Ending off-piste


The January transfer window closed in an underwhelming manner last night.  Celtic concluded a straight four-month loan deal for Adam Idah (22) from Norwich City.  I started the week bemoaning how physically light we were, so the addition of a 6’ 3” traditional target man is welcome.  It is somewhat regretful that this is not a strategic acquisition; there is no option to buy and if the player is a success, Norwich will use this to prime his resale value.

We seem to have talked ourselves out of a left back.  From what I hear, that’s not as much of a stress as it sounds, as latterly we were shopping distinctly off-piste in the ‘clearly for backup purposes’ lane.

The only permanent and strategic signature was that of Nicolas Kuhn (24), from Rapid Vienna.  Nicolas arrived in the middle of the month and has already made his debut.  He is every inch the data driven dream: creates chances, is useful in possession and after an injured season, has been fit since the summer.  They are out there, if we are prepared to commit to the system.

A few eyebrows were raised at the reported £2m Cardiff City paid for the signature of David Turnbull, a player who has been on the fringes of the Celtic first team since his arrival from Motherwell four years ago.  We paid £3m to Motherwell for David amid high hopes he would become a mainstay of the midfield for years to come.  He is a player with great technique and was the best finisher at Celtic Park.  With only six months left on his contract I expected a fee of around £400k, so happy with £2m.

Our winger population was thinned out a bit yesterday.  Mikey Johnston (24) went to West Brom on loan and Marco Tilio (22) returned to his former club, Melbourne City, both are set to return to Celtic in the summer.

Not one of you wants to hear this, but playing on the wings is a really tough gig, especially at Celtic.  Mikey has talent, he reminds me of one of those five-a-side players you can never get the ball off.  Decision making and a good final ball is never an issue at fives, Mikey needs to improve on both if he is to reach his potential.

The window shut with Brendan Rodgers words reverberating, “Obviously, statistics will give you a lot, but I’m not driven by it.”. So we’re off-piste now.

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  1. Well, obviously the “quality”, that the team wanted wasn’t able to be recruited this transfer window, so for me “working down the list”, wasn’t a viable option.



    We brought in a first team winger and a back up striker with pace and physicality that we badly need, without the loan to buy option it suggests unless the young man rips up the trees in the league head to head, he goes back to Norwich and we go again in the summer.



    Only twenty eight in the first team squad now and out of our fourteen playersout on loan, eight of them are development players.



    So good bit of housekeeping and let’s hope we really do start the planning the summer recruitment, we still need that quality for Europe.



    Hail Hail

  2. Well then.



    How do I celebrate Friday after a Thursday like that?



    What time is Brendan Rodgers press conference?

  3. Would love to see Brendan at the presser, telling the hacks to ask other people at the Club why he didn’t get the players in that he wanted,he shouldn’t carry the can for these clowns, the Celtic support mugged off again

  4. Hoop hoop Hooray on

    Well I never wet the bed the whole of january but I woke yup today with my sheets wringing.



    Three questions


    What are the trigger points in the executive bonus scheme that trigger the lucrative bonuses.



    Why after the famous strategy meeting at parkhead last year where the strategy budget and new contract for ange was ‘agreed’ did ange never sign it. Bearing in mind this was before Scott Munn was in the spurs job and ange wasn’t even quoted anywhere for it



    When are we going to stop using the rest of the spfl as our benchmark

  5. Hopefully now the window has SLAMMED shut, we can ALL get behind the team…and also get behind out MANAGER…hopefully that also includes our host Paul67

  6. Our scouting department have had 2 seasons to identify a left back that’s an improvement on what we presently have without success- let that sink in

  7. Hoop hoop Hooray on

    Nicholas arrived in the middle of the month every inch the data driven dream.



    Hang on


    Didnt you just say the other day in your famous bedwetters piece that the only players sold before the last couple of days were players where the clubs can’t believe their good fortune and take the cash.

  8. And so the merry go round of disappointment continues.


    Get ready to dust off the summer excuses again for the end of August.


