Celtic, Media, Scottish Football, Sevco, SPFL

Getting Ahead Of Yourself

“Mark! I’m really thirsty. Could you make some tea and put it in the Premiership trophy for me?”

Good Evening.

“If it turns out to be a perfect weekend for Warburton, Rangers will head across the city next month with a chance to move seven points clear at the top of the table.”

Regular readers will know that I occasionally dip into the Sevco coverage provided by Scotland’s greatest newspaper and Happy Days tribute act: The Evening Shark-Jump.

No one does upbeat Sevco flannel like the ESJ. And their turd polishing-to-comedy gold ratio is truly world class. The above quote is from an article written two days ago, and published in the aftermath of Celtic’s qualification for the Champions League group stages: 

Mark Warburton: Premiership title must become a reality before Rangers can dream of the Champions League

I subsequently wrote a somewhat irreverent blog about Warbo’s genius in revealing that in order for a Scottish ‘club’ to qualify for the Champions League they have to win the Premiership first.

The Secret Of Champions League Qualification

I included the above quote in that blog as a prime example of the art of unrelentingly upbeat Sevco reportage, which we get to see on an almost daily basis. You know the sort of thing: the kind of material which gives the impression that today’s weather in Sevconia is sunny, and tomorrow’s will be truly dazzling.

Following Sevco’s poor showing in drawing away at Kilmarnock last night, and Celtic’s tired but ultimately comprehensive win at home to Aberdeen today, I thought I would revisit the article to see how the Shark-Jump’s optimism compared with reality. Here are the relevant quotes:

“With seven points already on the board, Rangers have made a steady if unspectacular start to their bid for the top flight crown. A trip to Kilmarnock tomorrow night is next on their agenda before the countdown begins to the first Old Firm showdown of the season at Parkhead.

Celtic face Aberdeen on Saturday aiming to avoid a European hangover and Warburton could make a personal check to see Rodgers’ side in action.

He said: ‘I watched them on TV. I was at our Under-20s game but I recorded it and watched it when I came in. But I watch every one of their games – I watched them against St Johnstone at the weekend.

It’s not just about Celtic, of course – I know you guys say that but it’s the same three points that are available at Kilmarnock on Friday night. I’m sure there are fans who are saying: ‘Lose your first four games but beat Celtic’ but it’s about accumulating as many points as possible.'”

“If it turns out to be a perfect weekend for Warburton, Rangers will head across the city next month with a chance to move seven points clear at the top of the table.

But the Gers boss won’t look too far ahead as he attempts to take care of business at Rugby Park first and foremost. Warburton said: “Every game is important for us. I am not avoiding the question, but we have to win every game we go into.”

Oh dear… “Win every game we go into…”.

I fear that Sevco won’t be moving seven points clear of Celtic on 10 September. And as for that European hangover… well there were some heavy legs on display today after a very draining start to the season, and the play was not the smoothest seen in the Rodgers era. However, a 4-1 victory against your nearest rivals – including some cracking goals – is excellent in anyone’s book.

So how does the Premiership table look just now?

No doubt the one-point gap will provide sufficient scope for a large number of ‘brand parity’ stories to be run before Celtic and Sevco meet in their first ever league fixture. I can already foresee MSM travesties such as 

‘Determined Rangers* challenging Celtic like they haven’t been in years’;

‘Gers* go to ‘Old Firm’ war in bid to regain their Premiership lead’; and 

‘Derek Johnstone: my vacuous thoughts on why I inevitably fancy Rangers* to top the table again’.

But which paper should I read in order to find them? Hmm, that’s a tough one… I better ask The Fonz:

Finally, a huge round of applause for everyone at Celtic. This week has been an absolute belter, and the overall start to the season – which saw so much at stake and so much pressure – has been magnificent. It makes you wonder what the side will be like if it is strengthened, and when it properly gels.