Celtic’s long developmental problem


Lewis Morgan was an unlikely stand-in for injured Odsonne Edouard in last night’s Europa League game against Rennes, but he fulfilled his role of striker perfectly by putting the ball in the net.  We have seen a few iterations of players who make a relatively slow start to their Celtic careers before a spectacular lift-off.

Edouard is a notable example, but Morgan’s earlier form at Celtic is more reminiscent of Ryan Christie, who struggled to look the part, making only a handful of appearances during loan spells in his first three years as a Celtic player.  Ryan and Odsonne are now contenders for this season’s Player of the Year.

It would be ridiculous to suggest Lewis is on a similar trajectory but something has changed at Celtic in recent years.  We have rediscovered how to make European-class football players.  The three decades of failure in this respect was never about the lack of raw talent, it was a developmental problem.

Mikey Johnston showed enough last night to remind us of his prodigious talent.  Like Morgan, he did a stint as stand-in striker, although not as successfully.  I often think that Christie needs a player who can think and move in the same way he does to be most effective.  Johnston is the nearest fit we have.

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  1. Your right Paul, it is ridiculous to suggest that he is in on a similar trajectory. Not nearly good enough

  2. Does anyone know a Celtic bar in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) where I can see the game on Sunday. Over there for a few days even an Irish bar would help could pick up a wee sausage on the net




  3. I’ve said it many times. Some player wee Mikey. Got unfairly implicated in Rodgers sulking with the board when played at CF but a terrific talent.



    Wee Moi has been a revelation too. Great choices. Keep Odsonne wrapped in cotton wool until the cup final. We’re enough to get past Ross County and the Accies.

  4. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    At one point years back many of us were resigned to Christie being another failed project.



    The loan at Aberdeen (tellingly for 18 rather 6 or 12 months) was the making of Ryan.



    Aberdeen deserve our gratitude.



    I see some parallels – young stars at small clubs (ICT, St Mirren), doing well at SPFL but could they step up?



    Agree Morgan may not have same talent as Ryan but if he turns out closer to Christie than he does to Scott Allen that’ll do for me.



    Agree with you Paul on the change at the club – a few years ago we couldn’t have dreamed of putting out a “weakened” side against ANYONE and scoring thrice.



    Happy days.



    Hail hail.

  5. I like Morgan. I also like Shved. Similar players? Competing for Jamesy and Elyounoussi positions. Even Sinclair can’t get a game.

  6. I think wee Morgan just needs to hit the gym. Too easily pushed off the ball but is very talented and is genuinely two footed



    There’s not many of those about



    With Lenny’s guidance hopefully he can develop into a star for us in the future

  7. FESS @ 12:24pm,



    Sebastian’s bar In Ampang is home to the KL CSC. Not as big as the SingTims CSC down in Singapore, but good guys.



    I’ll get the address for you and post soon. I’ll also see if I can get an email addy for you to contcat them to make sure they game is on.



    Watch this space






  8. To be fair Paul, Mickey did okay when he was a stand-in striker at Parkhead. He scored against Motherwell and then bagged a double against Dundee.



    So I think he’d be as good an option in Dingwall. If Eddy is injured I’d stick with the same team.

  9. FESS19,



    No problem.


    I’ve whatsapp’d one of the guys who runs the CSC just to check.


    If and when I hear from him, I’ll post back!



    Either way enjoy KL and hope you get to see the game.



    You there for business or leisure?






  10. Hope that the Green Brigade are back soon as.


    The noise ,singing and energy they bring was missing last night.


    The atmosphere they bring can be like a goal start. Do we want to go into the huns games with that missing.


    Enemies of Celtic going all out to get the standing area closed and GB permanently banned.


    Big Euro clubs have their Ultra run ins but they find a way to go forward together.

  11. Sorry for sounding like an old grumpy Celtic dad but a lot of the Lewis Morgan stuff annoyed me last night.



    When the team was leaked/announced there was a lot of chatter on Twitter from so-called supporters. To paraphrase: “It’s an absolute disgrace Lewis Morgan is playing upfront. He’s nowhere near good enough”



    Lewis has never had an extended run in the team. I think it’s fair to say that no Celtic fan has seen enough of him to fully form an opinion. Especially before last night.



    As I pointed out previously, Morgan has 2 goals and an assist from his cameo appearances in the qualifiers. He’s done quite well with the little opportunity he has had.



    He might never make the grade and hit the heights of James Forrest or Stuart Armstrong. But, there is something in between being good enough to be an automatic starter for Glasgow Celtic and being absolutely useless.



    The same would apply to Bauer. He’s a decent footballer. Not as good as Elhamed or Frimpong so we shouldn’t sign him permanently. But he’s still decent.



