Sadly the SPFL seems foregone conclusion these days, not since Rangers’ fall from grace have another club aside from Celtic really challenged for the title and even in Rangers’ last year in the top flight Glasgow’s green half reigned supreme, with Celtic winning by 20 points over their arch rivals. Ever since there have been poor attempts by the likes of Motherwell and Aberdeen but it’s always been more of a race for second. In fact, Aberdeen’s efforts last year were the closest anyone has come to Celtic since Rangers last won in 2011, which begs the question, could they maybe improve to really make a push this year.
The good news is that Aberdeen started great. They were playing good football to begin with and still have a 4 point cushion over Celtic, but two defeats in the past week have put a spanner in the works. Hibernian and Inverness both took 3 points from Aberdeen and as a result, the Reds have scuppered a chance to potentially go 10 points ahead. Nonetheless talented players like Niall McGinn and David Goodwillie bring talent to a side that seems to have got its mojo back after years of mediocrity, and alongside the form of Adam Rooney who has scored 6 in 8 appearances Derek McInnes has a lot to be proud of.
It also helps that Celtic have not been in the best shape. After losing Virgil Van Dijk to Southampton, Dedryck Boyata is simply not a like for like replacement even for the most optimistic Bhoys, which seems to have become a theme up at Parkhead. The side that got past the 2013 Champions League group stage under Neil Lennon has declined. Those that have stayed like Kris Commons aren’t the players they were, and the likes of Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster, Gary Hooper and Virgil Van Dijk have all left for the greener pastures of the premier league. Their replacements are good players like Gary Mackay Steven and Nadir Ciftci, but unlike their predecessors are not going to win Celtic the league by March. Instead, it may have opened the door to the first interesting title race since 2011.
However despite all this, history tells us it wont happen. The likes of Motherwell and Inverness have started well in previous seasons and all neutrals repeatedly wish for it to last, but it is where Celtic come into their own. They re experienced and tend to crush opposition as the season drags on. I don’t think sadly there is any chance Aberdeen would win the league. However, I think I speak for everyone when I say it would be great to at least see a contest. It would be good for Aberdeen, it would be good for Celtic, it would simply be good for Scottish football in general.
So good luck Aberdeen.