The 2020-21 campaign was quite simply a season to forget for Celtic fans, who had to endure a frustrating and disappointing year both on and off the pitch.
Not only did the Hoops crash out of the Europa League in the group stages, finishing rock bottom, but they also ended 25 points behind their bitter rivals Rangers at the summit of the Scottish Premiership, and failed to win any silverware for the first time in 11 years.
With significant yet much-needed changes being made over the summer, a new era has begun at Parkhead with cause for optimism going forward. Key players including Scott Brown
and Kristoffer Ajer have departed as well as chief executive Peter Lawwell, who has been replaced with chief operating officer of the Scottish Rugby Union Dominic McKay.
Celtic also took their time in finding a permanent successor for Neil Lennon. After a failed three-month pursuit of Eddie Howe, they finally settled on Australian head coach Ange Postecoglou as the man to lead the club forward during the 2021-22 campaign.
The 55-year-old’s time in the dugout, however, has been far from plain sailing. The Hoops lost three of their five pre-season friendlies and their Champions League journey is already over
before their domestic campaign has begun, following a 2-1 loss after extra time – 3-2 on aggregate – to FC Midtjylland in the second round of qualifying on Wednesday.
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Many fingers have been pointed at the lack of reinforcements during this summer’s transfer window, and even though Postecoglou would like to see more fresh faces come through the door, he has taken full responsibility for Celtic’s slow start to the new campaign.
The Hoops are now fully focused on their opening game in the Scottish Premiership, with a trip to Hearts on Saturday, where they will meet for the 369th time. The two teams did not face each other last season, but they did on four occasions the year before, with Celtic winning all three league encounters and scoring 10 goals in the process