If you review the comments section in August, you will note the demand for a holding midfield player to be purchased. There was corresponding anger (to put it mildly) immediately after the close of the window that one wasn’t purchased. Roll on three months and it’s difficult to see where such a player would fit in, even during Champions League games.
Instead space opened up for Stuart Armstrong, who, often used on the left, was well out of the picture last season. Now he’s playing central mid and earned two assists and a goal on Saturday, leapfrogging Nir Bitton and Callum McGregor for his place.
McGregor again answered the call at left back, but his move into the middle at halftime changed the game. Two goals down, Celtic needed someone to take a grip on the game. Operating with very little space McGregor played a one-two with Armstrong, dropped the shoulder on a defender, before finding the corner of the net. True control under pressure.
Kolo Toure’s first game back from injury was memorable for the wrong reasons, caught ball-watching for Louis Moult’s goals, the first of which is Goal of the Season material. Sharpness will improve for Kolo, but the change in defence illustrates how effective the Sviatchenko-Simunovic partnership has been.
Graeme Souness met the Scottish media last week and gave his personal insight into the game. On Celtic’s dominance, which he was unequivocal about, he posed one question: “What does 10-in-a-row matter?”
I know one Celtic fan who is neither here nor there on the subject of 10-in-a-row but for most of us, that number of consecutive league titles has enormous resonance. 46 years ago Celtic broke their own record to go seven-in-a-row. When nine was achieved two years later it met with little enthusiasm, but a target was created – and met.
Nine-in-a-row was a record many of us were enormously proud of but it’s no longer something we can shout about, nobody can, when two share the achievement.
I suspect the week after 10 is achieved we’ll wonder what all the fuss was about but our world view will change. 10-in-a-row represents the horizon for many of us, we cannot seriously consider what lies beyond until we’re there.
Here’s a couple of thoughts for you. We’ll no longer count our achievements in years, but in Generations. Generations of Celtic fans will perhaps know the occasional blip, but that’s as harsh as it will get.
Perhaps more tellingly, Celtic will not to lose another Scottish league title in their lifetime of a fair percentage of fans. It’ll be green and white, right ‘til the end.
Directors’ Box auction prize
Courtesy of Celtic sponsor and all round good guys, Intelligent Car Leasing, we have an outstanding auction prize to commence work on Celtic Quick News’ seventh school kitchen for Mary’s Meals. For the Celtic-Dundee game at Celtic Park, on 17 December 2016, you can win:
2 seats in the directors’ box
5 course meal in the Walfrid Suite
Fully expenses bar (pre and post-match)
Half time snacks and refreshments
And a match programme.
There are experiences in life which money can’t buy. This one is now available for you to bid for here on ebay until Thursday lunchtime. Two of you, directors’ box, Champagne reception, 5 course meal, free bar, get in there – and tell your pals about it.
Many thanks to Intelligent Car Leasing for making this possible – and for you for taking part.