Transfer Ambition Needed To Take Celtic To Next Level

At the beginning of last season I wrote an article titled ‘Europe the benchmark’, in which I outlined why Brendan Rodgers should be targeting European progress and should be judged on that stage. Spoilt or not, Celtic winning domestic trophies has come to be expected over the last 12 years and that is because our only challengers were liquidated and their replacement operate with a budget at a fraction of ours. Every bookmaker has us odds on to win the league trophy every year and you can get better single match odds in other leagues, than you can on the Hoops winning a domestic treble at times.

That’s not to say that the domestic game doesn’t matter or that we don’t enjoy our regular and ongoing success. However, a manager of Brendan’s status and wages was brought in to bolster the club in Europe.

To that end, we were poor again. However, it wouldn’t be fair to judge the Irishman on his European exploits last season as he was not backed by the board. Two awful transfer windows, no notable signings and players being thrust upon him when he didn’t want them. His hands were tied behind his back.

Next season, my message is the same though. Europe is the benchmark. We need to target making the play off in this new champions league format, make Paradise a feared venue and build some respect on the continent.

It has been 20 years since we last won a knockout stage tie in Europe. Brendan will hopefully have money to spend with well over £100m sitting in the bank when the Champions League funds roll in. To prove his credentials as an elite manager, and to take the club forward then we must show up, look to make the play offs and get a knockout win. From there we can build, whether that be in the Champions or Europa League the following season.

Otherwise we have to ask ourselves, has Celtic become a club that is just about being ahead of a poor side at Ibrox?

We must attack next season with ambition, looking to push on in continental football and then domestic success will naturally continue to follow.

The transfer activity starts now.

About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up on the English south coast with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were previously sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are now available on Amazon.

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