Celtic’s League Cup victory over Rangers at the end of February was seen by many as proof – if it was still needed – that the Bhoys are the dominant side in Scotland right now. It was the seventh time in nine years that Celtic has lifted the trophy, but it could mean so much more as far as the next few seasons go.
If you are reading betting reviews to find the best sportsbook to put money on Celtic achieving more success this season, you will do well to find some decent odds. It looks like things can only get better in Parkhead – but just how good could it be? Can Celtic become a power on the European stage as well?
All Hail Ange
He may have had a lot of fans heading to Google to see just who the club had appointed when he arrived before the start of the 2021-22 season. The first few games probably didn’t do too much to inspire a lot of confidence in the new manager either. But, a year and a half on, there are not many in the green and white half of Glasgow that will hear anything against Ange Postecoglu.
The disappointment of the Europa League and Europa Conference League campaigns was soon forgotten as yet another league title was assured – the club’s tenth in 11 years – and everything seemed balanced in Scottish football once again. But that league title had to be the start of something.
League Cup Could Be the Spark
Celtic’s current domestic season has been almost flawless. An early thrashing of Rangers in the league followed that huge win over Dundee United – and a late goal from Kyogo at Ibrox made even a draw seem like a win at the start of the year. Now the Japanese superstar has scored the goals that have won a trophy for the second year running.
If we forget about the off-field troubles for a moment, the win over Rangers in the League Cup final could be seen as the most important in the club’s recent history. Any faint idea that Rangers are at a stage where they can challenge Celtic domestically has now been erased and the club can now concentrate on dominating the Scottish game.
Two wins against Hearts in three days can be the catalyst for the rest of the season. The first in the league will consolidate the very healthy lead that Celtic currently enjoy, while the second would put the club into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup – a competition Ange Postecoglu is yet to win.
None of this is set in stone, of course. But the feeling of happiness and optimism that the League Cup triumph brought from the fans makes things seem different somehow now. Winning a seventh treble in nine years would be an amazing achievement for Celtic – but also show just how much Postecoglu has changed the mindset of the players.
Europe is the Measure
Even during the quietest times in Celtic’s history, there have always been trophies to raise and celebrate. It is just the way Scottish football is and any fan of the big two understands that. The other factor they realise is that neither club will be well regarded outside Scotland’s borders without European success.
The way the game is these days, that doesn’t have to mean winning the Champions League. But putting in a good account of itself during the group stage is a minimum requirement for Celtic. If there is to be a drop down into the Europa League, then winning that competition should be made a priority.
Ange Postecoglu will be telling his players to go all out for the rest of the season. The League Cup is proof that the team can beat anyone in Scotland – and the sheer number of goals scored in recent games shows that Celtic can beat them by an impressive margin.
This is a time for Celtic to utterly dominate. A treble is a very achievable goal this season and then it will be all eyes on Europe next year. There is no reason why Celtic cannot be bigger on the continent and a name that is feared by the very best.