Of course, the priority is nine-in-a-row, even more than Champions League lucre, but I see a bit of chat about prioritising the league and player development, at the potential cost of the domestic cups.
I don’t think this will work. Along with Queens Park, Vale of Leven, Rangers and Aberdeen, Celtic have now won the Scottish Cup three successive seasons. None of the other did four-in-a-row. Celtic fans, if nothing else, cherish making history, we cannot just shrug at the opportunity to set a new Scottish Cup record.
The League Cup is the only trophy we do not have a historical precedent to chase or eclipse next season. Jock Stein won his first five League Cups as Celtic manager (although went spectacularly off plan in subsequent finals).
For teams competing in Europe, the League Cup is a four game competition. A home or away match in August and September, a November semi-final and December final. Games take place between European qualifiers or group stage games, when demands on the players will be greatest.
Last season, Brendan Rodgers prioritised the Heats semi-final at Murrayfield over Leipzig away, three days earlier. Had the Leipzig game been at home, it would almost certainly have been the priority. Squad management worked well.
If we do our job right in strengthening the squad, there will be plenty of opportunity to rest players during the league campaign, but I suspect we will feel precious about the domestic cups.Click Here for Comments >