Celtic shopping in narrow gap before profiles rise


Oliver Burke made all the headlines two years ago with a big money move from Nottingham Forrest to Leipzip but progress since has not gone to plan.  He has played 46 minutes of league football for West Brom in the Championship this season, so has lots to do to recover his early promise at Celtic.

Brendan Rodgers has James Forrest in the form of his life this season, while Scott Sinclair is back in the team and scoring goals, but Forrest clearly tired before the winter break and, apart from Sinclair, options on the left are limited.  Burke will fill the role hoped for Daniel Arzani, before his injury at Dundee.

Of more strategic interest is the potential signing of striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo, who plays for Slovakian club, Dunajska Streda.  The Ivorian, who will be 22-years-old later this week, has played 32 games since leaving Africa, where he managed just nine starts in Tunisia.  This is where Celtic now have to operate, in that narrow gap between when a player shows enough form to interest, but before his profile attracts the attention of others.

This has worked well for us before (van Dijk) but will inevitably have a high variance of success.

Although 18-year-old Timothy Weah has appeared in only six senior games, he will be more of a known quantity than Bayo.  Celtic have experience of the French youth teams, in particular, Weah’s club PSG, from where they acquired Odsonne Edouard.  Still, Weah and Bayo will both need plenty of support to settle.

If both deals go through we will have four strikers for the run in, a vast improvement on hoping Edouard can give us 20 minutes for key away games at Pittodrie and Ibrox.

This is all a bit early in the window for Celtic to be this busy.  Unsettlingly so.

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  1. madmitch, that spurs/soton example, can you sum up what you are trying to say ?



    and by what measure are celtic getting worse for youth development, 3 of the current 1st team 1st picks , james, callum and keiran are are graduates.



    mikey j is getting some gametime, ralston might make it yet,



    define we are getting worse ?



    you cant bring in 2 a year to the 1st team if they are not better than the player with the jersey.



    none of your arguments are making any sense today.

  2. Here’s my viewpoint. When the transfer window closes at the end of the month I will be a happy Celtic supporter regardless of who comes in and who goes out. And we will win the league with ease (at least nine points).



    With the exception of Tierney. If he leaves I will cry…

  3. StS @ 6.48



    You are making my argument for me.


    That is the record of the youth academy over 15 years.


    And guess what — it is getting worse.



    £30mill spend in that time — not looking good value to me.



    Our youth set up is fat and happy.


    The coaching and development would appear to be second rate.



    We had a full youth team in Aug 2016 playing in the kid on cup.


    Where are they now — KA has made it with MJ and TR in tow but the rest are in the main Championship fodder.



    We must be able to do better regarding scouting.


    And those that we do get we should be able to do better regarding coaching and development.

  4. Coronation Street cancelled, STV now covering Rainjers having dinner at some hotel in Tenerife live…

  5. !!BADA BING!! on 7TH JANUARY 2019 7:11 PM


    Coronation Street cancelled, STV now covering Rainjers having dinner at some hotel in Tenerife live…






    I’m off down the Rovers then.

  6. !!BADA BING!! on 7TH JANUARY 2019 7:11 PM


    Coronation Street cancelled, STV now covering Rainjers having dinner at some hotel in Tenerife live…



    *the beeb cancelled Top of the Pops north of the border so they could cover the parading of the lavvy cup.



    Your grasp of the January window is poor.How many big deals have been done so far.


    We have enquired about a right back,Castagna.He was valued around 6 million.Thats now risen to 10 million.Not even a first team pick.January is a sellers market.

  8. The youth set up should be supplying two new players to the first team squad every year and that should generate a chain reaction with more becoming first team starters.



    We managed that in 2003 / 2004 / 2005 or thereabouts.


    We are not managing it now or over the past 3 or 4 years.



    First team squad should be 24 to 26 players max. That should be supported by a full U20/21 squad with over age players out on loan to help them bridge the gap. Somewhere along the line we are getting things wrong.

  9. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    Ten years ago our under-19s side would win everything, year in year out, and year in year out were disbanded because there was nowhere for them to go.



    Too young and raw for the first team squad, and no path of development for them.



    IIRC, this came about because the huns told the SFA to disband the reserve league and, obeying their orders, the SFA did just that.



    Thus killing the main route of youth development in Scotland at a single stroke.



    The Shamrock Rovers link-up is very positive, but I would like to see us do the same with clubs in other leagues all over Europe and beyond.



    Aside from the benefits of giving our young players gradual experience and a good level to build up their skills, it would also diversify us away from the poisonous caveman snakepit of Scotland.



