Celtic really are having a tough time up in Scotland aren’t they? Their latest victory, a 4-0 drubbing of one of their top four ‘challengers’, saw them break a 50 year old record as they went 27 matches unbeaten.
It’s important to note also that Hearts, the team that they so easily brushed aside, sit in fourth place just the 33 points behind the leaders.
Never worry though, Aberdeen are in third place and trail by just 24 points, while the old enemy Rangers are their closest competitors in second. This gap is a mere 22 points, so there’s always hope that someone will knock them off their perch sometime soon.
The 47-time Scottish League champions have already mustered up an incredible 64 points from 22 games this season, compared to the 86 that they finished with after all 38 games in last year’s campaign. They look certain to break all sorts of records this year, so the question remains, are they really really really good or is everyone else just absolutely awful?
Brendan Rodgers has unquestionably improved the much-adored Glasgow side, and it shows as they won the league last year under different management by only 15 points. Now, this may seem like a huge amount in terms of winning a football league, but looking how this year has turned out, maybe it ain’t so tight after all.
The Bhoys have won 21 from 22 this season, with one draw and not a single loss. They have scored a remarkable 59 goals and conceded only 14, so it is no wonder some of their stars are attracting interest south of the border.
This applies most notably to former Fulham striker Moussa Dembele, who was an instant hit with fans after scoring goals for fun, and most significantly against bitter old rivals Rangers. More importantly, and rather amusingly I might add, he even replaced Leigh Griffiths as their number one forward. This name may not mean much to those who pay little attention to the beautiful game in the chilly lands of Scotland, but he banged in 40 goals in all competitions in the 2015/2016 season. That exquisite tally landed him numerous accolades, and he equalled the likes of club hero Henrik Larsson who managed a similar feat some years earlier, yet he has warmed the bench for most of this season so far. Extraordinary.
Premier League legend Craig Gordon was also strongly linked with a return to England, but the stern old Scots were having none of it. They turned down rather generous approaches from Moneyballs Abramovich for both players, a very bold move in anyone’s book. The complete and utter dismissal of Chelsea’s attempt for Gordon was especially alarming, considering former striker Chris Sutton’s remark that Celtic would win the league ‘without a goalkeeper’. A rash statement perhaps, but a very plausible one.
Just to take things one step further, Rodgers actually had the nerve to complain at a lack of January signings. It’s bad enough when the fans of a club are chanting for a sixth consecutive title, I mean, surely they want some sort of challenge? But it’s even worse when the halfway mark of the season has just passed and the gaffer is looking to bring in players to do a job in Champions League qualification. It’s in June for crying out loud!
My advice for Brendan is just sit back and relax, maybe miss a few games for a laugh, or even play the under 13s and see how they get on. After all, they do have a wonder kid in young Karamoko Dembele in their ranks, and so perhaps his Celtic Park debut isn’t too far away.