Winning the league is hard, or at least it should be. Aberdeen are finding that out as they unnecessarily dropped points on Saturday. Celtic have had it easy for so long we’ve forgotten a few truths of competition.
Sitting 6 points clear, and (again) confident of winning the league, we can constructively appreciate the job Derek McInnes has done at Pittodrie. They are very likely to come up short this season, but the gap between them and Celtic is not the chasm it used to be.
For years we discussed that what Scottish football really needs is teams like Aberdeen and Dundee United comfortably outperforming Motherwell and Inverness. No disrespect intended for the latter two, but Aberdeen have hugely better resources, if we are to receive a genuine challenge, it will come from there.
I was also delighted to see the 15k attendance at Pittodrie on Saturday, reflecting the bounce that has occurred at Tynestle this season. Figures like that will help Aberdeen (and Hearts) solidify. Both can make a profit at that level.
Progress isn’t linear, so don’t be surprised if Aberdeen or Hearts don’t leap forward next season, but the chances of them being overhauled by a smaller club is slight. The future looks healthier than the past.