Celtic's slow-burn start to the season will soon get much more dramatic
With Scottish clubs caught up in the drama and stress of the UEFA qualifying process, Celtic’s start to the campaign has been a slow-burner in comparison – but that’s no bad thing.
Dundee United are the latest side to attempt to get through a difficult European tie, visiting AZ Alkmaar after an impressive 1-0 first leg victory at Tannadice.
It comes after Rangers managed to progress to the Champions League play-offs against PSV, with Hearts set to face FC Zurich in the Europa League version.
Celtic’s mid-weeks have been positively serene in comparison, allowing Ange Postecoglou and his coaching staff to effectively extend some of their pre-season work.
There’s even been the opportunity to arrange bounce games at Lennoxtown, with some of the squad not even getting the opportunity to play minutes.
But it won’t always be this way, and the ramp-up will be sharp and fierce. Celtic visit Kilmarnock on Sunday, Hearts at home the following weekend and then it’ll be a trip to United on August 28th.
From that point on, the Bhoys will play mid-week and weekend football all the way to the start of the World Cup break in November – three intense months that will include a derby match, six Champions League encounters and the League Cup, alongside the Premiership routine.
It’s crucial that Celtic value this time and use it wisely. While it may not be the most electrifying period for us Celtic fans, it promises to merely be the calm before the storm.
Even before that match at Tannadice, we’ll know our Champions League opponents, and the entire feeling around the club will be different. It’s obviously positive right now, but the fire is not yet lit on what this season could become.
You get the sense that Celtic are quietly building towards something. Postecoglou comes across as a man fully in control in interviews, laying out the season’s demands and communicating honestly with fans.
On the pitch, performances have excited supporters, and we’ve been made to earn the points against both Aberdeen and Ross County.
It’s all primed to kick into a new gear, and supporters are ready to go on another wild journey with this Celtic manager and these Celtic players.