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. It’s been years since if ever, we have had a decent group be it in the CL or the Europa, while the cheating scum who are in a pact with the devil always seem to get an easy ride, a bit like england, anyways had a look see who we may get, the easiest IMO would be




    Ajax- Salzburg


    Sporting-Shakhtar Donetsk


    But knowing our luck <:(

  2. JINKYREDSTAR on 12TH MAY 2022 8:07 PM


    I agree . That is a truly dreadful article and the outrageous nature of it is encapsulated in this sentence:



    ” Even those of us there when Celtic and Rangers occupied Seville and Manchester in 2003 and 2008 suspect this will be on another level.”



    Did we not win some award for the excellent behaviour of our support in Sevilla whilst the Huns behaved wildly and violently in Manchester? To compare the two is mind-bogglingly wrong.

  3. Hot Smoked……………


    Thought the same on that…………


    An opportunity for the hack to set out our credentials as an award winning support while juxtaposing that with the hun hordes awful long-held reputation for befouling European cities……………Open goal missed on purpose lest some uncomfortable scoddish truths be exposed………………….

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


    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








    A lovely post. Right on fulltime, Mrs BB, my son, myself and a very dear friend said that there will family and friends looking down us and smiling.



    May they rest In Peace.




  5. BIGBHOY on 12TH MAY 2022 4:22




    Unfortunately you have been ‘upstaged’ on James Forrest – however I agree with the rest of your post – 7/8 new faces & a barrowload out the door HH.

  6. I mentioned fact and opinion earlier so one final comment in that area before I sign off for the evening.



    James Forrest.


    When judged by his performances in Scottish football — where he plies his trade ,remember — it is a fact that James Forrest is a very good player.



    That he will continue to be a very useful part of our first team squad is an opinion as is the possibility that not having to play so many games will benefit both him and us.Naturally, I believe that will be the case.


    I am certainly pleased that he will be with us for years to come.


    Goodnight all.

  7. As we approach the League finale, and as I’ve said all along – call out the hunned-up decision-making by the ‘fishals that gift the huns so many points. This season they had at least 3 games that turned on dodgy calls at the start and we suffered terribly as well…………all that gives them a bit of head start and sets a scene for more cheating. Call them out and get on the front foot for the coming season.

  8. IniquitousIV on

    For those who haven’t seen it, take a peek at the 3:30 minute long highlights of the Italian Cup Final.


    Six goals, some of them superb, even the penalties! The last goal is simply sublime by a Croatian teammate of Juranovic. Really worth a look.




  9. Big wavy



    If you get the obvious point that Ange rates JF then it is a short jump to understand that Ange does not see the clear deterioration that you assert.



    James has played most of his best footballer as a right side forward in a 3 or a right winger in a midfield 4. With Dembele due to leave, only Leil Abada is clearly ahead of him on the right. Maeda and Jota will fight out the left position. Gia and Kyogo will fight out the centre and Abada and Forrest will fight it out for the right side. In the event of a pair of injuries- Maeda or Kyogo could fill in on the right and James or Abada could fill in on the left. Mikey Johnston needs regular football, either on loan or as a more regular pick if we are not to have too many small wingers.



    Mehdi Gyedi from Iran has just gone to a Saudi club so we do not have a better winger in the door as yet. Until they come, I believe JF will play more football than he has managed recently. Last year injury affected his selection rate. This year it has largely been the good scoring form of a young Israeli that has restricted his play, yet Ange still sees a place for him.



    Go Figure!- either Ange is a sentimentalist, a poor judge, profligate with our money or………


    sees James as worth keeping.



    I look forward to celebrating his 100th goal for Celtic and 100th assist in the near future




  10. IniquitousIV on



    I agree that JF is certainly worth keeping, but I had the sense that BIG WAVY was slightly doubtful about the contract extension to 2025. We have already been burned by McCarthy’s contract, which does Celtic no favours. Is it not the case that most EPL clubs will only extend contracts for players who are 30+ by one year at a time, unless they are truly exceptional?

  11. INIQUITOUSIV on 12TH MAY 2022 9:42 PM



    Spot on fella. 3 years is crazy for a back-up RW hitting 31.



    And here’s one we did earlier with 30 year old winger Scott Sinclair. 1 year.



    Not sure you’re gonna get any scrutiny on club decision-making here while the room is high on Ange love.







  12. BELMONTBRIAN on 12TH MAY 2022 9:46 PM



    Evening all. TONTINE TIM inspired tonights musical choice. Hope you enjoy



    *cheers Brian, we should all feel good but some now bitching about wee Jamsie WTF

  13. Hopefully JF moves up a gear and delivers what he is capable off.


    Hugely talented player who has never delivered what his true talent is capable off.



