Celtic’s 16 Trophies Have Taken A Terrible Toll On Ibrox’s Delusions Of Grandeur.

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From 2012 until 2016, Ibrox fans told themselves a comforting, but ultimately self-defeating, lie.

They looked at Celtic’s trophy haul in that spell and convinced themselves that because we had seemingly underachieved that they would certainly supplant us from the moment their pitiful NewCo got itself into the top flight.

It’s true that our club seemed to have “underachieved” in the four years when they were climbing from their starting position in the bottom tier. But actually, the truth was a little different.

For openers, Ronny Deila would almost certainly have won a treble but for a dire refereeing decision. Their own club won a semi-final penalty shoot-out at Hampden to deny us another Scottish Cup, although Hibs hilariously stopped them in the final.

We could have won trebles in any one of those years. We should have. Ronny was dreadfully, dreadfully unlucky. Some might even say he was robbed, and I agree.

But they preferred to ignore that. They preferred to look only at what the records said on paper. And to an extent you can’t argue with that, because it’s what really matters after all. Still, it is and was a very misleading metric, but one which they clung to.

Then they got to the top flight. Having got to the Scottish Cup Final the previous year, they were sure that they had simply been unlucky but that it proved that they “were back.”

Ha! The four seasons that followed must have been shattering.

I can assure you of this though; the last two years have been worse.

We have won four trebles and a double in the past seven seasons, all with them in the league.

The “underachieving” club has been so successful it’s almost as if we baited a trap for them and sprung it the moment they were confirmed to be heading for the SPL.

Only the COVID year, that weird campaign without a single supporter, where everything was upside down, gave them hope.

But hope is all it was, the cruellest kind of hope there is, the hope that there was light at the end of the tunnel, that they were finally secure in the role they’ve always kidded themselves was theirs by right.

Once again, they underestimated us.

Four trophies out of the last five is the shock to the system that has finally tipped many of them over the edge. They believed, as King did, that they only needed to win one title and their club would be on top for a long spell. Instead it is starting to dawn on them that they are in the midst of the greatest domestic period of dominance in our history.

They have no excuses. They have no get-outs. They have no crumbs of comfort.

They told themselves that our titles whilst their side was climbing the leagues didn’t matter. They believed we should have won more domestic cups. How they would show us once they were able to deal with us from the same league.

They had no idea what was in store for them.

They have been in the league for every moment of triumph we’ve enjoyed. If we win the treble, as looks likely, that will be 17 out of the 21 trophies since they made it to the top flight. St Johnstone have won two of the remaining four.

They now know what underachievement looks like. Or that’s what they are calling it right now.

But in fact, the question that they more and more need to ask themselves is this; is it possible that the title season they did enjoy was the real fluke? And if that’s true – and I very much think it is – what does that mean for them and for their future?

That’s actually easy to work out. What it means for their future is that the trophies they win in the times to come might not be measured against what they believe they should be winning but against the rest of this league. In short, they might consider the occasional Scottish Cup or League Cup to be good times, examples of over-achievement instead.

These are our glory years, and they are as glorious as they have ever been.

For them, this is the darkness, and they are entitled to wonder if there will ever be a dawn.

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  • Benjamin says:

    One win away from 5 trebles in 7 seasons. And they’re about to rip up their squad and replace the serial losers with inferior players to what they already have. Their best player right now is a guy who left his last club on a free transfer because he couldn’t hack in the English Championship. That’s there. Their next signing hasn’t kicked a ball in months and has a crocked knee. They’ll be lucky to finish 2nd next season, and I’ll eat my hat if they qualify for Champions League group stage or make it out of Europa group stage despite being seeded in pot 1. Beale will be gone by the time they visit Parkhead for New Year’s.

  • Jimmy R says:

    I am 69 yrs old. In my life time Celtic have won 34 league titles, 24 (soon to be 25) Scottish cups and 21 League Cups, plus of course, The Big One in 1967. 80 major honours, with another one up for grabs, in 69 years is quite something. It’s not a bad time to be a Tim.

  • John Copeland says:

    When any clumpany breaks the rules , particularly at football ,then tries to make a seamless comeback as if nothing went wrong ,there will always be that nagging doubt at the back of its mind about corruption ! You can’t fool everybody , especially when another club in the same city does everything by the book and wins it’s competitions legally and lawfully ! The burden of expectation becomes too much to bear and the faults and scandals become irreparable…All of the above mentioned is self inflicted which makes it all 1000 times worse if you are a loyal follower ! As the saying goes ‘how sad,too bad !’

  • Robert Jenkins says:

    But, but, but what about the £100 million to be announced on Tuesday?

  • Garry Cowan says:

    Let th suffer they deserve every last bit of it

  • Martin.H says:

    Squibs, and they are hurting big style.

  • Martin.H says:

    James, you’ve got to put a like on your website. A lot of fans don’t like to post a reply.

    • Thomas M Daley says:

      Agree, a like or thumbs up is required.
      Would show support or lack of

  • Scouse bhoy says:

    In those 69 years rfc went bust and ceased to exist 140 years of history ended .

  • Bottle Green says:

    Alfredo Morelos was going to bring them in Dembelle dollars – upwards of £35m if I remember correctly and celebrated getting his signature for another four years (because no one wanted him). Now he is public enemy number one down Govan way and the rats are fleeing the ship and its going to get a whole lot worse.
    Karma never sleeps.

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