Here, we take a look at five things we learned from the opening day of the season.
JON DALY IS READY TO TALK TOUGH ON HEARTS’ BEHALF
The Jambos interim manager showed he was not intimidated by Brendan Rodgers when he blasted the Celtic boss for commenting on Hearts’ recruitment policy in the wake of Ian Cathro’s sacking. Daly felt the Parkhead manager should not be speaking about another club’s internal matters and was quick to let him know with an astonishing blast in which he dubbed Rodgers’ comments “disgraceful”. The Irishman hopes to land the Hearts job on a permanent basis and his forthright approach may persuade owner Ann Budge he is up to the task.
CELTIC ALREADY THE TEAM TO BEAT
The Hoops started the defence of their title in impressive style with a 4-1 hammering of Hearts. The Hoops were without injured Dedryck Boyata, Erik Sviatchenko and Moussa Dembele and, while they were not at their very best, they were still far too strong for the Gorgie men, with prolific striker Leigh Griffiths grabbing a double and Scott Sinclair and Callum McGregor also on the scoresheet. The champions might not go unbeaten again domestically but they look to have retained their hunger and attitude from last season.
JOSH WINDASS CAN BE A MATCH WINNER FOR RANGERS
Graham Dorrans stole the headlines when his debut double sealed Gers’ 2-1 win over Motherwell but it was former Accrington playmaker Windass who shone brightest for the Ibrox side. For 45 minutes his pace and power wreaked havoc for the hosts at Fir Park and he was desperately unlucky to see two fine efforts come back off the woodwork. However, there was a warning from Pedro Caixinha that he needs to realise his work is not limited to going forward after the Light Blues boss blamed him for Ben Heneghan’s first-half Well equaliser.
HIBERNIAN CAN BE A TOP-FLIGHT FORCE
Neil Lennon’s side ended their three-year Premiership exile in style with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Partick Thistle, last season’s sixth-placed finishers. They were solid after Chris Erskine’s early goal despite missing David Gray and Darren McGregor through suspension. John McGinn relished being back in the big league and Martin Boyle and Danny Swanson provided real creativity. Simon Murray was a constant menace up front and Anthony Stokes showed some good touches when he came on.
MICHAEL O’HALLORAN CAN REDISCOVER HIS BEST FORM AT ST JOHNSTONE
The 26-year-old wideman became something of a misfit during his 18-month stint at Rangers and it was little surprise when he was allowed to join former club Saints on a six-month loan last week. He reintroduced himself to the Perth faithful in stunning fashion on Saturday as he danced his way through the Kilmarnock defence before firing a last-gasp winner to hand Tommy Wright’s men a 2-1 victory. With the backing of a manager who has real faith in him, O’Halloran should now go on to show what he is really capable of.