Celtic might just be onto something special


It takes years before you can properly judge the impact of winning any league title.  For me, although 1998 feels most precious, 2001 was far more significant in its impact, that title changed the world.  After this league title win, secured at Tannadice last night, Celtic fans look ahead with a confidence that we might just be onto something special.

A year ago, everything went wrong, a timely reminder that football will never be without sporting risk.  The response, however, has been nothing short of spectacular.  Oh, Howe we waited for the appointment of a new manager.  At the time I wrote that Eddie Howe was the best English manager in the game, someone who had consistently overachieved and who was very capable of restoring Celtic to the top.  As the wait for his decision continued to an uncomfortable level, two chief executives, one outgoing, one incoming, shuffled furtively around each other.

It took Howe, himself, to put us out of our misery.  Plan B had been agreed, even if one or two never thought it would get to that stage.  Ange Postecoglou wanted the job from the moment he knew it was available and made his intentions clear to the club.  He watched what happened as all three trophies slipped away and knew this was the club and that was his time to take control.

On getting an offer from Celtic, Ange had to complete some business in Japan, then isolate for two weeks in a London hotel, watching videos and immersed in videoconferences, before finally flying to Scotland and meeting those he would be working with in person for the first time.

Eddie Howe’s reason for not taking the job was that he didn’t think it possible to achieve what was necessary without taking his backroom team with him.  Ange brought no backroom team, he worked with those already here, who, it turned out, were not actually the problem all along.

An early priority was to sort out the playing squad.  Captain, Scott Brown, retired at the end of the previous campaign, but several of the remaining top performers were refusing to extend soon-expiring contracts and wanted away.

The men who didn’t do the 10 were still able to attract sufficient money to seed the pot for a rebuild.  Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie stayed until the close of the window, but disruption was such that Kristoffer Ajer was offloaded between Champions League games against Midtjylland.

By the end of September, league form saw three wins, three defeats and one draw, and were still without an away win in domestic football since February.  If you based your expectations for the season on results until that point, you would have been significantly wrong.

Celtic won 24 of the next 27 games, drawing two and losing only away at Bayer Leverkusen, who scored twice in the final 8 minutes to deny Celtic a win.  Livingston and St Mirren successfully shut up shop to take a point, every other team Celtic played in that run were beaten.  Our Europa League group stage ended with three wins from four games and the League Cup was secured in a memorable win over Hibs at Hampden.

It is tempting to interpret the story of our season as being transformed by a spectacular January transfer window.  We did have a spectacular transfer window, but the winning routine was well established before this.  Ange’s system was by then embedded and paying significant dividends.

Saturday, 29 January, was the day the penny dropped for even the casual observer that Celtic had their name on this title.  Newco were a goal ahead at Ross County in the 96th minute but could not hold on for the win.  Celtic, who kicked off later, were drawing when they went down to 10 men against Dundee United.  Liel Abada’s 89th minute winner thundered across the land.  If Celtic won their next game, against Newco, they would go top of the league!

That run of 27 games ended against a team of preseason Norwegians.  Those Conference League games aside, Celtic swept all before them, only a draw at Easter Road marked the copybook on a march to the title that was effectively secured when a win at Ibrox put the club six points clear with six to play.  We knew the league title was coming home.

After that game at Ibrox, I thought the final winning margin would be in excess of 10 points.  It turns out, Newco had more in the tank than I credited them with.  Not only did we win a league with a new manager, new chief exec, an horrendous start and a significant squad overhaul, we did it against a team fortified by the kind of strength you only get after a £100m overspend.  Celtic, it seems, are doomed to compete against sides who will play fast and loose with their very existence, gamblers to the bitter end.

In January 2005, when Martin O’Neill’s Celtic team were shrinking before our eyes, I wrote that we were in a Generation of Domination that started with Martin’s arrival in 2000.  17 years later our forward prospects are as good as they were then.  Enjoy and appreciate these special years.

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  1. onenightinlisbon on

    Well done to Ange and the Bhoys, a fantastic achievement.



    Sour note was the lack of Celtic songs sung by the travelling support.



    No moral high ground for us with the sort of stuff being belted out again last night.

  2. MADMITCH on 12TH MAY 2022 1:19 PM



    AP has shown he knows what he wants.





    I would imagine that after the intensity of the last 11 months, AP will want, and deserves, a right good holiday. Four weeks minimum, starting on Sunday.



    Not sure about your request for a properly sign posted access road to the training ground (why and for who’s benefit ?), but, if you have time on your hands, could you please remove those those armadillo shaped cycle lane thingies that have turned London Road into a traffic nightmare, even on non-match days. Just put a Hi-Vis on and dob MADMITCH on the back of it. No one will challenge you. Honestly.

  3. And a word of thanks to the ball boys who helped maintain the pace at home games thereby getting the maximum benefit from the relentless pace of Ange ball.