    Hope you are a better Taxi drivernthan talent scout.Shay Logan,and O’Donnell.If we signed either of these two SPFL tradesmen,there would be a lynching party outside Celtic Park.


    Away and gies peace.

  11. MADMITCH on 7TH JANUARY 2019 7:18 PM



    Assume youve been banging on about this since BR came ?.



    Can you point me to your posts in previous seasons ?.




  12. Thats it.No more debating from me with perpetual whingers on the transfer window.Lifes too short to try and reason with fantasists.

  13. Load mobile navigation


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    Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers provides surprising Kieran Tierney fitness update


    The Hoops also revealed when Odsonne Edouard will return to full training after dealing with a muscle injury.





    ByRecord Sport Online


    18:23, 7 JAN 2019UPDATED18:25, 7 JAN 2019


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    Manchester United up Kieran Tierney interest as Jose Mourinho won over by Celtic star’s versatility




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    Brendan Rodgers has revealed Kieran Tierney won’t train this week in Dubai as he continues to deal with a hip injury.



    The Celtic star was battling with the complaint during December and was an unused substitute during his side’s 1-0 defeat to Rangers last month.



    Now Rodgers admits the Scotland international is a “little while” away from a return but believes working closely with the club’s medical team will prove beneficial.

  14. AD @ 7.24



    Not really a BR issue although the slide seems to have gathered pace during his time with us.


    I have bumped my gums on this periodically over the past few years so you will not have far to look.



    Regarding the youth set up — I fear a bit of nepotism came into play plus a large dose of size based team selection strategies at the wrong time.



    Look at the 95’s CB situation — no-one from the 2015/16/17 youths made it with us but we bought back someone we had previously let go.



    Either we cannot spot a player or we cannot coach a player.


    Either way not good — erse kicking required.


    Over to you DmD.

  15. GreeninbingleyinOslo on




    Definitely. Huge and proper football culture in those countries. Kids playing every chance they get, wherever they are, and youth coaches who teach and encourage skills, not brute force. Albania and Greece as well.



    I would also love it if we set up links in North Africa – Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco.

  16. madmitch.



    what nepotism is there in the youth set up ?


    name names, cmon.



    bringing a youth coach in to boot arses? are you serious ?



    next point, you do know the total cost of operating lennoxtown includes the first team.

  17. 2 signings now confirmed. A pity that both are only 6 month loans so they really do need to hit the ground running before they’re away again! Here we go, 8 (EIGHT) in a row………

  18. We’re now 9 days into the loss tae sevco, so far I’m at stage 3 of the 7 stages of grief, after the shock and then pain its now anger, angry at the submissive display of our highly paid and talented players.



    At the start of the season I mentioned that for the first 2 seasons Brendan had quite an easy ride although he himself admitted that as season 1 was coming to an end he felt as if he was having a heart attack so intense was the pressure on him.



    For the past couple of weeks I’ve mentioned that all was not well at Parkheid/Lennoxtown, this windae will prove whether I am right or wrong.



    I love tae use the analogy “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it” in all walks of life and it’s so appropriate as far as our wee team are concerned right now.



    Right now we are a soft touch nae use kiddin on we’re not, when we won our first trophy since 1937/38, we had captain big John McPhail, Sean Fallon and Bobby Evans in the lineup, nae shrinking violets there, that was followed with the St Mungo’s Cup, Bobby and Sean again were in the team, our left wing in both games was Bertie Peacock and Charles Patrick, nae mugs either.



    Moving on tae the Coronation Cup and our first double in 40 years, the captain by this time was the Big Mhan and John McPhail, Bobby Evans, Sean Fallon, Bertie Peacock and Charlie prominently featured, all hard as nails but never durty, they had tae be with deidco’s famed iron curtain defence around plus thugs like betty davis and sammy the clug baird, by the time 7-1 rolls around 2 players are missing big John and Jock, both had retired by then the latter due tae an injury suffered against deidco. After that it was all downhill.



    Sean in particular could dish it out and in one memorable game that both my da and father in law loved to relate, the thug that was shearer dumped the slightly built but highly talented John Higgins on the dirt track. As soon as play resumed after John had been treated Sean ran right across the park and dished out retribution tae a player that couldnae lace Johns boots, he went intae hiding for the rest of the game.



    Jock then moved ontae a coaching roll with the reserves, a position he was initially signed for, and tasked with bringing through the Kelly Kids, 5 of whom would line up that momentous night in Lisbon.



    Jocks time with the reserves was significant as they had the proverbial Indian sign over the hun wee team beating them and beating them well at that on several occasions.



