‘Rat, ‘Snake’, ‘Scumbag’ and ‘Disgusting POS’ - but enough about what people thought of me after my night out on Friday last week!
Amazingly, Celtic’s departing left back has been labelled with the above words as he completes his move to Arsenal today, and it’s very much an overreaction. I’m not going to shame people individually, or highlight them in this article. We’ve all seen the tweets and the forum posts, and you have to wonder how comfy a lifestyle these people have if this is genuinely a major problem for them.
‘He’s no a real Celtic man!’ - who is ? Paul McStay, no doubt, but where did loyalty get him? Henrik Larsson? If he was that big a ‘Celtic man’ why did he score against us in 2004? Oh wait, he was thinking about himself, just like Tierney is, and that’s fine.
Today I’ve seen, and this is some serious stretching, Georgios Samaras described as a ‘real Celtic man’ for once saying ‘I’d rather count my medals than count my money’. Okay then big man, see how far that gets you in your retirement. It’s a nice soundbite, but it’s also a massive lie and anyone gullible enough to fall for it will probably feel that this article is a personal attack on them, instead of a general commentary on why it’s unfair to label KT as anything but a dedicated pro who will move on, and is still very much a ‘Celtic man’.
In 2005, I had a boss who let me stroll in whenever I wanted, go to the pub on a Friday and generally let me away with murder. When she put in her notice a year later to, ironically, go to London doing the same job, even at the age of 20 I knew the game was up, and she was being offered a life-changing amount of money to do what she was already doing here.
The situation with KT, while the finances are miles apart, is pretty much the same thing.
He’s been given a chance to triple his wages, on a bigger platform, up against a higher level of opposition to test himself, and being a pro, he’s justifiably accepted the challenge. He’s completed it here, winning a treble treble and countless accolades.
‘But whit aboot ten in a row???’ I hear you cry. What about it ? It’s not our entire world, and it won’t be his. Pierre Van Hooijdonk left us before we ‘stopped the ten’. He was lambasted by fans back in 1997 and look at him now, hailed as a ‘big legend’ for slagging Rangers now and then.
If you think the same people currently doing their best ‘knocked back by a lassie in a DM’ impression aren’t going to change their stance in a few weeks then I am mortified for you.
Tierney hasn’t came out badmouthing Celtic once in public, and has kept his head down plenty in the past when other teams came calling, even during this drawn out saga with Arsenal, and not once has he criticised either club for how this situation has been handled.
The fact is, he has been dedicated to Celtic for years, even before he made his debut for the first team at Dens Park in 2015.
His commitment to Celtic has seen him oust Emilio Izaguirre as the first choice left back, become a captain, go down as a treble treble winner and more importantly, develop into one of the best players to have came through the academy, and no doubt go onto become one of the greatest Scottish footballers of all time.
While Tierney’s rise is mainly down to him and his hard work, it’s correct to say Celtic have also helped him progress as a player, and nurtured him into the top class defender we have made a healthy profit from, but in my opinion, the club have accelerated his injury problems, relying on him far too often, burning him out and rushing him back quickly as well, so let’s remember that before people paint Celtic as a victim in this deal.
Kieran Tierney won’t fade away at Arsenal. I feel it will be another stepping stone for him to an elite club in the next few years. This is a player who played at RIGHT BACK for Scotland against England, and not once did he look out of place against Marcus Rashford, Delle Alli and Adam Lallana (ok bad example there but he started!). In Europe, where many of our players have been found wanting, or under-performed, KT usually got pass marks for his displays, highlights including Man City (2016), Anderlecht (2017) and RB Leipzig (2018).
I’m reluctant to turn this into a Kieran Tierney V Andy Robertson debate as I conclude this piece, because it really isn’t my intention with this. Both of them are top class, and Scotland can only benefit from that, but my point is the way many now rave about Robertson, when it was obvious he was brilliant, even with Dundee United, is how they will end up going with KT, who I feel is a far better all round footballer.
The guy is going to be one of the best in the world in a few years and he should leave with the best of wishes, and it’s likely he’ll be back with us one day anyway.
Celtic, as they always have, will survive and move on, winning plenty more trophies in the process.
Are you still that raging ? If so, grow up.