Ambition being demolished in real time


We signed Hyeok-kyu Kwon (22) for €1m from K League 2 club Busan IPark.  He joined St Mirren on loan last month, where he has since made six appearances.  Watch this short video montage of him there.

Look at his stature; he is 6’ 4” tall and broad too.  Watch how he tackles, wins the ball, look at his passing.  Note how he runs with his head up, the way he covers 20 yards to close down opponents.  This is in the league we play in, the league we have looked lost during long period in games.

All this, when a few of us bemoan the lack of physical presence in the side and regret the retirement of Aaron Mooy.

A quick reminder of Celtic’s place in the food chain.  We are able to sign players from Norwich in the English second tier who can do a job here but will not transform us.  We were able to sign a number from Israel (I doubt this will happen again).  We can shop in the Benfica youth ranks and pick up the odd star in places like Spurs’ unwanted list.

All of the above is capable of winning the league and remaining just about where we are in Europe, nothing more.  If we want to actually progress as a club, we need to take risks and be capable of the kind of outstanding find that Kwon clearly is.

That’s not all.  When we manage to achieve this, we cannot be a place where talent comes to die, where it withers on an unhappy vine.

Recruitment is not all about what the player brings in the way of innate talent (I remember Tommy Burns talking about how Celtic coaches had to work on the touch of Pierre van Hooijdonk), it is also about how you transform that talent into a great footballer.

If we are in the business of making great strides  in Europe, we are also at the raw material end of the talent purchase business.  If you want to remain roughly where you are – just a bit ahead of Newco – buy the kind of finished article you can afford.

That’s your choice.  Stay only just ahead of Newco – buy the finished article you can afford and will come to Scotland.  Or, make real strides as a club – buy and play Kwon, and develop him into a Champions League player.

Our job is to find talent with huge potential and develop that potential into something special, not to look for lazy shortcuts that anyone with more money than the rest of the league could succeed with.  This is really difficult.  Most players will fail, when they do, we move on quickly, but if we committ the club and apply our significant resources to this strategy, we can make significant strides.

Now I read that after having the player for five weeks, St Mirren have opened talks to extend Kwon’s stay for the whole of next season.  It is like watching ambition being demolished in real time, with cheer leaders who hate what they want most – to just stay ahead of the other lot.  Knowing the CQN demographic as I do, we are all a bit too old to hope for more in Europe too far into the future.  I want it now, give me Kwon in the heart of the midfield in August, give me more like him, or tell yourself you are happy squabbling with the neighbours.

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  1. I can’t wait for tomorrow night after Sunday’s victory. Hopefully there’ll be a huge turnout to get behind The Bhoys.



    Where are you? Let’s be having you!



    Delia Smith after a few sherries.


    SadiesBhoy after a few glasses of wine.

  2. Is it time for the club to re-evaluate our comms and engagement with fans?


    Other than contractual obligations, how do the fans want to interact with the club?


    Should we do a poll, possibly via registered supporters clubs?


    I very much doubt BBC would be high on amyones list. The new media is the way forward. Why are we still interacting the way we have done for 60 plus years.


    Modernise, update and bin the haters in the MSM

  3. I mentioned a few days back that only one player from the summer signings, Parma, started the home game against Athletico. And he scored a fine goal from the right. One of our better performances. Subs on were Jamesie, Bernardo and Philips. On the bench DT, Yang, Oh, Tomoki, Ralston, Bain, Gustaf and Mikey plus Joe Morrison. Some decent options there, albeit with no cover at left back as such. Short on firepower maybe, but Adam Idah seems to have brought some goals with him, and we still had Abada on the mend, Holm, Bernabei and Yuki. Not clear if Kuhn has or will add to the squad, or indeed contribute more than MJ, and DT has gone. Pity about Nawrocki getting injured, again, so Welsh will have to do. Fact is our new players have not had a whole lot of game time between them, certainly not enough to judge them as Celtic players. St Mirren and Melbourne, whole other story. Cant hurt.

  4. St Mirren 1 down at Ross County.


    One of our loan players, the young lad Kwon, subbed on 62 minutes.


    Hasn’t really contributed much.


    Would be good to think he’ll get some game time there, we can see if and when he’s ready to step up. Clearly, he’s not there yet

  5. Weebobbycollins on

    Kwon tonight looked like a young project well out of his depth…I hope you were watching Paul67.

  6. G FEARON on 27TH FEBRUARY 2024 2:43 PM



    Climate change isn’t a Chinese hoax, just another money grab. With the most gullible in society falling for it.



