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Celtic deliver Sviatchenko below radar

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18 days into the transfer window we’ve landed our first business, 24-year-old Danish international central defender, Erik Sviatchenko, joining from Danish champions Midtjylland, who are due to compete in the Europa League knock out stages next month.

On paper this one ticks all the boxes. The player has been tested in a league a little stronger than our own, and in Europe this season, where Midtjylland eliminated Southampton, Bruge and Legia Warsaw. He will add security to the back line in the chase for the treble, and will be ready for Champions League qualifiers in August.

Ronny Deila now needs to make sure Sviatchenko and Simunovic form a proper defensive partnership – something we’ve lacked this season. Pressure will now mount on Efe Ambrose (27) and Dedryck Boyata (25) to up their game if they are to force their way back into the team. Both are in their prime years, but older than the two I expect to keep them out.

I’ve been shouting for a defensive mid for two years, most noticeably on Friday night, when Dundee United ran straight up the middle of the park to score, but we’ll see what shape the team takes after the addition of Erik.

I think Celtic should also be congratulated on getting this business done below the radar until close to the finish line. We’re involved in lots of transfer speculation at the moment but don’t spend your time researching every name that pops up. There will be five players linked to the club for every prime target.

Welcome to Celtic, Erik.

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  1. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Ronny Deila now needs to make sure Sviatchenko and Simunovic form a proper defensive partnership – something we’ve lacked this season.”

     

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    Spot on Paul – and only 20-odd games to do it in. Hopefully they click together.

     

    Agreed re defensive mid – someone like Scott Parker would be great.

  2. Greenpinata on 18th January 2016 12:02 pm

     

     

     

     

    My friends in Celtic,

     

     

     

     

    If we were to buy a pacy winger how much would it cost us?

     

     

     

     

    James Forrest at 24 has potentially his best years ahead. Yes, he has problems with consistency and injuries, but he can give us something that other players cannot. In Europe for example.

     

     

     

     

    Funny how players always get better when they are no longer with us. But Shaun Maloney, Aiden McGeady, Davie Proven, Johnny Doyle RIP all got stick at times with the general remarks about no consistency, no end product etc, etc.

     

     

     

     

    I would wager that even the great Jimmy Johnstone got it at times.

     

     

     

     

    The only winger who doesn’t seem to get any stick regarding his play is Dirk Boerrigter. Singed July 2013 for £3.5 m.

     

     

     

     

    Possibly when we actually see him play that may change.

     

     

     

     

    Hail, Hail.

     

     

     

     

    —————————————————-

     

     

     

    The part of your argument I would agree with is that wingers can be inconsistent – and yes the fans do give them stick. The point you make about some players improving once they leave is also easy to agree with. In fact it can be argued that the improvements are due to them leaving. Playing against better opposition, fitter players etc. must have an effect – so it could be argued that, if those players had stayed at Celtic they would not have improved. Some would say that The Maestro would have benefited from moving to another league. Personally, having seen him in the flesh I’m not sure how he could have got much better.

     

     

     

     

    Anyways – the point about JF is not just that he is inconsistent. It is that he seems to be rarely available for selection. Is that a fair criticism? I don’t have the stats to hand, but that’s what’s being argued. Someone clever clogs will no doubt be able to demonstrate or refute this!

  3. I know it annoys some when we transfer out the likes of Victor, Gary, Ki, Fraser, VVD – but surely it’s that opportunity that attracted them in the first place and also our latest two centre’backs to Scotland.

  4. Derk cost NOTHING LIKE £3.5 million – he total fee was dependent on appearances – apart from injury why do you think he NEVER gets a first team selection.

  5. Fred Quimby on 18th January 2016 12:25 pm

     

     

    I know it annoys some when we transfer out the likes of Victor, Gary, Ki, Fraser, VVD – but surely it’s that opportunity that attracted them in the first place and also our latest two centre’backs to Scotland.

     

    ——————————————————

     

    That’s a possible answer to the question I raised on the last blog. Why would a player who has the opportunity to European football with his current club come to Celtic? Maybe the answer is :

     

     

    1. Money

     

    2. Opportunity to move to EPL

  6. Fred,

     

     

    Regardless of what Derk Boeriggter cost, if you brought a contract like that into any business other than a football club, then your Archie wouldn’t hit the ground on the way out the door.

  7. All wingers are inconsistent.Its where they play.Hemmed in on one side by a touchline.The money spent in the EPL for wingers shows this.With all the money spent,name me one consistent winger in the EPL.

     

    Forrest has been as consistent as most wingers we have had,apart from Jinky,and believe me,even the wee man had some stinkers.They really are a luxury.When good,match winners,when off a bit,well we know.Its take the good with the bad,I am afraid.

