Celtic Park atmosphere can drive Hoops to European run as Bodo/Glimt game edges closer
I defy any team in football, European or domestic, to come to Celtic Park like it was on Wednesday night and get a result.
In the aftermath of that fantastic Derby win, the football has been much-discussed, of course. It stands to reason; Ange’s side were enthralling, breathless and relentless. Rangers just couldn’t cope with it on the field. But in truth, they were beaten before they came out the tunnel.
On Wednesday night, we saw Celtic Park at its absolute best. The noise, the energy was non-stop, from well before any whistle was blown. We already knew what the Celtic fans were capable of, and we have the ability to beat teams before they’ve even kicked off.
Now, still contesting in European football, it’s hard not to believe that we could do the same in the new Europa Conference League. It does feel, though, that there’s a bit of apathy about the competition.
With no disrespect to Bodø/Glimt, or the competition, it just feels a little different somehow. Not necessarily underwhelming, but not the glamour tie, or even glamour tournament, that inspires the kind of atmospheres we’ve seen at Parkhead over the years.
Why shouldn’t it, though? If there was confidence and belief in this Celtic team before Wednesday night, then it’s multiplied significantly now. In Europe this season, we have a unique opportunity to win a tournament in its first ever year.
And if teams have to face a cauldron like the one Rangers walked out into on Wednesday, they’re beatable. It doesn’t matter who it is. Why shouldn’t we believe we can make a real European dent here?
Celtic have unique European opportunity this season; let’s take it
There were very obvious concerns about the longevity of Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic side before January. The injuries were piling up, we lacked depth in key areas, and we had to really dig in for three points on multiple occasions.
Now, that’s not the case. Key reinforcements have come in, and there’s a freshness to this squad that wasn’t there before.
Before, it might’ve seemed like chasing a title and competing in Europe were mutually exclusive. Now, they don’t have to. We have a really unique opportunity to do something here.
Bodø/Glimt are no pushovers, but can they handle the Celtic Park atmosphere if it’s anything like Wednesday? I doubt it. Looking around the competition [UEFA], the likes of PSV and Marseille could provide the “glamour” ties we like so much, but honestly? Both are beatable.
We have a chance to do something nobody else has done before; win this thing. And call it knee-jerk optimism after a huge result if you like, but I wouldn’t want to be an opposition player waiting in the tunnel at Celtic Park.
In the Europa League, the likes of Bayer Leverkusen got to both enjoy the noise, and beat us soundly. It was incredibly frustrating. But we’re a far, far better outfit now than when the Werkself visited Glasgow’s East End in September. There’s absolutely no question about that.
Celtic have the chance to make a real dent here. To do that, we’ll need the kind of scenes we saw on Sunday night, the unrelenting enthusiasm and backing from supporters that made Wednesday night so special.
Perhaps the anticipation will grow as we get closer to facing Bodø/Glimt. But there’s a significant European opportunity for Celtic here.
Let’s have a real go at it.