Monday, September 3, 2012

Rangers, having the best defense, finished second, yet, the champions of the last two years were not contenders this season. 9 points behind the champions. Rangers failed in everything: they lost the F.A. Cup final. In the League Cup ½ they were destroyed 5-1 by Aberdeen. At the end – nothing.

Not so for Aberdeen. They were apparently on the rise. Bronze medals in the championship were sweet after few mediocre years. And there was even better moment: winning the League Cup, in November 1976, in front of almost 70 000 fans. Celtic was bested 2-1, thanks to goals by Jarvie and Robb. Kenny Dalglish scored from penalty, but that was all for Celtic.

Strong season for Aberdeen – a Cup and bronze in the championship. May be Scottish football was getting better suddenly?

May be not. Celtic came back with a vengeance, confidently winning the championship and then adding the F.A. Cup as well. Losing the League Cup final by a goal was perhaps not a big disappointment – strong overall season. Leaving Glasgow Rangers in the dust.

There was no question who was number one. Swell, but really... were Celtic great? They had strong enough team by Scottish standards, yet, 'standards' of that particular time. Only Kenny Dalglish had the making of big star. And it was clear that every better player, Dalglish included, will move to Englsih club as soon as possible. Unfortunately, even Celtic was not able to keep good players at home. No wonder Scottish clubs were looking abroad for talent – thus, Iceland had a champion player: Johannes Edvaldsson. However nice, even this spelled out trouble: Scottish clubs were too poor to get players from better countries – they were able to scoop talent from the periphery of the soccer universe. Let's face it: Edvaldsson was not Dalglish. Sure, 'Shuggy' was competent professional, who played already for Metz (France) and Holbaek (Denmark), but... The future was not bright.