Kill the Celtic Puppy?
So, its the new season yet again.
Seems like only weeks since the last one finished.
Has anything changed in so little time?
Well for a start, Peter Lawwells stepped away from the SPFL Board, leaving a space in which Rangers are eager to fill. Who knows whats in store at the OK Corral that is Mount Florida HQ? Its clear lots of Celtic fans are praying Lawwell finally goes Mega-Fergus and starts dishing out real justice over there on the South side but an equal number are fearful that he will just slide away into the background of Scottish football and continue to tell the fans “Just hold on a wee while” for yet another period of inactivity and empty promise.
A Celtic legacy awaits you Mr Lawwell, you can grab it or you can forever be the ignored guy, sitting alone in the pub saying “Aye that didnae happen but mind I also did this….”
I admit the pub in this instance will be a 5 star golf resort somewhere warm and lovely but you get the drift. Peter will not be known as an Invincible. He will not be known as the saviour of Celtic, at present he will be known as The Man in the Suit who did okay overall.
Good is not great and good does not a legacy or legend make.
We wait to see but given the last few years, no-one is holding their breath.
Team wise I’m reading lots of people saying they see a big difference in the team from the same stage of the season last year ( Red Imps anyone?). Given the Invincibles have had only a month or two off it’s not surprising we seem to be at least a little bit more up to speed. The 4-0 win against Linfield was professional enough but the team in blue were rank rotten but we did the job accordingly. The line-up was a little surprising with Broony playing centre half from the outset but with every man bar Gordon in the Linfield half for 90% of the game, it wasnt anything to be concerned about.
Seasoned professionals like Scott Sinclair showed bow to come out the traps flying but overall we are still rusty, with players taking a touch too many or being a yard off the pass here and there. No worries though, we will get there; Brendan and his meticulous ways will ensure it. Rosenborg will be another step up and have a decent defensive record so hopefully Griff and Moussa can work their magic along with Sinclair and Tom Rogic when we face them at Paradise on Wednesday 26th July.
Personnel wise, We await the outcome of the Armstrong contract saga but already we have started seeing the fruits of new signings Ntcham and Benyu so the impact of any departure involving the man with the golden mane may already be tempered.
The Patrick Roberts signing desires are still strong around Parkhead and who knows, could the Armstrong cash swing the deal to bring the wing star back up north to join Sinclair, Forrest and new bhoy Johnny Hayes out in the wide areas. Again its a case of wait and see but theres plenty of time and there is bound to be a few more changes between now and the end of August.
Hopefully we will have another centre-back and a forward to ease areas of limitation within a squad but its weird how we always seem to bring in midfielders first every season. Theres only so much juice you can squeeze from the same orange and all that.
And so to the elephant in the room, or more like the puppy in the corner.
The Green Brigade.
I was at the game last night and the Irish songbook was getting it big big licks, a lot lot more than during any games against Rangers or Sevco. The songs were being sung all round the stadium, bar the away corner of course.
Then the Banners were unfurled and the singing continued. Oh how we all laughed when Linfield sang “We are the People” and then we all headed home happy at the win and progression in the CL.
I then came back from the game to my wife telling me that the dog had peed the carpet, Honestly. The wife really was not happy but I just shrugged given theres not much you can do. The wee soul hadnt got out due to the rain and needed to go and all that.
Hows that for life setting up subtle metaphors!
After walking the 4 legged piss culprit, I then checked my phone and sure enough there was the lashing and wailing of people bemoaning the Green Brigade for showing a wee daft banner of an IRA man ( please dont give it “it represents a GB member”).
Im a middle aged man and duly gave out a solid sigh. I wasnt sighing at the so called stupid antics of the Green Brigade.
That would be like sighing at the puppy.
I was sighing at the moaners.
Im not defending anything the green Brigade do, they dont need me to do that.
Im simply telling the moaners that you cant have it both ways. You cant sit and say “We have a great atmospheres, the best in Europe!” without adding “Thanks to the Green Brigade”. You cant say “Oh I wonder what brilliant TIFO the Green Brigade will do tonight?” and then say “Booh…bad bad bad bad boys( name that singer?)” when they put up something you dont like.
I cant say “I love watching that wee dog playing about the garden” and then fall to my knees and cry out “Why..oh Why!” like a fallen soldier in Vietnam, when he does a piss.
And so we come to the “Fuck You” element.
Remember when Celtic used to have it? and it wasnt Celtic fan vs Celtic fan.
That’s right. Back when the current moaners about the Green Brigade were the same age as the Green Brigade are now, Celtic fans were proudly displaying that “Fuck you” attitude en-masse. We showed it to Authorities such as SFA and Jim Farry and we even showed it to Thatcher on Cup Final day. We didn’t care about sanctions and sanctimony back in those days, did we?
“That was then..we have all moved on” is the cry from todays middle-aged middle-class middle-spread Celtic fans. Strangely many of these same people can be found moaning about Resolution 12 and Sevco based injustices and yet are deaf to others duly saying “That was then..we have all moved on“! If that’s the attitude then they would be as well saying “Lets all just play nice” and take a knee. You cant have it both ways. Either do what you feel is right or join the herd in silent obedience.
The Green Brigade are not owned or owe anything by the rest of the Celtic fans or the Club and its Leadership. People cannot cheer and smile proudly when they hold up Palestine flags and raise enormous amounts for Charity and then say “Booh…No friends of mine!” when the Roman soldiers of “The Establishment” start asking questions about previous allegiances when they hear a song they dont like or see a banner they care to disapprove off.
Cards on table, I think there’s also an element of jealousy within some of the Celtic support regards the Green Brigade. That tall poppy syndrome that Scots love so much. Not all Celtic self harm is by the Green Brigade. I know most people deriding them do so out of love and protection for the club rather than any other feeling but ultimately they cant have it both ways. You cant be “I like the Green Brigage…but..”,it just doesnt work.
If you love something, you shouldnt try to change them or make them sit on their hands, or rub their noses in pish.
Modern football has become so commercialised and sanitized that any rocking of the boat is immediately frowned upon by any and every member of “the Establishment”. Lest we forget the Establishment are the people condemning Leigh Griffiths for tying a scarf to the post after having a bottle thrown at him. The Establishment are the people making us play football on a Friday night at 5pm in order not to upset a bunch of horrible people who hate Catholics. The Establishment are the people who love fining our club for any assumed indiscretion yet happily turning a blind eye to the so called bigger clubs being corrupt to the core or breaking every rule and guideline as they wish, without fear of repercussion. The Establishment are the people picking out small elements and highlighting them as headlines hoping fans turn on each other.
We used to be proudly against the Establishment, now its not quite clear where we stand, which is exactly where the Establishment want us.
So, what lies ahead?
Time will tell soon enough, especially with Peter leaving the SPFL Board.
As for the dog..well the wife has calmed down already and is back spoiling it while I remain on my knees mopping up the mess with a smile on my face.