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Celtic work remains below-radar

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I like the below-radar way Celtic have operated this transfer window.  Mikael Lustig arrived early without much of a murmur and Rabiu Ibrahim’s trial and signing went through with casual understatement, while Jaroslaw Fojut completed a pre-contract agreement before many of us had even reached his Wikipedia page.

Most of the headlines surrounding Celtic have been in connection with English clubs wanting our players, closely followed by public declarations of ‘I’m going nowhere’ from the players in question.

Compare and contrast with the situation over the city.  Almost daily Nikica Jelavic has to deal with a completely different scenario his club have placed him in, today telling STV, “The manager appreciates me and likes me, but I know the club are in a difficult financial situation and if they decided they needed to sell me, I would accept it.”

If you bump into Nikica tell him he’s talking rubbish.  His club were recently bought by a billionaire, they have no financial difficulties and they are reliably informed they are going to win their tax case.  Rangers players telling the media that their club are in a “difficult financial situation” are miles off-message.

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  1. I can’t see them failing to sneak by Hibs – even if it takes a wee Jelavic going away present penalty.

     

     

    And then the headlines will be all about them breathing down our necks (a horrible thought), putting the pressure on, etc.

  2. This blog isn’t what it used to be if we have blokes like Thom The Thim getting first post.

     

     

    He couldn’t even beat Big Dan over 100 metres.

  3. starry plough says:

     

    25 January, 2012 at 11:53

     

     

    If we win at Tynecastle on the 8th mate there will be no hiding anyone’s grin, and the mineshaft will be a lonely place!

  4. The Pantaloon Duck says:

     

    25 January, 2012 at 12:02

     

     

    Latest from Celticfc.net:

     

     

    “There was bad news for Mo Bangura, however, as he has tweaked his right knee again and will see a specialist next week to assess how long he will be sidelined.”

     

     

    One of these days, Mo Bangura is going to be an excellent answer to a quiz question.

     

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

     

    How about….who signed Mo Bangura, Lawwell or Lennon ?

     

     

    Hail! Hail!

  5. Shoorly there’s a lot of lies in this article? Where’s the front loaded £25 Million?……..The “off the radar wealth?”

     

     

    The DR can’t have been telling lies now…………….can they?

     

     

     

    JIM BETT lived through the dark days at Rangers and thought they’d been banished by Graeme Souness’ Ibrox revolution.

     

    But as he cast his eye over his old club’s current plight, Bett believes it has now gone full circle.

     

    The former Scotland star insists Ally McCoist’s struggle to sign quality players is a flashback to John Greig’s turbulent time as boss in the early 1980s.

     

    As it emerged yesterday that Murray Park trialists Zlatan Muslimovic and Enar Jaager had left the club, Bett was reminded of the barren years under Greig and Jock Wallace.

     

    In the summer of 1981, Rangers only signing was Ulsterman John McClelland, who arrived for £90,000 from English minnows Mansfield.

     

    It was one of the most unsuccessful periods in the club’s history – before Souness arrived in 1986 and transformed them into Scottish champions.

     

    Bett has been left shocked by the difficulties facing McCoist since taking over from Walter Smith as Gers have toiled to snap up his transfer targets.

     

    He sympathises with his former team-mate but warned the club’s predicament could get worse after the inevitable sale of striker Nikica Jelavic.

     

    And Bett is adamant Gers are edging closer to where they were 30 years ago, before Souness turned it around.

     

    He told Record Sport: “What’s happening at Rangers right now reminds me of the pre-Souness days in the 80s. It’s a throwback to that period.

     

    “It has gone full circle and the club is really struggling right now. As well as on the playing side, they have the tax case hanging over them as well.

     

    “I remember the year we only made one signing and it was McClelland. All the deals were done on the cheap back then, Rangers didn’t spend a lot.

     

    “That made it hard for John Greig as manager. Most of the signings weren’t big names and the club now has a similar problem today.

     

    “I could never have imagined we’d get back to the pre-Souness days. He came in 1986 and revolutionised the club.

     

    “He spent loads of money and everyone thought it would just be ‘up and up’ from then. But obviously they’ve over-spent – a lot of poor quality players proved to be a waste of money.

     

    “It’s gone full circle now. It’s hard to believe the state that the club is in at the moment.”

     

    McCoist was left reeling yesterday as defensive target Jaager left Murray Park after his trial spell, with Leeds United now interested in his services.

     

    The Gers boss was unsure if he could afford the Estonian’s wages which killed off any potential deal.

     

    Frontman Muslimovic also departed after less than a day at the club as he headed south to train with Sunderland.

     

    Former Ibrox midfielder Bett isn’t surprised Gers are losing out on players to clubs in England and that’s why he feels sorry for old pal McCoist.

