Had someone told us all on Wednesday night after St Mirren that we would go into this tricky away tie against a team battling for every point with even more first team footballers out of the side – including all three keepers, Callum McGregor and Tony Ralston – and that, furthermore, we would lose Kyogo to yet another hamstring pull, despair would have filled the support.
Yet that was an excellent display where our Israeli bhoys came good in a big way.
It won us three points and for most of the game we looked quite comfortable.
The 3-1 win didn’t flatter us; Abada was unlucky not to get a hat-trick and debutant Joey Dawson, coming on for the unfortunate Japanese striker, almost had a dream debut but his shot was cleared off the line.
That is how to triumph in adversity, and as disappointed as we all were not to win in midweek you look back over the swathe of matches we played in October, November and December and you see a team that has transitioned into a real title contending machine, and we already have the first domestic trophy locked up in the cabinet.
Certainly, the break has come at the right time. Injury ravaged and now having taken the virus hit that this website has been predicting for weeks, we’ve secured the points here and now we can relax for the next wee while and let players get their fitness back.
Our rivals know that the decision taken by the SPFL might prove to be crucial for all involved; it’s why they vehemently opposed it. It doesn’t matter to them that it was the right decision, that the clubs mostly all agree on that, they smell conspiracy in the air. There is no doubt that it is an enormously fortuitous development as far as Celtic is concerned.
And you know what? I love that it is.
I love that it has them flapping, that they are furious about, that their players know that an opportunity has been snatched away from them. This team of ours can now recharge, refresh and even get stronger as new signings come in … and at the end of the season, when there are green and white ribbons on the three trophies again our rivals can kid themselves on that we only did it through wangling this early shut-down.
But it will really be because Ange has turned this squad into something real. There is a text going around today showing that we were missing eighteen first team players from that game today.
And people in the media are talking about our rivals requesting a postponement to the game in February cause a handful might be on international duty; Ange, in the meantime, disdains talk of anything like it, says we’ll get on with it and then puts out that team today which was able to win the match with room to spare.
And we’re the ones running scared?
What in God’s name do we have to be scared about?
We’re the best football team in this country at the moment.
With this squad about to get even stronger, the question doesn’t seem, any longer, to be about “if” Ange will be a title winning Celtic boss but when. My money is still on him doing the lap of honour at the end of this campaign.
If that makeshift side can put in a performance like that today, we’re definitely well on the road to it.