Ajer on-board as strategy rolls forward


Norwegian football journos I speak to all praise Kristoffer Ajer (17) in the highest terms. The 6’5” midfielder became the youngest captain in Norwegian topflight history when he wore the armband of Start as a 16-year-old last April. He’s a strong and mature individual, apparently.

Despite having made only 36 career starts, Celtic have watched him repeatedly, on top of the loan period he spent at Lennoxtown last month, so they know the player they are getting. The information I hear of him is all positive, but he’ll be learning the game for years, and for the remainder of the year he’ll learn what it’s like to be a Celtic player, something he’ll have little inclination of at the moment.

I like this strategy of recruiting and deploying talent of this age, a policy which has been missing for around 40 years, and has contributed to a similar period of underachievement in producing prodigious talent. It feels right for us.

Welcome to Celtic, Kristoffer.

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  1. Great to see Ronny keeping his eye on building a young, hungry and competent squad for next year’s assault on the Champion’s League tournament.


    Despite the naysayers in the press or in the support.

  2. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    Here’s a nice wee quote from a Celtic supporter.


    Harry McGuigan referred to this ‘unease’ that many Celtic supporters encounter in negotiating their Irish identities in Scottish society. ” When Irish emigrant’s children had nothing, the only thing they had to anchor themselves here was Celtic”.


    (JM BRADLEY 2008)




  3. thomthethim for Oscar OK on



    Just finished reading the Jim McGuinness book UNTIL VICTORY ALWAYS , well worth a read if anyone is interested.





    Think it was recommended on here before but can’t remember the post





    As An Tearmann said, ’twas I who recommended Until Victory Always.



    It was a worthy winner of the Irish Sports Book of the Year award, amongst other worthy books.



    I think anyone with a knowledge of GAA will now acknowledge what he achieved with Donegal.



    I remember defending him on here from his critics, after his pragmatic and advanced tactical methods took the County to the ultimate heights.



    His influence was such, that I think it is safe to say that he forced other Counties to revise their approach to the game….and many have done so effectively.



    Apart from his dedication to the fitness and lifestyle of his players, it is his psychological approach to Sport that is the basis of his success.He can get into his players heads.



    I watched the recent Youth game v Valencia and for the first fifteen minutes, I feared for our lads.



    Valencia were running through us and we were chasing shadows.



    However, the lads dug in and got a foothold in the game. They began to impose their game on the visitors, by being brave on the ball and working for each other.



    These are the hallmarks of J Mc.G’s philosophy.


    We were very unlucky not to come through that tie.



    Now, go yis out and buy the book and give yourselves a treat!

  4. Paul67 Etal.



    There’s quite a few of the younger players that look like they have the talent to bring us forward in a couple of years time, as long as the moaners don’t chase Ronni away before they get the chance to prove themselves.



    I had a look at the 67 team and noticed that that most of that team was on Celtics books before Jock Stein returned to Celtic Park on the 9th of March 1965. except that is for Craig and Wallace, so I suppose that Jimmy McGrory should get some of the praise for that team, although I believe that Bob Kelly picked the team then.



    If it so happens that Ronni gets hunted(god forbid) then most of the praise should go the way of Ronni Diela for signing the makings of quite a formidible looking team in the making. But I doubt it very much.



    I struggle to come on the blog because of the perpetual bickering,it makes it a hard shift at times,I know that Celtic aren’t at their best at the moment but we’re still top of the League and getting back a bit of form,Celtic aren’t entitled to win every game, but when we do lose,it’s not just Celtic that lose, it’s CQN, and all the other blogs that we are involved in.



    I think I was blessed when I started supporting Celtic they were crap at the time,and it hardened me to Celtic playing badly,and they did play bad,but the good times were just around the corner,these times will come back,just a bit of patience needed.

  5. An Tearmann,



    I’m the quiet one. I thought it was you for a long while now, but It was confirmed when you mentioned the birth of Doireann Iona.


    I hope you’re well.




  6. Wits



    Thanks again for posting the link to the Bureau of Military History,i searched my moniker in it geuss what- parish rife with making poteen :-),nowt much changed there then lol.


    great resource.tho,thanks,




  7. The Comfortable Collective on




    Who Celtic’s tallest ever player? Fraser Forster?






    Willie Falconer was a fair height

  8. Fraser Forster is reputed to be 6ft 7 inches.


    I haven’t a clue what that is in the new French measurement system

  9. Oldtim67


    Many of the Lisbon side were on the books when Jock was running the all conquering reserve team, so he knew them and their capabilities.

  10. The Comfortable Collective



    DBBIA would know.



    The only goal I remember Willie Falconer scoring for Celtic was in the Scottish Cup Semi Final replay against Hibs at Ibrox (’95). Memorable for me because I didn’t see it – I was in the lavvy as the cheers went up…

  11. thomthethim for Oscar OK on




    Another fine post from you.



    Did I ever tell you that Big Jock came to us on my 21st. Birthday?



    I think that our generation has been the Golden Generation, not just in Celtic terms, but in general.



