Contrasts when trying to punt or retain a left back


You well remember the entire Celtic community in a nervous disposition at the prospect of Kieran Tierney leaving the club.  There was certainly no campaign, subtle or otherwise, to punt him after his first weeks in the limelight, he was performing at a Champions League level and we wanted him to remain for as long as possible.

Compare and contrast to what is happening across the city, where left back and occasional central defender, Calvin Bassey, is being excitedly touted by everyone remotely connected with his club.

Earlier this month we discussed the many financial benefits Newco would gain from their Europa League run, including an appreciation on the perceived value of their players.  Bassey is a prime example.  Sell him, sell him now, before the inevitable return to the mean.  Do whatever you can to make sure highlights of his performances this year at Ross County, or home to Celtic, are obscured in searches.

Until recent weeks, it was their chubby striker who was the focus of sale efforts.  He missed out on European games since March, if anything his value will have suffered – a blow to a campaign that’s been running for years.

When transfer heat first took hold around Kieran Tierney, Celtic pulled the stops out and agreed a five-year contract.  The player had the same balance on his previous contract as Bassey has now.  Celtic got another two years out of the player and sold him for record terms (with a persistent injury).  If Newco were wise – and if they truly rate Bassey, they would spend some of their European bounty on securing the player on a lucrative long-term deal.

“If Newco were wise”, listen to me.

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  1. Good afternoon from a happy bhoy at Wembley – thanks for all of your kind comments. A bit nervy in the middle of the second half but deserved win.


    Trophy for finishing 4th – what’s that about.

  2. Sláinte Ange on

    !!BADA BING!! on 28TH MAY 2022 5:10 PM


    How can I watch the Uefa Champions League final for free?




  3. Tom McLaughlin on

    I’m in Liverpool for my third CL weekend with my scouse family, a few of whom are Evertonians. One is a Gers fan, married to my cousin, but a gem of a bloke.



    Fantastic atmosphere in city centre. Had a great pub crawl this afternoon but now settled in pub for the game.



    Got a bet on 2-2 (90 mins) @ 10/1.



    Hail Hail.

  4. Majestic Hartson on

    Real unbeaten in the last 5 v Liverpool, scoring over 2.5 in 3 of them…



    2-2 seems a decent bet



    I’ve not paid any attention to the game but would like Robertson to win another medal.

  5. Another intelligent comment from the rarely heard from ( God be praised ) Brian F.

  6. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Scousers charging the gates at the stadium,thats why it’s delayed kick off

  7. TheLurkinTim: condolences to you on the death of your dad



    Ar dheis lámh Dhé go raibh anam uasal Andy.

  8. bigrailroadblues on

    Moderator, if you are about, please remove the comment at 7.44. Don’t need that nonsense on a Celtic blog.

  9. Switched on hoping for game to start .


    Having to listen to these 3 nuggets.



    Madrid, are as well going home the now, as far as they’re concerned.

  10. As the season is finished, I thought I’d take a quick look at some of the coaches I suggested as potential replacements when Lennon was sacked. I can’t remember all the coaches I looked at and don’t know how to look at my posting history, so do shout if I missed anyone and you want me to fess up to a disaster!





    My front-runner was Philipe Clement, then of Club Brugge. He’s no longer at Brugge having joined Monaco in January. The first half of his season was inconsistent, with USG on a remarkable run. His time at Monaco was equally marked by inconsistency, though he took them from 7th upon arrival to a 3rd placed finish to qualify for Champions League qualifiers. He lost out on 2nd and automatic spot to Marseille on the final day of the season and, indeed, the final minute – Lens scoring a last minute equaliser against Monaco.


    It will be interesting to see how he gets on next year, especially if Them draw Monaco on the CL qualifiers, but if he does well at Monaco then realistically we’ve missed our chance.





    I half-jokingly threw this guy in on the basis that he got a tune out of Jack Hendry at Oostende last year. He also overachieved, finishing 5th in the regular season before narrowly missing out on Conference League qualification in the Belgian play-off system.


    This season was less successful but he was picked up by Genoa in January. He oversaw an improvement in performances and points gained (16 from his 16 games compared to 12 in the previous 22) but couldn’t save them from relegation. He drew praise from the Italian punditry, including from one Fabio Capello. I assume he’ll stay at Genoa to try to bounce back up, but one to keep an eye on.





    I mentioned him in passing as he had already got the Feyenoord job. He’s done well with them – they finished 3rd in the Dutch top flight albeit 12 points behind the champions Ajax and 10 behind second placed PSV. That was progress – 2 spots higher and 12 points better off than the previous season.


    He also took them to the Conference final, losing just 2 of 19 fixtures in their European campaign (the final being one of them). He won 12 and drew 5, putting Marseille, Slavia Prague and Partizan (4 wins, 2 draws) out in the knock outs.


    Like Clement, I think his trajectory means he’s out of our reach – he’ll end up in Germany.





    Took over Sturm Graz in 2020 and seemed one to watch, taking them to third place. Followed up this year with a second place finish, albeit quite far behind RB Salzburg. Qualified for Europa League before being handed a Celtic-esque group of death with Monaco, Sociedad and PSV. Promptly lost 4 out of 6 games drawing the other 2.



    Looks to be doing ok without being spectacular, but again one to keep an eye on.



    Gerardo Seone


    Formerly of Young Boys and the source of a lot of debate on here as to whether his record was artificially inflated by the fact Young Boys play on a plastic pitch. Ended up with our paths crossing as he is now at Leverkusen. Good start to his career there, finishing 3rd in the Bundesliga, although possibly disappointed to lose to Atalanta in the Europa League last 16 (Atalanta are no mugs though). In his absence, Young Boys dropped to a 3rd place finish.



