I always stay out of social media debates but every time there’s an argument between Scottish and English football I always feel the need to jump in. I can’t help myself.
I don’t think there’s anyone in Scotland that would proclaim that our league is better than theirs. However I think we’re harshly treated.
This season alone I’ve watched Leicester & Manchester City at Parkhead. The champions of England and arguably their most talented side. I was unimpressed by both.
Now I believe both of these teams are better than Celtics. However, we’re good enough to take on any of these teams and get a result. Hence we did – on all three occasions.
At the opposite end of the spectrum I’ve sat in East Fife’s New Bayview and watched a then Scottish league 2 side take on Southend United and Accrington Stanley. Only friendlies of course, but I watched East Fife beat both of these teams and again left unimpressed.
So in social media today I’ve come across three arguments that annoyed me. Rather than get involved in some verbal diarrhoea with what probably is a 17 year old West Brom fan I thought I’d use the blog to vent.
‘Celtic would struggle in the Championship’
I can’t believe there’s people that truly think this. It’s difficult to compare without actually playing them but look at our transfers alone this season.
Darnell Fisher & Saidy Janko – two full backs that couldn’t get anywhere near our team. Both playing in the Championship this season.
Similarly, Anthony Stokes and Charlie Mulgrew. Both of these players were excellent servants but found themselves well out of the side towards the end. Again – both playing first team in the Championship.
While watching the Blackburn – Newcastle game the other day the commentator even mentioned it being quoted that Charlie Mulgrew was the best free signing in the Championship this season. I’m delighted he’s doing well, but looking at our team this year I’m wondering if Mulgrew even makes the bench. Surely that proves a point if nothing else.
Scott Sinclair is the prime example though. He scored 19 goals in his last season in the Championship with Swansea before earning a move to Man City. He’s tearing up Scotland, but he tore up the English second tier too.
Let’s put that point straight to bed.
‘Dembele isn’t worth £20m because he plays in Scotland and it doesn’t prove anything’
Celtic fans know the difference better than anyone. In our time we’ve had Premiership quality players play beside Championship standard players coupled with the odd League 1 player all in the same squad.
We can tell the difference almost immediately. We hyped up Wanyama, Van Dijk & Forster more than anyone else. Forster is one of the best keepers in the league, Wanyama breezes through games in the exact same fashion he did up here and Van Dijk is in the top 5 defenders in England with a £50m price tag. 50 Million. And to think our own media questioned whether he was worth £15m. Nothing like self promotion! That’s another argument for another day though.
Remember, English clubs spend £50m on John Stones (who probably still has nightmares about that night at Celtic Park v Dembele) and £35m for Andy Carroll, who Dembele is a better striker than on the basis he can move as well as head the ball.
In reality, no player is probably worth £20 million. However, the English inflated the prices, so pay up!
I’m also ecstatic we’re playing hard ball and telling them 20 isn’t enough. I don’t want Dembele to leave at all, but if someone wants to buy him make them pay.
‘West Ham are a bigger club than Celtic’
Money doesn’t make you a big club. There’s a difference between big and successful. Thankfully we’re both. Players sign for West Ham because of the opposition they can play against and the money they can make. Players sign for Celtic because they want to win trophies and play in the Champions League. Sorry Hammers, you can’t offer either.
The soulless atmospheres in England are to be avoided. I’ve even sat in it at Old Trafford myself. Tourist clubs with no passion or real support.
That’s the reason I wouldn’t want Celtic in England. Over time our club being filled with tourist and our hearts and soul driven out by cash. Again, that’s another argument.
Give me Celtic v Hamilton at Celtic Park over West Ham v Arsenal anyday.
The one that annoyed me most was Wilfried Bony signing for City.
He was quoted as saying “I’ve dreamed of playing for Man City for 15 years”. Fifteen years prior to that quote they were playing in an English League 1 play-off. If that was any Celtic player (and we were paying him ridiculous money) to come out with that sort of quote I’d take a strong dislike to immediately and want him gone. Plastic club, plastic support and plastic players. No thanks!
Finally, my personal favourite ‘my nan would score 40 in the Scottish League’. The English over 50’s female league must be bursting with top quality talent. Maybe Sky should invest in that – because it’s got to be better than the 0-0 bore fests the best league in the world are serving up.