1000 actions in League Winning Machine


The most difficult period of the league campaign came in February.  We came from behind to secure a draw at Aberdeen.  That was followed by a bizarre game at Easter Road.  An early Adam Idah penalty put Celtic in control before we conceded an equaliser on the hour and were then shredded by Hibernian until a second Idah penalty kick in added time secured the win.

Next league game was home to Kilmarnock, when the visitors left with a point after a 92nd minute equaliser.  For me, that was the darkest moment.  The seven-point cushion we had built up earlier in the season was gone, replaced by what would be a two-point deficit when Newco played their game in hand.

You want to believe Celtic will win the league, but I left Celtic Park that day with a feeling of dread.  This was not ‘the 10’, defined by history, but it was a league title which would have significant impact on the future, and our trajectory was dreadful. I prepared myself for what felt like the inevitable.

That was 14 games ago.  A defeat at Tynecastle under controversial circumstances, a penalty kick progression in the Scottish Cup semi-final, and a drew at Ibrox were the only blemishes on an impeccable record since.

If Kilmarnock at home was the nadir, the draw at Ibrox was the pivotal determinant in the outcome of the title.  Newco went into the game with the hopes of winning and moving five points ahead.

Celtic dominated the first half but were ahead courtesy of two bizarre goals.  Daizen Maeda blocked a clearance 25 yards from goal which whizzed in the net, then Connor Goldson conceded a penalty for hitting the ball with his arm – bizarre, as Connor is never penalised for that!

We were ahead, but not through methods which we could replicate.  10 minutes into the second half Newco briefly thought they had drawn level, before VAR intervened for a foul on Tomoki Iwata 70 yards from goal.  Celtic were rattled and had that goal stood, the outcome of the season may have been different.  VAR, for all its problems, is necessary for these moments.

Celtic left Ibrox with the draw they needed to keep the title in their own hands.  Newco celebrated a late equaliser as though it was a winner, seemingly not understanding their best chance to take the title had just slipped through their fingers.

The remainder of our league campaign was more comfortable than you are likely to remember.  Dundee gave us a challenging 15 minutes.  Newco did the same for a similar period, but neither was able to test Joe Hart, never mind beat him during these periods, as Celtic defended a narrow lead.  Those games aside, we scored 11 goals without conceding before the title was secured at Rugby Park on Wednesday.

Looking back, this title was closer than it could or should have been.  Newco were so poor at one stage, they sacked their manager, yet we were drawn back into a battle after it appeared to be won.

There was a really telling point about where we are as a club after fulltime on Saturday.  Historically, the presentation stage was setup facing the South Stand.  This time, we had two stages and a second trophy lift for those in the North Stand.

When you win so often, you get to fine-tune everything about the process.  You know what winning looks like, you prepare for it confidently and you look for marginal improvements.  Celtic is a league winning machine, from going to Ibrox and getting the result, to giving all fans a chance to see the trophy being lifted and a thousand actions in between.

That is why we are champions today; that is what the challengers are up against.  They spent more on player wages than us to compensate for the deficit in professionalism in all areas.  Their plans for the season could have worked out, but it fell short, which will have harsh consequences.  More on that another time.

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  1. SAINT STIVS on 20TH MAY 2024 12:01 PM


    Domestic qualifiers as it stands





    England (4): Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa





    Spain (4): Real Madrid, Barcelona, Girona, Atlético de Madrid





    Germany (4): Leverkusen, Stuttgart, Bayern, Leipzig





    Italy (4): Inter, Milan, Bologna, Juventus





    France (3): Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Brest





    Netherlands (2): PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord





    Portugal (1): Sporting CP





    Belgium (1): Club Brugge





    Scotland (1): Celtic





    Austria (1): Sturm Graz





    European Performance Spots (2)*: Atalanta (ITA), Dortmund (GER)





    Champions League winner rebalancing (1)**: Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)





    Europa League winner rebalancing (1)***: Benfica (POR)







    Bolded teams are assured of a league phase place, subject to UEFA’s final approval.

