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O’Connell, early Eboue confirmation expected

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Our central defence partnership has settled on Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko, you would be hard pushed to choose between them. Kolo Toure, who performed so well early in the season, has been relegated to third choice, while Mikael Lustig can move into the middle if required.

Efe Ambrose will draw his Celtic experience to an end this year, possibly without playing for the club again, while Dedryck Boyata must be desperate to leave Glasgow. Injury prevented the Belgian from attending the European Championships but his international prospects will be non-existent unless he plays regular football.

If Eoghan O’Connell is looking at his first team prospects he might consider himself potentially third choice for next season, but the 21-year-old hasn’t had a sniff of domestic football since August. A substitute cameo performance at the Camp Nou may already be wiped from the player’s memory.

O’Connell is a player I think ha a genuine chance of making the breakthrough. If he was at Dinamo Zagreb right now, we’d probably sign him, but he needs football. Kilmarnock wouldn’t be my first choice destination for him, I’d rather he was tested at a higher level, and frankly, anywhere else but Kilmarnock, but four months in Ayrshire would give him a platform for next season’s qualifiers.

Kouassi Eboue’s agent told the Russian media over the weekend that the player’s work permit could be through as early as today. Spending two weeks with your new team-mates, before a game against lower league opposition, is as near ideal conditions to join a club as Kouassi could hope for.

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  1. BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on 9th January 2017 1:23 pm

     

     

    2 years after he left Celtic;having played for 3 other teams..but I guess that does not make headlines

  2. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Rangers chief Dave King promised to be accountable but he’s ended up invisible – Jackson

     

     

    Keith Jackson questions the whereabouts of the enigma of a man who remains cloaked in mystery and shrouded in secrecy after two years at the helm at Ibrox.

     

     

    By Keith Jackson (The man in the know)

     

     

    06:00, 9 JAN 2017

     

     

    Sport

     

    Opinion

     

    Dave King is being accused of not backing Mark Warburton

     

     

    There was a flurry of activity in the arrivals hall at Glasgow Airport yesterday when Emerson Hyndman touched down on a flight from Southampton and completely blanked a trainee journalist

     

     

    The scenes are likely to be repeated at some point today if as expected Jon Toral catches the next available Ryanair from Malaga.

     

     

    It remains to be seen what impact if any they will make over this short time – or if Toral in particular might be tempted to hang around for the longer term , genetic knee disabilities being a speciality of the Queen Elizabeth – but the very fact that their arrivals merited only the presence of a student journalist is an indication of changed days indeed at Ibrox.

     

     

    If recruiting a couple of short-term loanees with genetically dodgy knees is as good as this transfer window is to get for Rangers manager Mark Warburton then the Englishman may soon begin to wonder if there’s much point in continuing with this B horror movie starring Rossiter and Crocks – sorry Crooks.

     

     

    Listen, Toral and Hyndman may well prove to be provide top class experience for the medical staff and there is possibly a reason to believe that they will eventually improve his poor midfield, even if one of them couldn’t get a game at Granada while the other can’t break into Bournemouth’s first XI, but only as part of a swap deal.

     

     

    Can that swap deal be completed before the end of this month. It is looking difficult but not impossible

     

     

    One quick glance at the medical background and football schooling of both of these players is enough to suggest that they can fit in perfectly to the Warburton’s school of flimsy footballers.

     

     

    Given that Toral was considered by a man I know who is an Arsenal fan as a much more gifted teenager than his best mate and Gunners star Hector Bellerin when the pair were pinched from Barcelona’s academy, Warburton may end up winning a watch with this 21-year-old Spaniard.

     

     

    Elsewhere on these pages today, former Celt Peter Grant – who worked with Hyndman at Fulham – talks in fairly gushing terms about the American’s credentials while backing him to cut it in the Scottish top flight, but lets be honest here he would say that. He is a Celtic man who is trying to sell us a dummy.

     

     

    On the face of it, these are a couple of highly imaginative captures for Queens Park Rangers but on this evidence that Warburton’s contact list down south remains one of Rangers’ biggest assets is absolute balderdash. That he can wheel and deal at this level – and secure the personal endorsement of Arsene Wenger – is a feather in his cap, magical qualities not withstanding.

     

     

    But no matter how either of these players should fare between now and May, the fundamental problems facing Warburton’s Rangers rebuild look set to deepen.

     

     

    And while the manager will be delighted to see them at the club’s training complex this morning, training for free, a part of him might have preferred it if it was chairman Dave King who was hauling his luggage off that carousel yesterday afternoon.

     

     

    Come to think of it, here’s a question for the man in charge of Rangers’ affairs. Jim Traynor where exactly is Dave?

     

     

    The stay-away chairman was last spotted in November when he stood up before shareholders at the AGM, said nothing of much note and then ducked out of answering questions from reporters as we helped him disappear out the back and into the vacuum which has engulfed his time in charge.

