle, perhaps for a prolonged spell.
Realistically we will be bitter at how that club assembled their title winning squad, angry at how our own club of choice frittered away it’s dominance so quickly and pathetically, angry at the scenes of the Champions ‘celebrating’ fans, peeved off at the goading that will surely accompany these titles we speak of, and then when we go online to get away from things we can expect most comments to be of a negative nature.
There’s also the strong probability we shall see a number of verbal skirmishes with the PLC which usually leads to a verbal ‘slap’ by DD, and does anyone expect the ticketing ballots to go smoothly?
Yup, we as a fanbase are about to go through a massive test, the rebuilding years won’t be easy on us. There will be spats surrounding the correct way forward,, there will be flounces of posters sick to the back teeth of the constant negativity online,, there will some ecstasy at finally getting the nod to return but lots of agony at missing the ballot,,and that’s before we debate the merits of attempting to play attacking Barca style football with a poor squad and cheap recruits.
We have all heard the saying following Celtic isn’t always easy, but it’s always rewarding. Well, that’s about to be tested to the maximum. Many will hope we begin infighting, widening the fissures within the support, start the finger pointing and give the rags headline after headline to divide us with, but we must be wiser and smarter than that.
We must ride this out together, leaning on each other just as those hardy souls did in the early 80s. There’s no getting away from this, it must be faced up to and how we react is very important.
The Tims arent sore losers, this generation must now show that.
While each will handle disappointment in their own ways, please remember the sun will shine again and in the not too distant future you will once again sit amongst friends in the stands with the hair on the back of your neck rising as the fullback bombs up the wing to deliver another cross.
We should stick together through this test and emerge stronger at the end, be resolute in adversity not panicked or volatile.
The song says we don’t care if we win, lose or draw,,well times here to prove it.
You’ll Never Walk Alone my friend.