So the season is over, the summer is here, and the speculation can start.
June is that month of the year when all things Celtic slow down and every second year we get a distraction of a World Cup or European Championships to break the humdrum and boredom that cricket, tennis and gardening brings!
We can dwell on the previous season’s fruitions and successes, and debate where we should be going in the season ahead, which players should go, which players should stay and look forward to getting back the fix that following Celtic brings.
Season 2011/2012 can be looked back as one whereby we achieved the ultimate goal that was set in July 2011 – that of the SPL title. The Cups went astray but for the next month or so we can sit down and watch from afar the trials and dramatization that unfolds across the water afflicting our dearest neighbours. Regardless of what happens there, we cannot and should not fall into the belief that we can rest easy and fail to build on what was achieved last season; with the real test now being how we can retain the title whilst improving and competing in all competitions entered.
The knockers will point to the disarray that befell the Ibrox club in the latter stages of the season, but I point to the fact that we were well adrift of the summit of the SPL in late October but sat proudly top of the rest before the end of January, and more importantly before the real problems surfaced at Ibrox. They may well have been hindered with the internal strife but we were a team on fire and there is no doubt we were not going to be prevented from winning the title. We won it in the end by 20points, 10 if you donate them the 10points they had been docked, but we won it and that’s what counts. We did not play the disarray card in the 90’s when our club was on its knees, and now we deserve the credit our title deserves.
What we must ensure going forward is that we focus on our own club, and ensure what we do what is in the best interests of our club and fans, and not allow what happens elsewhere to affect our own actions. Wherever our plans lie in terms of long term longevity and fruition as a club is a matter for the powers that be in Celtic Park, but we need to set out clear objectives ahead of the return to action in July and for season 2012/13. We must retain the SPL title as a priority but hopefully start to compete in Europe against all opposition. We need to improve the team and enhance those areas of the playing panel that struggled at times last season and by addressing these problems then our ability to make progress in Europe will improve. We have a budget to work to, and I hope that this budget is not based on what happens over the other side of Glasgow – get our own house in order and worry not a jot about anyone else.
Now the job at hand for achieving the goals is all down to Mr Lennon and his management team, along with Mr Lawell and Co. on the board…..but if they are looking some free advice on adding some squad players then I can gladly nominate that I do believe the likes of Afellay, Ozil, Van Persie, Lahm, Schweinsteiger and Ronaldo (if he knocks the diving on the head) may be good additions to our set up – granted they need to realize it may be the bench at Celtic Park, but isn’t the bench at Celtic Park better than the starting 11 at Madrid?