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Page last updated at 16:28 GMT, Monday, 28 April 2008 17:28 UK

Chick Young's view

Chick Young
By Chick Young
BBC Scotland football correspondent

It is, of course, an unholy mess. And naturally it has been triggered by Artur Boruc. Bless him.

Just when the civilised behaviour of the players in the Old Firm encounter was about to be rewarded with a gold star, the Celtic goalkeeper saw fit to remind us that this is more of a Churches League fixture than an SPL encounter.

Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc
Boruc shows off his t-shirt after the Old Firm derby

It is a sad reflection of life in the West of Scotland that Boruc's God-bless-the-Pope apparel needs comment at all.

Had say, Kaka, whipped off his working clothes at the end of some AC Milan action in the San Siro it would have raised not a an eyebrow.

But the Old Firm aren't domiciled in Italy. Home is dear old Glasgow and its satellite towns where paranoia and bigotry percolate and effervesce to the delight of many and the despair of the rest of us.

Oh Artur, what have you done?

For me it says as much about the people distressed by Boruc's actions as it does about the goalkeeper whose apparent thirst for controversy cannot seemingly be quenched.

Why did he do it? If for a private affinity with the church leader in question then that is fine.

But it was hardly in the interests of public order in a city where he has chosen to live and work that he whipped off his goalkeeper's jersey.

And don't tell me that Boruc is not streetwise to Glasgow's ways and weaknesses.


Indeed it almost an irrelevence within the bigger picture that he actually contravened a Fifa law that states that "players must not reveal undershirts that contain slogans or advertising".

Boruc is a massive talent, but if he chooses to work his ticket with the Old Firm then he has a responsibility of equal proportions to proceed with some sort of dignity on these occasions, when decent Glaswegians are a little concerned that a football match - and it only that - has the potential to explode upon their dear green place like a nuclear attack.

When all is said and done, it is supposed to be a game. Not a religious gathering.

Any genuinely God fearing man would presumably be able to tell the difference and respect the necessity for a little peace about the place.

Barry Robson nets the winning goal for Celtic on Sunday
Celtic's win keeps the Premier League title race interesting

Still, souvenir t-shirts from the Vatican notwithstanding, it was an otherwise interesting Sabbath.

The capture of three points by Celtic has, at best, triggered some nervous coughing among sections of the Rangers support.

In other, even more nervous, areas of their fanbase it may well have triggered a potentially even more embarassing stomach complaint.

Rangers face 24 days in May when they could go down to Celtic... or go down in history.

They look a weary bunch who have crossed an ocean but can't quite make the foreshore of the paradise which awaits them.

They need a hero now to drag them over the finishing line in one of the most remarkable periods of even their colourful past.

In the cold light of day they know that no matter what Gordon Strachan does, if Walter Smith engineers six league victories then the glory is his. But then football isn't an exact science.

There will be emotions and mind games. There will cruel bounces of the ball and windy days and bumpy pitches.

There will be pressure and pain.

But that's fine by those of us who observe and record the drama of it all, because at least now we have a race and not a parade which is a cure for insomnia.

Meanwhile, Celtic can only continue to win... and pray that their greatest rivals stumble along the way.

Artur Boruc, it seems, may have some contacts to help them on their way.

see also
SPL title race on a knife edge
27 Apr 08 |  Scottish Premier
Smith rues sloppy Gers defending
27 Apr 08 |  Rangers
Celtic 3-2 Rangers
27 Apr 08 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic 3-2 Rangers as it happened
27 Apr 08 |  Scottish Premier

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