Triple Header,Treble Glory?
Monday night’s comfortable quarter-final win at Tannadice resulted in a semi-final draw comprising four teams-Hibs and Hearts of Edinburgh,and Celtic and rangers of Glasgow. With a one in three chance of two derbies available,the Sorting Hat took that same predictable option. So a salt and sauce derby on the Saturday,followed by the real thing on the Sunday.
Easter Sunday,btw. I remember Easter Sunday 1996,also semi-final day against similar opponents,inasmuch as they say they are the same but they’re not the same. But then,I remember a lot of bad things,it keeps my natural ebullience and confidence in check.
(As does a quick check in on my betting accounts-or worse,the prospect of a doing from ATHINGOFBEAUTY,whose natural pessimism before and during matches is only surpassed by her sheer joy and relief after)
With a suitable nod to War Of The Worlds,”who would have believed…
Really,who would have believed about five months ago that we had it in us to be so close to an unlikely and utterly magnificent Treble? Oh,scratch that “magnificent”-we’ve already won seven of them,so this may be The Great Eight.
Okay,you’ve got the picture. But how do we actually go about achieving this for real? Well,a bliddy guid start would be three points on Saturday! Yes,we are at home-but against a Ross County side who have won their last three,pushed their way into the top six,and who have made life famously difficult already this season. For us and for the huns. So the wiser amongst us will not be counting our chickens going into the match,nor amongst our opponents either.
Yet,I suggest that should also hold true for the other lot too. Dundee cannot buy a point lately,and along with Aberdeen and Motherwell have no wins in at least their last five. (BBC stats are useless for these purposes!) But much of our unlikely position as tabletoppers comes from the huns’ woeful form away from home since New Year. So,in the spirit of Cheltenham Week,I’ll quote some lines from a familiar ditty.
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done”
That goes for the weekend,and it goes for the season too! But I’ve got an article to write,and ATHINGOFBEAUTY is 400 miles away-and I can always turn my phone off.
If we still have our three point lead on Monday morning,it means we go into the international break knowing that we return at Ibrox on 3rd April. The following week sees us at home to St Johnstone,with them away the following day in Paisley. After which,the post-split schedule will be configured. And considering how tight it is below the top three,it is anyone’s guess which teams will join them. But again in the spirit of Cheltenham Week,I’m gonna make one of them prediction things. And at odds of 6/4,despite being a virtual certainty. I’d put the mortgage on it-except I don’t have one. And in these uncertain times,I recommend no such thing to anyone!
Celtic v Rangers will be either the second or third game of the five-my main bet would be the second,which is a 4/1 shot. It won’t be the first,as it is the week after our clash at Hampden. The league will try to avoid it being a season-defining game-over Hootenanny too. And that means three O** F*** games inside a month-and that’s without replays!
So we go into tomorrow’s game knowing that we face a season-defining MONTH! No pressure,then…
But how many of us thought that August had already defined our position,if not our season? How many after the G-Mak penalty early October against Livingston? Or St Mirren over Christmas?
Yet these players always return to the well,always run through brick walls,always have a pride in their product-as true professionals should-and are showing up for the fans,giving us back our pride in a turnaround not seen since The Blessed Martin. More of a turnaround,in fact-25 points against 21. Though not yet complete…
Less than a decade ago,we gave the best club side in history a 2-1 defeat to take home to Barcelona. I give full credit for that to Neil Lennon and his backroom team,who spotted a flaw in their approach. I hope to remember to give it the credit it deserves in a few months,with an article on the subject. Yet few expected it,fewer still backed it with cash at the bookies.
However,the ground was full,and it was rockin’! And btw,the upper tiers DO move at such times,as they are designed to do. (The Ronny Moran Stand at Anfield had to be underpinned after we visited late last century!)
Though I doubt the ground has ever moved for so many at one time as when Tony Watt scored THAT goal!
So where am I going on this? Well,a better man than I has frequently said that magical things happen at Celtic Park. Maybe I should have used that as the heading- but he’s a lawyer,and I’ll take a doing from ATHINGOFBEAUTY against a copyright action from a lawyer EVERY day of the week!
Above article by BMCUWP