Earlier on, I was listening to the Endless Celts podcast, which is at the bottom of the piece in case you’ve not heard it, and I laughed out loud when my friend Anthony Dunn responded, almost aggressively, to the question about whether or not Celtic fans would accept a “transitional season” in which we didn’t win the league, but in which we rebuilt the team and put up one Hell of a fight.
It was a fair question, but I agreed with his answer.
Celtic fans don’t want a “title challenge.” Celtic fans want the title back.
This is a high pressure environment, and there’s no point in giving anyone who’s coming in the idea that expectations here are the same as they are elsewhere. They aren’t.
The history doesn’t make it any less pressurising; the last two managers we’ve brought in with his kind of pedigree have won domestic trebles in their first season … Rodgers did it unbeaten.
If it’s Howe who comes in and you play with bet365, the expectations will be sky-high. Success at Celtic Park is winning things, winning titles above all else. Everything else is failure. Remember, Ronny Deila lasted two seasons and he won the title in both.
Even being a title winning boss didn’t save him, and it didn’t save Lennon even though for many he was a club icon.
Things are even more heightened because next season’s title winners go straight into the Champions League Groups, where the pot of gold is set to be the biggest it ever was.
We’ve given the other lot a chance at snatching the brass ring for next season; we can’t just hand them a shot at it on a plate. The club will have hammered that message across over and over again.
One of the reasons that Anthony was particularly animated is that he believes the Ibrox team isn’t that great. My answer to that is that this season they’ve been as good as they had to be, but I’m no more convinced than he is that it means all that much in an environment like this one and under the weird circumstances of this campaign.
All across European football, teams who’ve sat atop their leagues for years have crumbled.
Sides who were thought to be shoe-ins have struggled. As we all emerge from the global health crisis things will begin to right themselves. The full effects of this crisis aren’t yet being felt by a lot of clubs; that is in the post over there, and overdue.
I believe we failed in more than just rising up to beat them.
We didn’t even put them under any pressure, as I said earlier today that’s critical and probably the biggest failing of this campaign.
We should have had them on their toes from day one.
Eddie Howe or whoever comes to this club is going to have to win us that trophy.
Yes, progress is important the manager is going to need to show that we’re moving in the right direction, but it’s the destination, not the journey, that matters … and he’s going to have to reach it quick.
From there on in, he can have all the time in the world.