Football reporting tends to follow trends and the Celtic support has been trending since the Barcelona game in November. Juventus have arrived ready to steel themselves against wave after wave of Glasgow sentiment, but Gianluigi Buffon is right, crowds don’t score goals, or win games.
We have a part to play in settling the Celtic players and ensuring they are encouraged when they need it most (i.e. after making a mistake) but Celtic beat Barcelona because Neil Lennon designed a game plan which out-manoeuvred one of the most effective teams in history. His players knew their tasks and stuck to plan impeccably.
If Juventus think that all they have to worry about are the fans they will lose tonight to players who have bloodied a few noses already this season. Bizarrely, our secret weapon is not a stadium full of screaming lunatics (no implication or offence meant), it is a group of players who have proven that they can beat anyone.
Celtic have been rocked in the opening minutes of European games in recent seasons. Starting with an edge is important. We also need to be alert to the fact that Barcelona scored two of their three goals against Celtic beyond the 90 minute mark. Games don’t end until the referee decides. The 80-odd minutes between these times will take care of themselves.
And, if you meet Gianluigi on his way into Celtic Park tonight, tell him he’s right about crowds not scoring goals, but Gary Hooper does.
On Friday 1 March the Lisbon Lions will be at the Kerrydale Suite providing commentary and answering questions on their magnificent European Cup final win in 1967. This has never happened in 46 years since that game, to say it is a unique opportunity fails to tell the whole story.
The event is part of our 125 4 125 campaign – central to reinvigorating the charitable spirit which is part of the club we love. It will be a family occasions, tickets are available at £10 for adults and £5 for children. The night has been organised by several fans working in conjunction with the people at Celtic Charity, so please do your best to support this great occasion. Individual tickets or tables are available, details here.
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