    He brought through some highly talented youngsters, John McNamee allegedly his first signing for us and the Hibbees and a player who he built their defense around, Dunky MacKay, Pat Crerand, big Billy who he mentored, Bobby Murdoch, Matt McVittie, Mike Jackson, Bobby Carroll, John Divers, Stevie Chalmers and not forgetting a cheeky wee winger fae Maryhill who we farmed out tae Dumbarton.



    Not all were successful with the club but none of them feared the hun hordes especially that wee winger who Sir Bob flogged after Jock had moved on due tae his aggression especially against the older deidco club captain. Thankfully Jock never forgot him.



    So why did we enter intae the years in the wilderness, well as successful as we were during oul Jimmy’s reign, and we were, this can be put down to the personnel we had on the field, once they were moved on or retired the grandfatherly Jimmy or your mother’s oul uncle, was now at the mercy of the board and its bullying, why else would he play a player who only got a game because Bob saw him standing at a bus stop wearing his scarf on the way tae the game that day, or drap the wee mhan for the replay of a cup final after he had starred, that’s up there with willie ormond doing the same thing in Frankfurt at the 1974 WC in a decisive last sectional game.



    Would the likes of Newry born Wullie Maley, the Burnbank miner Jock, his protégé big Billy or the Quiet Assassin Dave Hay have put up with this, naw only a gentleman who once said “Jimmy McGrory of Arsenal disnae sound as good as Jimmy McGrory of Celtic” and then had a reduction in wages for daring tae stand up tae the board. Neither would MON, WGS or Lenny.



    Don’t forget as Hugh McIllvaney said in the Centenary video at the Thursday night board meeting on Jocks first week back Sir Bob asked what Saturdays’ team would be, Jock allegedly replied there was a couple of knocks and a wee cold here and there and so hadn’t picked it yet, to which Bob seemingly said well your telling us to mind our own business tae which Jock replied that was the size of it.



    As the Big Mhan himself said it’s no use saying you have control if you don’t have it.



    So on Jocks moving on genuine prospects struggled to fulfill their promise, two that I have deliberately not mentioned as they could/should have been huge successes with us but the departure of their tutor put paid to that and yet were highly successful elsewhere.



    First up is Jim Conway a much maligned player while with the Hoops. Jim was a much sought off youngster when playing with Coltness United and Sir Matt Busby coveted him. However, wiser heads in Jim’s family expressed concerns about such an enormous step for someone so young, at a time when the support and security which is now routine for junior players was then virtually non-existent.



    The consequent rejection of Manure’s offer, however, was the turning point as Celtic seized the opportunity and signed up young Jim on a provisional contract at the age of 16 years, after just two months in the reserves, and lots of hard grafting on the training pitch, Jim broke into the first team in 1957 in his debut match against Falkirk at the age of 17, the youngest player at the time to ever play for us



    With his game constantly maturing and growing ever stronger, Jim’s early years at Celtic were characterised by the great relationship he established with then reserve manager Jock Stein and success as a young player looked assured. But 4 years on Jock moved on to the Pars and Jim lost a true friend and a firm believer in his abilities at a crucial time in his career.



    Hard-working and with a great shot Jim was an undoubtedly promising attacker with bags of ability but at the highest level he seemed to dwell on the ball for just that split second too long.



    At the same time as Jock was making history with Dunfermline winning the Scottish Cup for the first time Jim was offered a month’s club trial in the English league at Norwich City. He knew that if this did not meet with success, a return to the situation at Celtic would ensue, with little chance of him achieving his dreams.



    He was transferred to Norwich in April 1961 for a £10,000 fee. He was still a rated player as Jock tried to buy him for his high flying Dunfermline side but to no avail, he didn’t forget that as a reserve team manager at Celtic that Jim had scored a barrowload of goals including four in a reserve team cup final against deidco, Jock’s first coaching trophy.



    His early promise just petered out as Parkheid was a poor place to come for any aspiring player in the late 50s/early 60s. He was just another victim of this, he was said to always give his best and that we can all respect, possibly he was one of the great losses to the club, one that got away due tae poor management



    Next up is Frank Brogan who was part of the team that pulled the Hoops from the mire of the early 1960s towards the heights of European glory but a move to Ipswich Town in 1964 saw him miss out on Celtic’s treasure trail.



    I have often said if we could clone Frank’s undoubted talent with his brother Jim’s aggression and determination we would have won more than one Big Cup, he only played 48 games for us scoring 17 goals before being forced out to Ipswich accused of hiding fae the thug shearer. Down in Anglia, same destination as Jim Conway, he played 223 games scoring 60 goals; I must say our loss was the tractor boys’ gain.



