Last week, after 2 games played I caught up with my yearly assessment of whether Celtic would win the league or not.
My opinion at that time was that it is ours to lose, based on the signings we had made, current performance and backed that up with the odds available at the various bookmakers.
Has that opinion changed after 4 games played including the weekends game against our closest rivals Rangers and the transfer window closing last night?
Undoubtedly, Celtic have spent significant sums and strengthened, the 2 new players that I had question marks over namely Julien and Bolingoli played well at the weekend removing any serious doubts on their abilities over the season, although Bolingoli looks better going forward than in defence. The other new replacement Taylor signed just before the window closed last night will more than likely make this position his own pushing Bolingoli forward.
The new signing and debutante in the Glasgow Derby, Hatem Abd Elhamed, looks like a quality player at either right back or centre-back, fast, strong and aggressive.
Then there was the return of Fraser Forster in goal who had very little to do as the back 4 in front of him and Brown in centre midfield swept up the Rangers attack before it became a credible threat.
Additionally , the other new signings of note include Mohamed Elyounoussi, who looks like a good addition of an attacking winger.
Too many to name really, but the team played well despite being written ff in some quarters of the media and Edouard let the line with strength and guile as usual.
As the transfer window slammed shut, Rangers finalized a deal to bring back Ryan Kent who was a decent player for them last season, good going forward, scored a handful of goals, but is most celebrated by the rangers support for striking Celtics captain Scott Brown .. a fee of £7m for a player who hasn’t even had a first team game with his parent club?
Serious, are you mad, or just feeding the bears a squirrel to give them hope and distract them with the fact that Celtic are going to win this league comfortably now.
Yes it’s only 4 games in, but Celtic have set down a marker both on and off the field.
The league is a marathon and not a sprint, things happen over the season, players get injured or suspended, but Celtic have superior quality and strength in depth and I’m confident that we will win this league.
To back that opinion up, have a look at the bookmakers sites, pre-season Celtic had a win ratio of 5 times more likely to win the league than Rangers, this dropped to 3.5 prior to the Glasgow Derby game.
After Sundays win with 4 games played, it’s is now 7.5 times more likely that Celtic will win the league.
A £100 bet on Celtic returns £33.33 where as the same bet on Rangers returns £250.
Now that we’ve got that game out the way and the transfer window is firmly shut, my money is on the Celtic to win this league comfortably.
A bet of 10 grand returns £3,333, tax-free, better than money in the bank with low risk.
Are you uncertain or uncomfortable about that? Then give it a little time for the odds to go more in Celtics favour, your returns will be reduced but your risk will be lowered.
I’m not really a gambling man, I don’t bet money every week hoping it wins, not even just for fun, a few quid here and there doesn’t matter to me.
But I do like to assess risk and reward and a one-off £10k bet paying £3.33k return is a completely different matter.
As a final note, credit where credit is due to the board for splashing the cash on some decent signings. My remaining criticism is that we should have did that sooner, had the team gelled and we would now be in the Champions League group statges rather than the lesser Europa League.
This failure to invest in a timely manner happens most seasons and far too frequently for my liking, indicating an underlying issue which needs rectified, whether that be in the identification and recruitment of candidates, negotiating deals or deciding that the team needs support and investing the money sitting in the bank to improve the team.