I don’t subscribe to the ‘Would rather face them with Messi’ world view. I’ve seen Lionel Messi a couple of times, it’s a bit like standing atop the Eiffel Tower, a breath-taking experience, but I don’t need to visit Paris every month to reinforce the view. Tomorrow will be an almighty challenge against one of the sport’s all-time great teams. Having pushed Barcelona to their absolute limits twice last season, we have no right to expect a second consecutive New Firm victory, but this is a home game at Celtic Park, we hope for a win.
The omission of Joe Ledley is a worry. Celtic need mobility and positional awareness in all positions tomorrow, Joe brings both elements to the party, how Neil Lennon compensates for his enforced absence in central midfield will be a key decision.
I also don’t subscribe to the view that, unlike a year ago, Barca will know what to expect this time. Celtic’s 2-1 victory last season came after they took Barca to added time at the Camp Nou before Barca got their winner. Barcelona knew exactly what to expect, they just didn’t know what to do about it. I see no reason why they will be any better tutored this time. Unless they’ve figured out a way of making wee guys jump higher than big guys.
We are fast, we’re tall, we defend when necessary and we run all game. Unless Barca decide to play for a point and defend deep, which they won’t, they will play exactly as they did last season.
On seeing an X Factor item on the news I complained, “That’s not news”, but I was challenged, “If that’s not news, what makes football news?” Sporting and entertainment events are news if those who produce the news determine it to be so, which places considerable authority on news editors.
Charlotte Fakes revelations have shown us how news professionals, keen to distract attention from a disaster zone of a club, tried to create negative ‘news’ stories concerning Celtic.
Three years ago the Green Brigade displayed a banner at Celtic Park which went largely uncommented upon for several days. Four days after the event, the banner became a nationwide news story, TV news reported it and it made a Radio 5 Live morning discussion programme.
The delay in the item becoming ‘news’ was the most important part of the story. It wasn’t news until the news editors had been convinced otherwise. The damage to Celtic’s reputation was considerable.
Today news editors who ran that story three years ago have an interesting dilemma. Do they run a story about an alarming message being displayed at a football ground, or without being lobbied, is that not a story?
Celtic don’t spend money trying to get negative stories about other clubs in the newspapers, but this is surely not exclusively the way the ‘news’ industry works.
We shouldn’t have to wait on a whistle-blower to shine a light on what happened three years ago, journalists know when they have been lobbied, and that’s the real story, which is not dependent on unfathomable leaks.
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