The Celtic season narrative that needs put to rest immediately

By Euan Davidson

December 7, 2021

There will be doomsayers and critics who will point out something of a Celtic anachronism this season. At this point in 21-22 the Bhoys are two points worse off than at this stage last season under Neil Lennon [Sun].

You might be surprised by that. In fairness, the feel-good factor around the club has improved to no end from this time last year. For one thing, fans are back at games. That makes a huge difference.

What’s more the storylines in Scottish football are relentless, and it feels like there’s positive momentum at Celtic Park.

Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

Fine, yes; Celtic are indeed 2 points worse off than December 2020. But to reduce the Scottish Premiership at large, and the reign of Ange Postecoglou to that is reductive in the extreme.

Primarily because we’re still very much in a title race and within distance of our first trophy this season. Considering the salvage job Postecoglou had to do, it’s remarkable. It’s no wonder why fans are feeling positive about this manager and this season.

Consider the talent Celtic sold on this summer. Odsonne Edouard went for an initial fee of £14m [Sky Sports]. Kristoffer Ajer went to Brentford for £13.5m [Standard]. Elyounoussi returned to Southampton, Ryan Christie went for buttons to Bournemouth, while a player called Jonjoe Kenny also returned to his loan club, having apparently played for Celtic.

There was a hell of a lot of work to do. Celtic supporters could’ve realistically expected a year of transition while the club figures itself out again.

Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues

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Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues
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Celtic supporters are embracing this season with justified optimism

Celtic brought 12 players into their ranks in the summer. That almost all of them have become important players speaks volumes. Postecoglou has brought in characters he knew would fit in right away, while radically improving the product on the pitch.

Compare that to last year. Even though we had tens of millions’ worth of talent on the pitch, everything was slow and achingly predictable on the ball. Off it, we looked, well… off it. The defending at times was calamitous. If it was any other club you’d have been laughing.

The sea change at Paradise has been incredible. To the point where comparison to last year, although natural, seems sort of redundant. Celtic aren’t “worse” by anyone’s realistic standards. There was a rocky start to the league campaign but that was absolutely to be expected.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Discussions like these are missing the point. There’s been so much drama and intrigue in the Scottish top-flight this season. From manager departures to shock results, transfer coups to stylistic changes. Hilarious moments, frustrating moments, confusing moments.

Yes, stats are important. Especially the numbers in the win column, and the points on the table. That’s inarguable.

But it doesn’t tell the whole story. Or anything like it. Regardless of how things were last season, there’s hope in the hearts of Celtic supporters. By January, we could already have lifted silverware, with a manager who’s won over the Celtic supporters emphatically. To do it, he’ll have players who are exciting crowds, and have bought quickly into the Celtic Way.

Don’t miss what’s happening by dwelling on last season. If you do, you’re missing the point entirely.

Read more: Celtic receive broadcast boost on heels of SWPL Cup triumph