A Breath Of Fresh Air
MAHE yesterday pointed out that our new manager has clearly changed the mindset of our existing players while also getting his new signings to buy into his philosophy. And that these are changed days indeed at the club,such a difference to see the players willing to bust a gut for the club and their team-mates,as was hardly the case last season.
Last season,of course,was a one-off,with no fans in attendance and the added problem of us holding certain players to their contracts. While I thought the latter was absolutely the right thing to do,given that we were going for The Ten,hindsight proved me seriously wrong.
To the extent that,as far as I’m concerned,any player in future who expresses a desire for pastures new should be told where the door is. Don’t let it bounce off yer arse on the way out. Some of those performances last season will haunt me for a long time. I’m sure I’m not alone.
This season though,everyone is busting a gut-and sadly the occasional hamstring,etc-to get that title back. Sunday in fact had us set a new world record for the number of players missing through various injuries with,I am told,a total of EIGHTEEN absentees. Most sides would struggle with that level of injuries,all the more so when our talismanic superstar aggravated his hamstring again after only ten minutes.
We just shrugged it off,and played a poor St Johnstone side off their own cowpatch,restricting the home side to just the one attempt on target,an admittedly terrific header which pulled them back into the game for a bit. Again as MAHE said,we can relax now for three weeks,recharge the batteries,work on the fitness and also complete the new signings that our manager thinks are vital to our title chances.
So how many of us thought six or nine months ago that we would even be considering our title chances as we head into the new year? Not me,that’s for sure. I specifically stated that we should be writing this season off,looking for improvements in personnel and performances,and ready to pull that title back next season. As a Celtic fan,you can believe that it hurt me to say that. But I spoke truthfully,and also in an attempt to dampen expectations-because many a manager has been damned by those in the past.
AP though has proved that he needs no protection from expectation. His own expectation is that everyone recognises the importance of this club,and the importance of their role on the pitch. We have been lucky with certain managers over the years who have made just those demands,and I can think of two others this century alone. If I’m honest,we will probably come up just short in the title race-those seven dropped points against Livingston and St Mirren will prove just too costly.
But ffs,don’t tell AP I said that! I don’t want to get my head handed on a plate like a certain brave and idiotic reporter on Sunday who suggested that the early break would work well for us,given all our injuries. AP put him in his place by pointing out that football is nothing without the fans-to paraphrase-and that he didn’t know anyone who enjoyed playing to reduced capacities or none as at the start of the season,or to 500 like on Sunday. It’s the way he doesn’t even raise his voice,doesn’t sneer,just openly let’s them know that he thinks he’s talking to a moron. It’s a work of art,so it is.
A man who has a little more experience of going after anyone who tries to do down our club is JP Taylor,the SLO. Reacting to reports that a number of Celtic fans had gathered illegally outside the ground,attempted to storm the gates,then were involved in running battles with the police,he pointed out that they were not gathering illegally,gates were not stormed,no running battles took place.
Both fellas handed the media their lunch by stating the facts in a calm and considered manner. In those respects alone,we are in good hands. And when we look at the quality available at full strength,the desire,the blossoming of Tom Rogic into the midfield general he should always have aspired to,then all of a sudden that gap looks less daunting. There are another eighteen games left of the season,and three times as many points available. Can we do it?
Why don’t you ask AP that? Better get a suit of armour on first though. Our man didn’t fly halfway round the world to come in bloody second!!!
Above article by BMCUWP