Is it the fairytales? Things like eleven men from the west of Scotland becoming kings of Europe, or the centenary double?
Is it playing football the Glasgow Celtic way?
Is it the unique fanbase, founded on Irish Catholic beliefs and principles but always open to all?
Or is it our ability to take a position of strength and flush it down the toilet?
That centenary team fell apart and nothing was done to keep it together or even to replace it with similar quality. It was a decade before we won the league again, and when we finally did that we shot ourselves in the foot again. The Lisbon Lions were followed by a Quality Street gang who mostly left the club thanks to penny pinching.
More recently we saw a run to Seville cost us so much that we didn’t build further and ended up cutting costs at every turn for the next six or seven years. Strachan handled it better than O’Neill, but even he struggled in the end. Lennon was given a budget to build from a very poor position left to him by Mowbray, but he left eventually having been frustrated as his stars were sold for big bucks without properly being replaced. Even he himself was replaced by Deila and it took defeat in the cup to cheeky lower league opposition to bring in Rodgers.
Yet now here we are again. A double treble in the bag and we’re currently at the end of a transfer window not only cursing the lack of activity that has cost us Champions League football this season but will likely see us weaker than we started the summer and possibly without our star striker for this crucial Europa League playoff second leg.
Those last two paragraphs have all happened under the control of Peter Lawwell you’ll note. 15 years is a long time to have the same CEO. Far longer than is healthy in any normal business. Our managers have a shelf life of four or five years, how is he still there? Especially when we make the same mistakes time and again.
With Moussa Dembele’s head turned, it seems unlikely he’ll feature tonight. Odsonne Edouard is still recovering from injury and although he’s been training it looks like we’ll be looking to Leigh Griffiths to lead the line tonight. Meanwhile at the back, Sunday’s hero Dedryck Boyata may not want to be cup tied if he is still on for a move away in this window.
It’s pretty sad when you’re desperate for some European success and your best hope seems to be that your opponents had a hellish journey to Glasgow.
The 1-1 shoreline last week in Lithuania was the same story we’ve seen in just about every game recently. Couldn’t defend properly at a crucial set piece, our opponents scored with one of their few chances, we started well but couldn’t really capitalise too much and made it harder for ourselves than it really should have been.
We could really do with having a game where we score a few goals. A game where we take our chances and don’t just squander them. Someone needs pumped, ideally tonight.
But do you really see that happening? I see tonight being a real struggle. On paper we should go through. We have the advantage, we were the better team last week, we’re at home, we’re the seeded team… but it doesn’t always work like that. Our frame of mind is definitely not right at the moment.
But it just takes a spark. Something to inspire. I had hoped it would be a signing or two to freshen up the squad, but now I’m hoping the current squad can go out there tonight and put in a performance that doesn’t just see us into Friday’s group stage draw but helps lift the mood around the club.
I’m not asking for an 8-1 repeat of the game in 2002, but a few goals and a clean sheet would be ideal right now.
Krys (Twitter @krys1888)