Building relationships downstream


One of the great tactics of a successful player trading model is to move on those who don’t fit into your plans at a profit.  This is easy for top clubs in England, who hoard talent from an early age, loan players out somewhere downstream (at a decent fee) before eventually selling them on.

This is more difficult for Celtic.  If a player isn’t cutting it at the Scottish Premiership, where can we find a potentially lucrative market downstream from us?

Mikey Johnston (24) is three appearances into his loan at West Brom, who are in the English Championship playoff places.  He opened the scoring against midtable Cardiff on Tuesday and is already attracting positive reviews.

West Brom are still dealing with the consequences of relegation from the Premiership three years ago and haven’t spent a pound on a permanent signing this season.  They are likely to remain in the playoffs until the end of the season and they are also being pursued by a new potential owner.  Either scenario could lead to a significant spend this coming summer.

Even if West Brom don’t escape their ligature, others in the Championship will be flush with funds this summer.  This is our ‘downstream’.  If Mikey can thrive there, others will too.  Small clubs try to solicit relationships with larger outfits.  Building relationships with smaller clubs in a wealthier league, like the Championship, can work work for Celtic.

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  1. Mikey Johnston has been injury prone his whole career,he will be back at CP for treatment before his loan period is up.

  2. What is the Starz on

    Mighty Gers maintain 100 per cent record.




    Mighty Gers remain unbeaten this season




    Mighty Gers maintain 100 per cent record under Phillippe




    Mighty Gers remain unbeaten under Phillippe .Sorry


    Ah yiz know what I mean.

  3. James Forrest was dismissed as “injury prone” and was prime candidate for an airport taxi ride several seasons running.



    He ended up with over 300 league appearances, 38 Scotland caps and a place in our top 10 of European Scorers.



    Mikey has only 60 league appearances and 9 league goals for us plus 8 senior caps and 2 goals for ROI. I hope and believe that modern medicine, physio and sports science can resolve his issues as they did for James. It is always sad to see a talent failing to get the platform to thrive.



    Good Luck Mikey

  4. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    “One of the great tactics of a successful player trading model is to move on those who don’t fit into your plans at a profit”.



    Agreed, but if I may be so bold: One of the great tactics of a successful player trading model is to QUICKLY move on those who don’t fit into your plans at a profit.



    We hoard too much mediocrity.

  5. AN TEARMANN on 15TH FEBRUARY 2024 11:45 AM









    Was in with OT67 on monday and pleased to report he is now settled into the community hospital and your aunt G had supplied a far range of clothing,he has got a big telly to watch and is gettinv well attended to with meals coffee and tea etc,hope to get in with him over weekend





    AT…Thanks for the update on OLDTIM.


    Please tell him that I was asking for him when you see him next.



    HH Mate.

  6. Good point that we need an exit strategy for our surplus squad.


    Equally, we need to review our transfer strategy to accrue fewer players who then become surplus.


    Deal with the cause as well as the symptoms.

  7. Prestonpans bhoys on

    Picked this one up on twitter!



    “Michael Beale first 15 Rangers league games 43 points.



    Philippe Clement first 15 Rangers league games 40 points.



    You do the math on the latest genius.”




    He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very lucky** boy!






    ** Lucky = VAR / SFA assisted – doesn’t have the same ring to it.


    Though I can picture a Monty Python-esque Follow Follow thread on “What have the SFA ever done for us?”

  9. Don’t post much at all but thought i give my tuppence worth on Mikey



    He joined the youth team at the age of 7 and like many before him sacrificed a lot of his childhood, although i agree that many of us say we would do this whilst walking on broken glass its a different story to actually doing it.



    He comes from a big Celtic family and loved(s) nothing more than pulling on the Hoops



    Injuries have indeed plagued him and hopefully he can get a good run to overcome these and more importantly to fulfil his undoubted potential



    Personally it kills me to see some of the extreme abuse he takes on an almost daily basis from so called Celtic fans- i accept that people may not rate him, some may not think he is good enough etc, however some of the personal abuse he gets is absolutely brutal- that’s unacceptable and hard to palate. This kills his confidence severely (how could it not) He got booed onto the park by a few of our supporters at Dens Park – he scored two goals and instead of getting some positive feedback he got loads of abuse online that day too.



    I watch our current team and to be honest i don’t think that any of our current wingers are much better than him, (i agree i may be biased ) but with the exception of Maeda, im not sure any of the others are much above him, however i agree also that he has arguably enough chances to establish himself



    Time will tell.

  10. Should have added that a fully functioning Abada is arguably better however that may be a thing of teh past

  11. AN TEARMANN at 12.12.



    Cheers big chap. Yes I am as well as can be expected and keeping the home fire burning. Literally. Lol. I hope you are well bhuddy. Sorry for the late reply, chores to do. HH

  12. I think the fans have been very patient with Mikey Johnston. Despite horrendous injury problems we have all wanted him to succeed.



    NFL is a living Celtic legend, but his public humiliation of Mikey was not his finest hour.


    Any player’s confidence would be absolutely shot after that.




  13. Unfortunately,as I see it,Mikey Johnston is not a team player.


    It baffles me that for all the time he has been a prospect the managers and coaches have not manage to get through to him it’s a team game .


    He has the talent but not the attitude,only my opinion HH

  14. an tearmann



    Good news on the OldTim67 front,


    Spoke to the Ward Nurse earlier this week, but wasn’t able to speak to him directly. (she lost the signal en route….)


    Sounds a better set-up than FVH though.



    Big Jimmy


    If I do manage to speak to OldTim will pass on your regards. If not AT will surely do so.


