You will be told by some that an invincible season holds less than it would have before Rangers liquidation in 2012, but that assertion overlooks the clear facts. Martin O’Neill’s then-record points hauling treble winners lost to Kilmarnock. The Lions lost to Dundee United, twice. We always lost games to someone other than Rangers. If invincibility was achieved by stopping only one opponent there would be nothing special to report from yesterday.
This is an astonishing achievement. Invincibility over an entire season is unlikely, no matter what your comparative strengths in relation to the rest of your league are, for mathematical reasons.
Football teams convert a small percentage of their attempts at goal. There will be occasions when a team scored three from three chances, but there will also be times when a team has 20 attempts and fails to score.
Over the course of a season, the random distribution of chances converted is likely to match one of Celtic’s highly unproductive striking days, with an opponent who happen to score with perhaps their only attempt at goal. This phenomenon explains most results when poor teams beat significantly better rivals.
Strong teams are also commonly drop points away from home to top half of the table opposition. Here, Celtic have been truly imperious. We won twice away to each team in the top half of the table, scoring 6 at Aberdeen, 7 at Newco, 9 at St Johnstone, 7 at Hearts and 9 at Patrick.
It would also be lax not to mention the style of football. This is not a brutal domination of the ball and physical area of the pitch, Celtic play a stylish, flowing, game, which entertains and succeeds in equal measure.
One more bridge to cross before the job is complete.
Thanks for all the encouragement, and especially the donations to Celtic FC Foundation, for the Stirling Marathon yesterday. Before going to bed on Saturday night I read through all the donations and couldn’t wait to get started.
It was an unforgettable experience. We’ll wait and see if it’s also unrepeatable.
Our good pals at Intelligent Car Leasing have offered two (£100 each) tickets for the Lisbon Lions night at The Hydro, on Thursday. You can win them by raffle in aid of Mary’s Meals.
The raffle is open less than 12 hours, closes at midnight tonight, so mathematics also suggests your chances are none too shabby. To enter, make a minimum of £5 here, then email me, firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “Hydro” in the subject line to confirm your entry.