    We were the post war babies who got all the benefits that previous generations didn’t have.


    We got the health service, better housing and education, rock and roll and the various one off trophies that Celtic picked up along the way towards the Lisbon Lions.



    They were blessed times that will never again be experienced, football wise.



    I think it is in those personal memories, not taken from books of newspaper clippings, that I believe makes us more tolerant of the fluctuating fortunes of the club.



    Or maybe it’s just because we are (getting) old!!



    Keep well.

  12. Former police cadet Ian McWilliam was a surprise signing for Celtic in August 1977 from city neighbours Queen’s Park as cover for the club’s established central defenders.



    He was said to have had a great 1976-77 season with Queen’s Park and to be a “real personality” so seemed to be ready for the step up or giant leap to a major club. He was also the tallest player to date to play for the Celts, a massive 6′ 5″.



    He went on to make his debut in a 5-0 European Cup victory at home to Luxembourg minnows Jeunesse Esch on September 14th 1977, but then played a week later in the 2-1 defeat to Aberdeen in the league. He was only awarded two further appearances for Celtic, both later on in the first half of the season, a 3-1 & 2-0 win both over St Mirren in the League Cup.



    He was unable to displace the more established players like Roddy MacDonald from the centre half position for the rest of that season, and he never seemed to convince many of his long-term prospects.



    Always likely to be outside the first team picture, the giant McWilliam was released by the club in April 1978 after four senior competitive appearances. It simply wasn’t to be for Ian. It was an unhappy season for Celtic, as it was Jock Stein’s last, and Celtic had floundered badly, and major changes were needed. It was a difficult environment at Celtic that season.



    After Celtic he moved to play for Seiko in Hong Kong, but returned to the UK to win a trial for Blackpool in 1981 before running down his playing career with Rutherglen Glencairn.



    Sadly, Ian died prematurely in 2004 after a long battle against Leukemia. May he rest in peace.




  13. Appalling height disinformation today.



    BSR: Forster is 6’7



    Robert88: PVH is 6’4



    I know because Wiki says so, and Wiki is never manipulated.



    Not lazy journalism indeed…. ;)

  14. The Battered Bunnet on

    Been down the salt mines since last week, and only catching up on assorted matters today.



    I see the interim results were published on Friday night. There’s an interesting figure that will chime with many of us who go to home games: The £1.7M drop in matchday revenue year on year.



    We have played one fewer game at home this season than the same period last year, 17 v 18



    In the first half of season 2014/15 we played home 18 matches, earning £16.55M = £919,000 per home match.



    In the first half of season 2015/16, we played home 17 matches, earning £14.83M = £872,000 per home match



    That’s a hit of £47,000 per home game, or about 1750 fewer fans attending Celtic Park each home match versus the same period in the previous year. Bear in mind we’re competing in the same tournaments.



    Looking at previous seasons, I don’t have the interim figures to hand, but I do have the full year.



    In 2011/12 we played 24 home matches, earning £28.94M = £1,200,000 per home match



    In 2012/13 we played 30 home matches, earning £32.6M = £1,080,000 per home match



    And in 2013/14 we played 28 home matches, earning £28.2M = £1,001,000 per home match



    Those numbers in brief:



    2012 £1.2M


    2013 £1.08M


    2014 £1.001M


    2015 £919K


    2016 £872K



    Doubtless there will be specific issues and causes of variation one season to the next, Champions League tickets are more expensive than Europa League, and better attended, for example.





    Emdy else see a pattern?




    The board lowered season book prices and had no uptake



    The best fans in the world™

  16. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    TBB – thanks for figures



    I suspect the MSM lurkers will see the pattern and use accordingly.



    Hail hail

  17. copied from Jimbo on TSFM



    Scottish refereeing bias? Surely not.


    Any statisticians on the site?



    Penalties awarded this season in the Championship:



    ‘Rangers’ – 12


    Hibs – 3


    Falkirk – 3


    Dumbarton – 3


    Raith Rovers – 2


    Alloa – 2


    Morton – 1


    Q of T S – 1


    Livi – 1


    St. Mirren – 1



    Make your own mind up.



    From Hibs downwards there is a muchness. But at the top of the tree 12 (twelve). That’s almost as much as much as the next 5 combined.



    Really it’s a straight game.



    And it kicks out the argument that Celtic get the same favours, in the top league they are sitting in 4th. position with 5 (five) awarded.

  18. This kids so big he could plug the hole in the Ozone Layer. Lets jut hope he stretch it that little bit further & fill the holes in our leaky defence.



    Welcome To Paradise Kristoffer!

  19. glendalystonsils on

    Measured by ability, Jinky was 35′ 7″ tall, precisely 1/2″ taller than Henke.



    Rafael Scheidt was a commanding center back at 1′ 3 ”




  20. bournesouprecipe



    We’re all still growing. Our ears and noses never stop growing.



    This is so that we have bigger ears to listen to each other moaning, and bigger noses so that it is easier to get them put out of joint. FACT.

  21. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Seems clear to me.




    Sad that we have to put up with that.


    Thems are truly desperate.