Déja Vu? On you bike! Bouncing back from capital punishment, why it’s Broony’s

EIGHT POINTS LOST in Edinburgh in our three games there this season. There was yesterday of course and David Potter covered the possible reasons for that on The Celtic Star last night, you read his comments HERE.

Remarkably Neil Lennon’s side have taken more points from Celtic in this their first season back in the Premiership than all the other sides have over the two years that Brendan Rodgers has been in charge.

It says a great deal about the qualities of the Hibs manager that does.

Another stat, not really related, but it is troubling Rangers supporters so it is worth dropping in to the conversation. Celtic, under Brendan Rodgers have scored more goals against Rangers than any other side.

Anyway back to Edinburgh. Our other visit to Easter Road was in December and we squandered a 2-0 lead to almost lose the match. We played in pink that day too.
There’s a wee bridge over the railway that you cross as you leave Easter Road. The Police have those metal partitions closing off the road – older fans will recall that being a hot-spot for the two sets of fans ‘coming together’ after the game.

Anyway the Celtic fans veer off to the left to head towards the wee footbridge over the railway. When we were there in December the entire Celtic away support was heading towards Easter Road and there is a guy coming in the other direction on his racing bike, all the gear on. It was remarkable how the support moved aside to let the athlete through.

Anyway, we are heading back towards the bridge today and the same thing happens again.

It was more of that sinking feeling when we visited Tynecastle late last year and shed our Invincibility status in quite spectacular fashion.

<iframe style=”border: none; overflow: hidden;” src=”https://embed.acast.com/acelticstateofmind/liammcgrandleswithacelticstateofmind” width=”100%” height=”188″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”></iframe>

Yet if you remember we all knew it was coming. Motherwell came close at the end of November after a Lustig own goal gave them a rather underserved lead. But they looked like hanging on until Callum McGregor was barged off the ball inside the box by an over aggressive defence and Scotty Sinclair rescued us from the spot. It was really only putting off the inevitable and that happened shortly afterwards at Tynecastle when we lost 4-0.

Craig Gordon, looking back on the season, as Celtic head towards tying up the title next Sunday against Rangers at Celtic Park, pinpointed this defeat as a crucial moment in the season.

“It was an important part of the season, but we had prepared for that,” the Celtic goalkeeper said.

“When we were on the pitch at Tynecastle after losing, the manager told us to accept it. It was always going to happen at some point and he told us we’d have to deal with the consequences over the next few days. But he also said we’d come back stronger and be a better team for it.

“The manager had prepared for that moment and made sure we came back fighting. That was something we spoke about in pre-season. We knew it was likely we would suffer a defeat as no run lasts forever. Sure enough, when that did happen, we bounced back.

“When we lost to Hearts, we won three games in a row and didn’t concede a goal. That is the sign of a team that will win the league and dominate, and that’s what we did.

“The manager had told us that when the time came for the run to end, we would accept it and take it on the chin. We knew we would get stronger as a team and be successful.

“We kept together as a tight-knit unit. Everybody worked for each other and we came back strong and put down another marker.

“We made sure it didn’t start a run of defeats. This team has shown that time and again. We bounced back well from losing games,” Gordon stated.

Celtic have now lost three in two seasons – that game at Tynecastle, at Kilmarnock and again yesterday at Easter Road.

“Last season was an exceptional record,” Gordon said. “I doubt it will ever be done again. If it is, it’ll be a long time away. It’s such a difficult thing to do. You normally have one bad game, or you lose because of a red card or a penalty call that’s wrong. There are so many things that can happen so going unbeaten for a full season will be getting talked about for a long time.

“It was such a big achievement because it’s so difficult to do. We know how much it took to do that and how difficult it was. The expectations to do something similar this season were a bit high.

But we have certainly done well. To lose three in around 90 games is incredible.

“We have to be happy with this season too. To be so close to another three trophies is an incredible achievement. We are in an unbelievable position, we have got through cup games where anything can happen. It only takes one thing to happen and you are out, you don’t get another chance. But we have done that every time and we are close to getting all three trophies again.”

Gordon reckons that Scott Brown deserves to be named as the Players Player of the Year and hopes that any personal agendas won’t come into play to stop him picking up the trophy on footballing merit.

“You don’t have to like him to vote for him as the best player,” Craig said.

“He deserves the votes on his football. I don’t think it’ll bother him one little bit that he’s not liked. In fact, he’ll probably enjoy it.

“It would be nice to see him get it. He’s put in so much effort for such a long period of time and in his testimonial year to still be going strong and putting in performances and leading the team and dominating games the way he does, it would be a great honour for him to get that at this stage in his career.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

Comments are closed.