Hugh Keevins penned one of his most ridiculous articles ever today.
Ever. No joke.
It is so utterly preposterous, so ignorant, so sycophantic towards Ibrox and so removed from reality that those who wonder why Celtic fans view him with such scorn have their answer spread across a few hundred words.
It is absolutely dreadful.
Keevins contends that the Ibrox club might win the title by an even greater margin, because he doesn’t see who will take points off them. Isn’t it odd that he made no such prediction when we won a treble without losing a single game?
It would have been an idiotic assertion if he had, for reasons which should be obvious.
Our form that season was absolutely exceptional.
Exceptional; unusual; not typical, deviating from the norm.
I know Keevins spends much of his time with his lips puckered up against the Ibrox posterior, but honestly, this article is so ignorant of stats, probability and even the conventions of accepted football wisdom that it’s a wonder he doesn’t want to crawl under the bed having given it a read-through.
This is not a prediction, it’s a speculation, the whimsical wittering’s of a complete idiot, taking no account whatsoever of any of dozens of external factors.
It is the journalistic equivalent of howling at the moon.
I’ve said already on this site that trying to base the coming campaign in any way on the results of the previous one is the height of folly.
But fools rush in where wise men fear to tread, and Keevins has always been more heedless of potential damage to his reputation than smarter people.
By now he has no reputation to protect, so this must seem like a no risk deal. But you can always look stupider, you can always prove yourself more worthy of contempt.
Even without making any bold predictions about how Celtic will do, the idea that we will somehow conspire to have an even worse season than last is manifestly ludicrous, as is the suggestion that the club at Ibrox might improve enough to open a bigger gap.
Last season saw a number of conditions across the game which will not be repeated this season.
Fans in the stadiums is one of them.
Clubs have a better idea of their budgets.
He cites the examples of Aberdeen and Hibs last season, but last season is behind us and both clubs have strengthened this summer without losing any key players.
That, on its own, invalidates any logical basis on which he can possibly make such an outrageous call.
We don’t yet know whether Ibrox’s squad will remains as it is by the time the campaign starts, but we do know that Celtic’s will be stronger.
I cannot repeat this enough times; the league table does not lie but it has been known to exaggerate and our club is nowhere near as weak as the last campaign suggests, even if we didn’t improve this squad with a single additional footballer.
We would still have a competitive team capable of going on a lengthy winning run.
Last season was a perfect storm of disaster, hitting us from all sides all the time.
Even a modest improvement in our coaching, in Lennon’s man management style, in defensive positioning, would have resulted in a markedly different outcome.
For most of the season we were “led” by a dead man walking.
For the rest the hapless Kennedy was in charge.
In case Keevins has missed it, neither man is at the helm right now.
One of the arguments he offers up is that such a large squad turnover never results in a title being won. It’s long been obvious that Keevins knows nothing about football; this is perfectly illustrated when you examine just one season; 2005-06.
Gordon Strachan oversaw a transition almost the equal of this.
No fewer than 10 first team squad members left over the course of the summer and winter windows during that campaign.
We brought in seven replacements.
We won the double.
Strachan’s season began with the Nightmare in Bratislava on 27 July, when we conceded five. Three days later we went to Motherwell and drew 4-4. I remember the almost hysterical coverage of people like Keevins at that time.
It didn’t turn out too badly.
I don’t believe for even a second that the Ibrox club will be able to sustain anything like the form that it showed last season.
Nor do I believe for even a second that we’ll be anywhere near as bad as we were.
The core of the Celtic team which lost last season’s title had also won every domestic honour they competed for in the four years prior to it.
Only a complete moron believes that such an enormous gulf is an accurate reflection of where the two teams stand in relation to one another. But then, this is Hugh Keevins and that description not only fits him but actually flatters him.
Someone, somewhere, thinks he has some skill as a journalist.
That person shouldn’t be allowed to make that call.