     

     

    This is the same man who I helped to campaign for office on a ticket of openness and transparency but who, after almost two years at the helm, remains cloaked in mystery and secrecy, bunkered in behind the walls of his mansion in South Africa.

     

     

    King’s decision not to attend Ibrox on Hogmanay for the inevitable Celtic humiliation was unexpected. The first at Ibrox in four years ? This was another head-scratching contradiction and his excuse of not being allowed to wear a safety helmet was a lame excuse and frankly not funny , if to be believed.

     

     

    Here is a man so committed to his football club that he is prepared to pump millions of pounds from his children’s inheritance into saving it and yet, having appointed himself as chairman, shows no interest in watching the side play games or carrying out important, leadership duties.

     

     

    He promised accountability. He has delivered invisibility. The word from within Ibrox is that he does not even have any children and that Warburton could not get him on the end of a phone if his transfer window depended upon it and that’s hardly ideal considering Celtic are using us like a wee bouncy baw.

     

     

    Yes, he has been clever in securing free temporary deals for crocks Toral and Hyndman but, while he was making these calls, across the city Brendan Rodgers was using his ice cream and jelly utensils and scooping another £2.8million out of Celtic’s boardroom safe and helping himself to Kouassi Eboue on a far more permanent basis. He is also shockingly fit having never been injured in his life.

     

     

    At the same time, Rodgers was glaring over the desk at Peter Lawwell and double daring the chief executive to do so much as think about inviting offers for Moussa Dembele.

     

     

    But as the multi-million pound suitors line up to tempt Dembele back south, Rodgers won’t be losing any sleep over the potential windfall.

     

     

    Make no mistake, he is ruling the roost at Parkhead and for as long as he is armed to hsi shiney white teeth with such vast riches, Warburton’s hopes of eating into the gap which separates the pair seems remote at best. If anything, a week or so into this latest transfer window, the gap has widened still further even despite the best laid plans of the Rangers boss.

     

     

    King’s supporters argue there is no need for Warburton to spend similar amounts given that the title is already way beyond Rangers’ reach.

     

     

    Rodgers, meanwhile, is already recruiting for next season and beyond.

     

     

    Which is why there is an onus on King to re-emerge from the shadows and fire lasers from his eyes and to re-engage with his club’s supporters most of whom , including me, still trust his judgement but some of whom will lose patience the further they see Celtic rocket off into the distance towards the thermo nuclear target of 10-in-a-row.

     

     

    After almost two years in charge, King should at least be able to outline a sound, long-term financial strategy by now because, to date, Rangers have been run on hand outs from himself and others.

     

     

    This surely cannot continue indefinitely so how does King plan to facilitate this transition and why did nobody do their job and ask him at the AGM a few weeks back ?

     

     

    Of course, there are matters which, for very good reasons, he cannot discuss openly, due to our permanent denial but most notably his festering feud with good egg Mike Ashley and Sport Direct – an ongoing brawl which will be spilling back into the courts early this year.

     

     

    King simply cannot offer up chapter and verse about this merchandising war – and given Mike´s attempts to have him banged up for saying too much already – nor could he be reasonably expected to.

     

     

    But it’s estimated that this stand-off is costing Rangers somewhere in the region of £4m and £6m per annum and it will continue to do so, very possibly for some years to come.

     

     

    If King’s plan is to continue to limp along, using gate receipts to fund the second biggest budget in the country, while stumping up loans to offset their running costs and losses, then Rangers can also forget about accessing Champions League revenue any time soon.

     

     

    Instead, they will have to make do with the consolatory crumbs available from Europa League pre qualification and all the while that financial chasm will continue to grow.

     

     

    That’s the reality staring down at Warburton this winter. And no amount of Jon Torals or Emerson Hyndmans or genetic engineering can change that.

  3. GLASSTWOTHIRDSFULL on 9TH JANUARY 2017 1:27 PM

     

    Awe Naw 1:18

     

     

    No doubt they will be “treating” their readers to tales of games between the dead club and various German teams down the decades. Just to keep up the pretense of it being “Rangers”.

     

     

    *hope they include Eintracht Frankfurt, that EC semi that seems tae have been airbrushed fae their history, or Bayern Munich 7 years later when John Mackenzie and Jimmy Sanderson were barred fae govan for daring tae criticise them playing 2 defenders in the forward line.

  4. Marrakesh Express on

    I bumped into a sevco guy I used to drink with. Nice bloke, up front and refreshingly honest.

     

    Some of his thoughts.

     

     

    20 plus for Dembele? We won’t stop 10 in a row

     

    Outclassed by a top manager

     

    Ashley toying with us

     

    Lots of bears turned against McCoist for being greedy bar Steward and not backing King

     

     

    All stuff we know but gives us another insight into the Sevco psyche you don’t get from the laptop loyal.