    Frank’s main claim tae fame with the Hoops was scoring our 5,000 league goal, I recall that night at Firhill in a 2-1 victory in front of a very sparse crowd as this was 4 days after capitulating tae the buddies at hades 1-3 in the SC semis 5 days after we had taken 5 off them at Love Street, the Bear scored our winner with 6 minutes to go while a Thistle equaliser in the dying minutes by Joe McGoals was chalked off for offside.



    A month earlier Frank starred and scored the equaliser in a 2-1win over the awaiting champions Dundee who had taken 5 off the huns at their midden earlier in the season, big Billy got the winner 5 minutes later. Dear God we really were hot and cold back then.



    By this time Frank was a right winger and rated by a lot of the older fans as a better prospect than a wee carrot heided winger we had farmed out tae Blantyre Celtic due tae his ability tae play both wings.



    So what has this to do with our current malaise, well both very very good players had their careers curtailed at Parkheid due tae the animal tactics that were prevalent at the time and no protection.



    It’s not as if we didnae have players that could handle themselves, we had Paddy Crerand who had been sent off in Bratislava playing for Scotland in a WC qualifier, he was also sent off in the Falkirk 5s for retaliating against a black north thug who was reveling in dishing it out to the Tims in front of a rabid support who had been peppering our young team with missiles as they sat on the touchline between games. His card was marked and his verbal attack on the assistant manager at half time in the loss tae deidco on January 1 was the final straw, he was off.



    His replacement was another hard as nails player John McNamee who the Big Mhan made his first signing when moving fae East End Park tae Easter Road, 18 months later I saw big John being ordered off for almost decapitating big Yogi in a LC semi at hades.



    John played in that dreadful semi replay when the wee mhan and Frank Brogan were dropped after a hard fought draw with deidco in the first game, that was the game when our fans departed in droves after their 3rd goal as they toyed with us, their fans chanted easy easy easy. Sir Bob said in the post match aftermath that he would rather they had filled our net than embarrassing us, we didnae as our record cup final win may have went.



    That summer the smsm labelled us Bob Kelly and the Easy Beats, a play on rock groups now entering the charts after a few years of the mind-numbing “Bobbys”, then lo and behold we somehow managed to make the semis of the ECWC at the end of the following season only tae blow a 3 goal lead in Budapest due once again to Sir Bob’s interference.



    After a fine start to season 64/65 we eventually beat the huns 3-1, my first victory over them, in a monsoon with the luxury of a missed penalty and brilliant Bear goal that was chalked off and a free kick given tae us for a foul on the lead up.



    This was a patched up Celtic side due tae the thuggish tactics of the templars down at Rugby park in a nothing at stake LC game. Our half back line that dreich afternoon was Brogan, Cushley and Kennedy, the high flying hun forward line of henderson, mclean, forrest, brand and wilson never got the freedom they usually enjoyed and Charlie Gallagher, even though he missed the penalty, had the “legend” that was slim jim in his pocket the whole game.



    However, in true Celtic style we couldnae sustain this and our next game against them the hammer throwers were brought back in along with the usual honest mistakes and the wheels came off the wagon.



    We were dreadful after that, Billy looked at joining his half back and international partner Paddy with a move south as Spurs vested an interest, Paddy’s eventual replacement Bobby Murdoch contemplated emigrating to Oz and the greatest ever Celt looked like joining Paddy after being sent off for retaliation at the New Years game at the same stadium 2 years later.



    It wasn’t the first time the wee mhan had been sent off and also for retaliation, he was a marked mhan and even with the likes of big Tam, Chopper, big Yogi and the President in the side no protection was offered.



    Then the Big Mhan came back and just prior tae that wee ten thirty, it’s rumoured that was one of his conditions. Jock installed a bit of steel intae our side, even big Billy became tough, not dirty but added a certain edge to his game. Jinky after missing the SC final battled his way back and became the player we hoped we would.



    From then on we had the personnel to stand up to any and all so called hard men, even over in Montevideo and 7 years later against the Madrid Argies we were nobody’s mugs.



    There are numerous players I could mention here who stood up for themselves and their team mates, good players and not thugs like roberts, hurlock etc.



    However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Jackie McNamara’s right hook tae hhhhately’s chin, a player brought back fae his Helensburgh fueled exile tae rough up our defense, naesurname is definitely one sleekit piece of work.



    Only when we had weak leadership such as “take it on the chin” mogga have we been seen as pushovers.