  8. Paul67

     

     

    Well done indeed to Celtic. Not a project and the fact that he’s here so early in the transfer window would suggest that he’s a prime target.

  9. Turkeybhoy on 18th January 2016 12:42 pm All wingers are inconsistent.Its where they play.Hemmed in on one side by a touchline.The money spent in the EPL for wingers shows this.With all the money spent,name me one consistent winger in the EPL.

     

     

     

    Forrest has been as consistent as most wingers we have had,apart from Jinky,and believe me,even the wee man had some stinkers.They really are a luxury.When good,match winners,when off a bit,well we know.Its take the good with the bad,I am afraid.

     

     

    ——————————————————————-

     

    No argument from me on that point.

     

     

    How does Jinky’s injury record compare with JF’s?

  10. If we class Scott Brown and Nir Biton as our holding two midfielders, the Celtic squad has way too many midfielders.

     

     

    With signing talks ongoing with Rasmus Falk and probably others under the radar,

     

     

    Ten eleven salaries for three slots?

     

     

    Callum McGregor

     

    James Forrest

     

    Ryan Christie

     

    Tom Rogić

     

    Scott Allan

     

    Derk Boerrigter

     

    Stuart Armstrong

     

    Kris Commons

     

    Gary Mackay-Steven

     

    Stefan Johansen

     

    Liam Henderson (on loan)

     

     

    We need to free up some space.

  11. A hearty good morning to all Tims everywhere from a cool, but clear and bright Florida coast.

     

     

    Congratulations to the back room staff to get Erik Hooped up, no doubt there were others sniffing around.

  12. glendalystonsils on

    I would wager that even the great Jimmy Johnstone got it at times.

     

     

     

    Being of a certain age *ahem* I can confirm that is the case.

     

     

    Also, congrats to all those, on both sides, involved in the Svietchenko transfer. Such a level of professional integrity has an almost ‘Warburton-esque’ level of respectfulness about it.

  13. I agree we need a defensive mid but hope we sign a forward first as other than Griff we are threadbare. It’s apparent now Ciftci isn’t going to cut it and we’ve still to see what Cole can offer and one thing for sure it isn’t going to be mobility. Elyounoussi looked the part against us for Molde and has a decent goalscoring record, particularly in Europe and at 21 has plenty of potential.

     

     

    Glass 2/3rds regarding Scott Parker not only is he Fulham’s highest paid player he has also been beset by injury problems and guys in his position don’t tend to wear well and he’s 35 now.

  14. What a goal that was by Kris Commons!

     

     

    If that goal had come out of one of the “big leagues”, it would be getting the old repeat treatment ad nauseam.

     

     

    The pin-point cross from the young lad wasn’t too shabby either.

  15. Great to read of the new signing. Good result and performance at the weekend. Got return flights to Glasgow for 20 euro and tickets for Phil’s play Rebellion on the Sunday evening.

     

     

    All good.

     

     

    Thanks to Corkcelt for your help towards dublin2016 this morning.

     

     

    Duty calls.

     

     

    Clogher

  16. Greenpinata

     

     

    Maloney probably played his best football at Celtic. He then chose to leave under freedom of contract. We had the faith to re-sign him only for him to be injured all the time. We had plenty of patience with him.

     

     

    We sold McGeady for 10 million. He SHOULD be doing better elsewhere. Yet he is regarded on Merseyside in way we regard Bangura.

     

     

    James Forrest hasn’t done it in Europe that often.

  17. Go tell the Spartim on

    Will be interesting to see which one of the S’s plays on the right side seeing as they are both left sided

     

     

    A squad cull wouldn’t go amiss either.

     

     

    Striker and hardy midfielder are essential, though I suspect if we get Fletcher on a pre contract we will go with what we have

  18. Talking about Efe, with his athleticism, could he be any worse used as a target man up front than any of the others on offer? His fitness and speed could be an asset in defending from the front too. You know he would give his all.

  19. Re Jinky, I remember seeing him play many times although I was in that flush of youth where every Celtic player was a hero and beyond criticism! But I do remember Jinky ‘getting it’ on occasion, with me not able to understand why. Ah, the naivety of youth!

     

     

    However…by any measure I can come up with, James Forrest is no Jimmy Johnstone. I saw Jinky have the odd stinker, but I never saw him hide.

     

     

    When fit and ‘on it’ Forrest has some strengths. But he’s unfit and ‘off it’ far too often.

  20. Regarding the amount of midfielders…

     

     

    In reality, we should have at least 10 in the squad. The current squad has around 11.

