Steven MacLean's comments prove Celtic are too good for Hearts

By David Walton

October 26, 2018

Steven MacLean showed his support for the Scottish sides in Europe by claiming he hoped Celtic got “pumped” by Leipzig.

What he’s also done is prove what most other people already know – Celtic remain a class above Hearts.

The comments were needless and a symbol of the grip Celtic have had over Scottish football in recent years. The dominance that the Hoops have managed to obtain in their country has made people like MacLean extremely angry.

Steven MacLean always celebrates in front of the Celtic support (Vagelis Georgariou/ActionPlus/Corbis via Getty Images)

For those who didn’t see or hear about the comments, this is what was said:

“Hopefully Celtic get pumped in Europe and lose a bit of confidence, then we’ll see what happens on Sunday. You want all Scottish teams in Europe to do well, but I hope they have a hard game because that can help us.

“If it’s tough for them in Leipzig and it goes to extra time on Sunday that can help us. We’ve beaten Celtic already this season so there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.”

A bitter man

Let’s not kid ourselves, MacLean has always had a gripe with Celtic since coming from a Rangers background. He takes great care in making sure he celebrates in front of the Hoops support whenever he scores against them.

What his comments have proved is that there is still an inferiority complex from Hearts towards Celtic. The Jambos have started the season tremendously well, but if they’re banking on taking Celtic to extra-time, then it shows you their mentality. Surely, with a side as confident as Hearts, they wouldn’t need to worry too much about last night?

Hearts fans will love it. They’ll lap up MacLean’s comments and no doubt tease Celtic fans about them. In truth, however, they know just as we all do that Celtic remain a vastly superior side to Craig Levein’s men.

Hearts have started the season extremely well under Craig Levein (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

MacLean’s vocabulary could do with some tweaking at the same time. Whether he knows what the word he’s used means probably isn’t in much doubt, and if that’s the only way he can describe a potential Celtic loss in a professional manner, then thank goodness he made it as a football player.

With Scottish clubs finding it harder and harder to make their mark in Europe, MacLean’s lack of backing is a poor show. It doesn’t reflect well on the game up here, and is the kind of attitude that holds us back from progressing on the European stage as a country.

Hearts clearly have some fear about what Celtic are capable of on Sunday. If both sides play to their best, Celtic are the far superior team, just like Rangers were against them.

It’s evident, however, that MacLean is aware of this, and his comments prove it.