I watched Celtic put five and six goals past Oldco and Newco Rangers but never have I seen such a chasm between the sides. We operated on a higher plane throughout the game. Newco goalkeeper, Jak Alnwick, made five incredible saves, three from Olivier Ntcham, one from James Forrest and one from Tom Rogic, preventing a score, which could conceivably have hit double figures.
Ntcham and Rogic pulled all the strings. Their physical presence and use of the ball constantly bought Celtic space. Odsonne Edouard started the scoring with a six-yard box goal, but his second showed what an accomplished striker he has become in the space of a few months.
The pick of the bunch came from James Forrest, who beat three shadows before finishing on the stroke of halftime. Callum McGregor and Rogic got their customary goals against Newco. At this stage, with the goals flying in every few minutes, we anticipated more, but the scoring was over 37 minutes from the end, in part due to Rogic running out of steam, and part due to McGregor moving inside from the wing, where he had been so devastating.
Celtic sailed through the second half pinching police hats and watching Dedryck Boyata put in the most commanding defensive performances we have seen since Virgil van Dijk at his very best. You are watching one of the all-time great Celtic teams.
Once the sheer joy of watching the performance passed, the enormity of winning 7-in-a-row took over. I have watched us win many championships, but can think of only two which comes close to the impact of yesterday. You will remember it fondly for the rest of your life. It was one for the ages and suitably makes up for the missed opportunity at Easter Road last week.
If Jack Nichoson was one of those who stormed the Newco Player of the Year event last night, and made it to the microphone, he would have no doubt looked around the hall and said, “What if, this is as good as it gets?”
There is a great fallacy, believed by those who are in an unfortunate position, that a change will bring improvement. Such claims were made repeatedly by campaigning politicians in recent years, but it is a fantasy.
The truth is far bleaker. If you have structural problems, which could last a lifetime without any progress being made, every passing chapter will feel it was written by Dante, each one a fresh hell. For Newco, these days, where they compete for second place while selling close to 40,000 season tickets, this is good as it will ever be.
When this chapter ends, it will be replaced by one where the club has to stop the pretence of competing for league titles, and live within the budget provided by a fan base who are content to buy season tickets to watch a team of also-rans. They are a joke team, a dumb cash-cow for the rest of the league to get some shooting practice against.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this really is as good as it gets.