We all know that the chaotic year we’ve just had will elevate some people’s chances who may not deserve it. A fresh start is exactly what it says, and a new manager coming in has given some players a shot in the arm.
Other sites have pointed out how slim and fit Ajeti looks for a start; he is unlikely to be the only player who benefits from the new regime.
When a team has a sudden collapse in form, it is easy to forget just how good they actually are. I
t’s also easy to forget that last year was an absolutely insane one right across football. We aren’t the other defending champion who completely lost the plot last season.
In England, Liverpool fell. In Italy it was Juventus. PSG gave it up in France. Dynasties fell across European football and beyond. The thing is, many of these teams are better than they showed.
When you look at the league table from last year it gives you the fear.
The league table doesn’t lie; that’s the ancient wisdom.
But it exaggerates. We fell to pieces. It was as if the team ran out of gas early and belief went with it. The lack of support from the stands made a bad situation worse, and serious mistakes were made all down the line.
But we have better players than that league table showed.
Some of what we were forced to witness as this team went down was frankly disgraceful. The number of goals we lost from set plays and dead balls was absolutely inexcusable.
That was down to bad coaching. The number of players who visibly went backwards, along with those who seemed lost at sea, was staggering … two EPL defenders came in and other was from Serie A … none were impressive.
There was clearly some toxic element to last season which a fresh start blows out of the building. New coaching, new management, new players … these are the things that will refresh this whole club and put us on a new footing, and in a better place.
Last month, I asked a question; could Celtic challenge for the title with the present squad minus those who are likely to leave? And the answer is that I believe our team is good enough, on a game by game basis, to beat any side in the league if we perform to our best.
But we need a deeper bench and the addition of a little more quality, and especially in those key areas of the pitch where we’re struggling for bodies or not possessed of sufficient quality.
Yet I still believe that the core of our next title winning team is contained within the present group of players, a group which is much better than last season would suggest.