Celtic ruined the honeymoon period across the city; can now hammer home advantage

By John McGinley

March 3, 2023

Celtic winning the Scottish League Cup on Sunday was another major milestone of the Ange Postecoglou reign, prompting a week of celebration and reflection amongst our supporters.

First and foremost, the narrative coming out of the win over Rangers should be one of achievement on the Bhoys’ part. It’s not easy to maintain the relentlessness which has resulted in another trophy. That should be lauded in its own right, as we have done on the website and channel in recent days.

Yet, it’s hard not to notice all the uproar that’s coming from across the city as our rivals come to terms with how difficult a task Michael Beale has ahead of him.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Beale himself has emphasised the scale of what he needs to do over the coming months, into next season, with comments given to the media over the last 24 hours.

As quoted by The Herald, he said: “It is going to be a significant summer. There are no quick fixes so the word ‘patience’ comes out again, the word that nobody in this city likes.

“I think I’ve got quite a complex job here at Rangers as I’m going to need to change a squad with not huge finance. And everyone wants me to get it ready.”

I suspect he’s always been aware of that reality, but have their supporters? Judging by the reaction we’ve witnessed to their cup final defeat, I’m not sure they had been.

There was a definite honeymoon period for the latest Rangers manager in the wake of Giovanni van Bronkchorst’s exit. He was on an unbeaten strike, he’d signed a couple of players and his media manner was the complete opposite of the polite Dutchman. That honeymoon period is over, at Celtic’s doing.

Now it’s time for the Bhoys to hammer home the advantage we’re enjoying over the Ibrox club – starting this Sunday.

Maintaining our own domestic unbeaten streak which has existed since September, against the last Scottish team to beat us, would send another strong message that the Bhoys won’t be taking their eye off the ball or becoming complacent.

And on offer beyond the St Mirren test in Paisley is a tantalising double-header against Hearts that could perfectly set-up the final stages of the season. Beating the Tynecastle side twice would be another huge step towards our goals this season, especially as one of the fixtures is away from home in the Scottish Cup, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.

If Celtic are making some people feel pretty unhappy right now, there’s only the opportunity to ramp that up with continued excellence under Ange Postecoglou. That doesn’t come easy, but everything we’ve seen from this team so far this year suggests that they can handle having a target on their back.

Winning the league and banking another batch of Champions League cash only makes realities elsewhere harder to consider, keeping Celtic on an entertaining road of continual improvement.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou’s ruthless edge was on full display today; it’s far from a Celtic negative.