Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker has given an insight into what it was like to play for the legendary Celtic centenary team of 1987-88 whilst appearing on the Sky Sports Scottish Football podcast.
Celtic ended a fairytale centenary season of 87-88 by winning the league and Scottish Cup double, which was to be the Hoops last league title win for 10 years.
Walker played a key role in the team, scoring plenty of goals in a partnership with Frank McAvennie. On the podcast, Walker was asked about how the team coped with the pressures of going top of the league. His answer gave an insight into what that famous Celtic side was all about.
“The level of competition was so good”
“We went top of the table, and we didn’t really lose it. Hearts and Rangers were our biggest challengers. It was two points for a win at that time of course, so you always felt that you had to be so consistent, the level of competition was so good” Walker said (30/09/2020, 9:00).
He then spoke about how players felt about going top of the league.
“I think players do look at the table, do like to see themselves top if you’re Celtic…it’s the mentality of seeing yourself at the top, knowing what’s required and staying there” he concluded.
The main difference between Celtic of then and now, aside from the two points, is that the level of competition isn’t as serious as it was.
Hoops in a two horse race most seasons
In 1987-88, Rangers, Hearts, Aberdeen and Dundee United were all in the title race at one time. Nowadays it is likely to only be a battle Celtic and Rangers for the title. Therefore, you probably have to be even more consistent now than Celtic did in the 80s.
Back then, if you got a point, it might not be the very worst result. Especially it was only two points for a win. Now though, any dropped points is seen as a catastrophe for Celtic.
Celtic have always been about winning games though, and that was the same in 1987-88 as it is now. Still, it was interesting to get an insight into such a legendary team.