Celtic unity blew away the opposition last season; now they're about to get even stronger

By David Walton

June 9, 2022

12 months ago, Celtic were a club in total disconnect.

Ange Postecoglou was set to be appointed, but trust in the board and many of the players were at an all-time low. The cracks at the club were clear to see with so many personnel changes needing to be made from the ground up.

Rangers fans had predicted that the end of 10-in-a-row was going to rip us apart. And make no mistake, there were times when it looked as though that was the case in the immediate aftermath.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

This wasn’t helped by the lack of commitment many of our first-team players had in remaining for the long-term. Kristoffer Ajer, Odsonne Edouard, and Ryan Christie were 3 of our most crucial players heading into last summer. All 3 would depart and blow a hole right through our squad. Our captain left too whilst talents such as Olivier Ntcham and Leigh Griffiths were moved on.

When Ange proceeded to make as many as 11 first-team signings last year, it of course brought some optimism. However, the general consensus was that we were nowhere near the finished article and that it would still take some time to compete with Rangers.

Even when Celtic were 6 points behind, there was general satisfaction at the progress we were making. That shows the level of expectation that was there. Performances were getting better whilst there was a zip to our attacking play. Ange’s system was clear for all to see, and it was evident many of these new signings were good enough to make an impact.

Yet, suddenly, we just kept winning and winning. Along came 4 new first-team arrivals in January who slotted in with next to no real issues. Celtic had a host of talent in their squad, with Ange rotating even during big games. Yet there were no complaints. No public falling-outs or moans from the players about their role in the squad or the games they missed.

No signs of discontent at Celtic in 2021/22

There were no stories of training ground incidents or players pushing for potential summer moves. All of a sudden, Celtic were a club full of uncertainty transformed into a stable unit. It was that stability and unity that led to us blowing the opposition away and securing the title. It’s exactly why Ange was able to constantly rotate and still pick up positive results. Everyone knew their role and what the end goal was here.

Even the players who were scheduled for departures such as Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton. Compare their performances this season to the likes of Edouard and Christie last term. Despite the fact they knew they were heading off, they still remained committed to the cause and gave 100%.

And the exciting part about all of this? We’re just at the beginning. For so long of the Ange reign it seemed as if the title was the end goal because of how big the journey looked to get to it. However, he had it secured within a year of taking the job and is now targeting evolution in the UCL.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic are going to get even stronger this summer because the unity that exists within the club is still there. There doesn’t appear to be any of our first-team regulars looking for moves this summer. Whenever players have been asked by the media about what’s next for them, they’ve continued to talk up their commitment to Celtic.

That gives the Hoops a real platform to kick on under Ange now. No longer are we worried about losing 4 or 5 of our best talents over the summer window. Celtic are in total control of who goes where whilst everyone in the squad is simply excited about the new season.

This is, by some considerable distance, the strongest position we’ve found ourselves in heading into a summer window for a long time. We’ve already been linked with a host of names throughout the transfer window, with Ange now able to strengthen certain areas without worrying about big-name departures.

The unity that was formed throughout last year only grew as the campaign wore on and is now also being felt in the summer. It’ll be fascinating to see what this squad looks like come August 31st. One thing’s for sure – it’ll be even more powerful than it currently is.

In other news, Matt O’Riley’s class Danish media comments on how much he’s loving it at Celtic