What a season. Undefeated domestically and a treble. We will never see this happen again.
For me the season was a success the moment the ref blew for full time v Hpoel Be’er Shiva. This was on 23 August 2017 and whilst it was a 2-0 defeat, it was a success with a 5-4 aggregate win. Brendan’s remit was to make CL group stage if possible. He did. He inherited a team low on confidence and transformed them into the Invincibles.
What came after that though was nothing short of amazing. The 5-1 pummelling of Sevco at Celtic Park, the even bigger 1-0 pummelling in the semi final of the Scottish League Cup was more impressive. The way we took Aberdeen apart in the final was something else. The creditable, if ultimately winless group campaign (first game aside) in the CL. The remarkable comeback at Motherwell with a last gasp Tom Rogic winner (more on those later). The second half at Ibrox where Sevco were steamrollered as the Aussie New Year arrived at the end of the first half. The mid season break in Dubai to refresh aching limbs and the charge for the league, secured at Tynecastle in some style with five unanswered goals. All phenomenal and suddenly we were in April and had the chance of a treble AND going undefeated in the league. Could we do it?
Beating Sevco in the Cup semi final was straightforward enough. Thrashing them a week later at Ibrox was just funny. It could have been eight, nine or ten that day if we were really clinical. I remember old Rangers and they were genuine rivals. That shambles playing at Ibrox this season were not rivals. They were cannon fodder.
We scored three at Pittodrie in eleven minutes and then withstood a spirited comeback from the Dons to beat them for the fifth time this season, but they sent us a warning that game that the Cup Final would be a difficult game. So it proved to be.
Before the game there was concern that Mr Madden might have a significant impact on the outcome of the game.
A cleverly worked set piece gave them the ideal start and their body language said they were up for it. As was Mr Madden and his team. Yes we won but how many times should we have had a throw or a corner or a goal kick and it went the other way? I really wish Celtic would highlight the wee things as well as the big things like the penalties and the unpunished assaults. The honest mistakes were piling up within minutes.
Aberdeen gave us a good game for an hour or so and then the magic of Hampden kicked in. Broony went from struggling in the game to being gallus. When that happened we stepped it up. Suddenly we were coming at them in waves. Their goalie was tremendous (as was Craig Gordon) and their defence threw bodies in front of shots that were raining in. But this is Celtic and there is no way Brendan’s team was going to be denied.
I felt we were headed towards extra time but Canberra Bhoy Tom Rogic (yes I know he wasn’t born in Canberra but we have truly claimed him) saved Aberdeen from a real heavy defeat by slotting home a magical winner in stoppage time. The players went ballistic. Hampden went ballistic. Pubs, clubs and homes all around the World went ballistic as the Aussie playmaker scored a history making goal and wrote himself and his team into the history books.
Wait a minute- rewind. Did you just type saved Aberdeen from a heavy defeat? Yup they were out on their feet and if it had gone to ET we would have scored three or four so superior were we at that time.
Hats off to Aberdeen. The second best team in Scotland by far. They played their part in an absorbing Cup Final, but as was the case all season, we were irresistible. Not irresistible. Invincible!
Tom Rogic’s goal celebration epitomised what it means to play for, to BE Celtic, but for me the most emotional part was KT with the Cup when he grabbed his jersey and showed the Cup to the support in the stadium. This bhoy is not your Jorge Cadete or your Paolo di Canio type badge kisser. This bhoy is the real deal and we should cherish watching him whilst we can. It was nice to see his best mate Paddy R wear KT’s shirt in tribute. Good luck to Paddy. If we see him next season that will be fantastic but he may force a breakthrough at City. Don’t rule that out.
The treble was the second leg of the weeks quadruple whereby we went undefeated in the league, celebrated the Lisbon 50th anniversary and had the Legends game yesterday. I will watch that tonight! Last night I watched the ‘Glasgow 1967’ documentary. This was more than the Lions story. I laughed cried and felt immensely proud to be connected to the people and the team. What a club!!!!!!
I am finishing the blog on this high note. I decided to start last August to give it a go. It is hard finding stuff to write about from Down Under, and it will be impossible during the close season. There can only be so many Tom Rogic features!!! BTW the big ghuy just has magic in his feet and gives us a wee bit different when he plays. Of course I could have just written about Sevco and their woes but there are many better Celtic blogs that do this so well and that I love to read. James Forrest and Phil Mac, among others, thanks for keeping me up to date and laughing!!!
I have had a hugely enjoyable time writing the blog and thank you for reading. Thanks to everyone who posted a comment and contributed. Thanks fholks. Really appreciated.
Can I go all luvvie and thank a few people? ( Of course you can, it’s your last blog – Ed) ….Firstly to Gerard S, Gerarde T ,Laurence D and Paul O’D in Inverclyde and Ian S ( Greenock/ London) who unfailingly share the blog. Cheers! Thanks to Paul Brennan of CQN who permitted me to post on CQN, the best Celtic blog in the World IMO. Thanks to Gavin Devine who has allowed me to post on some of his Celtic websites, notably the Glasgow’s Green and Whyte and World Huddle Facebook pages. Thanks to Mandurah, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide , Gold Coast, Sydney, Central Coast and New Zealand CSC’s for allowing me to post on their pages on FB. Sorry for members of more than one club for the multiple posts.
Biggest thanks are to you right now. Yes you, the Bhoy/ Ghirl reading. It has been a pleasure to make the trip through this history making season with you and thanks for taking time out of your day and other days throughout this season to read my ramblings and ill informed opinions. Hail Hail