    *no offence mate but you really do talk a lot of raphael, tangerine heid must luv j arthur rankers like you.



    This is my 50th winter here in the great white north and right now on Feb 27th we have thunder, lightning, and hail out there, but you go trying tae be a bird man, I said man NOT mhan ok

  7. Tontine Tim on 27th February 2024 9:26 pm



    20k years ago there was three mile of ice above where Montreal is today.



    You could also walk from Manhattan to Staten Island.



    Can you give me a period in history where the climate did not change?



    No offense mate but i think you’re drinking too much Kool Aid.

  8. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    I see our absent saviour has just been subbed off for St Mirren..who are losing 1-0 to mighty Ross County.



    Meanwhile Burnley harking back to euro glories from 12, 17 and 18 years ago kind of defeats his own argument.



    Why stop there? Given the current Board credit for big Billy’s towering winner against Vojvodina, my dad’s personal favourite.



    Yesterday’s men, not tomorrow’s men.

  9. Weebobbycollins I disagree on your assessment on Kwon ,watching the game he didn’t do much and neither did the other 9 ST Mirrin players ,incidentally St Mirrin denied a stonewall penalty ,personally the sooner var is binned the sooner the better,1/1 up in Dingwall.

  10. 67 European Cup Winners on

    A couple of thoughts that confuse me


    If I am to believe that Paul67 is on message for Lawwell and son does Lawwell and son really believe that by promoting Paul67 to critisize our manager that we will all take their side and force BR out


    Again if Paul67 is scribbling the Lawwell and son agenda what does that say about the harmony and support for the manager and team


    Would Paul67and PL/son rather Celtic lost the league to make their point ?


    If PL/son are leaning on Paul67 to maligne our Manager are they making the same noise to our invisible CEO



    I just don’t get the internal politics when the consequences are losing the league



    I welcomed BR back but I have questioned some of his comments team selection and tactics


    If our board think he is not up to it then sack him don’t mouth off to Pauk67 in the hope that CQN readers will call for BRs head


    If anything it has made me more supportive of BR. He is working with one hand tied behind his back



    Confused yep I am



  11. Timbhoy163…your assessment of Kwon is every bit as valid as mine…Unfortunately, VAR is here to stay whether we like it or not. And yes, the Saints were denied a penalty.

  12. An Tearman



    £8m valuation



    I shudder to mention it but Joe Lewis said it on sky.



    I feel to have seen it mentioned elsewhere

  13. 67ECW






    Agree totally with you.



    I said earlier, our objective must be to win the league and to achieve that we all have to pull together and get behind the team. To undermine that effort from here on in, now that we’re back in contention, is reprehensible. Any naysayers from this point onwards are no better than Huns.

  14. Bigbhoy



    Thanks mate.


    I dont have sky Bigbhoy,i take it he is a pundit/presenter of some kind?




  15. Majestic Hartson on

    Like most on here I’m not a massive fan of the lead article and I’m confused by the message of much of it.



    So we should have kept a player who has had a decent run of games at st mirren because we are bemoaning the loss of Mooy. And we also can’t be a place where talent comes to wither on the vine. What age was Mooy when we signed him?



    Surely there’s a place for experience as well as punts?



    A couple of thoughts that confuse me



    If I am to believe that Paul67 is on message for Lawwell and son does Lawwell and son really believe that by promoting Paul67 to critisize our manager that we will all take their side and force BR out



    Again if Paul67 is scribbling the Lawwell and son agenda what does that say about the harmony and support for the manager and team



    Would Paul67and PL/son rather Celtic lost the league to make their point ?





    After reading today’s article I actually wondered if they were genuinely happy at Sundays last minute winner or regretted not having the opportunity to further slag off the manager. In a season where the support has been led down a path of division by the media, Paul adding further fuel to the flames by pushing an agenda against the manager at a time when we should be doing everything possible to unite is appalling and unforgivable.

  17. Peterlatchfordsbelly



    We should have a beer sometime and I will share my thoughts on why we have not achieved much in Europes top cup since rangers died.



    I think there are a few obvious reasons but some maybe less so.



    Facts are that few non top 7 countries have done anything much either. Copenhagen and Zagreb maybe once and that’s about it. We are not the outlier but more the norm for any club outside the top 7. Even for the Dutch it was big for PSV to get to knockouts this year.

  18. I will have a spare for tomorrow night due to son having to play a cup replay.



    Decent seat north stand lower about 18 yard line 20 rows back.



    If anyone wants it let me know and make a wee donation as suits and you are welcome. I will be there from about 6.45.

