THIS week marks my 20th anniversary writing about all things Celtic.

I was appointed club correspondent by the Herald’s sister paper the Evening Times back in the late 90s and, with all the timing of a Peter Grant tackle, arrived too late to witness Wim Jansen stopping 10 in a row; I subsequently left within a few months of Martin O’Neill’s arrival. Celtic won the treble that season. Two years later they were in a European final.

During those early days, I did get to deal with Dr Jozef Venglos, a lovely man but 10 years too old to be Celtic manager. I watched Rangers win the title at Parkhead, witnessed the signing of Rafael Scheidt and Vidar Riseth’s attempt to take a first touch. I was in situ for the John Barnes and Kenny Dalglish era, I saw Henrik Larsson breaking a leg – more of which in a moment. I was around for Celtic’s shocking defeat by Inverness and took in a period during which Rangers won five trophies to Celtic’s one – a League Cup.

It was a big job and for ages way too big for me. That put me on the same level as Venglos and Barnes, which at least made me feel a bit better.

In short, I have seen real crises at Parkhead.

The low point, of many, came after Larsson’s season-ending injury in Lyon – I missed hitting his plastered leg on the plane by inches with my laptop bag because I wasn’t looking where I was going.

There was plenty of stuff to write about but it was difficult to be positive at the time, especially after my hero, King Kenny, regularly phoned my boss to complain about me.

Celtic were in crisis then. In a football sense at least. They had some good players but the club lost its way somewhere down the line.

Barnes was a disaster. Dalglish lost the plot. Dr Jo’s English wasn’t great. Fergus McCann was about to leave and while he was a divisive figure back then, at least the supporters knew who ran the club.

If I could tell the 25-year-old me that one day Celtic would win back-to-back trebles and were heading for an eighth title in a row, I’m not sure I would have believed it.

Celtic are in a bit of a mess right now. They have had a slow start to the season, there have been some extremely disappointing results and performances and the supporters, quite rightly, are asking questions. But the current predicament is a million miles away from a crisis.

That is not to say that things are rosy, either. Celtic sit sixth, the success of the signings for a while now have been at best up and down, they didn’t make the Champions League and for the first time in two and a bit years, the faithful are losing their faith.

My understanding is that the players remain with Brendan Rodgers, particularly Scott Brown who is the leader on and off the park. But not everyone is happy. Some others don’t want to be there any more, while a few of the players signed during the course of the past 12 months have not impressed the senior figures at the club.

Rodgers has lost a bit of his spark. I won’t pretend to know the man – I do like him – but something has changed. A few people began to spot this in August when it became clear that the two or three players he wanted to sign would not be coming.

That left him short in the Champions League qualifiers and AEK Athens, a bang average side, took full advantage.

Celtic would be still be most people’s favourites to win the league. They are better than the results suggest and have money to spend in January. However, that aforementioned eighth title in a row is no longer the certainty it appeared in the summer and, from a Celtic point of view, that’s a crime.

However, Celtic have been in far worse positions than this and it wasn’t that long ago. Supporters have every right to be frustrated but calling for the manager’s head is outrageous.

My colleague Alison McConnell is now the Celtic correspondent at SportTimes. If this is the darkest times she has to write about then I must bore her to death soon about that time Scheidt tried to kick the ball back to his own player for a retake at a corner and missed him by 20 yards.

The young people who watch Celtic these days don’t know that they are born.