As good as it gets at centre half


Last week I wrote that Celtic were lucky their central defensive crisis happened during the transfer window.  They had time to make their move, although the requirement could not have been easy to fit.

A player was needed who could play in the Champions League alongside a young Swedish defender who is new to the club.  That sets the bar quite high, but the player would also know that with two new central defenders signed this window, Brendan Rodgers will be motivated to develop them whenever possible.  Game time may tail off when Cameron Carter-Vickers and Maik Nawrocki return to fitness.

I would walk past Nat Phillips without recognising him on Buchannan St this afternoon, but on paper, he is about as good as we could hope for.  Interestingly, he was the player Bournemouth signed as replacement for Carter-Vickers when his loan period there ended two years ago.

I hope he spends much of today and tomorrow in the company of Gustaf Lagerbielke.  They have lots to talk about before Sunday.

Welcome to Celtic, Nat.  Own it, while you’re here!

More blogging to come today.

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  1. Nat Phillips, looks like the real deal, he’ll know exactly where Brendan is coming from as well



    Let’s hope he can be our Kolo of this window and fortify the defence.



    Hail Hail

  2. Chairbhoy and Big Wavy



    “We spent 20 mn on first team ready players in 2019 with disastrous consequences




    Not because of the “model” but because our recruitment guys weren’t up to it”





    Well that was a good example of a bad year as it was the only one that resulted in the loss of our main objective- the league. If you coupled it with the Tony Mowbray spend year, you might conclude that prudence has served us better.



    Anyway both Big Wavy and Chairbhoy are exporting us to do better. Employ better people and use better metrics.



    I would characterise that as a worthy aim but not an operational plan.



    I would also wonder if either of you have any knowledge of the metrics and personnel currently used by Celtic to know if we lack these better people and metrics. I don’t – but I’d be surprised if we are appointing amateurs to the task.



    Aff oot- weekly shop- seems my expertise, despite demonstrating years of ineptitude at the task, is still required.

  3. SAINT STIVS on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2023 11:59 AM (I.e. ages ago…)



    What other musical combos could have graced the Hoops ?





    Not musical, but sporting, I give youse…



    The Toure Scheidt

  4. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    I see we’ve signed another “young player with potential”.



    When do we start to wet the bed?




    Off out shopping myself.



    I need a bigger sofa. One that will hide the horror of Joe Hart & Greg Taylor being first picks in our forthcoming ECL games.




  6. The main areas of the team that we needed improved have still not been addressed.


    Left back , goalkeeper def mid and striker.



    Suppose there’s always the January window

  7. On the imminent signing of 21-year-old Bernardo, Rodgers said: “Again a young player that’s coming in with potential and that will hopefully be confirmed. He comes in with the opportunity to see him and give us more strength in depth in that midfield area and we will see how he develops.”



    Hmm. If I knew anything about subtext I’d say Brendan was pissed off with how the window has gone…

  8. BR comments are very disheartening. At the end of last season, I thought it was fairly clear that we needed an upgrade at LB and Keeper. I’d throw in another RB because the fall off from AJ just wasn’t acceptable.



    Events can overtake you in the summer weeks so we’ve had to go out and get 3 Cbs and and reinforcements out wide. So some slack is required.



    However, no amount of bombast from P67 will convince me we’ve given BR a full hand in which to play poker with the big boys.



    We look set to go into the CL with Taylor and Hart in our starting 11. We’re an injury away from Ralston joining that line up.



    A failure to recruit a LB belies any pretence we went about our business with a coherent plan this window.

  9. I can’t believe we were spending time earlier in the week trying to get the young lad from Brondby while having Taylor & Bernabie as our LB options.



    What was going on ?



    BR looks and sounds mightily pissed off. Perhaps he’s just bedwetting ?

  10. I think it is fairly obvious that the Celtic Analytics tool alogriths are broken, because they have not identifed that Greg Taylor it too small, and that Joe Hart is finished as a goalkeeper. Left Back and Goalie is our targeted weaknesses for the champions league opponents, we know it, they know it, the dugs in the street know it, and yet we dont go strenghten. even people on the internet can spot this and call it out.



    Neither did they provide for Brendan 4 first team starters at Centre Half (an easy to find postion) , a defensive mid , a creative mid to replace mcgregor whos legs are gone, and a hard man mid mid for the steely centre.



    It goes further though, Maeda being fast is one thing, being hopeless is another, he needs moved out.


    Kyogo is wandering around like a lost goat, and we didnt buy muscle strenght power and physicality needed up front.



    instead we get another 4 lightwieght under developted projects.



    I know we havnt seen anyone yet, but that is beside the point, the managers body language is screaming “i have been let down, someone come get me from this Parkhead hell”



    He cites we were in for a top class player, but he has waitied to the last minute to tell us he is going to the EPL, not because they are paying him 3 times as much but because our lack of indoor training facility and having to train in all sorts of weather just isnt for him at this stage of his career.



    It is the worst transfer window in our history, no coincidence that Lawell is back in the door.

  11. Celtic are not heeding the fans ,who since the start of this transfer window have been crying out for another left back and a goalkeeper,well according to Rodger’s we ain’t getting them ,we’ll that’s that then .

