Celtic Watches With Interest As Hope For Change Descends Across The Scottish Game.

Image for Celtic Watches With Interest As Hope For Change Descends Across The Scottish Game.

Scottish football is in transition.

For the first time in a long time, some of clubs are now run by people who do not think it is good enough to meekly accept that 24 points are simply written off before a ball is kicked at the start of a campaign.

For too long, everyone at these clubs has kicked their campaigns off accepting that third place is what they are shooting for. The worst culprits, in my view, have been Aberdeen. They had second place for a couple of seasons after the Ibrox club got to the top flight. But ever since, they have allowed themselves to drift.

Their chairman has to get the next decision absolutely spot-on. So does the chairman at Hearts. Hibs will need to snap out of their Lee Johnson holding pattern; eventually, they too will require a better answer and somebody who can take them forward.

The talk out of Tynecastle is most encouraging.

They seem to get it. Their club has spent a lot of time talking big; now it has to act as if it is a serious player. A good managerial appointment will help, but it has to go further than that and find a way to back him.

European Group Stage football has to be a must for these teams.

It should be a requirement, not something that’s treated the way a draw at Celtic Park would be; as a happy chance, a bonus on top of otherwise indifferent league form. Regular participation in the groups is what will give these clubs a chance to develop and grow. The changes in the structure of the European game will afford more opportunities for that than ever before.

Celtic will be watching all of this with great interest. We need more than one challenger, and especially if that challenger is built on sand. We need to know that the rest of the game is more robust than it has been in a while.

I believe that these clubs have listened to the words our manager said about infusing the right mentality in the institution. He and Ronny Deila both took over unfancied teams which were outgunned by bigger and better resourced rivals and one of the first things they did at those clubs was convinced the people in them that they could be winners.

I think those words and that idea has gotten through. I think it has finally hit home. I believe that people inside those clubs were paying attention and have gotten the message. I think that it was Neilson’s view that “every club outside Glasgow would want to be where we are”, as much as the results themselves, which forced the hands of the Hearts board.

These clubs have to start with setting proper standards and proper demands on their managers. There should be minimum points requirements, and there should be a year three objective either to win a major trophy or to be considered regular finalists.

Celtic would welcome the chase. Otherwise our own club gets stale and complacent, fat and slovenly, even with the best will in the world.

I hope – and I’m sure that Celtic hopes – that we are seeing the start of something here and affecting more than just Tynecastle. Aberdeen, Hibs and others should be aiming high because it’s only then that you stand a chance of achieving things.

Share this article


  • Benjamin says:

    The good thing at the moment is that our Cup winner (or 3rd place finisher) is guaranteed group stage participation by virtue of entering qualifiers at the Europa league playoff round. That’s a tough ask for a club like Hearts or Aberdeen to compete in the Europa League, but the Conference League should be manageable. We saw Hearts actually win a couple group stage games this season, the only Scottish club to win group stage games. Having Aberdeen or Hearts (or ideally both) participating and winning games in that competition will help everyone in the long run.

  • Tenaka Khan says:

    Excellent article. Even if they don’t really get near us they should consider that it’s nearly always the case that a top 5 finish gets you a shot at European prize money – Hearts made £5m out of Europe last year.
    On the other hand, I detest Hearts and part of me would love to see us after the split playing the strongest 11 against Hearts and Sevco and the under 20s against Aberdeen, St Mirren and Hibs?

  • Johnny Green says:

    There will be little or no change to the present Celtic dominance. We are going to get stronger and leave the rest in our wake. There might be a battle for second place among the also rans and that is the best anyone can hope for.

  • Andrew Lamb says:

    Agree with you James, the reason Aberdeen and Dundee United overcame the “Old Firm ” in the 80s was all to do with the 2 managers and their winning mentality, both teams had some great players but both had some ordinary players that both managers made good players. I,ve been saying this for a while with the likes of Neilson Goodwin Martindale and the worst of them all Mcinnies happy to be 3rd or 4th best ,the standard of the league will not improve.

  • Roonsa says:

    I fucking hate Hearts. I hope they die the same as that scum fae Ibrox.

    There. I said it. Somebody had to.

Comments are closed.