Over the next few days, I want to focus on the last ten years.
They have been momentous for all of us, for every Celtic fan no matter how old or young. For an entire generation their time supporting this club has been one built around solid success. We have been so dominant in that decade that I believe that this is the most successful club side in Scottish history.
The trophy haul in that time has been incredible.
No other side on this island has made winning such a matter of routine.
There are EPL sides which have won European trophies in this time. A Manchester City side looked like it could sweep every honour and do a Lions. The current Liverpool side is perhaps the best English team since Manchester Utd’s European conquering team won a treble.
They are a formidable outfit, but theirs is still a new story, and without that elusive title it isn’t there yet.
They would have to win more than one to be considered.
Whatever others might say about the standard of the game here, and our massive advantage, there are clubs in other European leagues who have won titles with regularity but who never won doubles, far less trebles.
We did all this in a relative footballing backwater, with no major TV deal, and with our best players frequently being poached from us.
There was little momentum towards building a sustained squad.
Yet, for all that, we have continued to win.
The last few years have been particular highlights; we have secured an historic Treble Treble, and in the first of those campaigns went through an Invincible domestic campaign, a unique achievement in a sport where everything has been done once or twice or more.
That never has been. It might never be again.
The decade began with Tony Mowbray in the manager’s chair. It ends with Neil Lennon there. It is, of course, Lennon’s second tenure at the club. Who could have known, watching the shambles of those first three months just where we’d end up?
It is remarkable to have gone from there to here. Any doubts we might have about the decade ending well should be cast away; we lost one big match. We still ended the decade top of the table and with the first domestic trophy secure.
We’re well on the road to a fourth consecutive treble and the start, perhaps, of another decade’s dominance.
No club in Britain can boast that. In fact, few clubs in Europe have had such dominance over a period of ten years. We have never been outside the top two at the end of a campaign. It has been years since I can remember not making Hampden in a season.
As I said, I want to go into this in a little more detail over the next few days but for now I’m going to leave you with this; we’re British Football’s Team of the Decade and I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would argue with that assessment.
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