Media pursue tiresome Celtic derby narrative

By John McGinley

March 15, 2021

Are we really going to have to put up with the Celtic guard of honour ‘debate’ all week?

It seems so, as broadcaster Sky Sports dredge up the tiresome notion as part of their pre-derby coverage.

They’ve had Brendan Rodgers in for a sit-down interview ahead of the fixture and he was asked about the guard of honour issue.

Amusingly, the not-so-humble former Celtic boss preached a lesson of ‘humility and class’.

As quoted by Sky Sports, he said: “My feeling is always that you should show humility and class and be a sporting team.

“I can never forget when I was at Chelsea as a young coach and in that first season with Jose [Mourinho] they won the title. I remember going to Old Trafford to watch the game that evening and I’m sure that the Man Utd players didn’t want to do it [a guard of honour].

“That must have been really, really difficult but it showed you the class of Sir Alex [Ferguson] and showed you the humility of him.

“It was sporting but can also provide you with great motivation going forward. It’s something that for me – despite the rivalry, despite how difficult it is – you should do and then use it as motivation.”

Listen, everything that’s needed to be said about Rodgers has already been said in the past. But I’ll let you make up your own mind on whether the man who walked out on Celtic mid-season should be preaching about class.

Supporters at a Celtic v Rangers match / (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Celtic very likely won’t provide a guard of honour to Rangers. Rightly so, in my view. Rodgers can talk about Man United and Chelsea all he wants, this is isn’t a run-of-the-mill competitive rivalry.

Celtic fans don’t want to see the Bhoys clap Rangers onto the pitch, so they shouldn’t. It’s really as simple as that.

But that point of view won’t make for a fitting derby build-up, will it? Celtic must show deference to Rangers, apparently!

In other news, 5 out-of-contract players who Celtic could sign as part of a summer rebuild.