     

    He said: “It’s not helping Ally. He clearly wants to strengthen the team but if there’s no funds to do that it makes his job even harder.

     

    “Especially with it being his first season – because he wants to do well for Rangers. They are a massive name around Europe. If you can’t attract players to a club of Rangers’ size you’ve got a problem on your hands.

     

    “If you can’t tie up an Estonian defender it’s a bad day. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Jaager has left Rangers to go to a club like Leeds.

     

    “They’d probably offer him a better deal than he’d get in Scotland.

     

    “That’s what Ally has to put up with right now. A club like Rangers should be able to attract quality players – but it’s changed days.

     

    “I feel for Ally – I know him well and played alongside him. It was always going to be hard taking over from Walter Smith, whose side were champions.

     

    “It’s even tougher when you don’t have a lot of quality there and I can see cracks appearing at the club.

     

    “Ally would love to bring players in but if the money’s not there that won’t happen. He might also have to sell Nikica Jelavic, which would be a huge problem.

     

    “When I arrived, Rangers hadn’t even qualified for Europe the previous season. Greig had a massive job on his hands because some of the older players, who had won everything, were getting older. John had to replace them but he didn’t have the cash to do that. Rangers are in the same situation now.

     

    “If Ally has to sell Jelavic or Allan McGregor or Steven Davis he won’t be able to get replacements in.

     

    “He will then need luck with a couple of lesser signings, who would have to hit the ground running. But that would be taking a huge gamble.”

     

    With Gers currently four points behind Old Firm rivals Celtic in the SPL table – as well as the financial problems engulfing the club – they face a mammoth task to clinch a fourth successive title.

     

    At the same time the Hoops have already brought in three players in the window and Bett believes they’ll be encouraged by the goings-on in Govan.

     

    He said: “Celtic are spending which makes it even tougher for Rangers. The Champions League is where the cash is, it helps you attract better players.

     

    “Celtic will be looking over to Ibrox and thinking what a great opportunity they have now of becoming champions this year.”

  6. From Garngad to Croy I am Neil Lennon. on

    Paul67

     

     

    What is Right, and What is Wrong, by the law, by the law?

     

     

     

    I think Rangers will win their ‘big; tax case.

     

     

    All my faith is Scottish Law was lost when Neil Lennon’s attacker walked free !

  7. Overheard, this morning 2 work colleagues discussing the plight of their club – not boring you with the detail, but, it was finalised with the comment, “I’ll just watch rugby for a couple of years.” Made me laugh, anyway.

  8. Paul67

     

     

    You can be a cruel man!

     

     

    Anyone else working with bares at he moment? Everyone of them, walking about in a daze right now refusing to discuss football. I am Loving It!!

     

     

    HH

  9. Kevin

     

     

    I assume you belive Peter Lawwell to be at fault for the bangura signing.

     

     

    Do you think he signs all the players or just the flops?

     

     

    What about Victor, Beram, Izzy, Ki, Hooper etc

     

     

    Mort

  10. A MAJOR study of European football has ranked Celtic fourth in terms of the highest number of active international players in the first-team squad. Only Barcelona in first place, followed by Manchester City and Real Madrid have a higher percentage of international players.

     

     

    The demographic study by the CIES Football Observatory in Switzerland is based on detailed analysis of over 12,000 footballers at 500 clubs in the top divisions of 33 European clubs.

     

     

    And the study defined an active internationalist as a player registered with a club in October 2011 who had played international football in 2011.

     

     

    Celtic, with a squad of players who represent a number of different countries, were placed higher in the table ahead of teams such as Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Manchester United and Arsenal.

     

     

    Among the internationalists at Celtic are: Scott Brown, Kris Commons, Mark Wilson and James Forrest (Scotland), Georgios Samaras (Greece), Ki Sung Yueng and Cha Di Ri (South Korea), Beram Kayal (Israel), Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews (Wales), Victor Wanyama (Kenya), Daniel Majstorovic (Sweden), Emilio Izaguirre (Honduras), Paddy McCourt (N Ireland) and Mo Bangura (Sierra Leone).

     

     

    Joining their ranks are Mikael Lustig (Sweden), while new Bhoys Rabiu Ibrahim (Nigeria) and Jaroslaw Fojut (Poland) are pushing for full international honours.

