Brendan took Lee Congerton, this tells you lots about last 2 years at Celtic


Lee Congerton, who left his post as Celtic chief scout, to re-join Brendan Rodgers at Leicester, will not be remembered fondly by Celtic supporters.  We can look to Olivier Ntcham, a £4.5m acquisition from Manchester City, whom Celtic had a pre-existing relationship with, and to Odsonne Edouard, a 2018 £9m acquisition from PSG, whom Congerton identified as a loan signing during his first transfer window at the club in 2017, as success, but they were few and far between.

The debit column has Marvin Compper and Jack Hendry, two central defenders who Lee should have discovered were not what Celtic required before putting his name to the players, but the most alarming signing was Charly Musonda.

Charly was one fo the slightest players I have seen in a Celtic jersey.  He had something about him, but so do lots of players.  What Charly did not possess was the detrmination to success at Celtic, or the physical attributes necessary to work in the professional game.  He was an extravagant signing, at the time the best-paid player in the Scottish game, and a complete misfit at Celtic.

Five transfer windows did not produce as many players able to command a regular starting place.

Football loves a scapegoat at Lee is a perfect fit.  I have little sympathy for him, but scouting is as nuanced as any other aspect of life.  Scouts are repeatedly employed by managers because they do not wipe their bums without the boss telling them to do so.

The fact that Lee left Celtic surprised no one, but the real question is, why did Brendan employ a scout who was so ineffective for him at Celtic?  It seems an incredulous appointment, but Lee got the Leicester gig because he did what he was told at Celtic to the satisfaction of Brendan.

Chief scouts who keep their jobs and are repeatedly re-employed by the same manager observe one rule: Let the boss control everything.  I have heard this straight from one well-known chief scout, who suffered the odd period of negative publicity, while only privately despairing at his manager’s signing choices.

A chief scout acts as gatekeeper to the countless agents promoting undiscovered never-will-bes, while trying to convince an agent with a talent in demand that his club is the perfect platform for the next stage in the player’s development.  It is a job of phone calls, video feeds and airports – so that the manager doesn’t have to.  The manager, often inspired by his confident ability to produce Lazarus-type recoveries, will then allow everyone to marvel at his wisdom.

I have no idea if Lee Congerton is a good scout or not.  I can tell you his knowledge of obscure European players was impressive and his analysis was consistent with other good analysis I checked, but the data is not complete.  Judging him is a big like judging a striker on his goals tally without known his Expected Goals stat.

All we know for sure is that the outcome was not good enough for Celtic, but was good enough for Brendan to give him another job.

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  1. glendalystonsils on

    As long as the pair of them (BR and LC) keep their hands off our players , I will happily let them become a distant memory.

  2. fieldofdrams on

    There is soooooo much money floating about in the English game that a club the size of Leicester can afford, in every sense, a scout that only gets one in ten right.

  3. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Congerton’s last 2 jobs ended up on ‘gardening leave ‘ ,before we took him in….

  4. Goodbye Lee.



    We have a lot of hiring of important roles in a very short space of time. Worries me and encourages distressed purchases ( a la Ronny Deila) – Interim Manager calling shots at the moment on recruitment and a proposition that doesn’t have clarity about one of the new player’s biggest attractions – who’s the boss?



    I hope we have done a lot of pre-work behind the scenes, beyond the feeling out stage…

  5. The last several transfer windows made clear that whoever was or wasn’t responsible for player recruitment was doing a pretty poor job.



    Whether that was LC, BR, PL or a clusterduck of the 3… patently didn’t deliver what and who we needed.



    HH jg

  6. It’s interesting that BR’s forte seemed to be developing players…..while NFL has a strong record associated with spotting some future stars.



    An interesting contrast….for me anyway!






    HH JG

  7. Brendan doesn’t need Congerton to tell him which Celtic players he should dangle the EPL carrot in front of. Why should he sit back and wait for Arsenal or Man Utd to put in offers for KT or McGregor when he knows what fee will get PL’s approval? I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 40-50 million offer tabled to take these two from us. He has a job to do which is to get Leicester into the top six. if he thinks 2-3 of our players can help him do that then money will talk. 30 million for KT and 15 for Mcgregor and PL will drive them to the airport.


    KT’s injury might be a blessing in disguise for us as the teams that have been circling him might back off for a season to see if he recovers fully from his injuries.

  8. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on

    Sky give us peanuts so why don’t we steal their big assets and just give the manager’s job to Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher?



    They use one of those electronic boards for tactics, imagine what that would look like on the big screens during a game? Players would play with their heads up, (need to or couldn’t see the tactics) and Sky would need to take our game seriously.