  2. There was a really telling point about where we are as a club after fulltime on Saturday.








    not a second added cheats

  3. So, Celtic could have a “Swiss Model” fixture list of:



    Bayern Munich,


    Paris Saint-Germain,




    Atletico Madrid,




    Red Star Belgrade,







    quie exciting

  4. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    We won a strategically critical league for 2 reasons:



    1. Desmond had the judgement and confidence to replace a departing top manager with another.


    2. Our key players returned from injury just in time.



    We nearly gifted the league to a rotten hun team because:



    1. We replaced top departing players with dross. The old Lawwell nickel and dime/ false economy gambit.


    2. We allowed the boss’s boy to play football manager. Negligent nepotism.



    In short, we got away with one and all credit goes to the manager and the senior players, as well as Dermot Desmond. None to the dreadful duffers in the Boardroom.

  5. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    PS surely this FFP will finally constrain the huns? Unless they fluke their way into the ECL group stages.

  6. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Brendan Rodgers won this League, a lesser manager would have crumbled, very little praise for him in articles on here……

  7. I love Wee Greg Taylor, he just gets ” Stuck In” with real commitment ……and he is more than capable of linking up play, and to also be part of Goal assists.



    So there now.





  8. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “this title was closer than it could or should have been”




    Hard to argue with that! Although if you weaken your team instead of strengthening it then it’s probably not too surprising.


    Thought the women’s team’s achievement might have been worthy of a mention, but I suppose “newco” need their obligatory space………

  9. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Good afternoon CQN.



    Popped in for a look.



    15 comments of which 3 (20%) have a pop at our board or our hosts.



    Today? Really?



    Double champs.



    Cheshire cat time surely?

  10. As much as I love the present Celtic, I can NOT even begin to think about us playing in Europe next season unless we spend a good chunk of money on some extra quality Players, who ALSO manage to hit the ground running delivering for Celtic ?


    Please do NOT ask me ” HOW MUCH”, as I wouldn’t have a clue ?



    We also need to offload some present Players, who may NOT have the attributes to become a Celtic REGULAR ?



    Please don’t ask me ” WHO” we need too unload before next season, thats Brendans remit ?



    Yes, I am sitting on the Fence over certain issues and I make no apology for doing so.





  11. 93 points,



    wins 17 of yje last 23 leagues,



    we obly lost 3 games, none to soomething called rangers,



    statisticakky a normal range for the season.



    we can improve sure, but invincubles only jappems once every 130 years or so

  12. Majestic Hartson on

    From previous blog –



    I read this on the Celtic page on Reddit. Can anyone assist?






    Met celtic fan from antrim



    I met a gentleman from Antrim who was over for the game with his son they were staying at motel one. HIs name was Andrew I think but not certain anyway I gave him my digits and he gave a quick ring but ma phone had died and his number never came through very long shot but does anyone know him he was 68.

  13. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    By my reckoning and failed memory during the 2023 summer transfer window we signed




















    All below IMHO.



    I’m not going to sit here calling it a fantastic window but some takeaways from my perspective.



    “On paper”



    – two decent prospects replaced Mooy


    – two young but established players replaced Starfelt


    – one prospect and one established player replaced the irreplaceable Jota.



    Before a ball was kicked my only real concerns about the recruitment were Kwon and Tillo.



    To be clear – I knew almost nothing about the ability of any player we signed including these two … Their pedigree was the only measure.



    Eight is too many. Shades of Oldco’s Blues versus Whites show.



    Biggest impact this season for me by a distance. Injuries and unavailability.



    – AJ


    – CCV


    – Reo


    – Daizen


    – Liel


    – Calum


    – Maik



    … all out for LONG periods.



    If they’d been available most of the season?



    We’d have been champions after week 34.

  14. IF the Media thought that some Celtic supporters caused ” CARNAGE” on Saturday, just wait on the ” REAL CARNAGE” happening should Celtic GUB the Mankie Huns in the Cup Final this Saturday.


