50 goals for Kyogo. Four trophies for Ange as boss. Two titles in a row for this Celtic side.
Ibrox is next, and a possible points record.
Beyond that we’re gunning for a treble. What a season this has been.
What a great past two seasons with the big guy in charge and the little guy leading the line.
There are no signs of us slacking off either.
That was not a vintage performance. It was not a brilliant game of football. Naismith said before it that he was not motivated by the idea of stopping Celtic’s title party. I actually believe him. He realises, more than Neilson would have, that you have to want the win for what it means to you, not for what it denies somebody else.
And today his team gave us a better game than Neilson’s did since the opening domestic game of Ange’s tenure. There is something poetic about it; we’ve really come full circle now. To have gone to Tynecastle when Ange was still getting his feet under the table was just bad luck. People forget how late in the game we conceded the second goal. No matter.
At that point a lot of us were still in “wait and see” mode.
The boss spoke well and he clearly had very good ideas about how to move the team forward.
In those first six games we had three home wins and three away defeats. Then we dropped points against Utd at home in match number seven; I remember coming out of Parkhead that day feeling immense frustration.
The side wasn’t quite “complete.”
Still, there had been signs that we were starting to motor. Just days before we’d been in Spain where we scored three against Real Betis and still lost … there were issues to fix and stuff to sort out but it was a Celtic team you knew was getting there.
The last day of the window saw us sign Carter Vickers – fixing those defensive issues – Giakoumakis and Jota. They were massive deals, securing players in three critical positions and from that moment on it was as if we found a new gear.
By November, we had the first trophy under Ange won. When the break came we were still behind in the table, but our January spending was quite brilliant. Those signings got us over the line. Once we went top, whipping the Ibrox club 3-0 at home, we were never going to relinquish the spot. Winning the double in Ange’s first season was remarkable.
For this club of ours, the best is yet to come though. The treble awaits us in a few weeks, and the chance for this squad to enter the ranks of the immortals. It is all in front of this group now, including Champions League Group Stage football next season … and players growing into their roles more and more. It’s going to be amazing.
It was fitting that Kyogo got the crucial opener today; he has had one Hell of a season. 50 goals since he signed tells you how good he is, and I don’t even think we’ve seen the best of him yet.
That could be said of a lot of these players, and especially the new guys like Iwata and Oh … we’re going to see them a lot in the next 12 months and their growth will be worth waiting for.
From Tynecastle then to Tynecastle now. The circle is complete. We have come such a long, long way and as the manager said on Friday he still thinks there is more, that there is better, to come from this team. That is incredible and exciting.
For today it’s all about the celebrations. We are the champions. Again.
16 trophies from 20 in the last seven campaigns and another one to secure before this one is done.
That is incredible, and as I’ll explore in more detail earlier it is all the sweeter when you take one other fact into consideration.
We’re living in great times friends. Enjoy your day.