So we are into the Scottish Cup semi-final, are due to play in the Scottish League Cup final this Sunday and are in the pole position to wrap up the SPL league title within the next few weeks. A possible treble and a feat not completed since Martin O’Neill’s debut season of 2000-2001.
Given our precarious position at the end of October when Neil Lennon was almost at the point of no return as manager of Glasgow Celtic, we have seen a miraculous turnaround in fortunes and credit to the squad and players, greatly assisted by the wholehearted backing of the green and white legions of fans for putting us there.
But why is there not the credit and acclaim that the team deserve for being in this position, forthcoming from the media?
Possibly because we have nothing won as yet and until the trophy room is adorned with the three trophies then we cannot allow ourselves to get carried away. Our biggest rivals in recent times for the honours are out of both cup competitions and currently are fighting to stave off the dreaded inevitable axe falling on any remaining title aspirations, so does this mean we are shoe-ins on all 3 competition fronts? Any right minded Celtic fan will confirm that we take nothing for granted, but we are on the verge of a great achievement and the players need to realize that they simply have to complete the job they have started; and in so doing take their place in the history books of our great club.
Let’s not allow any mention of happenings across the city dilute our achievements this season – the papers are full of their dashing brigade of Blue Knights, riding gallantly across the Clyde, slaying all in their path en route to rescuing the great damsel in distress.
We were top of the league before this whole debacle kicked off at the end of January, and they were already out of the cup competitions by then, so let’s take no credit away from what we have achieved so far. Everyone has an opinion on what is happening at the ‘great’ institution that is Glasgow Rangers 1873 and why they stand facing the plight of liquidation; where the blame firmly lies; and what lies in store for the remaining SPL clubs as a result. My viewpoint is that they done wrong and they knowingly took risks that have come back to bite them on the posterior – no-one is at fault at Celtic Park, HMRC, or the SFA (as if!!!) for their wrongdoings. If I commit a crime or am involved in illegal wrongdoings then I know the chances I take and what the likely outcome will be if I get caught. I have no sympathy for the position they find themselves and am firmly of the belief that we cannot base our future existence and chances of prospering alongside the existence of Rangers. We simply must get our own house in order and take care of our own interests. Wherever our future as a club lies then so be it but we must and cannot allow us to be part of a marriage with a Rangers team that has been unlawful in its financial dealings for quite a while whilst we have played by the rules and lost titles and honours to a team not playing by the rules and regulations. This is the prime time to lose the Old Firm tag that often hinders our chances of sponsorship etc and we must now look at the bigger picture for Glasgow Celtic FC and not let what may or may not happen to Rangers be instrumental in our decisions.
I hope that in the remaining league encounters and cup games, we demonstrate just how good a team we can be and how worthy we are as champions and hopefully treble winners. Neil Lennon must ensure his players do what he did, and achieve all 3 domestic medals in the one season, whilst putting himself up there with Jock and Martin as managers to have achieved the treble. I also hope that the media ensure that our achievements this season (whatever way we finish the season) are met with the same level of praise and congratulations that has met Mssrs McLeish, Advocaat and Smith rather than failings and excuses from across the city……….but I won’t be holding my breath on that one!
Whatever Lenny achieves this season is remarkable and rewarding to all Celtic fans – not only have we stopped the dreaded 4 in a row but all from a position earlier this season when Lenny walked down the tunnel at half time at Rugby Park on 15th October 2011, trailing Kilmarnock by 3 goals to 0. Lenny admitted that at that moment he pondered his future as Celtic manager and his ability to turn things around.
Now before I start pouring myself a wee triple drink, I’ll have to finish off my jelly and ice cream; but Hampden on Sunday, Ibrox next Sunday, then home to St Johnstone on April’s Fool Day to maybe parade the first 2 domestic trophies of the season.