Football is littered with pantomime villains but it’s also full of those, who have an extended interest in the game, believing – in their own fickle minds – that players are actual villains. Villains who deserve to be abused for 90 minutes.
Last week, Kyle Lafferty took centre stage at Celtic Park last week, charging around failing to get sent off and he reacted to the crowd when being substituted. This week Neil Lennon spoke the unwritten truth then over celebrated a Hibs goal at Ibrox. Fans called for the death penalty for both men. The only thing in common is some fans abusing these players think Scotland 2017 is actually Belfast in the early eighties.
We have been told to move on over the summer but the only thing that needs to move on in the game are these fans.
Printed in the Scotsman Fanzone Wednesday 16th August. i’m beginning to sound like pat nevin.
No matter the gap, Derby games are always fraught with danger. In the nineties I remember us running a financially charged rival close on a few occasions and even beating them. It was like being annoyed by a fly but once the window was open, the annoyance flew away. It made no difference long term.
Saturday was like that. A partisan home support and a half hour where it looked like our unbeaten run was going to come to an end. After we scored the game swung, the score line in the end flattered but we could have rued our numerous missed chances.
A season that started with a defeat overlooking a runway in Gibraltar has seen us reach the halfway point undefeated domestically and competed in the Champions League. After the last few seasons we’re allowed our raucous celebrations.
It’s the season for love and understanding, unless you’re attending a game where Wullie Collum officiates like a chef who has drunk the cooking sherry. I’ve said numerous times; how he is still a top flight referee should be subject to judicial review.
Luckily for us, his decision to send off Calum McGregor saw us turn in our best performance for a number of games with ten men looking more comfortable than eleven. Stuart Armstrong continues to be reborn and his strike was as a christmas cracker.
A Glasgow Derby will be played in an already alcohol soaked time. I won’t be there as there is no way that anyone can justify me paying £49 for a game of football in Scotland. While the press will focus on anti-social behaviour it should be calling out the clubs for this robbery.
Well, the three ringed circus came into town and it didn’t disappoint. There was the confusing as both set of ‘fans’ indulged in behaviour that make those of right mind shake their heads in bemusement.
The engrossing came in the form of Celtic, shorn of their talisman, who without hitting previous attacking heights scored five goals and saw Moussa Dembele score a perfect hat-trick.
The amusing came when reviewing utterances from players who seem to think playing in Scotland is an easy way to retire.
So, onto the Nou Camp, a home from home in Europe over the last 10 years. The term underdog will not be under used or under-valued as we walk onto the field. This a different level to anything we have faced this season. No need for a reality check just a miracle.