Celtic Go Out In Santa Style, But 2024/25 Needs Real Improvement

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It has been a long and difficult season for Celtic and returning manager Brendan Rodgers, but despite a quiet January window based on his own desire, and a very uncomfortable injury list to deal with as key fixtures cycled around, we dug in and finally got ourselves over the line to defend our position as reigning Scottish Premiership champions and add another trophy to our impressive cabinet room.

Topping the domestic league campaign off with a feisty, and lively, 3-2 victory over St Mirren on early Saturday afternoon, was probably a good way to go out given the ups and downs we experience in the 2023/24 campaign, as the game ebbed and flowed in exactly that inconsistent manner, until we finally won it at the death and our class better came through. UK bookmaker bet365 currently offer a good free bet deal for those who are going to bet on the upcoming games. Here are the offer details.

It meant Rodgers was in the position to not only take the win to cap the league season out on the right note, but it also meant he had the opportunity to give goalkeeper Joe Hart the perfect send off as he retires, with a standing ovation just prior to the final whistle being blown in the game.

The trophy celebrations on the pitch will take little, to no, explaining – it was a mix of relief, delight and pleasure at meeting expectations. Now it is the Scottish Cup Final to really top this year off, and then it is over to Rodgers and the Parkhead board to ensure that next season is not the rollercoaster this one unfortunately became.

Nobody can account for injuries to key players during a football calendar, they have happened since football began and are a historical problem that clubs need to deal with – but they are a growing problem in almost every European league in the more modern game, given increased (largely financial) pre season obligations and travel, domestic and European commitments, and not least for some of the top players, a further growing international calendar.

It is on Celtic to anticipate, and ameliorate those issues moving forward. That should be one big lesson from the season, because the challenges posed by the European and international calendar certainly show no signs of lessening a players load throughout a single season, as simply put there is too much money in it for FIFA and UEFA, and it seems quite obvious that club and player welfare does not even feature in their top 20 list of things that are important, because the top 10 are dominated by greed.

We simply have to deal better with that moving forward, and that does not change and should not leave our thoughts even as we celebrate another title (even with first team changes made), the bizarre and entertaining sight of ‘Santa’ presenting us with the trophy, and potentially another Cup win.

History will state that again, we ultimately we won the league with 93 points and an eight point advantage over second spot, and far more on the fellow challengers and rivals, but nobody inside or outside of the club could deny that we ran it too close.

We demand more, we expect more, and yes there was a lot that was out of our control, but that does not mean more should not be demanded when it comes to 2024/25 and the season that now lies ahead of us.

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