     

     

    Highest number of active internationals by team in Europe’s 33 major top divisions

     

    1. Barcelona (81%)

     

    2. Manchester City (73.1%)

     

    3. Real Madrid (70.8%)

     

    4. CELTIC (68%)

     

    5. Bayern Munich (66.7%)

     

    6. Shakhtar Donetsk (64.3%)

     

    7. Zenit St Petersburg (64%)

     

    8. Chelsea (61.5%)

     

    9. Internazionale (59.3%)

     

    10. Manchester United (58.6%)

     

    11. Arsenal (58.1%)

     

    12. Tottenham (57.7%)

     

    13. = Porto, CSKA Moscow, West Brom (56%)

     

    16. Borussia Dortmund (54.2%)

     

    17. Liverpool (53.8%)

     

    18. Marseille (52.4%)

     

    19. Dynamo Kiev (51.9%)

     

    20. = Everton, Fulham, Galatasaray, VfB Stuttgart (50%)

     

     

    Very nice, NOW WIN US THE LEAGUE!

  11. Mort says:

     

    25 January, 2012 at 12:26

     

     

    Tsk! You should no by now. Good signing = manager getting his way. Bad signing = foisted on him by the evil board.

  12. From Garngad to Croy I am Neil Lennon. says:

     

    25 January, 2012 at 12:24

     

     

    Paul67

     

     

    What is Right, and What is Wrong, by the law, by the law?

     

     

    I think Rangers will win their ‘big; tax case.

     

     

    All my faith is Scottish Law was lost when Neil Lennon’s attacker walked free !

     

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

     

    Perfectly put!

     

     

    Hail! Hail!

     

     

    “Please let the light of TRUTH shine brighter!” CSC.

  13. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Big decision day in Fatyville-

     

     

    Jaager, or chips?

     

     

    Jaager, or chips?

     

     

    Jaager, or chips?

  14. So the Edinburgh Based Thousandaire, or EBT if you prefer, has been sniffing around EBT Park again. Curiouser and curiouser.

     

     

    ASonOfDan says:

     

    25 January, 2012 at 12:27

     

     

     

    The difference being that all of our players are tier-2, -3 and -4 (in terms of regionalised seedings) internationalists whereas Barca’s etc are all playing for tier-1 national teams.

     

     

    Sad but true.

     

     

    On the bright side, we don’t have David Healy.

  15. Steinreignedsupreme on

    From Garngad to Croy I am Neil Lennon.: 25 January, 2012 at 12:24

     

     

    “I think Rangers will win their ‘big; tax case.

     

     

    “All my faith is Scottish Law was lost when Neil Lennon’s attacker walked free !”

     

     

    There is no jury involved in this one. An independent panel of three judges, who I would guess, are not swayed by the parochial interests of Scottish football … just the facts laid before them.

     

     

    Rangers have a multi-million pound turnover and are one of the biggest businesses in Scotland. They were sold for £1. There is a reason for that.

  16. Sure I read Sir Minty was there to see the club doctor. He is still ripping every penny out of them…

  17. Noel says:

     

    25 January, 2012 at 12:22

     

     

     

    I see my joint first post smoked you out of your underground bunker.

     

     

    I don’t go in for all that podium nonsense, but in the spirit of sportsmanship, I am conceding the undisputed top spot to Kittoch.

     

     

    He is fully deserving of the honour I bestow on him, for his classic Victorisms on accurate Japanese – Glesga translation of Naka’s Free Kick.

     

     

    Now, go back to sleep.

  18. Mort says:

     

    25 January, 2012 at 12:26

     

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

     

    My information is that…Neil wanted Diawarra who cost £4 mill. Then PL appeared with Mo for half the price ?

     

     

    Neil watches Mo in training EVERY day and, dizny play him ?

     

     

    I have also been informed that, PL signed Daryl Murphy and, Efran Suarez ?

     

     

    All the players that Neil has signed have proved their worth. IMO!

     

     

    I can only form an opinion on the information I get!

     

     

    Hail! Hail!

  19. Regarding SDM’s visit to Ally yesterday, my supposition is that it was a courtesy call to fill him in on the outcome of the big tax case.

     

    Whether that was to reassure him that all would be well and to just hang on in there, or to say that the end was nigh, I just don’t know.

     

     

    Maybe he just went there for some physio.

  20. Rangers manager Ally McCoist claims his club have not received any offers for Nikica Jelavic despite mounting speculation linking the striker with a move to the Premier League.

     

     

    How come David Gold confirmed they had lodged a bid at the beginning of the week.

     

     

    Expect the statement ” the bid came is so late we did not have a chance to give Ally any of the money.” When it has been sitting there for a week.

     

     

    HH

  21. Transfer News!!!

     

     

    NEWCASTLE United goalkeeper Fraser Forster is close to a £2m switch to Celtic.

     

     

    Forster’s on a second season-long loan at Celtic Park, and Celtic manager Neil Lennon last week told of his keenness to turn that move into a permanent one.

     

     

    The Gazette understands a fee has now been agreed between the two clubs, and the proposed move now hinges on whether Forster can agree personal terms before the end of this month’s transfer window.