    Heck, get Phil Neville in too, he’s doing a great job with that African team, the Lioness’…………



    Smiley thing :-)

  9. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Always thought the Congerton appointment was a bit strange. Sunderland and Hamburg? Just about the two worst top league (at the time) clubs in Europe!


    Didn’t really get the Musonda signing either, although I certainly don’t recall Paul’s announcement of the signing as being anything like his comments today.

  10. I noticed LennyBhoy saying last night that NL is not getting the job without hinting at who might be. Without any insider knowledge, that would be my guess too. Neil looked far too subdued at Ibrox, just like his team. Didn’t sound or behave like a man that had been told that the job was his. Instead it all seemed to be just passing him by. Contrast that to his first game at Tynecastle when he was prowling the touchline, when I think he believed he had a chance of securing the role.

  11. Hi Paul67,



    Very interesting post, you obviously believe he did a pretty lousy job… yet as you say, its kinda the ultimate scapegoat position.



    I’m not at all sure, he seems to have had an up and down career and I’m not at all sure how suited he was to Celtic.



    If the last three seasons has taught us anything it is the Football Club and the Executive must be on the same page.



    The expectations of our Football department and the resources the that the Executive were willing to give were miles apart, especially in recruitment and I feel Lee Congerton was piggy~in~the~middle.



    Of course the chief scouting role was only a part of Lee Congerton’s remit he was Head of Recruitment.



    Yet that in itself is a misnomer, the final say on recruitment is down to the CEO as he himself has made abundantly clear and it is he who recruited Lee Congerton…



    …Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell added: “Player recruitment is such a crucial function of the club and we are delighted to welcome Lee to Celtic to oversee this area.



    “We are always looking to develop further, to drive the club forward and ensure that we continue our success in this area and deliver the best players we can to our supporters.



    “Given the importance of this appointment we have gone through a thorough process and taken our time to identify the right person.



    “Lee was the outstanding candidate for this position and we are sure he will deliver real impact and benefit to the club.”



    I’d like to see more openness and transparency at Celtic especially when it comes to roles and responsibilities.



    It may get rid of the blame culture that blights the Club and having more people standing up and taking responsibility will ensure they are more focussed on delivering a good job rather than finger pointing.



    Hail Hail

  12. traditionalist88 on

    CHAIRBHOY on 14TH MAY 2019 1:14 PM



    Good point, we don’t really know which players he has recommended, which were ignored by the manager, which were vetoed by the CEO, indeed which chose to go elsewhere.



    That said with the pulling power of a high profile manager and successive CL campaigns you’d have expected player recruitment to have been a bit more exciting, to say the least.




  13. glendalystonsils on

    DENIABHOY on 14TH MAY 2019 1:10 PM



    If Lennybhoy is right (and he usually is) ,it might explain Neil Lennon’s demeanour on Sunday. My only worry is that it might undermine us for the SC final.

  14. Matt Stewart on




    You may have something there….Maybe we should have gone down that route on Sunday….or even worse…perhaps we did!!? ?





    Hail Hail




  15. French Eddy’s injury is case and point why a reserve team should have played at Ibrox.

  16. GREENPINATA on 14TH MAY 2019 1:28 PM



    Continual problems with the stupid Wi Fi.



    My friends in Celtic,



    Woohoo, wi fi,s back, pesky work can wait.



    The Celtic manager’s job :



    Let’s not underestimate or undervalue it’s importance.



    To manage a club with one of the best brands and biggest name in world football.



    To manage a club with a proud, illustrations and unbroken history.



    To manage a club with 60k home fans.



    To manage a club with a massive worldwide passionate base.



    To manage a club that will win trophies



    To manage a club that will pay a multi million salary.



    To manage a club with circa £100 turnover.



    To manage a club with world class facilities in the training academy.



    To manage a club with massive potential.



    To manage in a high profile situation.



    To manage a club with a CEO whose reputation is sky high in higher European circles.( Yes this is a plus, not a negative)



    To manage a club that will be an ideal ” stepping stone ” to resurrect a career or to move to the EPL.



    To manage a club that has ideal transportation linke to London, the rest of the UK and beyond.



    To manage a club where success and dedication will be valued and can guarantee hero status.



    To manage a club where within a 30 minute drive has some of the finest scenery in the UK.



    To manage a club where there are ambitious plans for improvement and infrastructure.



    To manage a club that creates a legendary European atmosphere that many players and pundits rank as second to none.



    There is more, much more so let’s not play down our appeal to a varied and cross section of potential managers.



    HH to all.

  17. TheLurkinTim on

    P67…hindsight is the foresight…well you know where am coming from…surely final say on the players coming in would rest with the manager?…and no…I don’t adhere to the…any player is better than no player…are we a club with European ambitions or are we just content to dominate in our own backyard?