  4. quadrophenian on

    So many great players for us across the season and I’ve waxed lyrical about the rock that is big CCV.


    But xtra special shout-out to our very own Tony Ralston; mis-read as a squad filler by Brendan and Lenny.


    Remodelled under Ange and as honest and robust a pro as any side could wish for (not a bad wee crosser and twice the player Jonjo aspired to be. )


    Hail hail Tony bhoy!!

  5. Champions again. Last night was as great as so many I have experienced since my dad took me to Love Street to see Charlie Tully. Though nothing will ever be greater than being at Lisbon. Nevertheless I enjoyed the celebrations last night given that the media did not give us a chance at the beginning of the season, There must be many a sports room in the media not in a good mood today.



    Talking about celebrations, Kyoko knows how to celebrate. He has taken over the Kieran Tierney role of leading the celebrations. Noticed Ralston moving him to the front to set up the rest of the lhads in the routine,

  6. Kieran Devlin at the Atlantic hinting that CCV is focused on an EPL slot next season, not us.



    Pity but we move on and with a £6m budget let’s get ourselves a younger, better replacement.




  7. Cannot begin to explain how chuffed I am after last night. A nervy performance but gutsy, superb. The after game celebrations were just right up there, what a night.



    I’m probably a saddo but almost as good as us being Championees is how the sectarian bastards must be feeling. The ludges will have flags at half mast, all members will be donning black ties. Beautiful!!


    Hope no one here thinks I’m hunlike thinking that, but I am honest.



    Great to be a Tim, and how


    Saturday will be phenomenal



    All the best to Celtic fans everywhere


    Last but not least, Thank you Ange, the players and even the board, what a season




  8. I echo the concerns on here about Ange being overexploited and too much responsibilty being placed on his shoulders. There should be no resting on their laurels from the decision makers at Celtic Park and basking in the glory of winning the league. They need to get their sleeves rolled up like Ange and the players and put in a shift. More likely they´ll be off to Epsom, Grand Prix weekends, a few rounds of golf and a few rounds of………..



    I admit Celtic TV is not as lame recently as it has been the last couple of years ( is that due to the good results?) but there is still lots of room for improvement. EVERY club is honing their media platforms and we don’t want to get left behind. This long summer break could be an ideal time for a revamp

  9. If Celtic as a Football club need to upgrade L/Town ,B/Field then quite simply the present Celtic Board need to be replaced with good Celtic Men and Woman who want to bring our club in par with likes of Ma/City, Chelsea , Man Utd etc ,not in a spending spree for that will never happen , the Likes of B/field, L/Town , even the main stand ,we need people like that on board to try and deliver these upgrades, Look how much Peter Lawell took out of Celtic that money he earned should have went to rebuilding the Main Stand not in his pocket ,look at the other 3 things that they were supposed to be working on ,A New Superstore ,a Ticket Office,a Ticket Office , Celtic can talk a good talk but when it comes to do things zilch .

  10. BOGNORBHOY on 12TH MAY 2022 3:06 PM



    Let`s keep it fresh !


    I listened to some of their other stuff on Youtube. They are quite remarkable in my opinion.



    Seeing as I have mentioned `opinion`, here is a quote from JFK that is in accord with my own opinion (!) on the matter :



    “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F Kennedy.

  11. Another one on `opinion` that made me smile:




    A young artist is exhibiting his work for the first time and a well-known critic is in attendance.



    The critic says to the young man: “would you like to hear my opinion of your work?”



    “Yes” says the young man.



    “It’s worthless” the critic says.



    “I know” the artist replies, “but let’s hear it anyway.”



    Boom ! Boom !



    Cheerio for now.

  12. Tom McLaughlin on

    A month ago CQN was in paranoia overdrive because the SPFL had given us a trip to Dingwall for our first post-split fixture, allegedly maximising the chances of us slipping up before facing Rangers at Celtic Park.



    I argued that if that was the SPFL’s intention, then surely we would be heading to Tannadice instead of Dingwall.



    Ross County 0 Celtic 2


    Dundee United 1 Celtic 1



    How silly do the conspiracy nuts feel today?

  13. AIPPLE on 12TH MAY 2022 2:49 PM


    Slightly sore head this morning. Meetings until 2pm. Ugh.



    I stopped meeting my glass bout 3am Aipple,ha,the meetings went well til I realised me prized malt was way to smooth.Glenlivet lovely.



    Champions again







  14. The Medal men



    Bobby Lennox – 25


    Billy McNeill – 23


    Scott Brown – 22


    James Forrest – 20



    James Forrest could well become the most decorated Celt of all time.




    Who’dHaveThunkedIt CSC

  15. Tom


    We only had 2 away games so it was either or — we struggled against RC scoring on 97 minutes so it was probably felt it was the more difficult. RC had just beaten Aberdeen away.


