6 points adrift but confident signs from Celtic


The recruitment drive for central midfield players continues unabated with the pursuit of Australian international, Riley McGree (23). The player made 8 starts for Birmingham City last season, where he was used largely in a supporting role for the Championship side. This season, he became first choice after making his first start of the season on 20 October. Since then, he made a total of 10 starts before his loan deal ended on 31 December.

In short, Birmingham have done the heavy lifting to develop Riley into a Championship first team player. He is a year older than David Turnbull, a full and regular Australia international player and, if he joined Celtic, would rank alongside the three recent Japanese signings as first team considerations.

What does this move tell us about Celtic’s objectives? Often enough in the past, when we were nip and tuck in a title race, we would spend January trying to recruit loan signings from the EPL. The likes of Roy Keane, Craig Bellamy and Robbie Keane raised our game but were inexplicably short-term and often, as with of these star performers, failed to achieve their objectives.

This time we are recruiting players who have never competed for a league title in Europe, untested in Uefa competitions, who are by any measure, a risk. Sitting 6 points off the pace, this is a sign of confidence from Celtic. Why?

Ange clearly has confidence that his core group of players are good enough to claw back the deficit. He is not looking for a Roy Keane-type to shore up any area of the team. When injury and illness reduced his options, performance levels dropped. Celtic went 10 though a 10 game series in November and December where they only managed to win by more than one goal once. With Jota, Kyogo, Forrest and Jullien (!) back, you would fancy us to get the better of any domestic opponent.

Despite the enormous weight of consequences resting on this season’s title, Celtic are busy this month planning for the medium to long term. At the moment, it feels like the right strategy, we will find out for sure soon enough.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7

  1. Is it back yet? Who took the ba’?



    Happy Monday all from another subzero Monday in Kentucky.






    Off to the article now.

  2. Pingback: 6 points adrift but confident signs from Celtic | Celtic FC News Now

  3. Confidence will come from returning to skelping the huns. At the moment it’s a great vision and loving the recruitment in January but need to get that monkey off our back.



    We must turn this into a run of winning games, including der hun in February.



    Seems Ange’s mention of Iran as a target country wasn’t in jest too.



    HH one and all.

  4. the recruitment is great and we do seem to be on the right track building our style and winning mentality.



    My worry is still up front.



    Maeda can slot into the left forward slot and have MJ as back up until Jota recovers. We stay as we are on the RHS with Abada/Forrest/sometimes Juranovic.



    For me, we still only have 1 reliable CF in Kyogo. If Maeda can be back up in there, we lose cover on the LHS.



    Another thought; if the new midfielders do well, will McCarthy (4 year deal, big boy wages) ever get a game?

  5. @Paul…over the years you have nailed it ………..Hope tae god your right.









  6. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Very positive. No guarantees, but if it doesn’t work it won’t be due to a failure of ambition. A happy departure from the past.

  7. P67 — Very complacent to the point of being a bit happy clappy.



    The squad is still a bit thin regarding back up GK / CB experience / defensive pivot if JMcC is really just here for the craic.



    Plus we still have to integrate the players that we have brought in.


    And there is still work to do regarding the U19’s and the B Team.



    6 points behind mean that TFOD2.1 are — for me — 55%’ish favourites for the league.



    The fail at St Mirren and the last minute heroics at RC mean that we desperately needed new blood all across the pitch — consequently more to do.



    SW move — I would let him go on loan to Italy.


    He has stagnated this season by not playing enough football.


    Plus a new environment would get rid of any lingering St N’s Glee Club malarkey.

  8. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Often enough in the past, when we were nip and tuck in a title race, we would spend January trying to recruit loan signings from the EPL”




    Or Willo Flood…..




    “Despite the enormous weight of consequences resting on this season’s title, Celtic are busy this month planning for the medium to long term. At the moment, it feels like the right strategy, we will find out for sure soon enough.”




    Couldn’t agree more, Paul. Lost count of the amount of times when we have gone short-term and it has totally failed us. You don’t even have to go back very far.


    Hopefully we have finally learned the lesson.

  9. The high court ruling that Man City has no legal responsibility for the crimes of Barry Bennell ..who was actually employed by Man City !!…..Will be a hammer blow to Thompson lawyers chasing Celtic!!….

