Celtic make class Wim Jansen gesture after derby win

By Euan Davidson

February 3, 2022

It’s hard not to watch this Celtic side and be reminded of the spirit of 97-98, when Wim Jansen took the Hoops back to where we belong.

There were the early struggles, some damaging losses and lost momentum. Then, the fight-back, including a League Cup win, and of course, a massive Paul Lambert-inspired win over Rangers in the New Year. So when Celtic finished the game last night, it felt poetic to hear ‘Roll With It’ by Oasis blaring out the Paradise speakers.

The Hoops, though, added a really significant touch at the end. As the Bhoys lapped up the applause of the raucous Celtic faithful, Wim Jansen’s picture appeared on the screens.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

And it was a bittersweet moment; the Dutch legend’s achievements at Celtic and the eerie similarities to this season were joyous to remember. But we also know what we’ve lost, a genuine Hoops hero.

It was a really well-timed moment of sentimentality. Of course, there were pre-match tributes to Wim Jansen on Saturday against Dundee United. Ange Postecoglou and Callum McGregor laid a wreath on the pitch, and there was a brilliantly observed minute’s applause prior to kick-off.

All timely and righteously done. Amongst the crash of cymbals and Noel Gallagher’s roaring guitars at full-time though, it was right to have thought of Wim Jansen, and the magnitude of what he did at Celtic Park.

You have to hope wee Wim was enjoying the scenes of jubilation somewhere.

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Celtic tribute to Wim Jansen was understated but classy, just like the man himself

Wim Jansen didn’t necessarily eschew the spotlight, but he certainly made his achievements about the players. He was an understated type that way, but he knew when it was right to celebrate.

So, it’s utterly appropriate how last night’s classy tribute was conducted.

Again, the parallels between this season and the 97-98 campaign are startling thus far. If it ends the same way, all the better.

Photo by Stu Forster /Allsport

But there can be no doubt that Ange Postecoglou has surely understood the Wim Jansen story at Celtic, and is using it, in some way, to fuel what he’s doing this season.

The manager has always stressed the importance of remembering what’s come before. He’s at the right club, because Celtic routinely and rightly celebrate our idols, the stories and the heroes that made them.

Rest easy, Wim.

Read more: Celtic squad will be buzzing after derby triumph but there’s no respite for Ange’s Bhoys