Derek McInnes comes off the fence to write off Celtic title chances; we'll see

By John McGinley

September 5, 2021

Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has written off Celtic chances of a league title this season, in a prediction that has the potential to backfire.

For me, it’s still far too early to determine who is going to land the Scottish Premiership this season after a cagey start to the campaign and a close-fought derby match last weekend.

McInnes, who won a single League Cup trophy in eight years at Aberdeen, reckons he’s seen enough to make a determination.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Speaking to The Scottish Mail on Sunday [05/09 print edition, page 149], McInnes said: “Back in July, I declined from making a concrete prediction for the title. Now, though, it’s time to get off the fence.

“If Rangers retain their hunger, they are the team to beat. They are more settled and have the squad to cope better.

“I have been hugely impressed by the work Postecoglou has done in a short time. He has imposed himself and deserves credit for getting the team to its current level. But Celtic still need to prove to themselves that they can go and win a game that is not going their way — a challenge they have faced at Tynecastle, Ibrox and even AZ Alkmaar away.

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“It will be close but, for my money, it’s Rangers who will win the league.”

No doubt McInnes’ view is one shared by many pundits and journalists in Scotland. But Postecoglou will likely thrive on being written off.

In fact, he’s spoken about that before and how he is perfectly happy having people expect the least from him and his teams. He said as much prior to the World Cup in 2014 to the Sydney Morning Herald.

So I doubt McInnes’ comments will be hitting home.

Photo by BO AMSTRUP/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

At the same time, it could be a useful exercise to keep note of all these early predictions for when the silverware is dished out.

Celtic are guaranteed nothing this season, but I think we’ll surprise people by how competitive we’ll be.

In other news, Supporters are about to see the real Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic.