There are lies, damned lies and statistics. Can a statistic be a lie?
Sometimes yes, but here’s one that isn’t and it doesn’t speak well to what’s to come for Celtic’s rivals in the next campaign.
It’s this; none of our players managed more than ten goals in the league.
It’s there in black and white.
Our top league scorers have ten goals each; Giakoumakis, Abada and Kyogo.
We’ve won this title on a good spread of goals throughout the team and having the best defence in the country.
None of our forwards has had what you might call a brilliant season on their own, in terms of league duty … yet all have been brilliant.
Next season, they will all almost certainly score more league goals than that. Maeda has six; you better believe that he’ll be comfortably in double digits himself. Injuries and other issues have kept these guys from scoring more, but it hasn’t been enough to stop us. When these boys are fully settled, fully fit and find their form … who’s going to stop us?
The spread of goals, and how we’ve kept this thing ticking along nicely, can be demonstrated by looking at how many goals we’ve scored in the league; 85 of them at the time of writing. Yet no one player has more than ten! Can you imagine how many we’ll score next season, with the same distribution but our forward players on even greater form?
It helps, of course, that we’ve only conceded 21 goals … and we had lost 12 of them before January, which makes our back end form all the more impressive looking. (And of those 12, we shipped four before September ended, which is a tribute to our defence.)
As this team grows you’re going to see the form and the numbers just keep getting better; that’s what you expect from a second campaign, once players have bedded in and got used to the system. If that pattern is reflected in our players next season then – dare I say this? – another invincible campaign is not completely out of the question.
We’ve not lost a game in the league since 19 September; it was our third defeat in the first six games. Once this team got the wind in its sails it didn’t even look like losing another match for many, many, many months. If we’d had a finisher on clinical form – or even one who was fully fit – would we have dropped points in some of the draws we did?
The prospect of this team, and particularly its forward line, being in even greater form next season is one that should terrify every other club in the league. And I for one cannot wait to see how we will line up when the new campaign begins.