    Brendan Rogers has the opportunity to go down in Celtic history like his fellow Norn Irishmen Wullie Maley, MON and Neil Lennon as one of the finest managers we have ever had or a guy that got lucky due tae the dearth of opposition.



    So Brendan it’s up to you are you a take it in the chin guy or a dump the wee fife ned on the dirt track one. Good guys do finish last and the wrong choice may see you being labelled as a failed EPL manager who was only successful in a micky mouse league and become another Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes or Davie Moyes going fae side tae side trying tae avoid relegation.

  19. GBO @ 7.19



    As you would expect we have had SFA help from the SFA …


    … or the SPFL for that matter.



    Spanish style second team would be a great way forward.


    Probably make it a U22 or U23 team to help plug the gap.


    Either that or buy AR and lend them 6 or 8 players a season.

  20. Madmitch



    Cheers , but I didnt think it was a BR issue but I cant remember u saying about it when we were winning trebles.



    MON years…..were u goin on about it then ?



    I think you may be having a wee panic re Sevco being near.



    However only my opinion.




  21. 50 shades of green on

    Sometimes I get jealous of awe they posters that cant get on here because of adverts, think I’m going to turn JavaScript back on till February, save me reading jabbascript.




  22. mike in toronto on




    If you aren’t/weren’t a professional writer, you should have been, my friend.



    Fan@7:52… why hire her as a trainer? why not just sign her to be our new centreback?




  23. BBC




    `Paris St-Germain striker Timothy Weah has signed a six-month loan contract with Celtic.



    The 18-year-old’s deal was confirmed after he arrived in Dubai to join the Scottish champions’ training camp during their winter break.`



    We would even win wearing our crappy third strip with that little firecracker in it.

  25. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    BIG PACKY 1 on 7TH JANUARY 2019 7:05 PM


    ok bhoys ive mentioned 3 songs we sung at parkhead when I was a teenager late sixties early seventies namely in no particular order the soldiers song/sean southof Garryowen and the merry ploughboy ill ask again are they sectarian songs.hh.






    Big Packy 1 –



    I would say none are sectarian – I see no mention of creed, colour, race, threat or hatred of any kind.



    However, others will probably have a view of these songs that doesn’t concern itself necessarily about what the actual lyrics are – views that may be coloured by individuals’ cultural background or other concerns.



    Certainly I can’t recall having any ‘sectarian’ thoughts when singing any Irish songs – or Scottish ones for that matter (I love a bit of the Corries). Always felt it was more of a ‘freedom from oppression’ type of thing.



    We’ve had bother singing very middle-of-the road stuff – “Tell Me Ma”, “Gallway Shawl”, “Black Velvet Band”, etc., – some audiences just hear anything vaguely Irish and it is like a red rag to a bull.



    Similarly, lots of people I know don’t like Scottish folk songs because of some or other pre-conceived perceptions they may have – not based on what the songs are actually about.






  26. Catman.


    Once again, bang on the button.


    I reckon it was Dec 22 when you hinted about Tim.


    Thank you.

  27. StS @ 7.46



    Erse booting — I would start with the other youth coaches and see where that got us.



    For the record — BR 2.0


    Very unhappy with the CL group games plus the stodge that was served up at times.

  28. TontimeTim



    Don’t stop .I could read your Celtic memories all night.



    Would someone please contact Brendan and ask him to read this post.




  29. right timmy,


    your not going to dubai, we are sending you to girvan beach, with a shouty sweary coach who is going to boot your arse for the next 5 months, then you will be first team ready.

  30. TW — At least if we don’t get justice in Scotland or the U.K. regarding MIB Ludge conspiracies / legal shenanigans/ media bias we can get his da to take our case to the UN.



    Might be quite a cute move.

  31. Silver City 1888 on

    The problem with the term sectarian is that everyone has their own idea of what it means. In fact the definition of it is so nebulous that it could be argued that the Celtic Song or even Ave Maria are sectarian songs.

  32. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Alleged threats made against referee John Beaton are “absolutely shameful”, says Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon.



    Police confirmed at the weekend they had received a complaint “regarding texts and calls received by a 36-year-old man”.



    It’s dragging the name of the Scottish game in the gutter,” Lennon said.



    “My sympathies go to John and his family – [the] guy’s just trying to do his job as honestly as he can”



    If there isn’t a conspiracy you have to admire the discipline and zeal of the different elements in attempting to shut down Celtic’s legitimate enquiry.



    In the same week Jordan Jones happily dissed his current employer in order to curry favour with the mob, two guys who have “perceived Celtic leanings” – Steven Conroy and Neil Lennon – have been skilfully sought out and their opinions used to reaffirm the establishment position.



    Hail hail