Tonight Celtic are in Amsterdam once more to face Ajax. The last time these two met it was the Champions League almost two years ago.
Ajax won that night 1-0. Two weeks earlier Celtic had beaten them 2-1 at Celtic Park.
The attitude coming out of Ajax now is as arrogant as it was two years ago. Put simply, they don’t rate Celtic.
If that isn’t motivation for you then I don’t know what is. Whichever way you look at it, both clubs failed in their attempt to get into the Champions League and now find themselves in the same boxing ring.
For me, Celtic have a chance to lay down a marker tonight. It doesn’t need to be a win tonight.
In fact, I don’t think there is a single Celtic fan that believes the team are capable of winning tonight. Martin O’Neill and co pulled that off in 2001 with a 3-1 win at the Amsterdam ArenA.
We were all taken by surprise that night. I recall coming home from band practice, sitting down with the boys and being left disbelief at what I was watching as we ripped apart Ajax.
Other than a couple of poor games this season, there is nothing to suggest that Celtic cannot hurt Ajax tonight. With the arrogance that they and their manager Frank de Boer have shown, it would give me great pleasureif we did.
You’ll think I’m mad, but sometimes it’s after been dealt a blow that you bounce back. Nothing is guaranteed, but Celtic have an opportunity to make up for recent let downs.
Everyone is culpable for where Celtic are so far this season. Equally, they are responsible for getting us out of this low point – players and coaches.
Celtic must emerge as a team tonight and hit the ground running. Win, lose or draw I will be keen to see how we have performed and how we have been deployed.
The past is the past. The time is now.
Mon the Hoops!