Beating your biggest opponent in Scotland has always played a huge part when it comes to winning the league. Against each rival, twelve points are at stake every season and more often than not the results of those games are crucial in the destination of the title.
This season Aberdeen challenged the reigning champions with Celtic only confirmed as this seasons champions just over a week ago when the Dons failed to beat Dundee United. However, Derek McInnes’ inability to overcome Ronny Deila in four attempts this season can be viewed as a key factor in the title destination.
Of course if you’re Kenny Shiels’ granny there’s every chance she’d have done a better job. What are you up to these days anyway, Kenny?
Last season, Derek McInnes faired better by beating Celtic twice. They ousted the Hoops from the Scottish Cup at Celtic Park and ended Neil Lennon’s unbeaten league run at Pittodrie.
In fact, Celtic lost only one game in the league last season. Despite being further off the pace than this season, Aberdeen caused more damage to Celtic than any other SPFL team.
They have already surpassed last seasons points total with two games remaining of the current campaign to go. That deserves some credit, but they failed to take any points off the Champions and that would have made a difference.
When Ronny Deila said that he wanted more from Aberdeen he wasn’t wrong. It wasn’t a swipe at them either, in fact I only saw his comments as encouragement.
Scotland needs the larger clubs to be all that they can be. Nobody wants a one sided league campaign and this season there were signs of improvement.
The greatest factor sorely missing in Scotland is of course money. On the other hand, there is plenty of talent available but it is holding onto it in Scotland with the inability to pay higher wages that means moving on is inevitable unless Celtic are doing the buying.
What Ronny was getting at was an all round improvement. This was not a dig at Aberdeen being good enough, but more of an encouragement to go further.
Negative press around Celtic is of not unusual. So Deila’s recent ‘compliment’ being taken out of context is of no surprise either.
I think we’ve gotten to know Ronny well enough this season to know that speaking ill of an opponent such as Aberdeen holds no water. I look forward to seeing the Don’s step it up next season along with the rest of the SPFL clubs.
For now though, I’m happy with this season’s green and whitewash of Aberdeen. Payback for last season at the very least.