    More complete player than AMcG but he just doesn’t seem to have the same hunger to take matches by the scruff of the neck.



    I hope he comes back and gives us the performances that his talent is capable off.


    I would hate to see him remembered for his injury ravaged games when NL as only thinking about himself.

  14. Superbru update




    A shock result in the penultimate round of the competition. After 37 weeks of trying, that eejit SFTB finally got to top the table for a round earning this week’s Yellow Cap with 11.5 points, four clear of The class of 67 and a further half point ahead of Pennysbhoy. The arbitrary wooden spoon was awarded this week to Belmont Brian (congrats).



    The overall competition goes int to the final 6 fixtures with a two way battle at the top. Call me Gerry leads Hopeful Hoops by 7 points so it will take some upset results for these two positions to change on the results of six fixtures.



    There is a fight for 3rd place however. The contenders are:-



    Magnificentseven – 213.5


    SFTB- 212.5


    Big Archie- 209.5


    Billy Bhoy- 208.5


    & Bhoy from the Village- 208



    It would take a momentous effort for other top 10rs with over 200 points- Greenpinata, Bateen Bhoy, Jmcormick, Quadrophenian or Gene to overtake but 3 or 4 exact scores might just do it. Anyone surpassing Bhoy from the Village’s weekly total of over 15 points can win a prize too.



    If the eeejit SFTB does get a prize winning 3rd place, he has pledged to put it back into the charity fund.



    Good luck to all of you and have your predictions in for the opening fixture at 12.15 on Saturday. I will announce the final positions and prizes when I sober up after Saturday celebrations.


    Thank you all for what you have done. I hope to discuss with Chalmersbhoy, if he is still around, arrangements for some kind of competition next year.

  15. !!Bada Bing!! on

    After the fallout from last season, some guys on here wanted shot of Callum McGregor, and James Forrest……..Callum has been truly brilliant this year, stepping into Broonie’s shoes,any new player this year has referenced him as being instrumental to setting in Glasgow, on and off the park. Jamesie, Rogic, Bitton the same, we need experienced guys around the squad, i think James still has plenty left to give.

  16. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    James Forrest was on a contract to 2023. He’s signed a new deal to 2025, two year extension.



    These past two years, James has shown on the pitch to us, as well as off the pitch to staff, he’s in it to win it. A valued intelligence about retaining possession, wait for the defence to burst.



    I’m happy to see him here. The most valuable quality in a 21st century footballer is acceleration. The reason we continue to pay Mikey.

  17. Jamesie will be in Steve Clarke’s squad for the qualifier against Ukraine, (original date sold out only four days after Russia invaded), and if we win, likewise Wales four days later. If james can stay fit, and he is getting there now, he will be an asset to the squad next season. Who knows, next stop Qatar.

  18. Happy Championship to friend and foe alike.



    Sturgeon’s Stormtroopers made life difficult last night. They were/are sick.



    Hail, hail.

  19. IniquitousIV on

    “Superbru update



    A shock result in the penultimate round of the competition. After 37 weeks of trying, that eejit SFTB finally got to top the table for a round earning this week’s Yellow Cap with 11.5 points, four clear of The class of 67 “




    Steward’s Inquiry, surely?

  20. Stepping off The champions topic


    Ireland never qualified for eurovision





  21. Read a belted on Bears Den about Hammers fans,thousands apparently,who bought flights to Seville,are going over to finish of the battles they had with Eintracht fans !!!!!Saying,we will likely get the blame.LOL.


    They are beyond parody.

  22. park the bus 442 on

    When Jota returns to Benfica, Abadda will be sold while Timdom’s on its knees playing their violins for Jota and all of a sudden Mikey and James will be spun as pure club men who’ll never stop for Celtic.


    Anybody going against the spinners narrative will be a troll, hun, vermin, racist, bigot, msm plant, bot, scum, filth, etc, etc.

  23. fanadpatriot on

    The question is JF worth an extension to his contract.


    Last night game late in the second half DU attacked us on our left JF stopped running allowing a dangerous situation,a lazy football brain , going forward he can be lethal .worth an extended contract,percentage wise I think it may be correct HH

  24. Wee James’s record is hard to beat.Normally around 15 goals and normally 15 assists.


    Take in the number of vital goals among them,he has more than paid his way.


    Problem on here is,some have their whipping boys,and nothing will change their thinking.

  25. Park the bus,


    Every one of the adjectives you used at the end of that post,applies to you.



  26. Park the bus is a larger, but not necessarily a fully developed, form of appendicitis

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