When it comes to the Celtic, I’m a bit of an incurable romantic. Having been reared on a concentrated diet of fairytale history, I have always assumed that it’s only a matter of time until the next Hollywood moment, with Celtic taking centre stage, often in the most unlikely of circumstances … and largely speaking, so it has been.
Of late, though, my faith in the ultimate inevitability of the next magic moment has been sorely tried, especially on the European front. Having come so close in 2003, when Martin O’Neill’s “Tigers of Seville” so nearly emulated big Jock’s “Lisbon Lions” in delivering European success, it has been heartbreaking to watch our slide into mediocrity in that arena.
Add to that the almost criminal manner in which the SPL title has been meekly handed on a plate to our arch enemies for the past few seasons, despite our considerable advantage on so many fronts, as they have lurched from crisis to increasingly deepening crisis and you can perhaps understand my temporary mini crisis of faith.
Which brings me nicely to tonight’s delicate re-acquaintance with old, controversial adversaries, Atletico Madrid, courtesy of our contentious Europa League reprieve following the latest bitter qualifying fiasco.
Now, this can only go one of two ways.
Either we can heap further embarrassment upon our truly dismal recent away record in Europe, thereby giving succour to our all-too-willing detractors and bolstering their belief that we have no right to be in the competition, anyway – or we can begin to resurrect the glorious spirit of Celtic past and restore some long-overdue pride in and respect for the greatest club and most iconic jersey in world football.
Okay, I’m biased – but I genuinely believe that!
The hopeless romantic in me really believes in Neil Lennon, his vision for Celtic Football Club and the potentially exciting young team he is currently assembling. Tonight (and Sunday’s looming clash with TFOD) can be the perfect launch pad for the next purple patch in Celtic history.
It’s long past high time the “Sleeping Giant” of Celtic Football Club awoke.
C’mon the Hoops!!!