The campaign in front of us is going to be long and hard. It is going to be arduous. We have a big squad and we should cope with the length of it and the physical stresses of it. We also have a team which has won everything in sight these last four years.
We will certainly strengthen this squad. The consequences of the club not doing so would, and if we failed, be monumental and no number of excuses or attempted justifications would be remotely good enough to forestall them.
Everyone involved would have to go. They know this. They won’t allow it.
Celtic will have the resources to win this. Sevco will probably have to sell at least one top player before the window shuts, if they want to get through the coming campaign. I don’t see how they can get through it anyway, but the need to sell is certainly acute.
For all that, I don’t see how they can afford not to reinvest some of what they get from the sale of a top player into the squad again. Look out for them saying SPL players, guys with little time left on their deals, or a few free transfers from England. Look out for Lyndon Dykes making his way to Ibrox as a “know quality” or some other such low-ball signings.
On their own, they aren’t going to be able to stop us though.
Which is why the real threat is going to come from elsewhere.
From the press, for openers, who will go all out. They will spread rumours, create dissent, try to turn the fans against the team. They will try to unsettle players, and this will be a bumper year for that with three months of the transfer window left. More than anything, they will attempt to ramp up pressure. More of it than they ever have before.
A threat is going to come from those within the power structure of the game who don’t like us much. Wait and see how many “honest mistakes” there are this year, when the chips are down, when it’s all or nothing, when the ten is close enough to touch. Wait and see how many decisions fall in favour of a certain other team and against our own. Those who are suggesting that the SPFL is in Celtic’s control are full of it, but it doesn’t matter. The key decisions, and those on match officials and stuff, are still made at the SFA and that’s where the problem is.
Other problems are going to come from the teams who will put eleven men behind the ball every time they play us, and who’s footballers will run through walls just so they can be heralded as the ones who stopped our run. They all want to beat us at this point, and there are enough “emotionally invested” footballers at other clubs that this will be a tough campaign.
And don’t forget; when you couple that with the tendency of the officials to see only what they want to, and the media’s readiness to ignore what they want on top of it … and you can see why many fans are worried. We need to be alert to all of it.
We need to be watching everything, all the time.
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