SO, 10-year challenge then?

Who has aged like a fine wine, lost pounds around the midriff, put real ones in the bank? Or into the nice house or the fancy car? It all goes just so long as the golden rule of taking a selfie to go with new gym/house/car/ is religiously adhered to.

One cannot allow social media bragging responsibilities to slip.

So, Scottish football’s 10-year time hop, then?

A decade ago who would have foreseen just what was to come?

There was Rangers’ financial implosion and the fallout, the chat of which is bound to be still going into 2030. And 2040. And, well, you get the picture; tax avoidance issues are unlikely to ever be seen as just a little blip.

READ MORE: John Hughes savouring title race, but says Neil Lennon will have plan to derail Rangers

But for all that the last 10 years saw the liquidation of Rangers and the start of The Journey, 2020 at the top of the table looks as though a kind filter has been applied to the Scottish table and, in particular, the Ibrox side. They currently boast an uncanny resemblance to just where they were a decade ago.

Celtic have not had cause to age. It has been a comfortable passage for the Parkhead side as they have lived the high life, flexing financial muscle, enjoying the mirth that came with Rangers’ toils and getting so tipsy on the frequency of champagne in the winning dressing room that it was a wonder they could run in a straight line.

The Parkhead trophy room continues to groan under the weight of the prizes it homes. Of the last 10 on offer in a domestic sense, they have claimed them all. But as always with trinkets and baubles, the status of what they signify to the outside world is what it is all about. That an entrenched dominance might be precarious will have come as a rude shock to the system.

Back in 2009 the title was decided, in Rangers’ favour, on the last day of the season. Down it went to the wire with the Ibrox side claiming the championship at Tannadice with a comfortable 3-0 win over Dundee United.

This January looks a lot like just where it was a year ago. But the problem for Celtic is that while they have improved this season, few would have foreseen just how much Rangers would kick on too. If Steven Gerrard has applied the Botox to massage the worry lines and apply a little balm to the pressures of recent years, Celtic might suddenly find themselves with a few sleepless nights of their own.

Their own journey to the historic and fabled 10 league titles has long been in the offing. There was Brendan Rodgers with 10 fingers splayed as he joined in the count way back when it was still fairly early days, and there has been an eye on this all the way through the eight they have banked.

It can be little surprise about the toxicity which emanated in the aftermath of last Sunday’s game, then; this close is always too close for comfort.

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Christopher Jullien says winter break can be huge for Celtic's jaded stars

The January window is a chance to bring in other options, tweak what is there. Celtic have the luxury of money in the bank and options in the window. But the problem is this: if the form that underpinned the opening months of the season is maintained by both sides what then?

The idea that this January is the same as last isn’t the case. It’s been witnessed by the sheer consistency of both teams, both of whom fought a double-pronged battle on a European and domestic front, and still showcased form that blew the rest of the league out of the water.

There were pockets of discontent aimed at Neil Lennon in the aftermath of the defeat on Sunday which seem ridiculously harsh. The Celtic manager has won 11 out of his last 12 games with the form and points tally among the best the club have had at this stage over the course of the last 15 years.

The problem for Celtic is not that they have not played well. It is that Rangers suddenly have a familiar look of genuine sparring partners. The one string to Celtic’s bow is that money gives them options while Gerrard has conceded that he would have to sell before he could buy.

Money doesn’t buy happiness but what comes in to Celtic over the next month could well buy a record-equalling ninth title.

And relief would feel a lot like happiness.

AND ANOTHER THING. . .

CELTIC will rub their hands at the prospect of Moussa Dembele moving to Chelsea.

HeraldScotland:

READ MORE: Celtic wait for windfall as Chelsea launch bid for Moussa Dembele

The Parkhead side would profit handsomely from any sale of the French striker with their now familiar sell-on clause bringing a second financial reward into the club.

Dembele has scored 30 goals for Lyon since his move back to his homeland in acrimonious circumstances 18 months ago and for all that Chelsea’s opening bid of £34m was kicked out by the French side, there is every chance the bargaining will rumble on over the next few weeks.

Celtic will watch from a distance as they look for a striker of their own. Slovenian internationalist Andraz Sporar has been the subject of interest in recent weeks.

Closer to home, there is a striker whose stats make impressive reading. Lawrence Shankland has scored 22 goals in 24 appearances this season, and been linked with Rangers, Everton, QPR and Norwich.

It is not just this season that Shankland has been prolific; since 2017 he has scored 94 goals with the latest feather in his cap coming via a Scotland call up. Were he plying his trade outwith these shores one wonders what the interest in him might be.