    We have a recruitment team who analyse stats on players going back years. They have four months between transfer windows so why is it we are virtually always scrambling about at the end of each window.

  9. Why was the club shopping off piste for any player , we have plenty cash, but still as tight as the proverbial duck’s ass unless its for the Execs and their bonuses.still no left back so it will be Bernabei who is a left winger or nothing, I would have liked to know who we were going for, 3rd choice at Hamilton was it?

  10. bournesouprecipe on

    Two windows like Luis Palma’s last two penalties.



    January is always too late for everything including season ticket price increases. Nine, summer transfers in varying degrees have failed to contribute, the fact we got to December relatively unscathed with a shrinking lead ( take away the League Cup ) was a minor miracle and probably down to BR’s ‘top, top’ coaching and managerial ability. But he’s no scout for sure and he knew the score, and the budget, he compared it to his own contract, then giddy upped for round two.



    You run with the craw, you get shot with the craw and only root and branch treatment will allow Celtic to flourish. Not even a title win, will redeem having been so closely compared and rivalled with Sevco again. The unique glorious balance sheet preservation society, could just have cost the club another £60M. Maybe this was what they meant when they christened it a ‘ buffer ‘ at the AGM.



    BR was specifically asked about players and said he was pleased with the nine, he’d had a guided tour and was highly impressed when Michael Nicholson took him through how the new recruitment team, and systems would work. He soon moved the goalposts after the kick off echo chambering supporter’s ‘we need quality’ amongst his other platitudes.



    By the time this window opened he’d been reigned in and piped down, so had Calum MacGregor who had for the first time in any captain’s role, joined a ‘we need quality’ duet with a manager. You could have been forgiven for thinking the latest window wouldn’t bring the players Celtic still need, nobody sells success in January, they move surplus, but we apparently couldn’t even sign enough of that.



    They’ve all let Celtic down, from the ground staff upwards, astonishing that your permanently maligned defender gets injured, and he’s still not replaced. Big red flag followed one after another, as the Brendan voyage entered perilous waters.



    Stand by for the old “ time to circle the wagons ” routine, you’d swear they even factored in, away games being easier than Parkhead. Three defining games that will tilt the barometer one way or another for the millionaires, who could all be about to fall out, if they haven’t already.



    Deja vu CSC

  11. EKBHOY on 2ND FEBRUARY 2024 10:28 AM



    sorry to say I wasn’t best impressed by the general larking around by the subs at half time , where DT was a willing participant.




    EKB ,great point re subs , have been meaning to raise the same point , very noticeable during warm ups at the Celtic end , players standing about flexing their ankles and waving their arms about , watching the play , very unprofessional about time a member of the fitness staff goes out with them during the game to ensure proper warm ups are carried out.

  12. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    The window shut with Brendan Rodgers words reverberating, “Obviously, statistics will give you a lot, but I’m not driven by it.”. So we’re off-piste now.






    Very accurate analogy Paul.



    Off piste skiing presents a greater challenge.



    The slope isn’t groomed, the boundaries are not defined, the dangers greater.



    Half decent amateurs (like me for example) struggle and should avoid it … instead sticking to the pistes (or data)



    Expert skiers can navigate off-piste effortlessly.



    They use the skills honed from years spent on piste …. and can also deploy their greater talent and instincts for a richer more rewarding outcome.



    IMHO, Brendan is an expert skier. We should respect and acknowledge it.

  13. Aberdeen and Hibs away with no adequate left back. The January transfer window isn’t an isolated failure – it’s the culmination of several failed windows. Twinned with several injuries to key players, were but a shadow of last season’s available talent. The league is very much down to the skill set of an excellent manager who has been left well short.



