I read Matt O’Riley’s interview on The Sun website this morning after seeing the headline “Matt O’Riley insists Celtic can handle a stronger Rangers again this season IF they maintain previous standards”.
Now, there’s a few things wrong with the headline and article. O’Riley doesn’t mention at all about ‘maintaining previous standards’ in the article. In fact, these are all direct quotes from O’Riley in the article:
“We focus on how we can improve”, “we just need to keep pushing as high as we can”, “continually pushing to be better”, “if we keep improving” and “I just want to keep improving”.
Yet, The Sun would have you believe from their headline that Celtic and O’Riley simply just want to ‘maintain previous standards’, despite him saying umpteen times that we are constantly working to improve and get better.
So, that’s the first thing that is totally off about this piece.
The second is, O’Riley doesn’t mention that Sevco will be stronger that last season, it’s the paper that are talking about them being stronger due to Gio’s ‘reinforcements’ in the squad.
As things stand, they are weaker. Aribo was one of their best players and they’ve just lost him.
They’ve also lost Balogun, who in my opinion was probably their best defender, at least at centre back.
So far they have brought in a striker that wasn’t good enough for PAOK, a centre back who is constantly injured and another striker from Derby that has a record of 1 goal every 5 games. And they are now trying to sign a winger who wasn’t good enough for 14th placed Schalke.
Let’s also remember, there is a fair to high chance that they will also sell Kent and Morelos this summer, they simply have to if they don’t want them leaving on a free.
They have a team that came to the end of their cycle in 2021 when they won the league. Celtic had an atrocious start to the league season, gifted them a huge advantage, and we were still too much for them over the course and won the league comfortably.
They are re-signing 40 year old McGregor, 37 year old Davis. These guys are washed. Davis was barely near their team all of last season, yet they’ve given him a new deal. Arfield? Is that really the quality that Sevco are relying on to topple Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic?
We are at a totally different level to them, and once this transfer window is over, the gap will be even wider.
If the SMSM actually believe that Sevco are going to be stronger this season compared to last, they are in for a nasty shock.