This morning, I watched Ange’s short interview with Sky Sports where he laid out the requirements for the season ahead.
The team will have be told this already, and Ange has gotten the point across many times before.
For all that, what he said is terrifying in its implications for our rivals and a warning to the hacks who have suggested that a combination of factors will make this season trickier for us than the last one.
“The challenge is to improve,” he said about a team that had a 30 plus game unbeaten run in the league.
To get better, then. To be even more clinical and ruthless and committed. What dreadful news that is for those who have attempted to ignore this man’s career history, wherein his teams get better as time goes on.
Some of the hacks have convinced themselves that we’re facing some sort of “second season syndrome”.
Keith Jackson wrote of it as if we’d simply surprised teams last year by being basically competent. It’s as if they all went out expecting us to be awful, to be weak, to simply crumble when put under pressure.
I know some folk did … but they were mostly in the newsrooms. For those who understand football better, it was obvious that we were a dangerous team which is why so many managers played against us with all their players behind the ball. Those who tried to be more adventurous were more often than not ripped to shreds.
Ange could not make the warning clearer. Everyone at Celtic is more focussed than ever, and utterly determined to make this an even better season than the last one. We have a summer to prepare, which we didn’t get before.
We have a settled squad, without loans, with most of the players committed to the club and with a handful of others knowing their fates already. Those guys will have to play for their futures, but those futures won’t be at Parkhead.
This team will be ready. This team will be even better than it was.
This team is going to roll over all opposition like a tank this season.
Ange sounds relaxed and confident, but determined.
This is not a man who is going to fall prey to complacency.
When he says that the aim is to improve he means it … and that’s bad news for the rest of the league and especially the side across the city.
How much do you know about our wins over Sevco? Do the quiz and find out!