Cathartic means to cleanse or purge. It can be used to describe the feeling of relief one experiences after expressing strong emotions like anger, sadness, or fear.
By my estimations, around 60,000 people inside Celtic Park had a cathartic experience on Wednesday night at the expense of our Glasgow rivals.
The anger, sadness, and helplessness of the past two years of watching football from afar, with no soul or passion – watching our rivals thrive under a training ground environment while Celtic imploded was something out of a horror show.
Celtic were in tatters back in the summer of 2021. So many players wanted out. Dermot Desmond’s pursuit of Eddie Howe ended in embarrassment for the billionaire and Celtic when Eddie pulled out at the eleventh hour.
We were so hard up Leigh Griffiths was afforded a one-year deal when he had previously returned to training the season before a stone overweight. It was a sad indictment of where we were. I put emphasis on the word ‘were’ because Wednesday night was a coming-out party for this new look Celtic side.
Ange Postecoglou dropped EVERYTHING when Celtic approached him and flew over to Glasgow, knowing the enormity of the challenge he faced.
Fast Forward to February, when the final whistle blew on Wednesday, Celtic were top of the league, and it was unthinkable just six months ago.
If you search CeltsAreHere.com for the word ‘rebuild’, – you’ll no doubt find a plethora of articles to sift through. It’s been the word of the season.
The Glasgow Derby was the end of the beginning of Ange’s rebuild. A new look Celtic side, full of talent, passion and hunger, took to the field and got in the faces of a team who would have instead played the game back in January in an empty Celtic Park.
We harassed, bullied and outplayed the Ibrox side in the first half and never looked back. The noise from the stands was deafening! We all sat at home and watched Celtic capitulate under Neil Lennon. We were in the stadium for this game, and every bit of pent-up energy from last season was directed towards the Parkhead pitch. The team responded to the fans, and the fans reacted to the team.
New bhoys like Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley even Giakoumakis rose to the occasion – Liel Abada continues to be a revelation and Callum McGregor leading the charge, chasing opposition players like a man possessed while nursing a double fracture on his face just another brilliant visual on the night.
The usual pundits and cheerleaders have sniped Celtic fans have gone over the top since the victory. Unfortunately, it’s the sort of playground stuff you have to get used to from Scottish football.
Celtic fans were incredible and deserved to celebrate into the night.
Despite that, I’ve not seen or heard one Celtic fan getting carried away. We know there’s a long way to go. The manager was already putting out the message – being on top in February means absolutely nothing – and he’s right.
There are no guarantees this season, and there will still be bumps along the way.
Celtic’s victory against the Ibrox club was a statement – ‘We’re going to push you all the way.’ The people who laughed at Ange Postecoglou’s appointment, the people who thought he’d be gone by Christmas, have had to come to terms with images of Ange holding the first trophy of the season and see his teams progress in the league.
Nobody is laughing at what Ange has achieved in such a short space of time. Whether it’s enough to win the title, his first season remains to be seen.
Whatever occurs, the rehabilitation of a club that appeared to be shattered beyond repair in May is something to be appreciated.