The fat lazy author of this once regular offering finally managed to organise at least one day on his hectic jetset lifestyle to put together a preview of the upcoming season.
A season which seems to be upon us somewhat sooner than expected, despite not having to cobble together a dozen or so players in an attempt to qualify for the UCL groups in far off countries whose links to Europe are dubious to say the least.
Nope. It’s already sorted.
Celtic don’t have to qualify for the Champions League or the latter stages of the League Cup.
Without a competitive ball being kicked, both milestones have already been achieved which must leave the protesting Green Brigade a little sick as the new Rodgers era starts to get results
Although the changes probably go deeper than just a new coach.
Mark Lawwell and Michael Nicholson have ridden out the ripples caused by the decision of Ange Postecoglou to leave for London.
Despite not getting the man they wanted, they look set to carry on regardless with Brendan Rodgers, who does seem like he’s happy enough to be back and seems also to be quietly determined to exorcise the ghosts of his previous, shall we say distasteful?…exit.
One thing to note, which was my biggest fear, is that a possible player exodus has been avoided. Apart from Mooy retiring and Jota being advised to take the Saudi pound…something he doesn’t look overly comfortable with….it’s the same core of players who set the standards of last season.
That means that Rodgers has won them over. It also means that the players who were here during his last spell understand why he left.
With Mark Lawwell as de facto director of football Rodgers probably doesn’t baulk at the sound of that name any more…and therefore is more likely to finish what he starts this time around.
Despite the lack of marquee signings…and there is still time to satisfy those who like that sort of thing….just because there is money in the bank there is no need to spend it.
Although the UCL knockout stages may again be a step too far, this squad is not only stronger and has more depth than last time around, it has that little bit of experience.
Looking back, last seasons results hide the fact that only fine margins prevented a better campaign and we can be optimistic if not confident of progress of some sort this time.
Domestically, despite the media overdoing the rebuild at Ibrox…everyone appears to be a superstar who has arrived, and those who have left have been lauded individually as the laptops remain loyal despite an exodus of a volume not seen since someone parted the Red Sea because the ferries were on strike
In one sense they are only doing their job, trying to make the season ahead look a little more competitive.
In another they’re ignoring the fact the Ibrox club are seriously weakened and will probably be out of the running before we notice it’s going a bit darker at night.
The SFA and others will do their bit to help, again largely ignored by mainstream commentators, but it won’t be enough.
Aberdeen got stronger towards the end of last season and if they continue in that vein they’ll push Beale and his mighty crew out of second place…which given the ongoing financial situation at Ibrox would be a disaster.
Sometimes we tend to give far too much attention to the Govan Galacticos and their gullibilly groupies.
Instead we should sit back and try to enjoy what we have, a hungry squad, a manager with the ability to rectify any issues we may have had with him, and a board that has continued with both short and long term policy despite what could have been a massive problem when Postedmissing went to the gold paved streets of London.
It starts for real at lunchtime tomorrow.
Let’s try to enjoy it