    There seems to be a younger generation of fans who sit at home, watch it on the telly and slate their own team on Twitter.



    That doesn’t apply to all young fans by the way. It’s just an obnoxious section of the support.

  12. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    Glad to say NL does not share their opinion, he thinks highly of the bhoy

  13. Neil said in his interview after the game that Lewis Morgan lacks a bit of belief and hopefully that performance pushes him on as “we” believe in him.


    On that interview, the guy asking the questions manages to avoid sycophancy, anyone interviewing Gerrard, and being snidey, anyone who interviews Neil. You’re waiting for it but it doesn’t come , breath of fresh air. No doubt they’ll get rid of him.

  14. JIMMYNOTPAUL on 29TH NOVEMBER 2019 11:35 AM


    Macjay. 7.56.



    It’s not really much of a compliment.



    Gartside at Bolton and Dempster at Hibs,are the others.




  15. Borgo67


    What does this mean:



    ” the guy asking the questions manages to avoid sycophancy, anyone interviewing Gerrard, and being snidey, anyone who interviews Neil. You’re waiting for it but it doesn’t come ” ?



  16. HS


    I was waiting for the interviewer to ask one of those questions reserved only for Celtic managers. It happens nearly every interview especially press conference, looking for a negative headline. This guy on BT sports seems like a real straight up sort of bloke . No agenda just decency.

  17. Given how we’re playing and the returns of Griff, MJ & Rogic, the games can’t come quick enough for me. It’s a pivotal month ahead.



    Nothing less than a Cup win and 100% league record in December, Celtic. We’re more than capable. This is the month we put down all challengers.






    Glad to say NL does not share their opinion, he thinks highly of the bhoy






    Neil seems to rate him higher than Sinclair and Shved which is good going.



    Last night’s result means we will maybe get to see Shved in Romania.

  19. If anybody is interested, this is the squad available for the final group game in Romania. I say we leave our full starting lineup back in Scotland save the CB’s where unfortunately we have no depth. No reason for us to do Lazio a favor.





    Craig Gordon, Scott Bain, Ryan Mullen, Fraser Forster




    Christopher Jullien, Greg Taylor, Jozo Šimunović, Moritz Bauer, Boli Bolingoli, Hatem Elhamed, Kristoffer Ajer, Kerr McInroy




    Nir Bitton, Scott Brown, Scott Sinclair, Lewis Morgan, Tom Rogic, Olivier Ntcham, Barry Coffey, Scott Robertson, Callum McGregor, James Forrest, Paul Kennedy, Mark Hill, Jonny Hayes, Ryan Christie




    Leigh Griffiths, Vakoun Issouf Bayo, Mikey Johnston, Marian Shved, Odsonne Édouard, Mohamed Elyounoussi, Calvin Miller, Grant Savoury, Karamoko Dembélé



    My squad for Romania:



    Starting 11: Gordon, Bauer, Bitton, Julien, Taylor, Ntcham, Robertson, Johnston, Morgan, Rogic, Griffiths



    Bench: Bain, Ajer, Shved, Dembele, Coffey, Sinclair, (Hayes/Boli/Hatem depending on fitness)

  20. Well said @redbhoy1888




    Res 12.Forget the lost revenue.Forget that Oldco got a temporary lifeline.Celtic had a chance to sweep away an establishment institutionally hostile to Celtic for most of its history.And they ducked it.Remember that the next time Beaton waves away a stonewall penalty.

  21. Haven’t had a chance to log on to CQN since the match last night.



    So, first off: thank you, Celtic. I was a bit bemused by the team selection before the game began. I thought we ought to have played our “best” 11 and, if we won, play our “reserves” against Cluj. But what do I know!



    Our manager and everyone who pulls on the Jersey just keep going up in my estimation. We seem to be getting better and better whoever is playing and whoever we are playing. ( I hope we can give Lewis Morgan a run of games.)



    Reading back, I was heartened to see that apart from 1 contributor, many of the longstanding CQNers have been rallying in support of Paul67’s creation. I came upon CQN a long, long time ago when I was living in Salford and it was (and remains) a Godsend. Long may it continue. And thanks, Paul, for your creation. I, for one, have no desire to look elsewhere for my news about all things Celtica.

  22. I’d be surprised even if Res12 is successful that it would result in any changes with the current SFA setup.



    We’ve more chance of radical changes the longer the national team underperforms.



    Celtic have a batch of very good Scots (3 scored last night, all under 24), Robertson won the CL, others play in the EPL, the national team woefully underperforms and eventually the buck will stop with the blazers and change will hopefully follow

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