Very rarely has the SPL/SPFL league split at the tail end of the season had much significance. In fact I think it may only have made an impact on one or two occasions.
This season, the five remaining fixtures will provide a tough test for the the two title challengers. Before the demise of Celtic’s Glasgow rivals, there were always two clubs battling it out.
Sometimes, one was having a rather bad season, sometimes both teams would take it down to the wire. Then there would be those occasions when the league was decided before the split.
The concoction of such a format was to enhance the level of opposition. I suppose you could say there might even have been a desire to make things more entertaining as well but I think I am offering too much credit to the grandmasters of Scottish football.
Still, this seasons Premiership title has not been decided. As last nights 2-1 away to Dundee demonstrated, Celtic will not be thumping their way to another Premiership trophy without experiencing some challenges.
My question is, are the players beginning to feel the pressure or perhaps even the exhaustion of a hard season? Despite bad refereeing on Sunday against Caley Thistle, not all of Celtic’s players were at the races that day.
The same can be said of last nights performance as well. Though I have to say that Efe Ambrose put in a decent performance throughout the match.
I’m not the first to offer praise for the Nigerian defender. He has let us down on countless occasions but he deserves some credit for last night (I think!).
Dundee made things a little nervy for Celtic when they pulled back a goal. It was another sloppy one for Celtic as far as concentration in defence goes but it wasn’t a disaster.
Celtic avoided that and to be fair could probably have had more goals in this game. They played the entire match on the front foot, but the players are looking a little tired to me.
The motivation for the squad though is five tough games and the prospect of the league title. Two matches at home and three matches away.
With seven points between Celtic and Aberdeen, the Don’s have never been in as good a position at this stage of a season since the 90’s. They’ve got there on merit and they remain a threat to Ronny Deila’s hopes of winning the title in his first season as manager.
The Hoops will need to pick up points on the road if they are to have any chance of winning this title without any assistance. Tannadice is the first port of call this Sunday and that will be a tough one.
Jackie McNamara may have slid on the title challenge but United are more than capable of unsettling Celtic. The Bhoys will need to be on their toes.