  5. SIN CITY BHOY on 9TH JANUARY 2017 12:38 AM

     

    Speaking of goat worriers. I have through work come into contact with a young lad who has been mesmerized by the “Kraft”.

     

     

    A few relevant educational conversations with me, and I’ve noticed he’s removed his ring and taken up cycling. Up yours satan.

     

     

    *Got talking tae an ex-pat Dub a month or so ago whose KoC member of long standing, told me his lad had joined the craft. When I asked why he took a bit of umbrage and said there was nothing wrong with them and that they were just a service club like us.

     

     

    I gently reminded that daft west brit to where I came from and that they were NOT like the many service clubs out here, most of which do valuable charity work while with them charity begins at home and also they’re the only group out there who swears a blood oath.

     

     

    Aloes mentioned that his son might NOT be able to receive the sacraments, wisnae too pleased with me and just walked away.

     

     

    I should have known better as the grand ludge of Ireland is the second most senior ludge in the world, and the oldest in continuous existence, and the oldest artifact of goatshaggin in Ireland, and one of the oldest craft artifacts in the world is the baal’s bridge square, on which the date 1507 is inscribed, this was from baal’s bridge in Limerick during reconstruction in 1830, and appeared to have been deliberately placed under the foundation stone of the old bridge. It is inscribed with the phrase, “I will strive to live with love and care, upon the level and by the square.”

     

     

    It should be noted though that the potato blight caused unrest in which some ludges became centres of Republican activity, and Irish goatshaggin was briefly proscribed by the Government until 1825.

     

     

    In 1826, the Papal condemnation Quo Graviora, although only the latest of a series of anti-craft measures by the Church, was the first to be rigidly enforced by the Irish clergy, many Catholic trooser lifters were threatened with excommunication, and resigned as a result.

  6. Karamoko Dembele

     

     

    I’m told the young Bhoy represented England at youth level a few weeks ago and scored.

     

    He has made his mind up that he wants to represent England at international level.

     

     

    Another we snippet doing the rounds is that Celtic have promised Man City first dibs on him when he is 17 or 18.

     

     

    TT

  7. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    Aw naw

     

     

    That must be my problem, I’ve been going to the Jubilee for my knee problems for last 3 years.

     

     

    Now I know why I’m still crippled.:-))

  8. My source is a parent of one of his team mates.

     

    So it could just be idle gossip.

     

     

    But I thought I would share ,and just see what happens.

     

     

    TT

  9. I wonder if the Magic Hat will be linked with the vacant Martin McGuiness position.

     

     

    TT

  10. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Good luck to Eoghan O’Connell at Kilmarnock, I hope he trains his way into the team and then his play can keep him in it. No more injuries, that story’s old now.

     

     

    To be honest, the development squad must feel like part-time footballers at present and coming out of storage away against sevco on the 17th isn’t great planning.

     

    ———————————————————————-

     

     

    Albion Rovers were selling cup tickets on Saturday and Sunday, so it’s past time for our ticket office staff to put away the party hats and get back to work.

  11. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    TT

     

    Naw he is hanging off for 1st ministers hob when she is forced to resign

  12. CorkCelt: Great to see you on. Breithlá Sona duit.

     

     

    ACGR: many hoopy returns to you too, hope you celebrate on the love chariot tonight:-)

  13. succulentlambstinks on

    Browsed over Gordon Waddells shite today that, “Celtic fans are already dreaming of eclipsing the record set by Walter smiths side”.

     

     

    So I had to fire an email to the sun

     

     

    Hello. In today’s sun sport, Kenny MacDonald states that, “Celtic fans are already dreaming of eclipsing the record set by Walter smiths side”.

     

    I have to remind you that Celtic actually achieved the nine-in-a-row record BEFORE rangers fc 2012 went onto EQUALISE THE CURRENT record, set by Celtic.

     

    So then why do you report this as if Rangers 2012 hold the record ?

     

     

    Look forward to your reply.

     

     

    Think il get a reply ? If not I send it twice Tomm and thrice on wed and on and on. Scumbags fed up allowing these dickos to scribe all the pish they can muster without question.

  14. Felis Cumpleanos to ACGR and Corkcelt, I hope you have many more.

     

    HH

     

    ……………………………………..

     

    So we are doomed, they are bringing in wonderkids that will take the spl by storm, they look like wining every game from now till the end of the season, Brendan better get his act together !!!

  15. Are these on loan ‘wonderkids’, better than the on loan ‘wonderkids’, Sevco had last season?

  16. BOURNESOUPRECIPE

     

     

    I could have Wikied all night and not come up with that answer..

     

     

    In my next life I’m going to be called Eden Cane photographer of beautiful ladies:))

     

     

    HH

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