Today we learned nothing we didn’t already know. We miss Carl Starfelt and our defensive backup options leave a lot to be desired.
A lot of people had a good wee moan about my transfer window piece the other day; still think I’m exaggerating the immediate need for the manager to get the players in that he wants? Still think we can piss about waiting?
The manager doesn’t want to wait, which was the point of the piece. He said after the game today that we’re close on a couple and he expects them this coming week. That’s more like it. You can tell that he wants business done, I’m not writing this stuff for the fun of it.
One of those players will almost certainly be a defensive midfielder. Another, for all we know, is a backup centre back.
For me they should have been signed weeks ago, but we’re fumbling about and the longer we do the more crap stories appear like the one in The Athletic about how our transfer spending is capped at £20 million. That article is begging to be dismantled; I’ll do it later but for now this is the kind of stupid story that’s only possible because we’ve dragged our feet a bit.
You know something though? I’m not going to focus any further attention on the defensive situation; we’ll still be more than good enough to deal with any threat in Scotland and that’s the bread and butter stuff, that’s what’s going to matter.
This team just has too much firepower to be held back by any team in this country, or any middle ranking team in Europe.
If this wasn’t a Champions League season I would feel very optimistic about progress on the continent after Christmas. The elite clubs present a different level of challenge, but for all that, I nurture a little hope in my heart because of how we play.
Such was the first half attacking display today that even some of our fiercest critics in the press are now drooling over the football we’re playing.
They can see that this is a more complete unit than the one that ended the last campaign … and that must trouble some of them quite a bit. One of the things that would otherwise haunt me is the question as to what kind of season we’d have had if we’d got our starters in sooner in the last campaign … it’s probably not something other people spend much time worrying about since we were champions.
But we’re going to get something of the answer in this one.
And I think it could be an answer which leaves our domestic competition shell-shocked. The intensity we play at … God help them. Some teams are going to be on the end of an absolute going over.
Three times last season we scored six. Once we scored seven.
That’s pretty astonishing. I think we’ll top that next season. I’ll bet we score six or more in at least five league matches. That’s something to put money on. I know I’ll be doing so.
The next fortnight sees us play a couple more games before the real serious business starts; I am in a place right now where I simply can’t wait for every match that comes along. Celtic Park was an odd place this afternoon because there was nothing at stake; in a fortnight’s time the house will be rocking and we’ll be back doing the real business again.
And you know what? Nobody in this neck of the woods is going to stop us.
Blackburn did try today. They put up a fight. More than that, I thought. They came for battle, and they behaved accordingly. That has to be one of the filthiest performances from a team playing a so called “friendly” I’ve watched in ages.
When was the last time you saw three yellows for one side in a “friendly”? And it could have, and it should have, been more of course. You get the impression that this is the sort of treatment we can expect from clubs in the coming campaign.
And that’s another reason that Ange’s approach to this pre-season has been borne out; he wanted these sorts of games, these sorts of aggressive opponents.
For all that, we were equally up for the fight, and that too is good to see.
Four games in, and you can tell that the core of this team is ready.
We’re in a far better place than we were this time last year, and the levels and the intensity are growing game by game. God help the teams in our gun-sights once the real thing starts.
How much do you know about our wins over Sevco? Do the quiz and find out!