How we did it – Part 1
We believe in doing things right over here and as such will be focusing on the team and their achievements before delving into the managerial appointment ,, if only others had been so considerate.
It was a good season in my humble opinion with our title credentials tested and the squad stretched to the max over the entire course.
Like any season however there are key points that lead to the ultimate finishing positions for each team .
Today and tomorrow we will look at the decisions that won the title , why exactly we are Champions!
We conceded only 20 goals in the league and have the meanest defence by quite a stretch . This is ultimately that is what won us the silverware .
All four of our senior defenders were heavily called upon and it might be argued all were essential cogs throughout the entire campaign.
Ajer 48 appearances total .
Jozo 30 total.
Boyata 38 total.
Benkovic 28 total.
Initially we started with Benkovic and Boyata who formed a very impressive unit that will be playing in better leagues separately this next year.
We ended up with Kris Ajer and Jozo the two twin towers at the back and between all four of them they did exactly what was needed overall so we should be thankful we had them all on our books.
Next year with Boyata moving on to Germany and Benk heading back to Leicester to join his former gaffer it seems the two that ended the season at centre back will begin there next year and so the experience they just got will be priceless. Especially Kris in the long run. He’s Ronnie’s legacy and I’m very curious to see just how good he turns out.
Both Ibrox defeats show there is work to be done however the two lads with the jerseys now really stepped up to the plate when needed and seen us over the line.
They will probably see themselves as the first choice heading into next season and the all important Euro qualifiers.
That we had such quality in reserve was the difference maker and no other team had four players that could all step in no worries .
This depth in defence delivered the title .
Jozo and Kris should have our faith now although we need more quality delivered in this area now there are gaps and as we have just seen a solid third choice and fourth might prove vital.
Bitton and Hendry better not be the back up.
Hendry should be accessed in pre season training to see where exactly he stands in any pecking order. Nir only steps in for emergencies.
Hopefully the lesson that the strongest defence wins the league is not lost on those holding the purse strings.
Overall well done lads,,huge well done. You did it !
Scott Bain,,,When the team headed off on its winter break to Dubai Craig Gordon had been the number one but had been giving trouble signs that caught the gaffers eye such as many a poor clearance / kick out .
There were people on the blogs openly calling for our number two choice to get a shot due to this deterioration although I don’t think many believed their wishes would be acted upon.
However with the gap at a mere 4 points with a game in hand a few slip ups could be catastrophic and the slowly creeping in distrust in defence warranted action by Brendan.
After the break Scott Bain took the jersey and we have never looked back.
I am convinced this had a huge part to play with inspiring confidence in the leagues tightest defence and will also be the making of our keeper , that he came in and done exactly what was needed and got a well deserved winners medal,,probably why he moved in the first place.
Craig is now faced with the choice of opting to move for first team football like so many do at that age or staying on to be the back up and possible keeping coach ?
It’s a tough call and I don’t envy him but he has proved a great piece of business overall and I doubt there’s any Celtic fans with anything but respect for him after his stint between the sticks .
He has my gratitude , and Scott Bain has my admiration and has earned my trust ( despite his wee howler in the league fixture against Hearts recently ).
He could be our long term solution there which would be a nice story.
A big decision to switch keeper paid off .
Hat tip to all involved in that decision.
The former scapegoat turned our best player was ( along with the skipper ) probably our most consistent performer over the last term with a ratio of one goal in three games ( 11 in 33 in the league ) which was a massive help and after Edouard was our second highest scorer.
The 9 assists under his belt also help show just how important he is.
The speed merchant found a new gear under Brendan these last few years and he’s the best outball in the league in my opinion.
I would confess to being in the sell him camp a few years ago when Old ‘Arry was sniffing around for Spurs ,, and now I know exactly why he was becoming tempted.
He might not be best served by our new gaffer though that’s for another day but it seems all have cottoned on to just how important he is now judging by the numerous awards he has been granted.
The right hand side is his , and it’s hard to see that changing anytime soon.
Rumours of Paddy Roberts may have some truth or may not but I doubt James is having sleepless nights . Paddy can move inside, James stays where he is .
33 appearances also shows he is not injury prone and we can count on him for an entire campaign despite those early career hamstring troubles which is a mini success story in itself.
Overall Im delighted to have him and he’s a keeper for sure.
James you played a huge part and we couldn’t have done it without you .
Many thanks from the Sentinels.
The above is from Mahe and tomorrow see’s my partner in crime BMCUWP take on part 2 so stay tuned.
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