Sevco’s first pre-season game was called off at half time tonight with them 1-0 down and all over the place against Sunderland. A floodlight failure was the cause of the cancellation, and although the lights looked as if they were coming up the match was cut short.
A club overcome by darkness. Why does that sound like it might be a fitting metaphor? The press may be delighted that they are finally signing players, but their club is still not in a great position at the moment. They still face a major battle with us in the coming campaign, and I reckon that in spite of beefing up their forward options they are outgunned.
Callum McGregor spoke about this over the weekend; how our club is focussed on itself. How we’re not looking at what they are doing or interested in what they are doing. As with last season, this is all going to be about us and our position is immeasurably stronger.
We finished last season as the form team. We won the title after a standing start. We lost three of our first six games. After losing the third we didn’t lose again in the league. Everyone knows that we were a mess when the campaign kicked off. Once we got our feet under us we never looked back. I expect us to win this one with room to spare.
They can kid themselves on that we were lucky. That it was a confluence of events including the early calling of the winter shutdown which got us to the title. But it wasn’t. It was Ange’s quality in the dugout and the excellence of the team he put out on the park.
Their fans do still believe that this is a bad Celtic side. They are setting themselves up for one Hell of a rough landing in the coming campaign. This is already a very strong Celtic team. When the manager gets the two or three signings he wants it will be even stronger.
In their 45 minutes tonight, before the lights went out, they didn’t even manage a shot on or off target. And yes, it’s pre-season and they are just getting started, but we are just getting started and we scored three times tonight against a decent side.
I am not basing anything on the two performances anyway. I am basing it on the overall state of the two clubs. They are getting excited over spending £4 million of the £6 million they got for one of their best footballers … that’s a measure of the gap between our two clubs. We’ve spent £17 million to maintain the current strength of the team.
That’s not a club acting from weakness but great strength. This is Celtic flexing its muscle and showing what our club can do when the will is there. Tonight their fans are trying to get excited over their deals, but real doubts remain over there … doubts which will not be set aside by the media hype machine, no matter how loud it gets.
A club descending into darkness. It seems sort of apt. It’s the darkness of a long spell of coming dominance by Celtic.