In recent weeks, Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes boldly stated that he believes this current Celtic team, managed by Ange Postecoglou, is the best side he has ever managed against and is even better than Brendan Rodgers’ Invincibles.
McInnes highlighted the relentlessness of the current crop of Parkhead players, who have won 22 of their 24 league games this season. However, it’s hard to top the relentless manner in which Rodgers’ team collected a domestic treble without losing a game – an unbeaten run which eventually stretch to 69 matches.
In terms of squad depth, Ange has assembled a group of players which could probably field two title winning elevens. He has several players for each position, and a combination of youth and experience. On the other hand, Rodgers had a few players who were of genuine world class quality and of superior calibre. Moussa Dembele scored regularly in the Champions League and went on to eliminate Man City from the quarter final of the competition with a magnificent double for Lyon. Kieran Tierney is an important part of Arsenal’s potentially title winning squad and was touted as a future club captain last season. Scott Sinclair was firing on all cylinders and back to the goalscoring form which had once secured him a move to Chelsea.
In terms of the style of football – the Invincibles were certainly very easy on the eye. They kept possession well, scored a lot of goals and blew theRangers away with alarming regularity, winning 5-1 against them at home and away, while knocking them out of both cups.
The current team has an arguably more entertaining style of play though. The football is 100mph, every time the ball goes out of play it is back on the park before you have time to blink. The pressing is relentless. It’s a more fast, direct approach which has also led to a number of goals being scored, including a 9-0 demolition of Dundee United. Meanwhile, theRangers were humiliated with a 4-0 thumping at Paradise earlier this season.
It’s a tough call. The numbers show that Brendan Rodgers managed the Invincibles to 43 wins and 4 draws in the 2016/17 domestic season – scoring 134 goals, conceding 27 and racking up 106 league points. It should be noted that Aberdeen finished second that season. However, it also is important to remember that Celtic earned Champions League points both home and away against Man City, as well as getting a draw in Germany against Gladbach.
As for the current season, Ange Postecoglou has led the team to 26 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat, scoring 89 goals and conceding 18 in the process. His team is up against a stronger Rangers than that which Rodgers faced, evidenced by their recent Europa League run. However, he leads the title race by nine points and finds himself in the League Cup Final and Scottish Cup fifth round. In Europe, the team performed excellently but weren’t able to get many results. Two draws against Shaktar Donetsk were all we had to show from the group, without anything being taken from the top level side that was Real Madrid.
With so much to consider, I put the question out to the world of Twitter. The poll came back with a definitive answer – the current team are ranked ahead of the Invincibles by the Celtic support.
Derek McInnes' recently said that this current Celtic team is better than the Celtic team that won the Invincible Treble. Is he correct?
— Liam Kelly (@cfcliamk96) January 13, 2023