Blogs & Opinion


Andy Walker says Celtic have endured a disappointing season despite their imminent SPFL title

Andy Walker - Andy Walker Posted 24th March 2014 view comments

Celtic will be able to secure the Scottish Premiership title this Wednesday against Partick Thistle at Firhill if second placed Aberdeen drop any points in their tough fixture against relegation-threatened Ross County.

All the action unfolds live on Sky Sports this Wednesday from 7:30pm.

Aberdeen have lost both times on their last two visits to Dingwall and with Ross County desperate for points in their plight to avoid a relegation play-off, every point is crucial for Derek Adams men.

It will undoubtedly be tough for Derek McInnes and his men to take all three points at a ground that hasn't been good to them recently.

For the champions-elect, it's not easy to gauge how successful this season has been for Neil Lennon and his players.

Given the enormous difference in resources between them and the rest of the SPFL, just one domestic triumph has to be regarded as something of a disappointment.

All of this has become increasingly frustrating for Lennon and his irritation was abundantly clear at the weekend in an interview that highlighted how much he craves an opportunity to manage in England.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

Even now, it's still remarkable to think that lowly Morton were able to beat Celtic earlier this season over 120 minutes at Celtic Park in the League Cup whereas in the Scottish Cup, Aberdeen were more than worthy of their 2-1 victory, again at Celtic Park.

Champions League nights have provided the real highlights for Celtic fans in the last couple of seasons but with his side weakened after the sale of Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson, it came as no surprise to see Neil Lennon's men end up bottom of the group.

As usual there was a clamour from the supporters to spend big on players with a better pedigree but the reality is that the policy at my old club of spending a little on lots of players will continue to keep them at the top of Scottish football.

The idea of splashing out in the region of £5million for any one player won't happen when the club are able to spend a fraction of that and still be the best team in Scotland by quite some distance.

Irritation

I imagine the board will flex their financial muscle in a year or so when Rangers will gain promotion to the SPFL just to remind their great rivals of how strong they are but Celtic are just not in the market for £5million players.

All of this has become increasingly frustrating for Lennon and his irritation was abundantly clear at the weekend in an interview that highlighted how much he craves an opportunity to manage in England.

I doubt Neil will get the chance to jump straight from Celtic to any club in the Barclays Premier League.

I imagine his best bet is to get one of the many ambitious clubs in the Championship capable of getting to the most competitive league in the world and work his way to the top from there, a path previously taken by Paul Lambert, Owen Coyle and Malky Mackay.

David Moyes and Roberto Martinez also managed at a lower level before securing their chance at Man Utd and Everton.

Gamble

Even Gordon Strachan - a more successful Celtic manager than Lennon - was given the opportunity at middle of the road Middlesborough after famous Champions League nights and league successes and he had previous experience managing among England's elite in his favour.

Right now, Scottish football will have to take its time to adjust to the spectacular mismanagement at Rangers and Hearts. Both of these clubs will need some years to build on and off the park in order to compete with Celtic.

When you consider that reality, it's easier to understand how some owners and chairmen at big clubs down south would find it far too much of a gamble to employ someone like Lennon when they find it hard to gauge the level of competition in Scotland.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Redknapp

Redknapp: No chance for Liverpool

Jamie Redknapp says Liverpool can't realistically hope to win the Premier League this season....

Jeff Stelling

Jeff: Resting players is costly

Why are clubs resting their stars in crucial games? It's costing them three points, says Jeff Stelling....

Jamie Carragher

Carragher: Which Blues are best?

Jamie Carragher reveals which Man City wizard and which Chelsea talisman he would have in his team....

Latest News RSS feeds

Liverpool undone at Upton Park

West Ham United netted twice inside the opening seven minutes en route to a 3-1 victory over Liverpool at Upton Park.

Arsenal blitz shatters Villa

Aston Villa’s unbeaten start to the season was ended by a devastating goal blitz as Arsenal enjoyed a 3-0 away win.

Cisse double saves Newcastle

Substitute Papiss Cisse saved the day for Newcastle and under-fire manager Alan Pardew in their 2-2 draw with Hull City.

Wanyama downs 10-man Swans

Victor Wanyama broke the resistance of 10-man Swansea as Southampton left the Liberty Stadium with a 1-0 win.

Burnley held by Sunderland

Burnley and Sunderland are both still looking for their first wins of the season after a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor.

Features

Mesut Ozil – Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 3: What did you think of German World Cup winner in Premier League win?

Mesut Ozil – Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 3: What did you think of German World Cup winner in Premier League win?

One minute and 19 seconds. That was the time it took for a transformation in the appraisals of Mesut Ozil.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois adjusting to life in the Premier League

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois adjusting to life in the Premier League

Thibaut Courtois spoke exclusively to Soccer Saturday and described how he's finding life in the Premier League.

Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa were Atletico Madrid team-mates but their routes to the top have been so different

Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa were Atletico Madrid team-mates but their routes to the top have been so different

With 64 goals between them last season, Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa are two of the game’s best strikers. Born just three months apart on opposite sides of the Argentina-Brazil border, they were even team-mates at Atletico Madrid. But the pair have taken very different routes to the top.