Celtic have been below-par during the 2020-21 Scottish Premiership to date, drawing seven and losing three of our first 28 games of the season.
The Hoops have basically handed the title to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, who have an 18-point lead, albeit having played a game more.
Neil Lennon didn’t get any results in Europe either, taking just one point from our first five Europa League group stage games this season.
Here are five things Celtic need to improve ahead of next season in order to make sure we win the league again:
1. A Second Striker
Losing Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair in back-to-back summers was a blow for Celtic but they’ve had time to replace them. Odsonne Edouard is doing just fine with 15 goals in 18 SPL starts, but has little support.
Albian Ajeti was brought in to do just that, but the Swiss striker only has six goals in 18 SPL matches this season. Mohamed Elyounoussi does have seven in 24, but three of these came in a single game.
Simply put: Whoever the manager is by summer needs to bring in someone to support Edouard in scoring the goals.
2. Holding Onto Leads
Not something you’d usually associated with Celtic, but they blew a 1-0 lead away to Kilmarnock in the second game of the season to draw 1-1.
Whilst the game was followed up with a seven-game winning streak before losing the derby, Celtic conceded a 92nd-minute penalty to draw 3-3 at Aberdeen to fall further behind Rangers.
Neil Lennon’s team also conceded a stoppage-time equaliser at home to Hibernian, and let go of a half-time lead to draw at Livingston.
3. The Derby
Celtic lost both games versus Rangers so far this season without scoring a single goal. Sure, their 2-0 win at Celtic Park in October may have been different if fans were allowed inside the stadium, but the team were well used to playing in front of an empty crowd heading into that disappointing result.
Next season Celtic need to make sure they beat Rangers and take more points overall in both the league table and head-to-head. Whether fans are allowed into the stadiums or not, the derby games can be viewed online as with all football matches.
4. The Manager
Whoever is in the manager next season needs to perform better than what Lennon has produced this term. The Northern Irishman may have had it easy up to this season with Rangers not being a serious threat and having a hugely talented goalscorer in Dembele.
But his record in Europe has been exposed and this year Celtic have looked far short of their best.
5. The Defence
Celtic have conceded nearly three times as many goals as the league leaders and looked so fragile at the back in Europe. They’ve lost a couple of key players in defence in recent seasons and it’s shown up badly this term.
Three different goalkeepers have made at least five starts this season too, a position Celtic could do with more consistency from in the next campaign.