Scottish PL champions Celtic really are taking the proverbial now.
The mere fact that Brendan Rodgers, of all managers, has led the Bhoys to an SPL title with eight games to spare, illustrates all that is broken in Scottish football.
For his part, club captain Scott Brown will never again enjoy such a straightforward title win in his career – until next season, perhaps. Below you will find a gallery of captains that endured a real challenge en route to an exceptionally early title win.
But what exactly happened to them after leading their respective sides to glory?
Besiktas 1966 – Necmi Mutlu
The record tally of 48 points, with two awarded per win, is a Turkish league record that has stood for over half a century. The goalkeeper, now 88 years old, is a true Besiktas legend, and retired from the game in 1970. Image source: Nationaal Archief Fotocollectie Anefo
Liverpool 1979 – Phil Thompson
The title was sewn up with four games to spare in 1979. Thompson became caretaker manager of Liverpool for a brief spell in 2001. Today he can be seen winning the Soccer Saturday prize for biggest nose with the same regularity that Celtic win the SPL. Image source: Liverpool FC Wiki
Fenerbahce 1989 – Müjdat Yetkiner
In 1989, Fenerbahce claimed a record number of points (3 per win) from 36 games. Yetkiner IS Fenerbahce, having spent a period of fifteen years in the playing side. He had a brief stint as youth team manager before retiring in 1995. Image source: 12 Numara
Man United 2000 – Roy Keane
After leading his team to a title by Easter, mild-mannered Irishman Keane stayed at Old Trafford for five more years before joining Celtic. Today he is the assistant manager of his national side – and continues to hate anyone using a mobile during press conferences. Image source: Sports World Cards
Reading 2006 – Graeme Murty
Reading went up with a whopping 106 points and had the title all but in the bag before the clocks went forward. Murty helped Reading go up, and then down again in 2008. He spent some time at a League One Southampton before retiring. This year he became Rangers’ caretaker manager. Image source: Alchetron
Zenit 2010 – Aleksandr Anyukov
Utter misers in defence thanks to Anyukov, Zenit strolled to an early title in 2010. At 34, he still commands the respect of his teammates in the famous blue jersey – though he is now retired from the international team. Image source: Zastaviki
The first captain, Besiktas legend Necmi Mutlu would play for just four more seasons after a vintage performance in 1965/66. As a result of his heroics, Besiktas qualified for the European Cup in 1966, but it was a short-lived journey. Besiktas crashed out at the first hurdle, going down 4-1 on aggregate to Ajax.
He did, however, have the privilege of sharing a pitch with the great Johan Cruyff for three hours.
So these captains had real opposition to face and deserve recognition. Which of these stands out as most impressive?
Perhaps we don’t have a clue, and you have one to add?