  12. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Not sure what all the implied excitement from P67 has been this week if, as Rodgers says, Bernardo is it. Not sure why it took to the last gasp to sign Palma and him – were they really so much in demand we had to leave it too late for them to integrate pre-Ibrox? Mmmm…



    Given the transfer strategy this window has netted a very hefty profit in a guaranteed Champions League season I am reading the olc’s strategy as ‘we won’t be held to ransom on fees’ (I would support that) and ‘forget about us seriously competing in the ECL. I think football economics means we really are paupers at that particular table and they’re a,bitions rest on the Europa League.



    On the actual comings and goings I am ecstatic that we’ve finally rid ourselves of Ajeti and Barkas. Hopefully Soro too and Sead is no great loss.



    Good work on new deals for Kyogo, Maeda, Welsh and hopefully Abada and Hatate, both of whom are being fattened up for sale next season along with O’Riley.



    I have high hopes for Bernardo, Holm and Yang. I think they’ll all feature heavily this season. I know nothing yet of Palma other than his stars are good, so all good there. I worry he’s judged harshly against Jota.



    The 2x new CBs look like solid buys and presumably preface CCV being sold next summer after he’s more than served his time in our backwater league (as proven in Europe this week).



    Having watched him in the jamesy testimonial I have low hopes for Kwon. I wouldn’t be surprised if we never saw him again tbh.



    We’ve lost Mooy, Jota and Starfelt from the first XI. Hart and CalMac are looking their age this season and Taylor is having a ‘mare so far.



    My view coming out of this widow is that we are prioritising future player trading ahead of (affordable) here and now quality that would guarantee domestic supremacy. Business comes first. I’d rate our chances of winning the league this season around 50/50, which is a deliberate choice given the tens of millions being squirrelled away in the bank. Not sure why they feel the need to run such a huge surplus…

  13. Maybe none of our ready to go targets fancy the SPhell


    As Elvis Costello sang ‘ I don’t want to go to Celtic ‘

  14. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    PS I didn’t count the Phillips loan as that’s emergency cover and never part of the plan. Good recruitment in the circumstances.

  15. free agent striker,



    on our door step, has oodles of european experience, played in the champions league and a europa final , robust, physical , the attributes that make a great fit for the scottish game scorer of all types of goals and we just dont seem to be interested.



    surely we can afford £45k per week, that is now the going rate,




  16. Brendan:



    “I know how to win, I know what it takes to win. And I’ll show the players how to win.”

  17. Shocking window. Players should have been in before start of season. we lost Jota months ago and knew Mooy was going. We already needed a GK LB MF LW and CF. As startrers Back to buying cheap players and hoping one or two are good. Buy 1 or 2 good players ready to go into team

  18. @Celtic40me .That wisnae Brendan….


    It was our very own Big Jimmy……lol….








  19. I can hear the commentas about no one wants to come…..we just ran out of time….n Peter Lawwell back with a bang

  20. Reasonably pleased with the players we’ve brought in.


    Any Liverpool defender is likely to perform well in the spl.


    Overall, we’re still lacking in some areas


    We may well see sevco, or European opponents, lining up with 3 or 4 on their right wing straight from kick off. Some posters will question their managers logic or footballing knowledge

  21. SFtBs @ 2:24 PM,



    It’s not a coincidence, Tony Mowbray, Neil Lennon or Ronny Delia didn’t set the heather alight and we didn’t win trebles until Brendan Rodgers came along and won seven out of seven trophies



    Likewise after the carcrash of Lenny MK II it was no coincidence Ange won five out six trophies



    They are very good managers



    These things are 100% doable, the metrics, analytics etc are a numbers, time game



    We should never assume that the folk we have doing this “know their stuff” or have a talent



    We should definitely not be relying on them for game ready first team players, the nous and experience of a Manager or first team coach is needed for that.



    A small sample test, if we used this approach in South Korea how come the same “model”, gave us Yang and Kwon!?



    It makes no sense, we would be better off with a map, a blindfold and a pin.



    Dominic McKay and Ange seem to have used multiple approaches



    Yes there were misses but overall a great result, we paid 45 mn for players, recouped that money and still have 45 mn + of their talent in the first team



    That’s the way to get quality and value on the pitch and off it.



    This “model” is not fit for purpose or the guys who are running it



    Hail Hail



  22. Everybody knows we needed a




    GK, LB, RB, CBX2, A DM, CM, RM, LM, LW, CF X 2, RW, and 8 x quality on the bench, everyone over 6ft 3 please.



    I was going to do the stadium tour, does anyone know if the 3 trophies are still on display ?

  23. SAINT STIVS on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2023 3:30 PM


    Everybody knows we needed a



    GK, LB, RB, CBX2, A DM, CM, RM, LM, LW, CF X 2, RW, and 8 x quality on the bench, everyone over 6ft 3 please.





    You forgot to add the Main Stand renovation…

  24. St Stivs



    I believe the 3 trophies are still there, though the league cup will be leaving shortly.


    Whilst we won all of our league Cup games last season, we lost the only one we played this season


    Do you feel last years team was possibly stronger?

  25. Chairboy –



    you lose any credibility with statements like this



    “We should never assume that the folk we have doing this “know their stuff” or have a talent”



    you seriously think Celtic PLC just throws the software at someone and say go play football manager.



    I dont actually think you know what Business Intelligence for Sports Performance actually is.



    Celtic advertised a job role there only a few seasons ago, the qualifications were extensive, a whole new science of things.

  26. IMO and it’s only an opinion, but from what I see the board have done what they believe will keep them just ahead of their main rivals, they care not a jot about doing anything in Europe, that’s plain for all to see, tho many won’t actually see it…


    We are where we are so we will just have to suck it up and accept it.

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