Celtic boss absolutely itching to experience "unbelievable" Hampden derby atmosphere
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has stated that he can’t wait to experience a Hampden Glasgow derby atmosphere for the first time next week.
The national stadium will be sold out with a 50/50 split as Celtic tackle Rangers for the fourth time this season. The Hoops have 2 victories and 1 defeat to their name this season, but this one takes on extra significance with it being in the Scottish Cup.
Celtic have an opportunity to secure a domestic treble whilst potentially all but killing Rangers’ season with a win. It will also be the first derby this season with a substantial support with both teams after Celtic were only allowed 700 at Ibrox last Sunday.
And Ange has admitted he’s absolutely buzzing to savour the atmosphere inside the national stadium as the noise is likely to go through the roof. As quoted by the Scottish Mail on Sunday [Print edition, 10/04, page 151], Ange said: “It will be unique but it will be great. So far we have just had a taste of what it can be. Our 700 were pretty loud the other day and did a fantastic job of supporting us. Hopefully, we will get increased numbers in all the derbies. The Hampden experience will hopefully encourage people to look at that because there is no doubt in every game if you can have a fair share of supporters from both sides, it adds to the event.
“It is a one-off game. There is going to be an edge to it, the atmosphere is going to be unbelievable. Wow. You know it is going to be a really tight contest and we will be ready for it.
“We have been good all year in rising to whatever challenge is in front of us and this is another one. We will all be excited about being part of it and hopefully successful.”
Hampden atmosphere unfortunately won’t lead to greater derby crowds
Hampden can hold over 51k spectators and creates a unique noise when it’s packed to the rafters. It’ll be the same next Sunday when Celtic face Rangers at the national stadium for their Scottish Cup shootout.
Ange’s comments are in the right place here. He’s right that the derby atmosphere will be unique. He’s right that it will add to the occasion. But, unfortunately, he’s wrong to be hopeful that this will lead to any real meaningful change when it comes to future derby matches.
For the truth is that Rangers aren’t doing this because they believe it helps the atmosphere. They’re doing it for their own petty reasons. Because we continued to batter them and lord it up in the Broomloan Stand. It sickened them to death and they’re fearful of going back to that set-up.
It’s clear how much these Rangers players struggle to deal with a hostile environment. They don’t want their home support being drowned out by a provocative Celtic support. They know it’ll affect their players in a negative way. Rangers simply don’t care about improving the atmosphere for the neutral. They’re only focusing on themselves.
It’s the Rangers way after all. You get the sense they enjoy this role of being the villains in all this. It’s something that gives them a feeling of importance. Being controversial for the sake of being controversial. So don’t expect anything changing next season or the season after.
And no, Celtic shouldn’t “be the bigger club” and make the first move. All the Hoops have done is defend their own supporters. The club is open to dialogue for future derby matches whenever Rangers want to grow up. Don’t count on that happening anytime soon.