  10. Prestonpansbhoy …..only a wean….@60 lol have a great day mate….









  11. Headway made on carter vickers deal . Celtic on brink of jota deal . These storys will soon have gone on longer than the meena storyline in emmerdale . 100% want them to sign But getting scunnered with this will they won’t they . We have done well in this window no complaints there , with maybe some scope to go further and hopefully move on some of our dead wood .

  12. VTD @ 12.48



    Not sure I agree with your comments.



    MC seem to be rationing their financial outgoings by questioning the exact status of BB over a number of years.



    When he was a direct employee — they pay.


    When he was a hanger on / part time scout — they don’t.


    Today’s court case would seem to support them regarding the second scenario.

  13. MM still employed even as a scout……celtic settled with the victim of McCafferty who was employed …..the word Coach was definitely used in transcript re Bennell………still think its a blow for Thompsons

  14. Prestonpans bhoy.



    All the best to you on your 60th birthday.have a great day and enjoy





  15. Celtic have clinched the signing of Australian international Riley McGree.



    The 23-year-old has agreed to become the fifth January signing for Ange Postecoglou.

  16. I think you are overdramatising a bit Paul when you refer to “the enormous weight of consequences resting on this season’s title” , Corkcelt and others showed that the financial consequences of ending first or second are not so fatal for us. I completely sympathise with you though as you have followed like few the financial end game at Ibrox and know that THEIR only hope to prosper is a CL cash injection. So that is where the real consequences are.



    It really, really, really makes economic sense to distance ourselves at all opportunities from noises which come out of Edmiston Drive and scotch environs. Obviously there have to be good diplomatic relations with all clubs in the league but we only compete with them on the field of play, the times we are thrown together in this country. Celtic can only increase their fan base slightly in Scotland; low natality rate, entrenched attitudes etc etc and in 2022 has the chance to prosper with a greater virtual fan base from the four corners of the world…which it already has but it could be huger.

  17. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Could possibly explain why the claimant is pushing his case so hard on the Court of Public Appeal, i.e., Twitter


    It doesn’t bode well for the lad, when he admits that many doors, where interest had been shown previously, have been closed to him.


    A sordid business ,which has left many damaged souls, from a time when society didn’t really know how to deal with such cases.


    Times have changed and perhaps that will be the legacy of those who eventually came forward,

  18. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    !!BADA BING!! on 10TH JANUARY 2022 1:26 PM


    Celtic have clinched the signing of Australian international Riley McGree.




    Can’t wait to hear the Ballad of Riley Mc.Gree.

  19. VTD @ 1.03



    More detail / clarification — reading the BBC articles that bit slower.



    BB vs MC:



    75-79 = Local scout for MC — agreed by all — and they have paid out.


    79-85 = running a team but no actual direct connection with MC and they won’t have to pay out.



    Team seemingly started with the name SENRAB — Barnes in reverse.


    The chief scout for MC at the time was called Barnes …


    Who seemingly didn’t give BB a scouting job with MC.


    Make of that what you will.



    Murky and murkier / confusion — given the programme notes in 83 on a player he / BB had recommended and he is described as a scout. Poor journalism given that the dates regarding this player’s time at MC are not given so you cannot tell if this was pre or post 79.

  20. If RMcG is now onboard — all eyes towards Iran and MGh?



    We really cannot have to many left wingers in the squad.


    In AP we trust — just get it done.



    If we win the league this season — LA gets the winner from a cross put in by MGh — would that mean that their would be dancing in the streets of Tel Aviv and Tehran at the same time?



    Surely the UN could lend us the transfer fee?

  21. TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 10TH JANUARY 2022 7:04 AM




    It wasn’t an Aussie Government decision. It was a judicial decision. The Government lost in court.




    Tom – From earlier – Semantics.



    It was a terrible decision regardless.



    D :)

  22. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    “Fairly” persuasive analysis of our pursuit of Riley McGree, Pablo.



    I wasn’t aware of his recent pedigree.



    I must admit to initially, privately baulking slightly at the £3m fee quoted?



    Then considered two factors.



    1. MAYBE, I have an inbuilt, historical bias when it comes to assessing value coming out of MLS (must do better, B2B-GHF).



    2. Compared Riley with Aaron Mooy – a neat and tidy midfielder (nothing more) who in his mid-20s cost Huddersfield £8m off the back of a single season in the English Championship.




  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7