Hooray for waking up to welcome news.
It felt a long time ago that the alarm on my phone went off last Wednesday morning at 4:30am only to bring disappointment as Celtic went out of the the Champions League.
As a youngish supporter (still the right side of 30 with a hairline the wrong side of 60!) I cannot empathise with those fans who went through the dark days of 4th and 5th place league finishes under the old board and the Kelly family nearly running the great club into the ground.
But the great thing about being a Celtic fan is that we are a brethren who educate each other. I have before mentioned that we are the type of fans that keep and open mind, yet cast a judgmental eye on our club and it is because of that that we are in the state we are in today (financially at least).
The operations of the club are not perfect – I feel that fans still put up with a lot from our custodians such as unfair pricing of merchandise and seeing our club pay minimum wage to staff, while promoting the brand under the Jock Stein quote ‘Football without the fans is nothing’.
But what I am confident in is that we are in good shape on the (*snort*) balance sheet and the current board who oversee that are there because of the movement led by fans in the 90s to remove the old board.
There will be fans who consider themselves to be purists who don’t give a damn about the balance sheet but none can deny that it is important. If it weren’t we wouldn’t have been celebrating the clubs ability to get £12m for Victor Wanyama in the summer, a price tag that, by his current performances for Southampton, are approximately £11m too much.
Similarly we wouldn’t have been wondering just how on earth we managed to sign Kris Commons for less than £1m three years ago.
What a piece of business that has turned out to be!
Now into his fourth season, Kris Commons has bagged 45 goals in 120 appearances for Celtic – I am looking for more information on this as the Celtic FC Official site states this is club goals, whereas Kris’ wiki page suggests this only SPL/SPFL league goals!
Regardless of the historical stats, the only stat Commons was interested in on Sunday evening in Edinburgh was his hat trick from the zenith of a midfield experimental diamond for Celtic absolutely crushed Hearts in a 7-0 final result!
I have to take my hat off to the entire Celtic team and it’s backroom staff for a truely fantastic display – though it was one I unfortunately could not tune into.
In the last couple of blog posts I have made, I questioned the ability of the backroom staff to get the best out of attack minded players, and while Hearts did not provide much in the way of opponents, this experiment is one that paid off in some style.
I really have to laud Neil Lennon for his tactics. From the highlights package Charlie Mulgrew whose featuring in midfield has caused me to vent much of my frustration at Lennon strolled through the game. From what I have seen of the game it appeared that everything went through Chicco, including creating some lovely moves that led to goals.
Nir Biton burst into a Celtic career on Sunday night, effortlessly strolling through the midfield, and showing he has the eye for an out ball that a certain Paul Lambert used to be famed for.
Micky Blue Eyes also popped up with a goal to rival Celtic’s opener, thumping home a 30 yard screamer.
It was good to see Darnell Fisher keeping his toe in the pool with a substitute appearance.
The icing on the cake would have been a goal for Anthony Stokes who worked tirelessly all night.
I really wish this Celtic team the very best. I love Neil Lennon and all he has endured for the Celtic cause, and how much he has repaid that to all of us who have stood beside him and said, ‘I am Neil Lennon, we are ALL Neil Lennon.’
I for one cannot wait for the Motherwell match on Friday night (4.45am kick off Saturday morning KST).