A winning window?


We have watched Celtic through many transfer windows but I don’t think we have ever hit as many targets before – both in terms of who we brought in and who we moved out.

It is still early in the season but Kyogo Furuhashi (26) looks every inch a superstar in hoops.  Two years ago we pondered who was better, Edouard or Dembele, without reaching a clear conclusion.  Today, Kyogo would be first pick from the three of them.  It has been 17 years since we have seen a striker with such promise – so no pressure, Kyogo.

The first assumption is that Georgios Gialouakis (26) will have to wait on Kyogo being rested to make his mark.  With a long season ahead, who knows?  Georgios offers an aerial target that we have missed for many years, there could be occasions when he is preferred, or when both are used.

I hear great things about Josip Juranovic (26) from Zbyszek.  He was a stand out for Legia last season and no one there is happy he has left.  He gets forward, has an end product and can defend.  The defence is already vastly more stable than it was last season, the addition of Jura should help.

Carl Starfelt (26) is frustratingly difficult to assess.  He is good on the ball, fast, and reads the game well enough to cover for teammates.  Then there are the mistakes that cost goals.  At the same stage of Christopher Jullien’s Celtic career, the French defender was sitting on the bench, unable to win a place in the team that exited the Champions League.  Christopher soon settled, Carl must do the same.

That’s four 26-year-olds added at their athletic peak.  Not often we do that.

Paying £3.6m for a 19-year-old from Israeli football is at the higher end of what Maccabi Petah Tikva could have hoped for.  Liel Abada’s instant return in goals and assists indicates why they got that figure.  He is the youngest of the 12 signings this window and will continue to develop for years.

Joe Hart (34) is by some margin better than any of the three keepers who shuffled through the starting line-up last season.  He has already brought authority – as well as saves (!) – to the team.

Five years ago, James McCarthy (30) was miles out of our reach.  The subsequent seasons have not been kind, as the player’s appearance stats were subverted by various injuries.  30 minutes into his Celtic career, he again missed out through injury.  James has controlled games in the EPL.  If we get him fit, he will play in our most important games.  Let’s hope.

Filipe Jota (22) has skill and incredible pace.  Last season he was on loan at Real Valladolid, who finished 19th in La Liga and were relegated.  There is a rule of thumb I used whenever Patrick Roberts moves.  Patrick is a slight and skilful player, similar to Jota, but since leaving Celtic, Patrick has mostly played for teams at the bottom end of the table, where robust defending is required, often at the cost of creative players.  The slight, pacey and skilful players should ply their trade with clubs operating at the top end of the table.

There is development work ahead for Jota but he starts from a respectable high.

Cameron Carter-Vickers’ (23) signing was not quite as late as John Guidetti (another story) but he slipped through the window with minutes to spare.  My big worry about central defence is that I don’t expect Christopher Jullien to contribute much before Christmas (he is a slow starter to the season), leaving us short of cover for the Europa League.

Jota and Cameron both have the incentive of a permanent deal with Celtic to play for.  This worked well for Odsonne, let’s hope for the same.

Liam Scales (23) is the same age as Cameron and will hope to force his way into either central defence or left back.  £500k is decent money to pay for a League of Ireland player, his addition should ensure we do not force Nir Bitton back into the middle of the back line again.

Liam Shaw (20) and Osaze Urhoghide (20) are unlikely to see much game time this season.

Do you want to know how important it is that we sold Odsonne Edouard and (to a lesser extent) Ryan Christie?  Wait and see what happens across the city, where a team who publicly made it known they needed to sell players were unable to do so.

You either manage your assets or you fail to manage your assets and they expire looking more like liabilities.  Under different circumstances, Odsonne, Ryan and Kristoffer Ajer would have been sold a year ago, but the decision was made to retain them for the 10-in-a-row season.  I know, you all said “Sell them!” at the time………

None of them attracted clubs of the calibre that Kieran and Moussa did.  That we got north of £30m for them from EPL bottom dwellers is above my expectations.  There are deductions for sell-on clauses, of course, but this money, in addition to the revenue from Jeremie Frimpong (minus sell-on) and Patryk Klimala will have a huge impact on Scottish football in the years ahead.

Leigh Griffiths moved on, thank goodness.  Boli Bolingoli and Vasilis Barkas did not, both will wither on the vine.

So, are we going to win the league?  I’m feeling good about it.

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  1. BANKIEBHOY1 on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 8:43 AM



    Celtic are caught between a rock and an Ibrox place…….



    100% agree. They want to keep Scottish football in the dark ages in every way.

  2. Stephbhoy67



    great post.



    I was a shy kid so never had the confidence to improve my football skills (scared of a slagging) so just fitted in where i could and got the ball to the star players. I improved a lot in my late teens and played loads of footie through 20s /30s but never had the skills drilled in me as a kid so only played in works teams/5s etc , no confidence to join proper Sunday league. Shame – i could have been OK



    My daughter has played GAA all the way from 7 to 17 here in Ireland. Used to do football and camogie(hurling) and the GAA ethos is that every kid gets game time so there can be more than one team in an age group. Lots of subbing.



    They can do this due to the huge money in GAA from the gate receipts from the championship games (still an amateur game -cough, Dublin, cough, so no player wages). Plus money from Gov to support Gaelic sports heritage.