  19. Five main observations to this:



    1. it shouldn’t be so binary as one or the other. We need a mix of experienced players to help develop the “projects” – a core of players who will stay for 3-4 years and blood one or two cycles of project players;


    2. We need fewer projects – we don’t have a B Team/reserve set up and don’t have loads of coaches so we need to concentrate coaching time and minutes on the pitch on c3-4 players max. Trying to develop Kuhn, Tillio and Yang all at the same time will spread us too thin – better to pick the best of them and hot house that player (see also Welsh, Nawrocki, Scales, Lagerbeilke; or Kwon, Bernardo and Holm);


    3. The Kwon experience is actually a really good development pathway for him, and young players generally. 6 months in and about the squad training (and with fewer projects, more minutes as a sub late on in games) to get used to the demands of Celtic followed by 6 months on loan at another SPL side to get used to the demands of the league. He can then be considered for our 4th/5th/6th choice midfielder and work his way into the team.


    4. Contrasting our European performances over the past ten years to theirs is probably not a great comparison. Yes they had a poor CL campaign last year, but by all other measures (knock out stage wins, teams beaten, UEFA coefficient ranking) they have outperformed us. We need to be better and the evidence of this season is that going all in on projects isn’t a great idea.


    5. We signed two players in the January window – one (Kuhn) under the data approach and one (Idah) “off piste”. So far only one has shown the will have an impact on the team. It’s almost like buying a player to fit a desired profile (power, but of pace) actually works 😳

  20. For what it’s worth also, I think we are lacking in the elite coaching department(s).



    We are losing most if not all of our youth prospects, due to lack of game time, assist a result of lack of opportunities, which is a result of lack of proven ability.



    Without the best coaches coaching our players/ youngsters, we stand absolutely no chance of producing top talent that will either produce us top youngsters or bring in top fees for our prospects.



    Loads of teams are now cashing in on their top youngsters, like Copenhagen, PSV, Ajax etc, it is long overdue that Celtic had the coaches to develop our players to those levels.



    Without the best coaches, we cannot expect to have the best players. At any level!

  21. Melvin Udall,



    Totally agree with this – our Academy is populated with Motherwell old boys and this we generally produce Motherwell-level players, with really promising guys moving on at a young age. We need to improve our coaching set up and have a proper pathway!

  22. Good morning all from a very still, calm, dry but chilly 2 degree Garngad.



    3 points tonight bhoys eyes on the prize.



    5 – 0 to the good ship Celtica.



    D. :)

  23. Match day.


    Hopefully, we see ‘2nd half Celtic’ and not ‘1st half Celtic’ from the other day.


    If so, I’m going 4-0.


    Time for everyone to unite and leave egos and factions at the door

  24. Some interesting comments and analysis from Alistair Johnston on our second half performance against Motherwell at the weekend. ‘Pass it forward’ and ‘if we lose th ball further up the pitch we can work hard to get it back’. Sounds more like Ange ball to me, and it worked. Fact is we are not playing Bayer Leverkusen every week, and though most SPL teams, Hibs showed it recently, have the ability to counter attack, if you put them on the back foot they have less time to make good use of the ball. Sounds simple, because it is, and it suits the players we have better. Not only that, as shown, it gives CCV and Liam a bit more time and space, to take the game forward, frees up Greg and AJ into the bargain. Difficult to maintain for ninety minutes, we found that in our CL home matches, but we played our best football there, and if it results in getting a decent lead in the first half, as in not just the early goal, then we might manage the game better than we have of late. Hope to see more of it later on today against Dundee, and see if it pays off.


    Lets get behind the Bhoys. (Apologies in advance for my use of language)

  25. Weebobbycollins on

    Awe naw! Another love-affair. Somebody used to walk around the streets of Ivory Coast wearing his hun top.


    When will it end?

  26. The team and support energy was great on Sunday. Even when things were not looking good. The support saw a team trying.



    I would be happier with 30000 really supporting the team tonight than 60000 expert opinionated consumers expecting to be entertained.



    The support drove poorer teams than this to titles in 79 and 86 and 88. Smaller in number than those who will be there tonight but with hope in their hearts.



    11 games to go and 6 at home. Come on Celtic.

  27. Weebobbycollins



    The diet of positive pr for them is nauseating.



    A team which has won 3 trophies in 10 years.



    We have won 23 in that time.

  28. Burnley 78,



    Imagine our team walking out tonight to 30,000 empty seats.



    Would that not be the most demoralising thing the supporters could ever do. ?



    You do not need to be a hard core uber fan to support the hoops.



    If you can and are able to do so then make the effort. Every seat filled keeps faith with the team.




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