Yes, talk of planning for the long-term and setting five-year agendas is all well and good, but all that matters for Celtic in 2021/22 is winning the Scottish Premiership title.
We can all talk about where we want to be under the new manager in the long-term. Whether we expect Celtic to be competing regularly in the group stage of the Champions League within five years or not. Whether we’ll be building a squad capable of sustained dominance.
Sure, it’s nice to discuss and listen to. We all love talking about what the future holds, especially under a new manager. It’s one of the most exciting things about appointing a new man – the idea that we’re about to build something special.
But let’s not kid ourselves. Next season there’s only one thing that matters, and it’s winning the title. The new man could fail in Europe and even in both domestic cups, but if he wins that Premiership trophy back? He’ll be idolised by the Celtic support.
It would’ve been the same this season with Neil Lennon. Granted, that would’ve been heightened by the magnitude of a potential 10-in-a-row success. But the tensions have just risen ahead of next season after what we’ve just witnessed over the last week.
Rangers’ destruction of Glasgow makes Celtic goal in 2021/22 clear
Watching them rampage through the city centre and absolutely demolishing George Square was disgusting. Seeing their club fail to barely even acknowledge it until they were forced to was even more damning on them. Seeing Celtic’s own store in Argyle Street be vandalised and urinated on pretty much sums many of them up.
But we let it happen. This is all down to the fact we failed to secure the title this season. After all, did you really expect any different from the Rangers supporters? Not like they don’t have a history of “over-celebrating”, right? Just ask Manchester.
Regardless, it’s made next season’s title even more huge for us as a football club. The truth is we simply haven’t celebrated or rubbed Rangers’ noses in it enough. There were even some Celtic fans who will have pitied them during the seven, eight, and even nine years.
Even if it’s Eddie Howe who comes in – the goal remains the same. It doesn’t matter if he gets appointed and starts talking about where he sees the club in the next three to five years. Talk of bringing glory nights back to Parkhead and reaching the latter stages of European competition will mean nothing if we don’t win the title next season.
That’s our bread and butter. It’s the stepping stone that allows us to achieve greater things in the long-term. And, ultimately, it’s the golden ticket that allows you to claim total bragging rights domestically.
The Champions League qualifiers in July are massive. We’re not trying to diminish that fact. But it is the club’s main focus just now? When we’ve just lost our crown and see our rivals degrading us and happily causing damage to our city?
Tony Mowbray was great about talking about his long-term goals [Daily Record]. But trying to get fans to back the process when results are poor domestically simply won’t wash.
So let’s silence talk of a long-term strategy for the next five, 10, 15 years etc. The only thing that’ll make next season a success is winning the league title.