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. Bournesouprecipe



    Seems wee jamesie has got the nod to break those records with a wee contract extension




  2. fergusslayedtheblues on

    Well what a turn up for the books that was .


    A BIG Aussie comes into Scottish football and shakes the whole place up ,Howe did that happen .


    Not only did he come to our club and grab the squad of players by the scruff of the neck and the seat of their pants ,he seems to have convinced the hierarchy that things needed to be done differently .


    Players brought in to fit into the team on the park rather than the business plan .


    He seemed to give everyone a chance to buy into his vision for the club


    He brought an honesty and straight talking way to get his beliefs across without offending people .


    He galvanised a support that was concerned at the direction the club was going


    He never bad mouthed the doubters ,he just went about winning them over


    He has shown that football needn’t be a battleground ,it should be an entertainment .


    For me he is more than just another manager ,he is a great ambassador for mot only my club but for football as a sport .


    Whatever happens from here ,I wish Ange as a man all the best in his future endeavours and I wish we had more people like him as the face of the game .


    Tonight I will have a wee toast to Ange and the players and everyone responsible for bringing us such happiness on winning this league against the odds


    Hail Hail bhoys and ghirls

  3. !!BADA BING!! on 12TH MAY 2022 6:07 PM


    James Forrest new deal till 2025






    Love the wee man but that’s bonkers. No well-run club would consider doing that. Sentimental tosh for those who want him chasing some meaningless medal count but for building a squad, making an impact to push beyond Scotland into Europe, he’s a soon-to-be 31 year old winger whose best years have past him by.








    Great post – I enjoyed reading.



    Delighted that James Forrest has a new contract – with a good rest & a good pre-season, he will be rejuvenated. Too valuable to lose – well done Ange!



    Good piece with good stats from Tom English on BBC Sport – enjoyed reading that too.

  5. FSTB – Remember it’s a wee toast tonight.😂🍺



    I had to many last night, Shaz wasnt happy. 😂



    D :)

  6. I see the Rankers Robertson on stv pleading for the zombies to respect Seville



    Cannot remember a Celtic director ever having to make that plea.



    D :)

  7. FSTB – Who the feck thinks we have a level playing field here in Scotland…are they bonkers?



    D :)

  8. fergusslayedtheblues on



    Just tell the good lady it’s for medicinal purposes




    Re Robertson


    Unfortunately I think it was needed but will fall on deaf ears .



  9. bigrailroadblues on

    Good evening all from Shawlands. I dedicate this title to my old friend Garry Duncan. I miss the Guinness guzzling after work nights in the Stanley. Hail Hail Delaneys Dunky.

  10. What a feel good factor.



    Last nights viewing was awesome. I agree with a comment Turkeybhoy made last night. Sky coverage was good.


    Great to see Eilidh Barbour anchor so professionally after the after dinner controvarsy. She and the panel seemed to enjoy the whole occasion.




  11. fergusslayedtheblues on

    Rumour has it that Ange’s 2nd season is usually when his philosophy pays dividends ,Oh I really hope so .


    One thing I think we can count on .


    We won’t be giving our nearest rivals an 11pt start in our first 7 games





  12. Maybe, just maybe, Ange rates James Forrest, as a player already in our hands who contributes mightily.



    Yes, he lost his place to Leil Abada, when inured, and did not win it back as Neil was scoring very freely. The same happened with Paddy Roberts but James won his place back before Paddy got injured.



    James does not get a contract extension without Ange’s approval.



    You jaunts have to accept that Ange rates James more than most fans do.

  13. The BGFC’s / St Stivs



    Thanks,good thing is people can find easily,if they want to have a smile or giggle thinking of Garry,as you say,that’s what you’ll do thinkin bout him .Rip.



    There is chat of a pre/post match huddle,let yi know.👍




    Frank Terry.



    Thanks Frank,enjoying this title,it seems to be be heading up in my own title chart,how we learn ,improve and get a wee bit better,Celtic.



    Hail Hail

  14. fourstonecoppi on

    Having a mare with the ticket office atm. I’m 65 at the end of June and according to website if your 65 after 1st June you get concession ticket for season 22/23.whoo hoo a saving of nearly £200.


    They’ve billed me the full biffta Direct debit saying i’m not eligible as i’ll only be 64 WTF drugs are these punters on..


    i kid you not!

  15. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    “Celtic might just be onto something special”






    The squad will improve.



    We’ll have current players having had a proper, less stressful preseason …



    … and we’ll get new players.



    Nothing guaranteed but if we stay focused and humble, every chance our performance level will be better next season.



    If so, awesome prospect.

  16. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Off the field, the club needs to show a level of ambition (I believe they will) to take advantage of current circumstances.



    CL guaranteed in season 22/23.



    Win the league next season and it’s almost certainly guaranteed again in 23/24.



    Then CL expands in 24/25.



    We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves as there is an incredible amount of work, planning and intelligence required.



    That said, I’m struggling to recall a similar situation in our past when the path to CL group stage participation in three consecutive seasons is so clear, tangible and achievable.



    Obviously it won’t amount to a £150m bounty, (3 x £50m).



    Those fanciful figures are only bandied about when Old Firm FC’s prospects are being discussed.




  17. SFTB,



    I get the blindingly obvious Ange rates him quip. Thanks.



    It remains a head scratcher for me for a guy who has missed 53 games in the last 2 seasons, is clearly regressing from the Paddy Roberts era you mention and who sits behind Maeda, Jota, Abada and probably takes a berth I had hoped could be taken by the Bodo Glint RW instead (James is one of our highest earners) who looks a much better fit for Ange’s system of pressing and pace.



    At odds with how I hoped we would build Ange 2.0. But as the room reads ‘In Ange we trust’…I’ll not go tonto over it.




  18. Noticeable how many posters have referenced recently departed friends, family or fellow posters since we triumphed.


    Quite humbling actually.


    A reminder that, beneath the monikers, multis and madness this site attracts some bloody decent human beings

  19. ADI


    I didn’t post it but I’m sure plenty were thinking about it given the experience of last season.

  20. Though Hesgoal has parked the bus on the EPL


    HesGoal Football Live Stream has the Spurs-Arsenal match


    As we speak

  21. UNCLE JIMMY on 12TH MAY 2022 7:37 PM



    Well said!



    In other news James is a club legend. Happy he is here for another few.

  22. With the Sevco CEO appealing for their support to be respectful to the population of Seville, when things go wrong he has it on the record that as a representative of the club he has done what he can to prevent trouble.



    There will be trouble, of that I have no doubt.

  23. tom mclaughlin



    The point raised about the post match fixtures was not about the difficulty of playing Ross County, not for me at any road, it was about the failure of the SPL to use the final games to promote our League. Not one later Saturday afternoon game, we could have had a 5.30 kick off against Hearts for example, or a full house midweek game at home last night. Repeat, it was about promoting the game in Scotland. Comprehension is not your strong point Tom, and judging from your earlier post, neither is arithmetic.




  24. Evening all.



    Well I don’ know about you but I fell… ELATED.



    Just reading back and there are a few of contributions I would like to highlight.






    The acapella CL anthem ( MayTree ).






    Inspired my musical choice for later.



    And finally, sometimes I read a post and think, I wish I had have written that.






    What a post. If anyone missed it please take some time and give it a read.







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