Celtic supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern during the international break after seeing their side make Scottish football history by going 63 games without defeat following their 4-0 success over St Johnstone last time out.
Brendan Rodgers’ men dominated football north of the border last term by winning the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Cup, and Scottish League Cup crowns, and they are well on their way to repeating their success given they lead the league by three points, and have reached the latter’s showpiece at the end of this month. And they have also made history in the last few weeks as a 4-0 thumping of St Johnstone saw the Bhoys avoid defeat for a 63rd successive time in domestic football, thus breaking their own record which was set back in 1917.
Consequently, there have been many delighted Celtic fans in the Tavern this week, many of whom cannot wait for league action to resume this weekend when Rodgers’ side visit Ross County in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for those Bhoys fans lining up at the bar to discuss, not least recent reports linking them with a move for Reading’s Liam Moore, a 24-year-old defender who has seriously impressed for the Championship club since moving there in 2016.
But with Premier League trio Stoke City, West Brom, and West Ham also thought to be interested, this transfer pursuit could well be a huge test of exactly how far Celtic have come under Rodgers, and whether they have changed the perception of themselves on a nationwide scale.
Ultimately, the feeling among many football fans around the country is that the English Premier League is significantly stronger and more competitive than the Scottish Premiership, and the statistics arguably back that up in recent years.
But what Celtic did last season went beyond that. Yes, the Bhoys were expected to win the league and win it comfortably, but to only drop eight points all season and finish 30 points clear of second place, that’s simply outstanding.
Add in their exploits in the Champions League so far this term, in which they look set for a place in the Europa League, and that is a significant improvement on recent campaigns – they have played European competition just once after Christmas in the last four years.
Thus, the perception could well be changing that, although Celtic should be winning the Scottish Premiership, they are improving to a level that hasn’t been seen for a long time north of the border, but whether that’s a level that attracts players to Parkhead over the Premier League still remains to be seen.
Stoke, West Brom, and West Ham won’t be in title contention next season nor will they be in Europe’s elite competition, yet many will still see Moore moving to them as a step up in his career as opposed to moving to Celtic.
Rodgers is doing all he can to get rid of that perception by turning them into serial winners, dominant forces, and players on the European stage, but more work still has to be done.
Fending off the competition to land Moore though would certainly go some way to challenging that perception.
Celtic fans… what do you think? Let us know!