A Happier Hogmanay Than Most?
As most of you know,MAHE and I decided to set this site up to coincide with the end of the 2018 summer transfer window,so the first article was on 1st September 2018. Naturally,we two technophobes couldn’t possibly set up a site so we called in The Pros From Dover to do all the clever techie and legal stuff,for which we remain forever grateful.
Later in the transfer window,we will be imparting our fourth halfway report based on what we have seen so far this season. There will also be a review of the summer signings as well as our thoughts on any new additions. The same will also apply,I expect,to departures.
Well,there’s about a dozen articles due before our next game!
This though is a slightly different take on the above-a comparison of all four Hogmanays of the blog’s existence.
So,2018. Since the site was set up by us because of our own perceptions of the transfer window that summer,perceptions which time showed to be very accurate,my thoughts three years ago weren’t so much on the park as off it. We were still in Europe post-Christmas,with a number of us intending to visit Valencia in mid-February. Including me and my Dad for his 80th birthday,along with some good friends. What a trip,what a stadium-I’ve never been so scared in my life,it was like the North Face of The Eiger!
Not once did any of us think that our manager would be gone within the week of the game in Valencia,though his relationship with our CEO was heavily discussed. And that weighed heavily on me and many others three years ago,that he would walk at the end of the season. Hmmm,close but no cigar! Three years ago on the pitch,we weren’t as good as we were in BR’s previous two years,but still a lot better than in the previous ten! So I was relaxed about the football,but concerned about the politics.
Fast forward a year to 2019 and we have completed a Treble Treble,as well as taken the first step to The Quadruple. But the cracks are starting to show! Under NL,the team has gone backwards and the huns are breathing down our necks. Even the victory over them in the league cup final was,frankly,a travesty of justice,one of the best goalkeeping performances in history-and hilarious to watch again afterwards! The writing was on the wall,the hierarchy chose to ignore it-and they got lucky when the huns crumbled post-New Year,leading to us being awarded The Nine when Covid shut down the planet.
I believe the huns argued that there was no need for a shutdown,as they knew of a place in Belfast that would even give Typhoid Mary the all-clear,but wiser heads prevailed.
Where they did NOT prevail was in the Celtic hierarchy,who ignored the clamour,the necessity,for change-which led to Hogmanay 2020. Bloody hell,the most miserable Hogmanay ever! Full lockdown. Games behind closed doors. Getting hammered off the huns and schooled by diddy teams.
We were a shambles,and one which was about to get worse during January. I honestly can’t remember such a desperate Hogmanay as last year for a Celtic supporter. I won’t dwell on it,as I want to move swiftly on to…
2021. A manager new not only to the club but to the continent. A major clear out and rebuild-to the extent that TWELVE new signings is merely viewed as a good start. Out of the CL with a whimper and only ten points taken from our first seven matches. But with the exception of the Livingston game,improvement was obvious. And in the EL,although we lost heavily at home to Leverkusen,we gave them and Real Betis an almighty scare away from home,adding a victory against Betis to the double header against Ferencvaros for a healthy nine points to take us into Europe post-New Year.
Some of our football has been a genuine pleasure on the eye for the first time in a few years,despite bedding in new players,despite all the injuries. Despite the double standards applied by the refereeing brotherhood. AP has the measure of the press,and has the measure too of our players as he gets the coached to his way or the highway.
That’s right,folks. We have a proper bloody manager in place,one who deserves to be in place and who actually wants to be here. So the title might be misleading as it certainly isn’t a happier Hogmanay than most in my 58 years on the planet,but speaking as a Celtic supporter,it’s a damn sight happier than the last three!
And at the moment,that is all we can ask for. Thank you,Ange. May MAHE and I wish you-and all Sentinel Celts,indeed Celtic fans everywhere-a better year ahead. You all deserve no less.
Above article by BMCUWP