A 2-1 defeat at Tannadice once again confirmed Celtic to another disapointing defeat in what has been a depressing season, for everyone concerned at Parkhead.
So as the SPL table now stands. Rangers are top with twenty five points, Celtic on twenty four, and yet both the ‘other’ contenders, Hibernian and Dundee United are only two points behind both on twenty two points.
The Old Firm talk about a move to England to get out of what is supposedly the hell hole known as the SPL. It is true that both Celtic and Rangers, would get without doubt millions of pounds just for competing in the English Premier League. The reality is, however that both Old Firm clubs would struggle to compete and would occupy the bottom half of the table, with the likes of Portsmouth and Blackburn.
Critics and fans alike have said it has been a depressing year all around for Scottish Football. The results have been there for all to see, but it is still refreshing to see both Hibernian and Dundee United still in there. Both teams have taken points off the Old Firm this season, as have a very young fifth place, Motherwell team that have travelled to both Ibrox and Celtic Park and already nicked 0-0 draws, off both of them.
Indeed, a current look at the squads that Hibernian and Dundee United have show that players from both those teams could easily make the Old Firm. There is no denying that the current crop of players that were on show for Celtic today at United, are not good enough. Would the likes of Glenn Loovens, Gary Caldwell, Daniel Fox and Marc Antione-Fortune got into the Martin O’Neil Celtic team that included Henrik Larsson? I think not. On today’s scale, how many of the United players would get in the Celtic team? 22 year old full back, Paul Dixon would probarbly get into the starting eleven following his recent performances, and so probarbly would the revived former Hearts and Wigan defender Andy Webster. Both players will be pushing for Scotland call ups under the next manager to take charge of the national team.
While it is true Craig Levein is a possible next manager of Scotland, his team on the other hand are not as talented as that of Hibernian. Levein has done well with the resources he has on a small scale budget, but he could not argue with John Hughes at Easter Road who perhaps has greater quality, particularly on the striker’s front.
Would Derek Riordan be getting a game for Celtic now? Most likely, and he would probarbly be getting a fair share of the goals as well. With five goals to his credit, he has scored more than both Samaras and Fortune at Parkhead put together. He is arguably along with Kris Boyd, the best Scottish finisher we have and no doubt, if he was back at Celtic Park, he could convert most of the chances that are put through to the strikers at a high level.
Sol Bamba, the centre back for Hibs has been superb at the heart of the defence and could walk into the Celtic team ahead of Caldwell and Loovens. Ian Murray, the former Rangers player is a leader on the park – a missing ingredient at Celtic. Liam Miller, was at Celtic Park before he went to Manchester United. Now he is at Hibernian, and Celtic fans would kill to have him ahead of the ineffective Scott Brown. Not forgetting Anthony Stokes, another striker with Premiership experience.
Scottish Football is at its poorest ebb, with the worst Old Firm teams at least in the life of this Blog writer. However, with the likes of Hibernian and Dundee United managed by arguably by Scotland’s next crop of young, talented managers, messrs, Hughes and Levein, surely there is hope?
No money in the game, but team work can do a lot for you.