Paul Lambert made his Celtic debut in a defeat at Ibrox as chants of 10-in-a-row bounced around three sides of the ground.
Goalscorer Richard Gough had team-mates around him plucked from the top sides of Serie A, a nucleus of driven Scottish players plus Paul Gascoigne and Brian Laudrup.
Instantly the Champions League winner knew what he was up against. The mission was clear for Wim Jansen as he rebuilt a team at a club that had just watched their previous 9-in-a-row achievement emulated.
Steven Gerrard faces that pressure in the season ahead. Even after two years in the manager’s job he won’t be prepared for what lies in store.
Growing up in Linwood Lambert had a decent grasp of what was at stake in Glasgow but nothing prepared him for joining Celtic a third of the way into the season of all season.
Picking up on an interview with PLZ Soccer, the Daily Record reports Lambert saying:
The pressure of stopping 10 was incredible. That for me was the hardest title. Now Rangers have to stop Celtic doing 10 in a row, I’m really not so sure with that team they have at the minute.
Steven will know that you are only as good as your last game and if you don’t have success then you are going to feel the pressure. That’s the nature of the beast.
Ultimately, he hasn’t won and that’s what Rangers fans will judge him on. I’m delighted for Lenny. He knows the club inside out.
The bottom line is that Celtic have been the best team for the last nine years, regardless of if Rangers were in the league or not. Celtic have been miles ahead.
It is four years since Celtic failed to win a domestic trophy, the last time they failed to win the league was in 2011.