    I hope that I am wrong….but it would NOT surprise me if the Hun support INVADED the Pitch, especially IF Celtic Win the Cup ?


    They are a constant ANGRY Mob at the best of times, a Celtic VICTORY this Saturday will maybe send many of ” THEMS” over the edge ?



    Not forgetting the ” Real CARNAGE” they could cause on the streets IF Celtic win the Cup ?



    They are ALREADY ANGRY with their own Team and Manager…remember that !




  15. An ” UGLY MOB” can only get ” UGLIER”.



    I can only hope that Celtic HAMMER the Huns on Saturday, and ” somehow” the Hun support get really Pissed OFF long before the end, and leave early to get to their own Pubs and Caves ?






  16. Ian_in_Hungary on

    Brendan and the players stepped up when it mattered, as they are paid rather handsomely to do. As others have intimated, a lesser manager probably would have crumbled at the critical point of the season so we can be happy that we got that particular recruitment decision right. Getting our best players back for the run-in was also critical.



    It would be great if we could now recruit the level of player that will enable us to compete more effectively with Champion’s League opponents. More importantly, we must seriously try to strengthen the squad as a whole so that we can defend our title whilst dealing with demands of competing in the extended Champion’s League. Our domestic performances always seem to suffer when we are battling on two fronts and we often see an increase in injuries to our key players too. This is not so surprising when you consider what we demand from them. Therefore, finding a solution to this may be our greatest challenge because every time we add another quality player, we risk the possibility they will end up unhappy at not getting regular game time. This can ultimately threaten the harmony of the squad, something we appear to have avoided for the most part this season. That said, I would imagine our two young Nordic additions were less than satisfied with their lot.



    We should have a little more empathy for clubs custodians on the squad balancing issue – it’s definitely not just a case of splashing any available cash.

  17. Unlike most on here I really think there is a player in Holm, really do.



    As for Bernardo, ditto and we must sign Adam Idah, rate him highly




  18. leftclicktic on

    GENE on 20TH MAY 2024 11:31 AM


    Popped into Biddulph where I spotted this chap wearing a Celtic top and cap, never seen him before.





    So I approached him with a COYBIG, he stopped and had a chat about the weekend games. Said to him you’re not Scottish so why Celtic – he said I’m not Scottish, Irish or Catholic but I started reading the history many years ago and just fell in love with the club. Made me feel a bit humble.






  19. As a happy aside CL qualifiers for sevco don’t look too promising.



    3rd round seeded teams will likely be themselves, Benfica, RB Salzburg and Sparta Prague. Seeded teams will be drawn against non-seeded teams which are likely Twente, Union SG, Lille and Fenerbahce. The latter two you’d want to avoid at all costs, and if I was in sevco’s position I’d hope the big teams draw each other to remove two from the next round.



    The winners are seeded and paired for the play-off round where sevco could face any surviving team except Benfica. It’s highly unlikely they’ll get through these games without having to beat one of RB Salzburg, Lille or Fenerbahce.

  20. MAJESTIC HARTSON re: Reddit



    I still check the Celtic sub on there as well. An occasional wee gem. I am banned from the Sevco sub though.

  21. Well done the Ladies yesterday



    Stops hvns adding another title to “most successful “CLUB” in the world” :>)



    AYE right

  22. 2023-24 Review, does Brendan get a mention?


    Would need to read back….mmmm


    Fact is the League is 38 matches long


    It doesn’t end in February, it ended on Saturday


    On 93 points and 8 points clear

  23. !!BADA BING!! on 20TH MAY 2024 1:00 PM


    Gerry Collins RIP





    Sad news indeed.


    R.I.P. Gerry Bhoy.



  24. GENE on 20TH MAY 2024 1:08 PM


    Frank Ifield RIP




    Big Frank had several HIT Records when I was boy.


    Ive played one or Two of his Hit Songs on my local Pubs Juke Box in recent years.



    Frank was born in COVENTRY to Aussie parents. the family settled in Australia some time after the War.



    R.I.P. Frank…you brought pleasure to many Fold across the Globe.



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