Celtic Diary Monday September 11: Passion
Paris St. Germain will give a polite nod to us lesser mortals when they fly into Glasgow today, book into the Radisson, have something to eat and hang around for tomorrows game, before popping back over to Paris.
They have decided not to train on the Celtic Park pitch, as it might be a bit muddy with all the rain, and won’t face the press unless they absolutely have to.
Some people make it so easy to dislike them.
The air of superiority that envelops the club is, of course, down to their remarkable European record of hardly having done anything since their inception in 1970.
They did win the Cup Winners cup once, beating Celtic along the way, and an Intertoto Cup, but thats about it.
What you may not know is that among the team that won that trophy in 95-96 was one man who was to become a hero to Celtic fans, as he played his part in defeating a Rapid Vienna club that is forever held in contempt by Celtic supporters.
Yet still, I can’t seem to like this lot.
In France, they have won the league more times than anyone else, and are therefore the dominant club.
However, their ground, the Parc de Princes-( translation Parc of Princes ) has never been filled by their support. The record attendance there is actually held by the national rugby team, and that pretty much confirms why UEFA and their financial fair play committee are having a look at their affairs.
Although based in the capital of one of Europes biggest countries, they are not one of Europes traditional big names.
More a sort of showbiz eleven financed by Qatari money, an example of how football was stolen from the working classes, as they say.
Red, blue and white are the traditional colours of Paris Saint-Germain. The red and blue represent the city of Paris, while the white stands for the nearby commune of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. PSG has always stood for both Paris and nearby Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
In the club’s crest, the French capital is represented by the Eiffel Tower in red and the blue background. For its part, the white cradle with the white fleur de lys on top is a hint to the coat of arms of Saint-Germain-en-Laye and to French royalty. In France, white is the colour of royalty and the fleur de lys is a royal symbol. The cradle and the fleur de lys also recall that French King Louis XIV was born in Saint Germain-en-Laye in 1638.
Likewise, PSG’s home shirt has always featured the three colours of the club. The three main home jerseys worn by Paris SG throughout its history have been predominantly red, blue or white. The club’s first shirt was red, while the other two were predominantly blue (« Hechter shirt ») and white. However, all three have included the remaining two colours, as well as with further variations of the home jersey.
“Paris est magique!” (“Paris is magic!”) and “Ici, c’est Paris!” (“Here is Paris!”) have historically been the club’s most popular mottos. More recently, PSG introduced its official anthem and mascot. In commemoration of its 40th anniversary in 2010, the capital club revived its Tournoi de Paris pre-season competition. Ahead of the tournament, PSG unveiled « Allez Paris Saint-Germain », to the tune of “Go West” by Village People, and Germain the Lynx as the club’s anthem and mascot, respectively. « Ville Lumière », to the tune of “Flower of Scotland“, is considered a club anthem as well.
And their songs are shite as well. No imagination, no history and no passion.
Their refusal to train on an opponents pitch isn’t that unusual, Celtic themselves have done it, notably in Astana, for instance, and perhaps shouldn’t be seen as disrespect.
They are simply coming to Glasgow as late as they can get away with, hanging around for as little as they can , and then heading out as soon as possible.
And thats annoying me.
Their attitude seems to be mirrored by the Scottish press, who, as usual, are right behind their champions.
It shouldn’t bother me any more, but it does.
This is the first time in many a while where I’m getting wound up a couple of days ahead of a game.
The perfect atmosphere during a game is when someone watching would love to be playing, and someone playing would like to be in the crowd singing.
I already want to be on the pitch for this one, such is the desire to see them beaten. Of course, that wouldn;t increase our chances of winning very much, if, indeed, at all, but it would raise our levels of commitment.
And I figure there’ll be about 60,000 like me tomorrow night.
Which should lift the players, possibly to heights they’ve never reached before.
PSG are not French champions. Which also surprised me.
And yet they carry an air about them as though they are about to become European champions.
Confidence can be a good thing.
Arrogance takes it too far.
They have the players to win any game, but do they have the mentality of winners ?
And thats where they may be vulnerable.
The brains behind our team of mere mortals will have studied the French side. What they will have learned will be put into action tomorrow night.
And they will stress that even if Celtic lose an early goal, which I fear is likely, they are there for the taking.
They simply don’t have the passion for the game that Celtic do.
Rodgers claims he knows who will start tomorrow, and he knows what he wants them to do.
The great thing about this Celtic team is that they will do what he asks. And they’ll do it one hundred per cent.
And we can ask no more than that.