Where are we right now?
In terms of where the manager wants us to be, I mean.
Are we at the place he wanted us at this point? Are we ahead of the game? Is the manager happy? It’s hard to believe that he’s not but it’s actually a more complicated question than that.
This guy sees this team as an evolving thing. He said when he took the job that the team never peaks in the first year, that it takes longer than that for him to get the team he wants just the way he wants it. So although we’ve seen signs of where we’re going it is highly doubtful that we’re there yet or that the manager thinks we’re there yet.
Think about what that means for a minute.
How are clubs – how are any clubs in Scotland – going to cope with us when this team has evolved to a place where Ange thinks we’re ready? The performance at the weekend was incredible. The football we played was devastating. If this team still has a way to go, then every other club in the game here is in a lot of trouble.
This is particularly true of the club across the city, who must already be anticipating – with no satisfaction or positivity at all – the game which is hurtling down the tracks at them this weekend, and the league game which seems certain the following one.
We swatted them aside at Celtic Park. We were in control after scoring the equaliser at Ibrox. Tavernier can kid himself on that they were the better team but nobody really buys that. We beat them without playing at our best. If we show up at Hampden on the form we ended the game against St Johnstone they won’t live with us.
It’s already extraordinary what this manager has achieved, and the team is turning in the sort of performances which would have been unthinkable even a year ago. The move for the sixth goal was absolutely spellbinding and it’s one example of the sort of confidence that is filling this side at the moment and has inspired the same in the fans.
Ange has talked about the team “peaking” but that’s only in the context of the overall season. He’s not talking about progressing to the point where he will consider us at the level he believes we can reach. Even Dermot Desmond talked about not judging the manager properly until after transfer window four … who knows where we’ll be then?
Too good for the rest of this league, that’s almost certain.
And that portends very dark times for those who think they represent a threat to us. Our rivals have proven to be good at self deception, but a free-flowing Celtic team playing exactly the way Ange wants us to, with even greater strength in depth than we have now … that will challenge even their famed ability to fool themselves when their own feel-good hype.