  18. GLENDALYTONSILS – I agree, and if we struggle against Hearts this weekend then they will be right up for it at Hampden. We are vulnerable at the moment, no doubt about it. Although we eventually ran out comfortable winners at Pittodrie the previous week, we could have just as easily have been 2-0 down in the first half when we were being outplayed and outfought.


    If we were playing sevco at Hampden instead of Hearts, I’d be more than just a little nervous.

  19. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Re Moyes, Phil Neville gave him a glowing reference a few months ago, said he’s tactically, the best coach he’s worked with……

  20. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Collum gets his first huns game on Sunday, since September, Tipped that last week, the huns hand picked their referees all season, Fleming couldn’t afford to carry it on to next season,absolute joke

  21. jimbob71 & little Miss jimbob on







    That looks familiar…..

  22. TheLurkinTim on

    Bada…jeebus…if it was a choice between Lenny or Moyes…we’re not looking very hard

  23. THELURKINTIM on 14TH MAY 2019 1:50 PM


    Bada…jeebus…if it was a choice between Lenny or Moyes…we’re not looking very hard






    I’d take Lennybhoy! (Our one!!)



    HH jg

  24. P67



    So what you are saying is that LC was the lightning rod to keep the blame away from BR?


    And that some of the gaps in BR’s analysis were very big indeed.



    Not sure I agree and anyway he is history and so is LC.



    The important issue is who will be the manager in July?


    Plus how much of a rebuild will he be allowed to carry out?


    And the budget available to make it happen?



    Sunday 26th can’t come quick enough.

  25. TRADITIONALIST88 @ 1:17 PM,



    Yes, totally agree, if your in Lee Congerton’s position and your asked to identify some right backs, do you identify the ones that Brendan Rodgers wants to play or the ones that Peter Lawwell wants to buy?



    Hail Hail

  26. First things first today



    Very decent blog, Paul67. Good points on Congerton, who’s appointment was baffling and who’s effectiveness was highly questionable. I saw nothing to suggest that this would have changed, and if Rodgers fancies it he is more than welcome to take him off our hands.



    Second point



    Big JImmy, I have no idea at all why your post was deleted as I personally had no issue with the way you made it. I critiqued it, but didn’t feel that you overstepped a mark in any way, shape or form in how you asked it. I did think some of your questions weren’t serious ones – the general point I made about the manager was that he persisted with the same tactical shape for the whole game when it wasn’t working – such as should Lennon have subbed the keeper after two minutes.



    The deletion of not only your post by reply to it is scandalous as the ONLY reason my lengthy post was deleted was that it drew attention to a certain other person who chose to greet my initial post of yesterday with the words “loony alert.”



    Now your post is gone, as is my reply, but that one is still there and therein lies the issue. There are people here who are allowed to throw invective like confetti and there are others who have to walk a fine line.



    Those who think I’m here on some kind of self-promotion charge, you can think what you like. I have my own blog for that – which I rarely, if ever, post on here although I’ve written lengthy articles on Lennon and other things in support of my wider points and even then have generally refrained from linking to them. I am annoyed I have to defend myself on here before I have to defend my opinions … that’s the nature of this site now though, as many others get the same treatment.



    Well you know what? I’m no longer defending myself. If the people who run this site are content for that to be the level of debate then so be it, I won’t be joining them in the gutter. Any point which seeks to address me on a personal level will be ignored. Not debated, ignored.



    Anyone who wants a real discussion – such as yourself Big Jimmy – and as long as it’s civil that’s what they’ll get in response. As I’ve always done.



    There are people on here who have the keyboard hardman and the keyboard snark act down to a T. That makes them look small. I won’t lower myself to it any further … and yeah, I have in the past.



    Onto business



    If John Park goes to Sunderland, as looks likely, then another brick falls out of the Lennon wall. The board could have sold a lot of fans on that as a “dream team”; it closes off the option. I also wonder that if Park really was part of the plan why we’ve allowed the clock to run down on the option of hiring him. I will find it hard to believe that Sunderland made him a better offer.



    If we’re pursuing other managerial candidates, vigorously, and Park was Lennon’s idea then I understand why that hasn’t been gotten over the line. But if the board really has decided on Lennon and is just waiting to see how everything pans out then letting Park get away from us … wow, not great.



    A lot of stuff in the papers today also about how Lennon himself might not fancy the job now. He has “other options” so we’re told. Reads to me an awful lot like someone trying to bounce us, or someone laying the ground work for a scenario where it’s not Lennon.



    Or am I reading too much into it?

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