One of the things which annoyed me last season was that ridiculous, slanted fixture list. I said at the time that it would be very interesting to see if the club from Ibrox got the reverse set of fixtures this year.
Broadly speaking, they actually did.
They will have to visit Celtic Park, Easter Road, Tynecastle and Aberdeen in the first round of fixtures, which is exactly what you would expect since we did the same last year. Of course, when we did it these were legitimately expected to be the top six teams.
But of course, Hibs and Aberdeen both finished outside of that bracket.
Still, we all probably expect normal service to resume this season and so on paper that’s a terrible fixture list for them, especially as they’ll have to do it all over again come the sprint towards the split. That’s not going to be easy in the slightest, and especially when they have critical Champions League qualifiers coming up during their early run.
So ends theory. Let’s get down to brass tacks though.
In our first seven games last season we dropped points in four, losing three. We have a much easier start to the campaign here, and thus I expect us to hit the ground running. We will head towards the shut-down in the midst of a hard run of games … but I have to be honest. I’d have complained had they given us a fixture list similar to last year.
But I wouldn’t have been in the least bit concerned about it.
Because we navigated it spectacularly well once we got our feet under us and started to play. Once Ange had his players we started putting teams away and we didn’t look back.
In the interests of fairness I’m glad to see the fixture list looking as it does, but honestly I don’t think that even a more slanted one than last season’s would have made a blind bit of difference to this campaign.
Ange’s team will be stronger than ever, fitter than ever and better than ever … as the man says, “We don’t stop.”
Not after we’ve started.
And that was the problem last season; we didn’t get started early enough, not on any of it, not the transfer business, not the pre-season planning … this season, with the wind at our back and the sails out full, I expect us to start like an sports car and not look back.
The season just past was outstanding … but how well do you know it? Take the quiz, go up against your mates, and see who gets the highest score on Celtic’s 2021-22 campaign.