    Urs Fischer


    Probably always out of our reach, the former Basel coach has done wonders at Union Berlin, gaining promotion to the Bundesliga followed by a 7th and 5th place finish. Conference League was a disappointment for them, failing to qualify from a group including Feyenoord, Slavia Prague and Maccabi Haifa, after losing three, winning 2 (both Haifa) and drawing 1. In the Europa League this time, and he’s bound to be of interest to bigger German teams.



    Neils Fredrikson


    Took Brondby to a title last year but followed up with a disappointing 4th place finish this season. I think I mentioned him as someone who might not be a great fit for our head coach role but perhaps as a head of academy given his experience of bringing young players through, with 8 of his current squad (26) being over 25 (and 14 under 23) and he sold two young players to Frankfurt and Genoa for c£10m in total at the start of last season. Might still be a decent shout for a B-Team Academy role.



    Dejan Stankovic


    Took Red Star to another title. Knocked out by Them in Europa League, though gave them a relatively tough ride. Likely to end up in Italy as he has “name recognition”.



    Jindrich Trpisovsky:


    3 in a row winner at Slavia, but couldn’t make it 4 as pipped by Viktoria Plzen this year. 2 Europa League quarter finals in 2018-19 (beaten by Chelsea) and 2020-21 (beaten by Arsenal) bookended a CL campaign in 2019-20 in which they faced Barcelona, Dortmund and Inter, falling to 4 losses and picking up only 2 points – draws against Barcelona and Inter.


    This season saw them lose to Ferencvaros in the CL qualifiers and Legia in the Europa League qualifiers to qualify for the Conference League. Qualified from a group including Monaco, Union Berlin and Haifa, they then put Fenerbahce out in the play-off round and LASK in the last-16 before falling to eventual finalists Feyenoord in the quarters.


    Seems to be adept at building teams – since 2019 he’s sold around 21 players bringing in £42.5m and spent less than half of that in the same period (around £19m).


    Still looks to be doing a decent job, reaching European quarter finals in three out of 4 seasons, winning the league 3 out of 4 seasons and turning a profit. Will either want to re-capture the title or questions will be asked about whether he’s on the decline or will be starting to think he’s taken Slavia as far as he can and be looking to move on.



    Pedro Martins


    Still at Olympiacos and still winning league titles. Two Europa League Last 16 knockouts (Wolves and Arsenal) were followed this season by an “intermediate stage” loss to Champions League drop-outs Atalanta. Under contract until 2024 and media suggested he was on Newcastle’s shortlist before they appointed Howe.



    Ruben Amorim


    Never a realistic proposition given he moved to Lisbon for 10m Euros. Took Lisbon to an unexpected title – they’re first in 19 years!



    Dietmar Kuhbauer


    Been at Rapid Vienna since 2018, taking them from 7th in his first season to consecutive 2nd place finishes. Fell back a little this year, finishing 5th in the regular season. They do have a Europa League play off final second leg to play, leading from the first leg so may not be too disappointing.


    This year’s Europa League (having been beaten in CL qualifying by Sparta Prague) saw them drawn in a group with West Ham, Genk and Dinamo Zagreb. Finished third to drop to Conference League “intermediate stage” where they lost to Vitesse.


    I think I described him as a safe but unspectacular choice and that was probably slightly on the optimistic side. He certainly wouldn’t have done what Ange did this year.



    So what conclusions to draw?



    1. Those who were near the height of their success have either continued to succeed (Slavia, Red Star, Olympiacos, Sporting and Union chaps) or moved on (Seone, Clement and Slot) and done pretty well where they are now. Those who were less successful or marked as “keep an eye on” (Ilzer, Blessin) haven’t really shown enough to move beyond that yet. Those two I wasn’t sure about (Brondby and Rapid coaches) haven’t proven me wrong. Ilzer and Blessin are folk we should be looking at as a potential successor to Ange (more so Ilzer as Blessin is probably now on the Serie A roundabout).


    2. The Champions League group stage is getting harder and harder for the “smaller” clubs to qualify from – there’s so many top-5 league teams in it now that you invariably get at least 2 and often 3 of those teams. Add in the big 3 from each of Holland and Portugal and it’s tough! But outside of those teams (and the crazy spending Russian and Turkish teams) there’s very few sides who can outspend us and they can all beat each other – Ferncvaros beating Slavia, who beat Union Berlin, for example. The aim for us should be to become the best of those sides which means we either qualify for CL group stages routinely or go deep into the Europa League.


    3. Austria and Belgium have interesting play-off systems – top 4 fight for Championship and Europa League qualification, next 4 for the Conference League qualification, and the rest for relegation. Something for the SPFL to consider as it could liven up the league!


    4. I have too much time on my hands….

  11. Anytime I’ve watched Madrid this season they’ve tread water for the first 20-30 minutes. Often they’ve let in goals….but then they move up a gear. The fact they haven’t conceded so far I’ll say it’s advantage Real

  12. Jinkyredstar on

    I don’t have any sound but Aberdeen look the better side, Ayr United hanging in there with the odd break.


    Somerset Park looks good😀

  13. Anytime I’ve watched Ayr Utd this season they’ve tread water for the first 20-30 minutes. Often they’ve let in goals….but then they move up a gear. The fact they haven’t conceded so far I’ll say it’s advantage Ayr