The Phoney War…
All quiet on the western front as we prepare for our next step towards a treble. It’s strange to think that they were such a rarity prior to the arrival of Brendan Rodgersyet here we are,sitting with a good chance of a third successive one.
However,there are seven games to negotiate to achieve that,and the manager and the players need to remain focused on the job in hand. To treat the next game as the most important,even if we need to think about what is round the corner in terms of bringing players back to fitness. While we can just about afford the odd slip-up in the league,we certainly cannot have any in the cup.
I think perhaps our poorest cup performance when I was growing up was in that dreadful season of 77-78 when we could only draw at home against Kilmarnock before going out in the replay. Killie weren’t even in the Premier League at the time,Davie Provan ran riot and Roy Aitken was sent off,if I remember correctly. It summed up our season that year,our Annus Horribilis.
Since then,of course,the shock results have hit us much more frequently,so I won’t bother dredging through the bad memories,nor the accompanying headlines. It’s Aberdeen next for us,our nearest challengers for quite a while there. Their manager,lovely man that he is,has already started spouting off,stating that it will be a failure for us not to achieve a Treble this year.
We should listen to him,of course. He speaks from experience,the experience of perennial failure-bar one League Cup-and of the more crushing current failure of sitting in fourth place in the league. For someone so clearly in love with himself,he can’t have any mirrors in his house,that’s for sure.
From where I’m sitting,if we don’t win the treble this season it will be a bitter disappointment but to label it a failure given the problems with injuries and management upheavals is over the top. I always said that Fergie’s greatest achievement was in winning his last title with a team on its last legs,one which needed rebuilt with urgency. Man Utd failed to do that,and they have paid a hefty price in the interim.
Our team too needs to be rebuilt,and if we achieve this treble it may well be best of the three. So it was disturbing to hear John Kennedy speaking yesterday of our great future with our current squad and the younger players ready to come in. John has been doing a lot more press in the last few weeks than he had ever done before,and I have to say that doesn’t sit comfortably with me. I doubt he speaks entirely off the cuff at such press briefings so it may be that we are being primed for a disappointing transfer window once again.
Our board need to pay attention to how footballing success works. It is rarely if ever achieved by resting on your laurels,as Man Utd did so disastrously in 2013. It usually comes from building on your success,and from recognising where improvements have to be made. Celtic boards over the years have a poor record in this regard,and I fear we may be in for more of the same.
So no,I won’t regard not winning the treble this year as a failure,but I’ll recognise our achievement if we succeed. But my concern is that a lack of quality investment in the team is inviting failure in through the front door. And we’ve all seen that movie before.
That Kilmarnock game I mentioned? The season after we won The Double? John Dowie was playing in it.
Above article by BMCUWP. This site welcomes articles from one and all. To have yours in lights,mail it to Mahe