In some quarters; many believe that if they don’t it’s a “failure”. Personally, I don’t subscribe to this theory but I’m beginning to seriously think that it’s achievable.
I’ve hated the talk of the treble and have seen it as a monkey on the team’s back. It’s not pessimistic merely realistic. Celtic have proven that they are not infallible as St. Johnstone recently proved. They could have and should have gone 9 points clear that day.
Many will say talk is cheap and actions speak for themselves. Celtic as a team have reacted well to that rare defeat and have marched on.
I’ve maintained from the start of the season, especially with it being Ronny Deila’s début season, that the league title is paramount. lt’s the avenue into the Champions League.
Give us 4-in-a-Row Ronny. A cup of any sort would be the icing on the cake.
But I am now getting the taste for the treble as we all are.
I’ve witnessed just one, when Martin O’Neill did it. Not only is it the icing on the cake – it’s the cherry on top.
Now that Celtic has secured the League Cup, easing past Dundee United with aplomb, we are back playing with a confidence that is probably worth a point on its own. Some of our performances along the way have been sublime … and you can now see what the overall plan is for the club going forward.
Not too shabby for Deila in his first season, especially after taking the reigns from club legend Neil Lennon. The Irishman secured three Premier League titles and two Scottish Cups with only the League Cup eluding him.
Ronny did it at the first time of asking.
Today, Deila’s Bhoys have six fixtures to negotiate until the league splits. The Hoops will face St. Mirren, ICT and Dundee away from home with Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock making the short journey to Celtic Park.
Like Dundee Utd, Inverness have the chance to throw a spanner in the works. I genuinely believe the games against them are the toughest ties; away in the League and at Hampden in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.
There are certain players who are vital to the remainder of our quest.
Craig Gordon has been nothing short of immense and will no doubt be in the running for Player of the Year. His capture on a free and his solid performances has meant Celtic has only conceded 14 goals in 27 games.
I’ve almost forgotten about big Fraser Forster.
At the back yet again, Virgil Van Dijk has been solid. He eases his way through games and has popped up with the odd goal. Virgil does appear to take most of the credit but his partner Jason Denayer has also chipped in and the despite declaring his willingness to return to Manchester he’s been an asset thus far.
It often slips my mind that he’s only 19.
But my Player of the Year has to be Stefan Johansen. Not only does he score goals, but he creates them too. He harries, he annoys and can pick a pass out. His desire, hunger and strength are they key attributes that a modern day midfielder should possess. He should be a stick on to pick up awards.
Add a rejuvenated Kris Commons to the mix and this gives Celtic an added edge in the run-in. At one point I thought he was off but thankfully he got the deal he was looking for. Commons has slightly more guile than Johansen and will also give you goals.
He’s edging towards being near to the top bracket of Celtic’s all-time top scoring midfielders along with the likes of Bertie Auld and Murdo McLeod.
And how could we forget about Scott Brown? Much-maligned for his off-field antics recently he’s proven time and again he can grab a game by the scruff of the neck. He’ll relentlessly stick up for his team and will rile the opposition – just ask Dundee Utd.
I also never thought I’d include Leigh Griffiths in this list and had you asked me six months ago, I would have shot you down. Guidetti started off in a blaze of glory but is somewhat rudderless these days but will no doubt come good and hopefully soon.
Griffiths on the other hand has buckled down and wants to prove himself. I’m not for a minute trying to erase his court case, he may well pay the price for that, but he looks like he wants to do well and win things at Celtic.
Aberdeen have five league games left with three at home and two away. They faced a stiff test at Dundee and drew 1-1 whilst Celtic dismantled United yet again, and they will face neighbours United and also ICT.
They will require a huge amount of bottle to keep it going, and it’s their lack of experience in winning titles that could count most against them. They certainly crumbled at Celtic Park and could easily do so the next time we face them.
I’d love to be in the position where the League was won by the split but that’s very unlikely. Even if it’s one game into it that would be great because it would be fantastic to see it done and dusted with just a Scottish Cup Final to play.
If those key players along with the likes of Izzaguire, Stokes, MacKay Stevens and Armstrong can continue the momentum then the treble dream is on.
I don’t think anyone at the club or among the support is getting ahead of themselves but there’s a huge desire and belief. Ronny is building a team and a philosophy which is working. It’s taken time but we’re all starting to buy into it.
Even some of the hacks are crawling back, eating their words and admitting they got it wrong. That always makes me smile with satisfaction.
If he makes it, Deila is automatically catapulted into Celtic and Scottish Football history following the lead of Jock Stein and Martin O’Neill. The MSM will be choking on even more of their words should the affable Norwegian achieve his dream.
There’s certainly strength in depth and I’d love to see Ronny add the “Treble Yell” to the “Ronny Roar”.
We want more, more, more. I think we’re going to get it.
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