Only a few weeks ago, we were being fed a fantasy by the SMSM that the new club out of Ibrox were going to give us a title challenge, and stop our double treble ambitions. The fantasy was based on hope. There was very little evidence to support this stance.
It was all conjecture.
Sevco had at the time, and still have, Graeme Murty their under 20’s coach, managing their side. He was the only option they had after Aberdeen’s Derek McInnes knocked them back. His record going into the derby game at Ibrox on the 11th of March was so-so, baring in mind, every point won by the new club was treated as league winning!
We were told this was going to be the day the gap would close and Murty and his players were going to give Celtic something to think about. Such was their belief, only days before, the same players cheered after being drawn against the holders in the Scottish Cup semi-final! (Boy would than come back to bite them in the arse!)
And on the day, they couldn’t have wished for a better start, Windass capitalising on Boyata’s lapse in concentration after only two minutes, and firing past debutant Scott Bain in the Celtic goal.
You could hear the excitement of every pundit (well nearly every) in Scotland as the Champions fell behind. This was going to be THEIR day!
Even after Tom Rogic equalised, they still believed. And when Candeais put the home side back in front, their pulses soared with excitement. All they needed was to get to half-time in front…if only!
But then the whole thing came crashing down.
In the final minutes of the first half, captain fantastic Scott Brown fired an inch perfect ball over the Ibrox defence to the man himself, Moussa Dembele, just as 40,000 bluenoses were asking themselves, ‘whit’s the goalie dain’?
Moussa knew what he was ‘dain’, so he chipped the ball over Fotheringham to make it 2-2, and deflate the overexcited gullibillies….
The second half saw another glimmer of false hope for the Sevconians, when Jozo Simunovic was sent packing by referee Willie Collum, much to the delight of his assistant, Tory MP Douglas Ross, who was seen on TV to be yelling ‘red card, red card’ in his mic.
Their joy was of course short lived, as manager Brendan Rodgers pulled off a master stroke and introduced young French striker Odsonne Edouard who duly repaid his managers faith by scoring Celtic’s third and winning goal, only minutes after his iintroduction!
That day was the end of any serious, although it was more in hope, notion that Sevco could challenge us, so it came as no surprise on Sunday when Broonie and the Bhoys strolled around Hampden picking them off at will.
Had it been a boxing fight, the game would have been stopped at half-time, such was the Hoops dominance.
But four goals to nil doesn’t tell the full story…..
While we basked, they imploded. First the fan come player, and not a very good one, Andy Halliday was substituted minutes before the break. He was visibly upset, possibly because the Celtic support were chanting his name, but more likely because he was hooked by the rookie manager. You could see the vains in his neck as he vented his anger towards the dugout.
Things gradually got worse for the ‘pretenders’. Golden boy Ross McCrorie was red cardede after pulling Moussa Dembele to the ground, to give Celtic a penalty and a chance to make it 3-0. Dembele duly obliged, with a little Panenka chip as Fotheringham dived the wrong way.
Candeais was next to show his disgust as he walked straight down the tunnel after being replaced by fellow countryman Bruno Alves. Although his introduction did little to stem the flow, as Olivier Ntcham scored Celtic’s second penalty of the day to make it 4-0 not long after.
With Celtic now on course for a historic double treble, the atmosphere over in Glasgow’s south side couldn’t be more different.
Since the game, we’ve seen Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace publicly disciplined following a dressing room altercation, believed to be with manager Murty, ‘fans’ padlock the gates to the training ground, while demanding they ‘deserve better’, a supporters group advocate a silent protest this Sunday against Hearts, some might say they rehearsed that last Sunday, and former chairman Alistair ‘no surrender’ Johnston telling their fans that off the park they’re ‘ahead of the curve’!
To say they’re in meltdown is a bit of an understatement, but I’m sure the SMSM will in their own way soothe the pain of the gullibears by announcing an ‘orange strip’ for next season….
Priorities after all….