Den Bosch and Janko in town, clogs to clogs

My expectation is Den Bosch will be better than an equivalent second-tier Scottish team (any of whom would give us a game on a summer evening like tonight), so they will hopefully present a suitable challenge to help stretch the legs.

Most attention will focus on Dedryck Boyata, but no matter if he looks great, or lousy, you will learn nothing of his abilities tonight. For Dedryck the objective is to get the limbs and lungs moving, just as with his new team-mates.

I hear Saidy Janko (19) was spotted walking into Ross Hall Hospital this morning.  Although known as a right back, Saidy can apparently play right side of central midfield and as a winger.  While he’ll be the fourth right back in the first team squad, positional definitions aren’t what they used to be.  At Celtic in particular, there’s often little difference between a full back and a winger (the former can hopefully tackle, the latter, less so).  They both have a responsibility to make runs into the opposition box, and to track back and defend.

Reports this morning that Dundee United have agreed a £1m fee for Nadir Ciftci with Gary Caldwell’s Wigan will be more palatable to United fans than seeing another player agree terms with direct rivals Celtic.  The fee agreed is within Celtic’s grasp, should they be sufficiently motivated to move for the player.  After a rising through the ranks, Wigan have endured two relegations in recent years.

They still have Premier League parachute payments coming in, which explains the seven figure bid.  It remains to be seen what Dave Whelan’s 23-year-old grandson makes of the opportunity, now he’s in day-to-day control.  There’s an old Dutch proverb about families with money going from clogs and back to clogs within three generations.

Ciftci’s industry, the great Czechoslovakia

BBC’s Jim Spence reports this morning that Dundee United have rejected a £900k bid from Celtic for striker Nadir Ciftci (23), as Ronny Deila continues his quest to recreate the all-conquering (cough) Dundee United team of 2014. While Ciftci is clearly talented, this is an unexpected move.  He can hold the ball up and bring [...]

Sun setting on striker flop, Football for Schmucks

News that the sun is setting on Amido Balde’s Celtic career will be welcomed far and wide.  His arrival on the back of a few YouTube clips and what now appears to have been a Portuguese marketing scam is a salutary lesson on how easy it is to expire transfer and wage budget, while incurring [...]

Ronny’s luxury denied to his predecessors

I remember writing with anticipation 10 years ago as many of Martin O’Neill’s benchwarmers came to the end of their contracts.  Martin was not a squad rotator, so those not entrusted with his confidence found themselves on the bench or in the stand on match day, there was little scope to play your way back [...]

Pragmatic expectations and serial divorcees

I spoke to a serial divorcee some years ago and he suggested that after one bad marriage, you’re more likely to plunge headfirst into another, then another, than your average person, despite all the warning signs. He was driven by a need to put things right in his life.  Regretful of lost time, he wanted [...]