Scottish football observers could be heading for another “depressing” season if the opening weekend is anything to go by.
One writer had just about had enough of it before a ball had even been kicked.
Ewan Murray, writing in the Guardian, said: “That Scottish football is so consumed by a monopoly – or, at best, duopoly – is depressing.”
Eh, having won eight in a row and a treble Treble, we’ll stick with “monopoly” for the time being, if you don’t mind.
Of course, when Manchester United and Arsenal were dominating in England for the best part of a decade, that was probably depressing too.
Barcelona and Real Madrid are just about enough to drive you round the twist. In Portugal, Benfica and Porto send the country to sleep as they share out titles. In Italy, Juventus are going for nine in a row this year too.
While commentators in England hype up their game, even when the fare is poor, there are a lot of people keen to disparage Scottish football. As Murray shows, you don’t have to go far to find pundits looking down their nose.
Andy Walker can sound like the Reverend IM Jolly during commentaries. Craig Burley was another who could barely hide his disdain. Neither of them turned their nose up at earning a living from the game in Scotland, but it later just seemed such a drag.
Some radio commentaries also seem pretty bored at times. There have been occasions when Celtic have scored and the commentator’s voice has given little indication of it.
A goal scored against Rangers has often been announced like a national catastrophe.
“We interrupt this program to bring you news that Celtic are winning. All programs are now cancelled and we will play maudlin music for the rest of the night as a mark of respect.”
Celtic’s rampaging 7-0 win would have done little to dispel the “depression”. It was a perfect day in Paradise which will have served notice that, despite all the noise from elsewhere, Celtic would do their talking on the pitch. And pretty eloquent it was too.
It certainly ramped up the desperation over at Ibrox. Scraping a 2-1 through the little known rule of being able to play until the 90th minute, Rangers fans embarrassed themselves celebrating a goal that propelled them into fourth place in the league.
Not content with a pitch invasion to follow those at Livingston, Firhill and McDiarmid Park, fans danced like demented lunatics on top of the disabled section at Rugby Park following their late winner.
The roof collapsed, with some supporters falling through onto those watching below.
Their first reaction wasn’t to see if their disabled fans had been injured by their stupidity, but to scarper as fast as possible into the crowd.
The whole thing makes Rangers look like a two-bob outfit.
The Celtic fans who joined in with the craze last year will hopefully look at this latest shambles and knock it on the head in future.
There may be moments when people get carried away, but football has been on the go a long time and exuberance isn’t a new thing.
It’s time to jack it in because, as today’s scenes show, there’s always some clown who will push things too far and before you know it someone is injured.
On the subject of pitch invasions, were any Rangers players booked for leaving the field? Answers on the back of a yellow card if you can find one.
This seems like one of the more inconsistent rules in Scottish football and should either be scrapped or applied across the board.
Rangers host Hibs next week and the Easter Road side will be hoping to build on a winning start to the season after a 1-0 win over St Mirren.
It’s always good to see a team in green and white win at Ibrox, but any colour will do as long as the jersey doesn’t have a Rangers crest on it. (Do Rangers rent their crest from Mike Ashley by the hour? It’s hard to remember what with all the ways he’s putting the squeeze on them).
In the battle of the badgers, Aberdeen beat Hearts 3-2 in what sounded like a cracker. It was a bad-tempered affair, so both teams making a seamless transition into the new campaign.
Ryan Hedges was booked for his exuberant celebrations after scoring the Dons’ winner against Hearts’ 10 men. Did we mention that no Rangers players picked up a caution during the reenactment of Passchendaele at Rugby Park?
Hamilton’s long slog for survival for has started with a 3-0 defeat at Ross County, while Celtic’s next league opponents, Motherwell, drew 0-0 at Livingston.