Media figures already starting to backtrack with title predictions after big weekend for Celtic

By David Walton

August 9, 2021

It hasn’t taken long, but certain media figures have already been left backtracking with their title predictions.

We all knew what was coming after the 2-1 loss at Hearts. Especially after Rangers had easily seen off Livingston 3-0 earlier in the day. It was supposed to lead to a grim season of transition for Celtic as our rivals romped their way to two-in-a-row.

However, one week later and there are already a couple who aren’t as ready to commit to Rangers dominance as they once were.

Just as a 2-1 loss to Hearts shouldn’t have led to disaster terminology, neither should a 6-0 win over Dundee make us think this is any more than a step forward. It’s one win, and we can all see that. However, it was a big one, and the impact of it is being felt in the media already. Especially considering it coincided with Rangers losing 1-0 at Dundee United a day earlier.

Today, Kris Commons was in the Daily Mail bigging up Celtic after one week ago dismissing our title chances. Today, he said the following [Daily Mail, The Verdict supplement, page 3]:

“The fans have had to watch Rangers supporters celebrating joyously after winning the Premiership title. But the feel-good factor is now definitely back at Parkhead.

“If they can add a couple more new additions and maintain their progress until the first Old Firm match on August 29th, it will be night and day compared to where Celtic found themselves only recently.”

A bit of a difference to what he said last week then, is it not? He stated last week that this was the “worst Celtic team we’ve seen in well over 20 years” and that it “already looks like being a one-horse race again” [Daily Mail, print edition, 02/08, The Verdict supplement, page 12].

Then there’s BBC journalist Tom English who’s been vocal about how consistent our rivals have been over the last 12 months.

Before the season even began he was left talking up Rangers winning a domestic treble and making the UEFA Champions League. English talked up how stable the Rangers squad is and stated that they had “sparked a debate of their own – how many titles can they win on the bounce?” [BBC].

Too many media figures quick to dismiss Celtic early on

But after the weekend’s results, even he was refusing to commit to saying Rangers are favourites for the title. When asked on BBC Sportsound post-match yesterday on who the favourites are, he said the following:

“Do I still think Rangers are going to win the league? I don’t know. I’m not going to make any predictions.

“Look it’s hard to know. We know what Rangers are about. Yesterday was a bad day for them and a brilliant day for Dundee United. I would imagine they would rally from there but Celtic gave us a lot to think about today.”

It shows just how premature and naive it is to make predictions based on one set of fixtures. Some will argue that Celtic’s additions will have helped sway arguments over who could secure the league this season. But Celtic were always going to make more signings, and likely still will.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Too many were ignoring the positive signs under Postecoglou and reading too much into some results. Our losses to Midtjylland and Hearts didn’t mean we were going to have a dismal league campaign. Just as our win yesterday doesn’t mean it’ll be all rosy either.

But Celtic have shown they can play at a level that can win them the title. It’s about whether Ange can get the consistency levels out of them too. That remains to be seen.

However, calling it a one-horse race or talking about Rangers potentially racking up titles was so premature. It’s no wonder some are quickly looking to backtrack.

In other news, Italian Report: Roma considering Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard as low-cost option