    Condolences on the loss your Da in the recent past and glad you were able to attend his funeral.

  15. CELTIC MAC on 15TH FEBRUARY 2024 2:24 PM




    Cheers mate and ” Thank You” for your kind words .



    I always enjoyed meeting OLDTIM….A real Celtic Gentleman.




  16. Weebobbycollins on

    It would be nice to get a comfortable win against Kilmarnock on Saturday hence adding a bit of pressure on the huns for Sunday’s visit to St Johnstone. It would appear the are not great dealing with pressure and might be inclined to wobble somewhat trying to keep up goals-wise even if they do manage a win. Nosferatu seems to get quite edgy when things are not going for them…

  17. Weebobbycollins



    Spot on Re Clement



    I like that he pressurizes officials. I wish our managers did that a bit more.



    I like it even more that he is prone to really losing the rag and that cannot be good for a team with no experience of winning the league and limited experience of the environment they play in.



    One defeat and it could come tumbling down.



    Personally I might not be too unhappy if the draw Quarbag in next European round with the tough journey and lack of glamour either side of the Hibs game. Even if they win it means they would have games in Europe around the time they play us. That said I hate them winning any games.

  18. Big Jimmy



    ‘A real Celtic gentleman’



    What a great description of our friend Old Tim.

  19. FANADPATRIOT on 15TH FEBRUARY 2024 2:17 PM


    Unfortunately,as I see it,Mikey Johnston is not a team player.





    It baffles me that for all the time he has been a prospect the managers and coaches have not manage to get through to him it’s a team game .





    He has the talent but not the attitude,only my opinion HH




    As i see this that is fair criticism and you are more than entitled to your opinion- no argument from me. I have my own opinion on players so that is more than fair



    Its the abuse that gets to me. I think it goes way beyond what is acceptable for a lad who loves the club as much as any of the critics do.

  20. Sonofaderryman, couldn’t agree with you more. There’s absolutely no doubt Mikey is a very talented player. I’d accept that he hasn’t managed to convert that in to consistent productive performances but the absolute vitriol that is directed towards him by some fans is unbelievable. Home grown/Scottish bought players have a much higher bar to clear before they get any measure of acceptance.

  21. MJ’s loan move is all about whether he plays well enough for us to secure a transfer fee this summer. Either way, his time at Celtic is over imo.



    Bizzare to see how desperate the Huns were last night to get that 3 goal win, despite 17 mins of time added on across each half, second they remain.



    Loads of headlines about ‘Rangers drawing level’ but had they managed to score that elusive goal, the headlines would certainly not refer to them drawing level with us.



    They’re a very insecure bunch and that mind set is something I can see us exploiting in the weeks ahead.

  22. I would say it’s more nature than nurture when it comes to players. Back in the day players outshone managers and we hardly ever saw who was in the dug out. Nowadays managers prowl their technical areas to make sure players stick to their script. The go out there and entertain them days are past. However there is always the maverick, the Paddy McCourt, The McGeady and even the Mikey Johnston to be thankful for. Strachan mismanaged two of them. Was wee Gordy trying to make them into better players? He was himself a very efficient player but did he have the ability to go by people, to dribble? He says Jinky was his hero and indeed he started out as an outside right at Dundee but he came off the wing and played more as an inside right at Aberdeen and was of course brilliant. But he couldn’t hack it as a winger, not like McCourt and McGeady who had the talent and more importantly for this position the appetite to take on defenders time after time. I don’t think Brendan is in a position to instill ability into players but he can help them to prepare for matches psychologically and how to help players conduct themselves off the park.

  23. On a slightly related matter. Last month Phil MacG, wrote an article titled ‘Grassroots Rebellion’ January 25 2024. The subject matter was a letter sent by ‘Realgrassroots’ to Clare Haughey, Convener of Public Health & Sport Committee Scottish Parliament. (Somebody might want to link it on here). it is an absolute critique of the SFA policy in this area, and criticism that they receive public money. The treatment of young footballers, and their families is a total disgrace, and if you thought the days of Jim McLean were long gone think again. They are little more than indentured labourers, to be cast aside, or kept on the register with little or no rights in this regard. Bill Smith and Scott Robertson, who set up ‘Realgrassroots’ deserve not only credit but support in their campaign. The SFA, and it has to be said the Clubs are an absolute disgrace in this matter. Let us hope against hope that there is positive response by Clare Haughey. If it was down to me the SFA would have seen its’ last penny of public money.

  24. Best wishes to Mikey J – hope the open spaces of championship pitches are lucrative for him rather than the kicking fields of away days in the SPFl

  25. lets all do the huddle on

    i always like to see our players/ex-players do well when they go to other clubs either on loan or permanently (apart from the other MJ obviously!)



    but that doesnt mean they should have be in our first team instead



    there will be a big list of players who have done bettet elsewhere than they did with us



    was it their fault? scottish footballs fault? our managers and coaches fault?



    who know. probably a mix of all of those over the years.

  26. I cannot agree with the hardly ever seen who was in the dugout comment.



    From the implementation of the dug out managers and coaches instructed players what to do.



    Stein and shankly and that whole after the war generations they had total control. Many a clip of managers giving their own versions of encouragement.



    Even more so with the introduction of subs and the threat of coming off because you did not follow instructions.



    See the famous jinky pursued up the tunnel by jock.

  27. I even recall being in the front stand west when I was a teen and taking my youngest brother. You could hear every shout from Billy or Davie and often Danny Roy Big Mick the same on the park.



    Ps. Which club had the first dugouts ?

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