    We didn’t play particularly well last night but did enough to get a result.

  16. BIG WAVY on 12TH MAY 2022 2:30 PM



    Kieran Devlin at the Atlantic hinting that CCV is focused on an EPL slot next season, not us.



    Pity but we move on and with a £6m budget let’s get ourselves a younger, better replacement.







    Is he,interesting.



    Why do you believe him?



    What if he is wrong?


    That occurs behind the paywalls too



    Wait and see mate.cqn not lazy journalism,I would say keiran(fenianyname:-) devlin does not know more than you or I.but it is goin to be interesting to watch them struggle being remote from Celtic



  17. fanadpatriot on

    If Ange needs more help I hope he brings in a Aussie Rules fitness coach.


    Then he will know the players fitness will be A1,allowing him to concentrate on tactics.HH

  18. Woke up this morning feeling fine © Herman’s Hermits with that wonderful Championee feeling AGAIN since May 7, 1966, only the 2nd title in my life at the time, and come on here expecting much the same



    Aye it was but it seems as if some on this blog are either in their periods or change of life with all the bitching that continues, then again it could just be gutted hunterlopers.



    As for our amazing travelling supports songbook, that is us, that’s how our club was founded; we were the Ukrainians of our day and as the saying goes lest we forget



    Anyway I’m going to leave you with a song that the Green Brigade of 50 or so year ago sung to the tune of that well kent Newfoundlander song with the following lyrics



    “Oh, it’s old but it’s beautiful the best you’ve ever seen it has been worn for more than 90 years in that little isle serene from my father’s great ancestors it descended with a lore and on St Patrick’s Day I love to wear the hat my father wore.’



    They even stole that fae us the thievin bassas, anyway here it is, I revised the lyrics a bit but the message is still the same.



    “Well Celtic are the Champions and no hun can deny, we’re here to fight and we’re here to stay and we’re here till john grieg dies



    Well we’ve won the Scottish League again and we’re off to Europe too, so we don’t give a donald duck for your Scottish/Europa Cup and we don’t give a donald for you”

  19. Paul67



    If Ange was option B it was a lucky break for Celtic.



    We could not be better off than we are today, with quick access to players Eddie Howe and his backroom would have been looking for in the English Championship?



    The remaining Celtic players said yes to AP, Kyogo was a masterful signing last summer and the raid on the J League in January silenced the internet doubters once and for all. Escape goats Greg Taylor and Anthony Ralston ( How they moaned when Ange resigned the only RB at the club) before the season started, needless to say both players have had outstanding seasons.



    No massive public disorder ? no fans fighting (except on CQN) no drunken trashing of Glasgow, the rebuilding continues with the main prize already collected.



    Congratulations to everyone at Celtic looking forward to celebration Saturday and a pint in Babbity’s to celebrate the return of our title.



    Hail Hail

  20. Some articles publishing odds for league next season already…….



    Have us at 4/5


    Old firm fc 10/11.



    So slight favourites 😂🤣



    Good odds imo if you have a spare penny or two. They have to do a rebuild with a manager who imo isn’t at Ange’s level. We also have season 2 of Angeball with settled players after a good break and a less pressured pre season.



    Bet responsibly.

  21. I fear that James Forrest will not win many more medals with Celtic. He is now a mere back up with Jota, Abada, Maieda all being ahead of him. Kyogo on the wing is much more a option.



    James may well have to move on if he wants to play regularly.



    We may well lose Bitton, Barkas, Ajeti, Soro, Urhoghide, Shaw, Hazard, Dembele, Boli and several of the young Loanees



    Mark Lawwell will have copies of the City Group database which is probably the best in the world ad Ange trusts him to deliver Ange type players, We will have some players from the B team but we need 7 or 8 new arrivals

  22. If ccv and / or jota do not wish to sign up then so be it, thanks for your contribution and i hope both have successful careers. However, both are young enough to continue their development here before looking at bigger leagues and pay days.



    If ccv goes I would like startfelt to switch to right centreback and for us to go get a leftsided centreback.



    On top of that we need 1 leftback, 1 defensive centemid, 1 box to box midfielder, 1 winger and 1 forward.



    There is also a lot of players who could easily move on i.e. barkas, boli, jullien, soro, mccarthy, scales, Johnston and ajeti without much notice and under that we have another group of younger players who could depart i.e. hazard, doolan, connell, mcinroy, dembele, connell etc.



    Rumours have it that bitton is away and rogic wants away. I would wish both all the best.



    It seems the club have a hell of a lot of work to do this summer.

  23. AN TEARMANN on 12TH MAY 2022 4:22 PM


    Delaney Donkey rip Garry Postecoglou



    wonderful memorial, really is.

  24. and this weekend, go with the full team again, and go celebrate with many goals.



    its going to be a beautiful day

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