Well folks, this has been a bit of a week, right?
A good result in Amsterdam was followed up nicely with a 6-0 victory over Dundee, where, amongst other things, Izzy bagged a double and Ciftci nabbed his first in a Celtic shirt.
We were so good that I could easily start thinking they did it just to make me look daft!
In all seriousness, this is exactly what we wanted from the team and the performance was good enough to have put a smile on even the most crabbit face.
If this is a sign that our club is starting to motor then we’ll all welcome it with open arms.
I was pleased to see Nadir getting one, above and beyond everything else.
I wouldn’t have identified him as my first choice signing in the summer, although the manager evidently did, but I said when he was signed that he would do us a turn and I hope this is the beginning. He was already being put under pressure in the media, and this will silence them a while.
You also have to love what the manager has done to Tom Rogic.
There were a few folk amongst the Celtic support who’ve been talking about the Australian for a while, some who’d expressed regret over what appeared to be the running down of his career at the club, but the rest of us probably forgot he was still on the books before he re-appeared in the summer.
He has been a revelation, one of the true success stories of the current campaign.
Tonight’s line up will be interesting.
I hope the manager takes the opportunity to experiment and try new things.
Might we even see the young Aidan Nesbitt making his full debut?
I’ve been a big fan for the last couple of years, and I think it’d be good for the home crowd to see one of the kids given a chance.
I also have no fears about us doing so; he’s got the stuff to play first team football.
Which brings me to Carlton Cole, and the outpouring of BS about this potential deal.
Some have said it’s a panic signing, and maybe it is, but it’s also a risk free one, one of those rare opportunities in football that is all upside and no downside at all.
Cole has that quality we lack more than any other; big game experience.
His presence in the squad itself will be of great encouragement to our younger players, and it does no harm whatsoever to have someone like that around the place.
For that reason, if for no other, this is well worth pursuing.
More than anything else, I like that this guy is hungry.
There are bigger moves for him, if what he’s after is cold hard cash, than coming to Celtic; he’s already turned down a move to the cash-rich MLS, where he could have padded the bank account and played out the last days of his career on the celebrity player circuit, living off past achievements.
But this guy wants something more.
He wants competitive football, and the chance to win trophies.
He’s already made a fortune from the sport and one gets the impression he won’t be difficult to make a deal with.
I repeat, this is a no-risk move for us and if he delivers even one goal in a crucial match he’s justified his deal and then some.
Some of the criticism levelled at the club over this has been unreal, with one suggesting that it’s a response to Aberdeen being five points ahead in the league.
What a ridiculous notion.
The present Celtic side is good enough to overhaul that without Carlton Cole, whatever he might bring to the front line. We certainly can’t afford to drop any silly points right now, but it will be weeks before this guy is up to speed enough to play, and that alone should tell you we’re not exactly planning to throw him straight into action.
Things are starting to look a little better at Celtic Park.
Another convincing display tonight will answer some more questions and if we follow that up with a good win at the weekend then Ronny and the team will have put the season on rails.
Then we’ll see what Aberdeen have to offer, once there’s some pressure applied to them.
And speaking of pressure ….
Almost none has been put on the Sevco management team thus far, but that might all be about to change as St Johnstone last night ruthlessly exposed every chink in their armour in a 3-1 win that was actually even more impressive than the result suggests.
Watching the match, I was struck by how easily Warburton’s cavalier style came undone against a well organised team who had every weakness identified before the match started.
Their wingbacks, for example, play so far up the pitch (a criticism levelled at Celtic too, at times) that it leaves them hellishly vulnerable to the quick breakaway and that, coupled with a lack of pace in the central defence, was ruthlessly exploited and they were 3-0 down before the man Sevco fans think of as some kind of magician actually got around to changing it.
This nonsense that there is no gulf in quality between the SPL and the Championship has been disproved time and time again, but those of a Sevconian persuasion, especially those working in the media, simply don’t want to hear that and think a run of wins in the latter league automatically makes you a challenger in the former one … a notion so transparently daft that only a real mug would believe.
Come on down Hugh Keevins and others.
Your boys took a hell of a beating.