February is the shortest month of the year, and that means it’s the quickest, which is why I’ve just been more than a little shocked to see the Diary hasn’t appeared for over two weeks,
You have my apologies.
But then again, certainly over the last week or so, had it appeared, and had it been recording the events in the lead up to the League Cup final tomorrow, it mnay have become tedious and repetitive.
Countless feelgood stories for those who only feel good when they have something to back up their somewhat misguided feelings of superiority, a wave of goodwill from our esteemed media, all designed to stir up some sort of battle fever amongst the hordes, whom you would think would be a little tired of it by now.
However, not only has their manager become a little confused about the history of their fledgling club…his claim about “rangers ” lifting two of the last trophies available in Scotland was as bizarre as it was inaccurate, that attitude has spread to the players, with Fashion Sakala referring to the “other mob ” and newcomer Nicolas Raskin toeing the company line by claiming he signed for the new club to “win trophies “….before going on to say he needs a month to get fully fit.
As for Beale himself, it’s not worth going over what he has burbled on about as the game approaches, but one pointer is in the picture that says more than a thousand words…..
Beale looks terrified.
Ange looks like he would rather be somwhere else, anywhere else, in fact.
The Celtic manager has been calm all week, merely stating that his players will do what they usually do, and he’s avoided the headlines, preferring instead to play his cards close to his chest.
The free midweek means the players will have worked on a few things, and one aspect of training that was reported but largely ignored was that the standard of training has risen with the arrival of the new players during the transfer window.
The strength in depth of the squad is phenomenal, better than at virtually any other time, but what has not been lauded is the attitude of the squad, which is why when the substitutes make an appearance they put in a shift.
Celtic will play the same way they always do, and at a high tempo. Expect the pressing to be quite high, because the ball needs to be kept away from our own penalty area.
Celtic will rely on their superior playing skills and tactical approach, whereas “rangers ” look to the trickery of Ryan Kent, whih is not to be underestimated as he has managed to trick both the club./company and the support that he is a decent player who gives a toss about the last few months of his Ibrox career.
The only worry is that the Ibrox side will have two highly influential individuals on their side, the type of performer that can change the game in an instant.
Nick Walsh on the pitch and John Beaton off it, the latter no doubt in protective custody, with his allies in the media already drafting the death threat stories, are the ones to watch out for.
They will dictate the tempo, their valiant last line of defence to help their heroes will mean every possible decision will go in the favour of their favourites.
Make no mistake about that.
That’s why the cup competitions are sold to relatively minor tv channels, away from the gaze of the mass media, away from the larger outlets who would highlight little things like supporters of a club being allowed to officiate at major cup finals.
It couldn’t happen anywhere else…and, indeed, it doesn’t.
Without their input Celtic would not only run up a cricket score, but probably declare at half time…..
But with the desire to prolong the old firm myth , and the need for the blue pound outweighing the desire for a level playing field, that’s what we’re stuck with until either the fans and clubs that make up the rest of the league do something about it.
We;ve seen the usual plethora of stories around Celtic that are designed purely to dampen not only our spirits, but those maybe even of the players, all of which have little effect, although no doubt some of the gullibillies indulge in a spot of onanism when they read them in the little room.
Who knows what’s next, as kick off approaches ?
Maybe the club will have it’s assets frozen ahead of the child abuse case ?
Maybe a whiff of a drugs scandal ? A drunken escapade in a night club ?
Perhaps a young lady will come forward to tell of her night of horror at the hands of some…unnamed ….hoops hero ? Or heroes ?
Because there is a story they won;t print, and quite a few of our less than clean, sober correspondents have alerted us to this one.
Our manager is here to stay, for the long term.
We hear it’s partly because he feels he isn’t getting any younger, and any new postion , which would only come about if a club was in dire need of a rebuild, would mean he’d have to start all over again, and being an intelligent sort of fellow, he knows he would have difficulty in persuading players to follow him to another club , where he might not get the time to do what he is doing at Celtic.
For a second influx of eastern players to commit long term to his plans at Celtic is evidence enough he’s staying.
It’s not hard to see why.
His ambition his to make his mark in Europe, which he will get a crack at year on year here. Elsewhere he would have to start from scratch, given any move would be the result of a club being, to put it bluntly, on it’s arse.
Leeds, for instance, were never an option, as he would have to get them up to European standard, which could take years.
even the bigger clubs in England would only make a move if they dropped out of the UCL, meaning a new manager first of all has to get them back in.
Our manager isn’t getting any younger, and has committed to realising his ambitions with Celtic, where he has a support that idolises him and is patient and knowledgible enough to see what his long term plans are.
And , of course, dominating domestically.
Well, I usually go for 7-0, but they’re bound to get a penalty……..