     

     

    Forster has said he’s “happy” to leave it until the summer before making a decision on his long-term future, the 23-year-old content to concentrate on Celtic’s Scottish Premier League challenge in the meantime.

     

     

    “Celtic have first option at the end of the summer,” he said.

     

     

    “To be honest, I’m happy leaving it to the summer.

     

     

    “I would rather just concentrate on football, and that can all be done in the summer when we’re all off and there’s more time. We can sit down and sort it all out then.”

     

     

    However, United’s willingness to let him go, and Lennon’s faith in him, could change his mind.

     

     

    “Good keepers are hard to find, and we believe he has the potential to go on and become a great keeper,” said Lennon.

  22. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Erik Estrada!

     

     

    Now you’re talking.

     

     

    With his daredevil motorcycle skills, and martial arts expertise, the 4 point gap at the top of the SPL will soon disappear.

     

     

    Ian Crocker says he’s a top, top ‘soccerista’.

  23. watched moneyball last night – really enjoyed it – i assume there is a book about it – anyone read it?

  24. NEWCASTLE United goalkeeper Fraser Forster is close to a £2m switch to Celtic.

     

    Forster’s on a second season-long loan at Celtic Park, and Celtic manager Neil Lennon last week told of his keenness to turn that move into a permanent one.

     

    The Gazette understands a fee has now been agreed between the two clubs, and the proposed move now hinges on whether Forster can agree personal terms before the end of this month’s transfer window.

     

    ‘I don’t see myself going back to United’ – Forster

     

    Forster has said he’s “happy” to leave it until the summer before making a decision on his long-term future, the 23-year-old content to concentrate on Celtic’s Scottish Premier League challenge in the meantime.

     

    “Celtic have first option at the end of the summer,” he said.

     

    “To be honest, I’m happy leaving it to the summer.

     

    “I would rather just concentrate on football, and that can all be done in the summer when we’re all off and there’s more time. We can sit down and sort it all out then.”

     

    However, United’s willingness to let him go, and Lennon’s faith in him, could change his mind.

     

    “Good keepers are hard to find, and we believe he has the potential to go on and become a great keeper,” said Lennon.

     

    The Hexham-born player – who has never made a competitive first-team appearance for Newcastle – is behind Tim Krul, Steve Harper and Rob Elliot in the pecking order at St James’s Park.

     

    And Lennon is hopeful a deal can be concluded over the coming days.

     

    Should Forster complete a move to Celtic, United could move for highly-rated Portsmouth goalkeeper Stephen Henderson, who has been watched by the club in recent months.

     

    Fratton Park manager Michael Appleton is under pressure to sell with the club facing a winding up order by HM Revenue and Customs, and the 23-year-old Republic of Ireland international is one of his most saleable assets.

     

    However, a move for Henderson would be dependant on Forster leaving, as the club couldn’t justify having five senior goalkeepers on its books.

     

    Gazette

  25. KevJungle says:

     

    25 January, 2012 at 12:37

     

     

    Juarez is a good player.

     

     

    Why is it that every player Neil has signed has turned out to be exceptional and the duds are all PL’s? This is not directed at you Kevin, just an observation.

     

     

    I think too many people need a scapegoat for things not working out and I very much doubt that Neil Lennon is infallible in the transfer market – let’s face it, name me a manager who is?

     

     

    **coughs Hargreaves/De Gea/etc to ManUtd**

     

     

    I’ll take Neil’s duds with his star buys any day of the week if it means we have more Matthews than Murphys.

  26. ASonOfDan says:

     

    25 January, 2012 at 12:39

     

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

     

    Would you rule out that scenario happening at CP ?

     

     

    Btw, thanks for clearing up the point about, reserve football from previous post.

     

     

    Hail! Hail!

  27. Green Lantern (((((0))))) on

    I see rankers latest trialist is one of the Bruins. Wonder who’ll be next….. Hen maybe.

     

    Well they’ve already got Daphne as manager. :)

  28. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    Oldcastleboy – the book is by Michael [?] Lewis.

     

     

    It’s pretty good, and it does make you wonder if that kind of thinking would help a Club like Celtic punch above their weight.

     

     

    But when you see some of the good players we’re signing,from unheralded clubs, maybe Neil Lennon already has it on his bedside cabinet!

     

     

    He also wrote ‘ The Blind Side’ which was made into a movie starring Sandra Bullock.

  29. Big Fraser is coming good. Sign him up Celtic

     

    Bangura I thought was common knowledge was signed by Lawell when Neil was in Portugal looking at another player? (Diawara)

     

     

    There will always be players that dont work out. This happens in football.

     

    Treble still possible, for only one team. We are not doing bad this season.

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