    Clubs, pitches , clubhouses eveywhere. The knock on effect of having everyone playing in the community is that there are loads of people prepared to coach, manage mentor.



    For my daughter, it fell apart around 14 in the football as the guy who took on the team was really a ‘soccer’ man and he ran it as you describe above. All about winning and favourites. She and about 6 others jacked it in (in tears) despite her excelling at FB in the previous year’s league final.



    In camogie, they now have to step up to the seniors with a big jump in skill level and fitness training. Only 6 out of the 15 went up so that’s it over. 10 years of team sport is a great result for her. Now getting into the gym etc.



    John Delaney, who ran the FAI in Ireland is roundly criticised for his financial shenanigans and his social life but he did actually try to compete with the GAA in small towns across Ireland to foster that local pride in the ‘soccer’ team. Put a lot of FAI cash in there too.



    Great documentary on RTE about his rise and fall. Might have been on BBc too

  3. In ither news……………



    3 huns lifted………….!



    According to Shortie this is comfortably framed as an OXX FXXX thng.


    Also it’s comfortably headlined as sectarian yet the sub copy correctlyrefers to the racist nature of the offence.




  4. ILJASB on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 2:20 AM



    I agree, we didn’t take advantage of the progress we made strategically and with systems and processes with BR at the club. I think there was a lack of vision in NL’s appointment and his own thinking but I see that as part of a larger malaise that affected the club at the time, that we were so obsessed with the ten that we lost focus on longer term goals.



    Strategy is something that’s easily understood but extremely difficult to devise. I dont have a proper understanding of it and I wouldn’t tell Celtic which structure I think would suit us best. I dont know whether a DofF would work or not. What I do know is that you have to make a plan and stick to it, otherwise you dont have a plan at all.



    We’ve got a great opportunity right now to get things right for many years to come, with a new CEO and a Manager with fresh interesting ideas.




    At the start of the pandemic my GP told me I was in the vulnerable group due to my age and underlying health issues. My wife and I shielded and were very careful.



    When I received my second vaccine earlier this year I was specifically advised that it doesn’t stop me contracting Covid but if I did, the vaccine would prevent me from being seriously ill.



    A week ago I got the virus after travelling on a supporters bus to Celtic v St Mirren. Thanks to the vaccine, my symptoms were fairly mild – slight cough, runny nose and loss of taste/smell – and lasted only a few days. My self-isolation ends at midnight tonight.



    Without the vaccine, I would almost certainly have been in serious trouble.



    You CAN still catch the virus after a double vaccination but you are protected from the more serious symptoms.



    My wife and I have been receiving the flu vaccine every autumn since we turned 60. We have been told we will now get an annual covid jab at the same time.



    The annual flu vaccine has worked. So will the covid vaccine.



    It’s how we will learn to live with it.



    I lost my cousin to covid in April 2020. He died alone in Wishaw General Hospital. So don’t you dare tell me covid doesn’t exist or that the vaccine is a scam. You are an idiot with no qualifications other than moronic YouTube videos produced by morons like yourself.



    You are to be pitied.

  6. !!BADA BING!! on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2021 10:05 PM


    Republic defended heroically, Ronaldo’s 2nd header…..wow




    Aye mate…Very Larssonesque i thought😉

  7. Correctly aligning Racism, The Toilet Block and its ugly denizens?




    Now that would be headline news.



    C’mon Scotland!

  8. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Feels to me like a potential watershed moment.



    Where “Sectarianism” is, correctly, replaced by “Racism” in the national lexicon.



    The SMSM are still not using the correct term today but that’s partly due to their “editorial position panders to consumer demographic in order to survive” strategy.



    Interestingly, the word “R@ngers” is actually a reasonably close match with “Racism”.



    Would Racism FC catch on as a label?




  9. STEPHBHOY67 on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 11:17 AM


    scottish football will not change casue those running it pass the same mistakes onto the next generation. There is a legacy issue past down the generations.




    Kids football still has dad’s that want teams to win over all else. In pro youth, coaches often place winning higher than anything else.




    The best kids play all the time the lesser kids stay on the side. Both get the wrong message, neither group see point in trying.




    Coaches still send kids round pitches in the name of fitness.




    We have kids playing on adult pitches aged 11 years old, crazy, it promotes to much space and time on the ball and encourages bad habits, it’s hard to physically hold the correct positions and to move with the shape. Also get less action and the Magic outball comes out I.e. long over the top to quick player.




    Discouraging use of skill cause you might lose the ball.





    Couldn’t agree more.


    I was dismayed when my son and his team went from playing playing 7 a side across a third of the pitch to full pitch 11 a side aged 11.



    Ridiculous on every level. But most especially for the keepers who had as much chance as Barkas of filling the adult goal.



    Ironic that Scotland, which boasts of gifting the world passing rather than pass n rush, now effectively forced their kids to do so just as they leave primary school.



    In terms of other posters comments on size, strength, etc – to reiterate, I don’t mean giants or grizzlies. Ronaldo and Larsson both showed what ideal looks like.



    HH jg

  10. BANKIEBHOY1 on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2021 11:50 AM


    In ither news……………



    Scotlands Finest are reporting that they have arrested 3 men on “Racist offences”with many more to follow.


    Not good enough for the Media,including SS,who refer to the arrests,as,”Sectarian offences”,even though their follow on editorial states “Racist offences”.