     

     

    I think we need to re-address the balance though. We have too many players competing for that single spot in behind the striker (Commons, Johansen, Rogic, Allan, Christie & Armstrong)

     

     

    Also, I think it’s clear that Ronny is losing faith in the wide players. So much so he has started pushing the likes of Commons and Armstrong out onto the wings. I believe Ronny’s next target will be wingers.

     

     

    As for those leaving…. Forrest, Mulgrew and Derk will all be released as things stand. I imagine that Celtic will be willing to offer Charlie and James new deals but they may have expect lower salaries as they are no longer established starting players.

     

     

    Rogic has a contract offer on the table. If he signs on he will be here for at least the next two seasons. If not, he will be sold as soon as possible.

     

     

    GMS and McGreggor will also be surplus to requirements if we bring in some quality on the wings. Possibly on loan.

     

     

    Christie may join them on loan. He only returned because of injury.

     

     

    Johansen needs to play for a new deal. Otherwise we will be looking to offload in the summer.

  21. My strategy is generally not to read back on the previous article to avoid “end of thread fatigue”.

     

     

    The testy wans like their late morning havering.

  22. 67 European Cup Winners on

    http://www.soccerbase.com/teams/team.sd?team_id=512&teamTabs=transfers

     

     

    Interesting site – not sure all the transfer fees are updated (Ki’s Fee is not included ?)

     

     

    The following players came to Celtic as average or unknown Wanyama Forster VVD Hooper Ledley Ki

     

    All left for good fee’s (aprox £40 plus million) all made a difference all improved us as a team

     

    None of them cost a fortune (I think less than £2 million each) all played under Lennon

     

     

    Today I cannot think of one player that would go for £10 million – possibly Scott Brown ?? Leigh Griffiths ? Bitton ???

     

     

    Why

     

    a) Lennon was a genius – he coached them well motivated them ??

     

    b) Scouting system was brilliant – what about now ???

     

    c) Luck – for every VVD there is a Derek B ??

     

    d) Ronny has not improved them

     

    e) We miss the Hun (for clarity not my view)

     

     

    My own view is a mixture of c and d

     

     

    But post Lennon we have not improved

     

     

    67ECW

  23. Bournesouprecipe I’d agree we have too many attacking midfielders and we should be losing some of them be it on loan (Henderson) or get what money we can for them (Johansen, GMS).

     

     

    Keep: From what I’ve seen of Liam Henderson in a Hibs jersey another season on loan next year would do him no harm as he still goes missing in big games and needs more time to develop. Allan hasn’t been given a fair crack of the whip yet but has impressed in the bits and pieces I’ve seen of him hope to see more. Commons is still an important player and would have minimal sell on value so I’d definitely keep. Tom Rogic has been one of the success stories of the season and is becoming more vital each passing week. Ryan Christie hasn’t played yet but has looked good with ICT if a little lightweight. Stuart Armstrong I feel sorry for as he continually gets played out of position still think he will come good if we can get the best out of him.

     

     

    Get rid: Stefan Johansen has been terrible all season yet might be a player we can get money for. I’d move him on if we can. Will be a more disciplined team without his headless chicken routine in middle of the park, James Forrest is not going to sign a new deal and obviously his agent has something else lined up, GMS has went back the way this season and his opportunities look limited so cash in if we can, McGregor started well before badly fading and has done OK since back in but should never be a regular so I’d sell, Derk’s been a disaster but no-one will buy him and he’ll need a full pay-off.

  24. The thing is the winger of today has to do alot more than in the past . He is expected to track back in support of his full back ,he is expected to be a hard-working mid-fielder and if things are going his way he will go past defenders get crosses over and cut in a score some goals too. But he always has to work hard. What happened when JF came on against Dundee Udt ? I can hardly remember him touching the ball. He has got loads of talent but he has to back it up with hard work.

  25. The Battered Bunnet on

    Not often these days we sign a player with more than 100 appearances. Generally by that time the world has taken notice and the price has shot up out of reach.

     

     

    Good luck to the boy. According to Marc Reiper, he’s in for the best ride of his life, something he couldn’t get elsewhere. There you have it.

  26. Florida Bhoy on 18th January 2016 1:17 pm

     

     

    My strategy is generally not to read back on the previous article to avoid “end of thread fatigue”.

     

     

    The testy wans like their late morning havering.

     

    ———————————–

     

    Hoi you! Some of my best work is late morning! :-)

  27. 67 EUROPEAN CUP WINNERS on 18TH JANUARY 2016 1:19 PM

     

     

    I think the stats pertaining to goals scored and conceded might argue with your contention that Lenny’s team is better than the current one.

     

     

    What criteria are you using that one team is better than the other?

     

     

    Even performance wise, I recall some dire games under Lenny’s tenure.

     

     

    Disclaimer: I don’t mean any of the above to be a criticism of Lenny.

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