MISERY and frustration are frequent companions.

It’s when anger, that often irrational and illogical menace, gatecrashes the senses that a volatile concoction of emotions is burdened upon a  vulnerable individual.

Sanity can often vacate the premises around this time.

Regrettably, the disappointment and resentment among many of the Celtic support today is understandable. Possibly, the anguish of some may be somewhat exaggerated. Remember, please, no Premiership crown was won or lost at the weekend.

Disturbingly, though, the champions have relinquished precious ground in their pursuit of a twelfth title in 13 years, points carelessly thrown overboard in a sea of mediocrity where more than a few of the performances have been as inexplicable as they have been unacceptable.

Forget all this “entitlement” chatter that has become a perennial expression in the written and spoken word over the developing months of a perplexing crusade. No team has the God-given right to win a game. Everything has to be earned. We all accept that.

However, while the points are never gift-wrapped before any kick-off, the Celtic fans certainly deserve to see a collection of players perform to a higher level than is being presented by the current lot. A bit more fight among the ranks would also be most welcome.

It hurts to make the observation, but that valuable and essential commodity has not been overly prevalent in this campaign.

I’m fortunate to be old enough to have seen some of the worst sides in the club’s history. I’ve witnessed characters in green and white jerseys who looked as though they had taken up football as a hobby that morning.

There appeared to be a revolving door for unremarkable performers who arrived in anonymity and left with their insignificance intact.

In the early sixties, there was a conveyor belt of sheer awfulness served up for our viewing on matchday.

I recall having a chat with Billy McNeill one day and he asked me if I could remember my first game at Celtic Park. I rattled back: “Celtic 5, Partick Thistle 3, November 9 1963.”

“The good old days,” he said with a rueful smile. “You just missed a match we played against Third Lanark a couple of months earlier. We were 4-0 up at one stage and had to hang on for a 4-4 draw.”

The club legend shook his head and added: “Back then, we were normally out of the league race before February arrived.”

In the circumstances that have descended unwelcomingly upon us this weekend, it’s still reassuring to remember, with 12 games still to play and two against the Govan club, it is well within Celtic’s capabilties to get the job done.

I don’t see a drab draw with Kilmarnock as a U-turn in the pursuit of the crown, but I would have to admit it is developing into one helluva detour towards the club’s intended destination.

Mind games will come into play as opponents search for psychological advantages. The mischief-makers will be out in force. We can anticipate and deal with all the hoo ha and bravado that will emit from the expected sources.

I am not looking out any distress flares. Not at the moment, anyway.

I prefer to look at it as Paradise Postponed as opposed to Paradise Lost.













Click Here for Comments >

About Author