By 90Min
August 27, 2019

Nine in a row, it's the talk of the town in Glasgow. Neil Lennon's Celtic are seemingly set to match what has only been done twice before. Rangers did it between 1989 and 1997, while Celtic completed the run between 1966 and 1974. 

2020 will mark the third time in Scottish history that a team has won nine consecutive titles.

Or will it?

Mark Runnacles/GettyImages

Let's be honest, the current Scottish champions haven't had much competition since Rangers' fall from grace back in 2012. With their biggest competitors having to work their way back up from the bottom tier of Scottish football, Celtic had four seasons of uninterrupted dominance.

Winning the league by an average of 19 points in each of the seasons their rivals were absent from the Scottish Premiership shows just how one-sided the league had become, and Rangers' first season back in the top division did little to change this pattern.

The 2016/17 season saw Mark Warburton replaced by Graeme Murty, who lasted just a month at the helm and was subsequently replaced by Pedro Caxinha. The instability led to a relatively disappointing return to the flight, and the Gers finished a massive 39 points off the top. 

However, the gap is now closing. 

The 2017/18 campaign saw Graeme Murty reinstated as manager and the gap closed to just 12 points, but while Rangers may have been closing in on the Bhoys' points tally, they still couldn't find a way to win an Old Firm derby.

Mark Runnacles/GettyImages

Step forward Steven Gerrard. 

In just his first season at the club Gerrard beat Brendan Rodgers' side 1-0, and then Neil Lennon's team 2-0 in May. Not only had the ex-Liverpool captain closed the gap once again (now to a mere nine points) but he had also found a way to get results against the current best team in Scottish football.

Celtic's recent crash out of the Champions League to CFR Cluj also highlights another thing currently working the Gers favour: the fact that their bitter rivals are seemingly stagnating. 

Celtic are stuck. Unable to pull away from the oncoming surge of Gerrard's Rangers. Week by week they are being reeled in and it's only a matter of time before their dominance finally comes to an end.

It may still be early days in the season but it is already clear to see that Lennon's side will be matched pound for pound for the next nine months. Winning 5-2 away at Motherwell doesn't count for anything if a Jermain Defoe hat-trick gives your fellow title contenders a 6-1 victory over Hibernian.

Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Gerrard has managed to build a team that balances flair, experience, and desire. Yes, Alfredo Morelos may lose his head every once in a while but what he brings to the team is irreplaceable. 

The discourse of Scottish football may surround Celtic's record equalling season, but the story-line could be rewritten if Gerrard and his Rangers side continue to develop and improve their performances at their current rate.

You May Like