Craig Beattie has embarrassingly questioned Celtic’s bottle ahead of what could be the tightest title-race in years.
Celtic may have won 10 of their opening 12 Premiership matches, but Rangers won’t go away either. Our rivals have started the season with the same record, although they did lose to us in the first derby of the season.
It looks like it could be such a tight race this season. For several weeks now, Celtic have been leading in the table on goal difference alone. As it stands, both sides are still waiting to see who blinks next.
But speaking to Sky Sports, former Parkhead striker Beattie posed a ridiculous question about Celtic’s nerve.
“I discussed this yesterday with a very well-known journalist, who said ‘It will be interesting to see if Rangers have got the bottle with three or four games to go… if they’re in contention, will they have the bottle to stand up to potentially winning the league?’
“I flipped the question on him and said ‘How do we know that Celtic have got the bottle?’, because with three or four games to go, nobody has been challenging them of late.
“I get what he is saying from a Rangers perspective but from a Celtic perspective, they’ve been runaway winners for however many years now. So how will they cope with three or four games to go?”
Celtic have nothing to prove to anyone
This feels like Beattie is just trying to be controversial. Either that or he’s trying too hard to come across as impartial.
Celtic have absolutely nothing to prove to anyone. They’re the eight-in-a-row champions and have won the treble-treble, one of which was done with invincibility. We’re European regulars, and have qualified for the Europa League last-32 for the past two years.
As well as that, Celtic currently have a 30-game winning run in cup competitions. Think how many times Celtic have been under pressure throughout that run alone. No player wants to be part of the team who lose the cup record. There’s monumental pressure in every one of those matches. It’s not a title-race, but it’s still high-level pressure.
Also, for large spells last season, Rangers were sticking close to us. It was only after Neil Lennon came in that we managed to race away. But for six or seven months, Celtic had the pressure of having Rangers breathing down our necks. In the end, we blew them away.
Every single game of the invincible campaign posed major questions of Celtic’s nerve too. One defeat and the invincible run had gone. Did they not prove their bottle there as well?
To suggest that Celtic’s bottle can be questioned is an incredible insult to such a successful team. It’s Rangers who have it all to prove – Celtic have done their point-proving over the last three years.