Pundits like Boyd used to laugh at "dire" Celtic away form; a penny for their thoughts now
At the start of the season, there was a lot of sneering about Celtic’s away form, with pundits like Kris Boyd and Kris Commons labelling it “dire”.
Back when the Ange Postecoglou rodeo was getting into full swing at Celtic, he had a terrible record to overturn. The Bhoys hadn’t won away since February when the Greek-Aussie boss pitched up at Parkhead. The barely-disguised taunts were everywhere; Kris Boyd wrote in September [Sun]: “I’m certain the league will be decided by what happens on the road, not on home turf.
“And that is where Celtic will have to raise their game. Going seven months without a single domestic victory away from Parkhead is unheard of.
Meanwhile, former Bhoys favourite Kris Commons wrote in the Daily Mail: “Celtic’s fixture list over the next few weeks is a major concern. In the next month, they face tough away trips to Aberdeen, Motherwell and Hibs.
“Given that they haven’t won away in the league since February, the likes of Pittodrie, Fir Park and Easter Road aren’t venues you’d choose when you’re looking for a nice confidence boost.”
In the same column, he suggested Celtic could be out of the title race by Hallowe’en. Now, after Celtic’s huge win over Livingston? The Hoops have the most wins of any Premiership side on their travels [SPFL]. Celtic have amassed 35 points away from Paradise; Rangers just 30.
Scorching hot takes from Boyd, Commons et al have been made to look even more daft by rampant Celtic away form
Apologies if you’re named Kris, because it seems you’re never too far from making a wild Celtic take.
In fairness, football is a wildly reactionary business. You’re reading the words of someone who thought Joe Hart was a major gamble for Celtic. People are proved wrong, especially idiots like me.
Still, it just goes to show two things: how reactionary the commentariat were when Celtic started their campaign under Ange Postecoglou, and how things have changed. Right enough, we hadn’t won away for an age. It was embarrassing; something you just can’t have as a team with title aspirations.
It’s funny, also, the series of games Commons listed in his article. Celtic won at each venue, and with some style. It’s not been all plain sailing, with draws at Easter Road and in Paisley, where St Mirren held us to a goalless draw. But in the main, it’s been great for Celtic away this season.
That, of course, has been vital to closing the gap on Rangers, and even overturning it. It’s especially important, too, given the away trips that likely face us after the split. Even before then, there’s a trip to Ibrox to negotiate.
Ange and the Bhoys will rightly be full of confidence, though. And after being rinsed by the pundits, whatever happens at the end of the season, Ange can have a wry smile if he reads any of these comments back.