This season has, at times, been enjoyable only in bitesize chunks; the overall flavour of it has left many fans pretty cold. But there’s one thing that’s always guaranteed to make us smile; league decider day, and especially if you need to beat your nearest rivals to clinch it.
We now have such an opportunity.
The post split fixtures are out, and the football Gods have allowed us to clinch it, at home, against Aberdeen, in the third game after the split, provided both sides win their respective fixtures going into it. We can still win it this month, but the more likely scenario is Sunday 8 May.
I hope that’s the day.
First, because it allows us to do it at home, in front of the fans who’ve been coming all season.
Our away support has been magnificent, and they probably deserve some kind of recognition for that, but not everyone can go to away games – or even wants to. The home crowd has endured as much for the cause as they have and most people would prefer that we sealed the deal there, in front of what I’m sure will be a full house.
A title decider against your nearest challengers can be exciting if the title race is close, but this one won’t be.
We’re out of sight in the league now, and whilst I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see Aberdeen and ourselves drop points in the games between now and then I don’t really expect it.
Both sides will go into those matches as they sit right now.
Without the excitement of it being close we’re going to have to get our pleasure of victory from something else, and here’s what most of us will enjoy.
It’s a chance to show off, to demonstrate our superiority not only to Aberdeen but to everyone else.
Win comfortably and that’s done.
Slip up, and whether we’ve already won the league by then or if we go on to win it later, a dark shadow will be cast over the achievement. Nothing would embolden Aberdeen for next season more than to take points off us at home in the last match between the two sides in this campaign.
That would be a miserable way to end things.
No, this should be a chance to stamp our authority on the rest of the SPL, especially as the media is wetting its pants about a certain side.
It’s an opportunity to show how far we are ahead of the rest, and it should send out a very clear statement of intent, as well as a warning to anyone who thinks taking the league title away from us will be as simple as showing up (as a lot of people apparently do believe it will be.)
Celtic aren’t the best team in the country by luck.
Sevco talks about its “journey” but no-one ever mentions ours and ours was hard and long.
It’s not that long ago we emerged from the last period of financial doping at Ibrox to stop them winning four in a row; our string of titles since is an achievement we get precious little credit for. No-one ever acknowledges how hard it is to continualy win leagues, although if it was easy everyone would be doing it.
Staying the biggest club in the land requires discipline, and it took discipline to get here.
We sat through three years at the tail-end of Rangers’ life watching them spend money they clearly could not afford to, winning trophies to which they had no right, even stealing a European place for which they should never have recieved a licence … and we endured the taunts of a media that said we were falling far behind.
It took an act of iron will to see those years out, and to wait for what we knew was inevitable; their complete collapse, like a house of cards.
We won. They lost. We live. They died.
We deserve to be here, and nobody will easily take it away from us.
Those who want our title are welcome to come and try for it … but they’ll need to prise it out of our cold dead hands.