So the Celtic vs Inter Milan tie is coming up fast and the hype surrounding the game seems to get bigger with every passing day. The headline to start the week was ‘Inter Milan to Train at Murray Park’. Yes, those pesky Govan punters are trying to strike a deal with the Italian giants – “If you train at our ground can we borrow a two-man tent and the San Siro for our EGM?”. Stranger things have happened! Some Celtic fans were up in arms by the Ibrox sides offer until they heard Kris Boyd was in charge of the catering. It will be hard for even the Italian superstars to be in peak physical condition after a fry up and a big mac meal. I kid.
We were always going to have comparisons to 67′ when this draw was made but I’m surprised how laid back it has been in that regard. We’ve heard Billy McNeil and wee Bertie Auld talk about that time we stepped into the ring with sleek Italians and delivered a knock out blow on that fateful day in Lisbon. Stories we’ll never get tired of! But this is a whole different game now from the one played all those years ago and everyone recognises that. In fact there is a massive part of our support including myself that never lived that moment. How great would it be to give us younger fans a tiny, miniscule taste of it on Thursday when Celtic go head to head with Inter.
No, it’s not the European cup final and no it’s not a team assembled who were born and raised within a 30 mile radius of Parkhead but this current story playing out is one of significance. We have a manager who has been verbally battered from pillar to post by the mainstream media since coming in the door, a team trying to come to grips with new ideas and levels of fitness unheard of in the last regime and an expectant fan base hungry for success. After a disappointing start to the season there is a real buzz around Celtic Park at the minute and it’s up to the players to ride that wave into and beyond Thursday night.
No one is expecting Celtic to go the distance in this competition but to give us all a moment in a packed out Celtic Park would take the feel good factor to new heights under our current manager. If Celtic can find a way to tame the Italian giants who are not without their troubles then it would go a long way in Celtic’s season. Not that I’m predicating Celtic’s future morale on just these two games and in particular this one fixture but it would fully galvanise the support and really could prove a catalyst for the Ronny Era.
I’m usually comfortable giving a prediction before a big game like this but on this occasion I will leave that to other people. We all love a bit of the ‘Ronny Roar’ but wait till he sees the Celtic Family roar on Thursday. It could be magical.