Sure I could play up front for Celtic and they’d still win against some of those teams” John says as he takes another gulp out of his already three-quarter empty glass of Guinness.
It’s 1pm, Celtic are four goals up and he’s waiting for the game to end so the barwoman can change the game over to the premier league; the quality in England is much higher he says.
On comes Jeff Stelling and I strap myself in for the goal-fest that games like Stoke vs Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough vs Hull supposedly provide.
The first game ends 1-0 to Palace, the second is a nil all draw – yet, by the excitement in Stelling’s voice and the general consensus of the room, it seems like this was still more entertaining than watch Moussa Dembele scoring a fourteen minute hat trick.
Celtic are currently 35 games unbeaten domestically – breaking the previously held record of 27 games which had been set by the Lisbon Lions.
The league has been a one-sided competition ever since Rangers FC went into administration and were subsequently liquidated; and even before that it was a two horse race for more than a decade.
Since then, the 25 point gap between Celtic and second place Aberdeen highlights the disparity of league and the sheer dominance of Brendan Rodgers’ men.
However, credit must be given to Rodgers nonetheless for the job he has done in Glasgow and the side he has put together.
Moussa Dembele came to the club on a free transfer and despite missing out on a number of games, still has 29 goals to his name this year.
Now, teams like Manchester United, Chelsea and Man City have stood up and took notice – but it could cost them the guts of £30 million to secure his signature.
Scott Sinclair came to Scotland in disillusionment after a career of poor moves which led to him sitting on the bench for Aston Villa.
This season, he looks like a new player, has 17 goals to his name and is also attracting attention from English clubs.
While the argument can be made that if Sinclair could not get into the Villa side, yet he dominates in Scotland, it shows the gap in the standards between the two, but it is self-defeating to think like this.
The standard is clearly higher in England for obvious reasons, but it does not take away from what Sinclair, Dembele and Celtic are doing in Scotland.
They can only play against what is put in front of them and they have been the dominant team throughout – they have not yet been challenged.
The standard is poor in the league, but Celtic have proved they are not a poor side this year and some credit has to fall on Rodgers for this.
He has put this side together with a budget which, by modern day football standards, has been small – yet, they didn’t look out of place when they took on Man City (who spent over £100 million) in the Champions League.
There is still clear development in the side despite the lack of competition they have, which could be seen as more difficult than competing at the lower stages of the premier league.
What Rodgers has done is further accelerate the argument that Celtic should be allowed to compete in England.
While the consensus is the Scottish league would die out without them, the opposite could be true.
The revenue is so far from what lays in England means that there is no coming back from where it is – it will not catch up with the Premier League.
But at least if Celtic moved, it could provide a more fair, evenly matched competition for everyone else, while Rodgers and co can continue to improve, which at this stage, seems inevitable.