In the green corner with Boyd

There have been a lot of headlines for Celtic recently. That isn’t unusual of course but with the transfer window closed, most of the rumours die down and focus returns matters on the field.

After a bad week which involved 2 defeats and 1 win, a treble gone, Ronny Deila has been subject to further opposition from the Celtic support. Despite beating Lowland League side East Kilbride, the manner of the win failed to meet the expectations of many.

Personally, I don’t really care how Celtic played against East Kilbride that day. It was far from the performance or scoreline that was desired but it was enough to see Celtic through to the next round.

I’m not making excuses for Ronny Deila or the team but going into that game after two straight defeats, it was only the win that mattered. The heads were obviously down and the body language lacklustre but the win was the most important thing.

For many, this performance was the last straw though. I’m inclined to agree with Celtic’s new ambassador, Tom Boyd, when he said that the fans are overreacting.

Boyd is a Celtic man through and through. In fact he is a club man, regularly co-commentating on Celtic TV and representing Celtic in a variety of areas not to mention his charity work which my family appreciate a lot.

The cynic in me can’t help but think he is a typical club ‘yes man’. Don’t be fooled by the mellow and popular Boyd though – he loves Celtic with a real passion.

He came to the club at a time when we were fortunate to have a player of his quality. At that time Liam Brady was in charge, Celtic were in decline and the old Rangers were high on the ascendancy.

Boyd knows the bad times all too well. Trophyless seasons, bad results, an incompetent board and fan protests.

These were the bad times and any Celtic fan who lived through them such as myself knows all too well just how bad they were. The good thing for Boyd is that before he hung up his playing boots, he got to see better times for the club.

In an 11 year spell he played under 10 managers at Celtic. 3 of those were interim managers, a story which tells itself.

This is something that I am sure the club would like to avoid, despite the calls for Ronny Deila to leave now. Boyd has backed the current manager and is the ideal candidate to re-educate the fickle among our fan base.

When I hear this rebellion among our support you would think we were back in the early 90’s. I mean have a look at yourselves, we are nowhere near the low point we experienced back then.

Yet some fans think we are being misled, mismanaged and underfunded in every way. Well I hate to break it to you but this is the current Scottish football climate and thankfully Celtic are living within their means.

That may seem unacceptable for many of you but that is the environment we are tied to. This isn’t to say we cannot do better because we can but this is the hand we have been dealt and only time will see improvement.

If Ronny Deila had messed everything up then I might understand calls for him to leave. Come on though folks, you have to be off your head to sack a manager sitting top of the league and in with the chance of a domestic double.

We all know the areas that need improving and we are all passionate about the club. You need to see the bigger picture here though and apply a bit of perspective.

This rebellion is misplaced. Fans are reacting to a situation which warrants a bit more patience.

I’m glad that Boyd came out and said what he did. I also hope he has better luck getting the point across to people because I’m tired of hearing the same whingeing.

The support is divided but I remain firmly behind the manager right now. We’ll see what happens at the end of the season but I’m glad that as a Celtic supporter, I can stand in the same corner as Tom Boyd today.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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The problem with ex-Celts

When the chips are down at the club you love, you can always rely on an extensive list of ex-players to provide support. Well, not at Celtic you can’t.

You see as much as we love our ex-players, some tend to put the boot in once they have departed Celtic Park. Be it an act of desperation to raise their own profile or just a good old chip on the shoulder about their time with the club, they come along one after one.

For years we’ve been treated to the grammatically incorrect delights of Charlie Nicholas and his ramblings with Jim White on Sky. I was a huge fan of Charlie Nicholas fan when he played for the club but his continual bashing of the club live on TV confined him to the Celtic sin bin a long time ago.

Nicholas did have an issue with the club but he took it too far but Celtic had an issue with him first because he should never have left for Arsenal. It’s bad enough that he chooses to slate Celtic time after time on Sky, but he can’t even do it coherently.

Then there is Craig Burley, another ex-Celtic player who I had much admiration for. His goals from midfield and partnership with Paul Lambert are memorable but once a paid up member of the media, he got stuck in.

Add to that Andy Walker, not one of my favourites, but certainly one player who scored vital goals at Celtic. I actually find him more nauseating than Nicholas and he’s getting more air time than I can handle.

The biggest surprise in recent times is of course Celtic legends John Hartson and Chris Sutton. In modern times, only Henrik Larsson can top them in terms of popularity but they were superb players in their own way.

When Hartson became ill, he received the huge support from the Celtic community. This isn’t unusual in the Celtic family but his illness sparked many a campaign in his honour.

Chris Sutton, a key player in the Martin O’Neill era, was the perfect partner for Larsson in attack. They complimented each other but Sutton won the hearts of every Celtic fan even if he didn’t really have a song of his own (that I can recall).

So why on earth have two of Celtic’s biggest heroes of the modern day decided to slate the club that served them so well? I’m all for honest opinions, but public bashing is something I expect from the media.

Across the city, we’ve observed years of obedience by ex-players and the media when our old rivals were the topic of debate. Only in their eventual downfall did we witness any dissension and even that needed some pressure.

If guys like Nicholas, Walker, Burley, Hartson, Sutton and now Frank McAvennie have an historic issue with the club, they should talk or write about that. I don’t expect ex-Celts to cover up real matters or protect Celtic unnecessarily, but sometimes it just appears that these guys are opening their mouths and letting their bellies rumble, to quote my old school teacher.

In whole or as part, our fans will always challenge the club and their practices, especially when it contravenes what we are supposed to stand for. To our ex-Celt’s hell bent on slamming the club, wind your necks in and take a leaf out of Tom Boyd’s book.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie