The Bhoys have done it for the third year running! They’ve retained the SPL title making Gordon Strachan only the third Celtic manager to retain the top honour in Scottish football three times in a row. The others being Jock Stein and Willie Maley.
Admittedly, Strachan has a long way to go if he’s to match the achievements of these legends (Maley won 30 titles in 43 years, Stein won 9 league titles in a row and led the Lisbon Lions to their famous European victory) but he’s off to a good start. Despite continued calls from some supporters to have him ousted and replaced. Though surely even they will have changed their tune now Strachan has engineered a run of 7 wins in a row, bringing Celtic’s title challenge back from being effectively dead and buried to lift the trophy on the final day.
I’m sure there will be much whinging about the congested end of season fixture list tomorrow but the bottom line is that Celtic came up with the goods and Rangers just couldn’t. For months now, Rangers have been in the driving seat and should really have put the title beyond doubt well before the last day. They didn’t and have now paid the price, being beaten by Aberdeen in the process. I wonder what effect this will have on Walter Smith’s status? They can still win the Scottish Cup this weekend but it is the SPL title that is really coveted by the Ibrox faithful.
For my part, I listened to the Celtic game on the radio tonight and not even news of Aberdeen’s first goal could stop me pacing the living room floor. My nerves settled slightly when Celtic scored but it was only when word of Aberdeen’s second goal arrived that I stopped pacing and did a little dancing – that carpet has been through hell tonight. By that point the fight had gone out of Dundee United, Rangers were down to 10 men (more petulance from Nacho Novo), and the helicopter with the SPL trophy was on its way to Tannadice. At the time of my writing this, it will be well on its way to Paradise – another fitting tribute to the memory of Tommy Burns.