Many congratulations to Celtic on lifting the league Championship trophy today with an exhilarating performance against Motherwell, and fair play to Aberdeen who pushed very hard all season – including in last week’s game between the two sides.
In fact, that game – where Celtic conceded twice having been 3-0 up – probably just about summed up their season. It has not been a vintage year for Celtic Football Club. An all-too-often calamitous European campaign, semi-final exits in both domestic cups and some distinctly unimpressive performances in the league have all had the fans sighing. And grumbling. And rolling their eyes.
At times during the current season it looked as though the 11 players on the pitch didn’t really know what a ‘team’ was. The embarrassing Commons strop during the tie against Molde was arguably the moment that best summed up Celtic’s woeful efforts as a cohesive unit for parts of this season. [And, for the avoidance of doubt, I am still annoyed with Commons, even though he’s undoubtedly been a great player for the club].
There is no way that the Celtic dressing room has been genuinely united for the entirety of season 2015-16, and some people in there really need to take a long hard look at the way they have conducted themselves. In the final analysis, folk paid their hard-earned money to watch Celtic putting on a show, and (during a number of games) those people have ultimately ended up being disappointed.
And that’s not on.
Ronny is on his way out. He always seems like a really nice bloke who you couldn’t help but wish success for. Personally, I loved the way he handled our abysmal media. He rarely gave them an easy story or excuse to play up the ‘Old Firm’ crap for which they constantly drool. However, in the grand scheme of things, Ronny wasn’t up to the Celtic job. In most of the big games – especially in Europe – his side often fell embarrassingly short.
Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel that the players let Ronny down. Which is a terrible thing to have to say about men lucky enough to wear the Hoops.
And on a wider note, it seems fair to say that the Celtic board also made Ronny’s life difficult by
- interfering with his work; and by
- not properly backing him with sufficient transfer funds and autonomy.
But whatever your perspective, things clearly haven’t worked out for Ronny, not least in terms of his side’s enduring inability to address appalling defensive frailties. Week after week.
Seriously Ronny, how many chances did you want for your defensive coaching strategy to finally work?!
In the final analysis, Ronny has carried the can (as managers always do), and a good few players may follow suit by departing Celtic this summer. Hopefully the Celtic board will also be given a good shake…
If all of these things come to pass, I will then be then first to cry WOOHOO!
Because – after all – Celtic fans deserve better than what they have generally been served up this season. They have been right to criticise the creeping neglect their club has experienced over the last few years.
It is now time for those with the wherewithal to change things at Celtic to do exactly that. With a progressive business plan, ambitious manager and players who can fill the jersey. It is also time that the club took a stand on Resolution 12 and (at the appropriate time) the LNS farce. They should also be actively agitating for reform of the SFA and SPFL, and building a coalition of like-minded clubs to force it through.
Oh yes, and they should get themselves some kind of meaningful PR operation. Not an overweening embarrassment which seems to think it is spinning for a political party and/or totalitarian government, but a professional person who will
- at least challenge the nonsense that gets published about yet club almost every day; and who will
- work with the media when appropriate to convey a more balanced picture of the GOOD things that Celtic stands for.
But today… having dwelt upon all of the above issues, I simply say “stuff that, and salute the Champions!”.
It may not have been a classic season, but the undeniable fact is that on the back of building a sustainable operation and a large following over many decades, Celtic are clearly the best team in Scotland and have (eventually) won the league by a distance.
Scotland’s domestic game has an awful lot going for it. To be its Champions is something to shout about. And to win it 5 times in a row (for an unprecedented third time) is a wonderful achievement. Everyone involved should take a bow, including Ronny, who will always be remembered for delivering two titles. Because no matter how much we fans may justifiably grumble, and no matter how many parts of the media may begrudge Celtic’s success (especially in the death-related absence of Rangers), being top of the pile doesn’t happen by accident.
Celtic have won 5-in-a-row because they ultimately deserved to. I for one never take these successes for granted, and view each title as being as precious as all the others. You never know when the next one might come, so today’s triumph should be savoured and shouted from the rooftops.
Well done Celtic!
And if anyone tries to demean the very real achievement, then I cordially invite them to GIRUY! 😉
Five times over…