I WONDER if there is any truth in the persistent bulletins of sales of Valium hitting stratasphoric levels among the Celtic support in recent months.
It would be fair to say this current lot have the ability to get the nerve-ends jangling. Screaming abdabs are never far away these days.
I’m sure I’ve noticed an attack of collywobbles affecting Claude the family cat as the clock ticks down on games concerning Brendan Rodgers’ side up and down the country as the champions teeter on the brink of submission on way too many confrontations to be good for the old ticker.
Much has been made of Celtic getting out of jail with two crucial decisions going their way against Hibs at Easter Road on Wednesday.
FLOORED…Kyogo Furuhashi is grounded after Joe Newell’s reckless challenge.
I don’t have the names of too many referees on my Christmas card list – in fact, at last count the figure was zero – but Nick Walsh, the guy with the silver whistle on this occasion, and Andrew Dallas, in front of the multi-screens in the VAR control room, are two match officals whose reputations soared in my estimation.
For the time being, anyway.
First up, Joe Newell’s desperate and foolhardly lunge on Kyogo Furuhashi on the edge of the box was a penalty-kick. No argument.
Note to all commentators: a wayward challenge on the line of the 18-yard box is a spot-kick. That little white line constitutes part of the penalty box. A foul on that particular piece of whitewash is a spot-kick.
Secondly, I had to feel for Hibs gaffer Nick Montgomery who wittered on about Celtic getting away with one when Martin Boyle displayed theatrical tendencies when he went down in an attempt to secure a cheap penalty-kick after the merest of touches from Alexandro Bernabei.
Walsh’s yellow card punishment for an obvious dive from a winger who has previous for dying swan acts was quite correct.
If the matchday referee whistled for free-kicks every time there was any sort of contact between competitors, the game would never get the opportunity to become a spectacle.
At every opportinity, the turf would be embraced enthusiastically by dodgy performers looking for any sort of advantage against superior opponents.
SHOVE OFF…Anthony Ralston’s progress is hindered by Hibs defender Jordan Obita at Easter Road. No free-kick was awarded for this challenge.
Remember, Nick, football is a contact sport and if you have players who are bowled over every time a rival breathes on them, I would suggest you rectify that problem before the playing surface at Easter Road is bereft of even a blade of grass before the month is out.
As for Celtic, they are simply not igniting on the sort of congenial consistency that eases the tension among their followers.
If Brendan and the lads could see their way to ridding me of my time-honoured adversity to nail-biting, angst-ridden, traumatic crescendos, I can reassure them my cardiac organ would be extremely appreciative.
If I can recall correctly as far back as January 2, Celtic were two goals up inside six minutes in our previous outing at Paisley, tomorrow’s venue where our hopes rest of advancement in the Scottish Cup and winning the silverware for the second successive season.
An action replay would be most welcome and also sympathetic to my blood pressure.
And the Valium tablets can remain untouched until at least the visit of Kilmarnock a week today.