    Maybe Chairman Peter Lawwell could employ ex manager Gordon Strachan to evaluate how Craig Gordon and Mark Lawwell are performing in their roles as Chief UK and Europe scout and Head of Scouting and Recruitment respectively…

  14. lets all do the huddle on

    how are we all going to feel in the summer when we are told our package for the champions league group stages is 200 quid?



    it will be near impossible for us to sign enough quality players in 1 summer transfer window for it to make a real difference as to how we compete in the group. it wont be much different outcome to this season.



    we get charged elite level prices basically to finish a point or 2 ahead of the huns at the top of the domestic league.



    while the plc rake in millions



    it shouldnt be allowed, if a financial services or retail plc behaved in a similar manner the regulators would be all over them

  15. Hoop hoop Hooray on

    We have 30 players in our squad and 11 on loan. Most of which will never get anything near their celtic wages anywhere else. (Alan Morrison on the huddle breakdown)



    Is Idah the first of these not signed by the data driven dream

  16. GourockEmeraldBhoy on

    Long time member but not been on for a few years… Sitting in work and thought I’d pop in for a browse after that disappointing window slammed shut. Defo something not right in Paradise but hey ho. Back the bhoys in Green..



    Hail Hail



    Back to work :-)

  17. onenightinlisbon on

    We seem to have talked ourselves out of a left back. From what I hear, that’s not as much of a stress as it sounds, as latterly we were shopping distinctly off-piste in the ‘clearly for backup purposes’ lane.



    A blind man can see how desperate our need for a left back is yet “That’s not as much of a stress”….who actually is saying this?



    Shitshow of a transfer window with far reaching implications for all concerned.

  18. Not entirely sure that Brendan’s comments are the issue here.



    I’m not as annoyed as most appear to be about how things have panned out. I want quality and if its not available then there’s no point buying in quantity. BUT…. the club need to communicate their strategy much better (if there is one) if they don’t want the support to react badly to what has looked at best like inactivity throughout the window.

  19. ps



    on the above post…no other conclusion other than keeping huns old firm label alive sadly!

  20. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Given the past few windows and the fact Kuhn has yet to kick a ball in anger I’ve honestly no idea how you can say “ They are out there, if we are prepared to commit to the system”.



    Who are out there – the Oh’s, Yang’s and Bernabei’s of the world? The purple patch in the transfer market when Ange came in was down to, er, Ange!



    Systems are great so long as they work, but based on the evidence I’m not surprised the manager has little faith in it.

  21. I can hardly believe that we offloaded players who we had to call upon in recent games. It doesn’t seem to make sense.


    Hopefully our ‘off-piste’ excursion doesn’t end like poor Schumacher’s.

  22. Greenpinata



    “Was the HIllsborough cover up nonsense?” etc;





    Most of your list were examples of conspiracies. I already said and have consistently said that there are conspiracies so your list does nothing to clarify our differences. Because there ARE conspiracies, you cannot conclude that everything is a conspiracy. You need to have a filter to judge what is and what is not.



    I’d hope we’d agree that the Flat Earth Theory is risible and easily disproven.



    I’d hope but would probably be disappointed that we’d agree all Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories have been comprehensively disproved.



    Equally, I’d hope that we’d agree that the official version of the Kennedy assassination has a lot of holes in it even though most attempts to explain it are pretty speculative.



    I am sure we’d agree that the conspiracy to keep Rangers alive with their history was carried out in front of our eyes and the football establishment, and some, as yet unidentified politicians, were prominent actors in this.



    So we are in agreement that there are conspiracies. There are many examples of Establishment cover ups, Cover ups by Commercial companies and cover ups by Professional Bodies. Most, but not all, have unravelled over time and most were uncovered by whistleblowers from within the establishment, companies and professions who disclosed inside information that blew the lid on it.



    Sp, when you tell me a conspiracy theory is plausible, you should explain what filters you applied to it in order to swing it from an assertion to a plausibility to a proven conspiracy. Without that we just have gut feelings and biases and projections.



    We even see it today in that Paul67’s blogging is portrayed as evidence that he “hates” Brendan Rodgers and is being dictated to by Peter Lawwell, who is also seen as an arch-enemy of BR. And yet, when posters here don’t rate a player like Mikey Johnston or rate a myth like Liam Henderson or Javier Sanchez Broto, they are merely making a considered judgement and they are free of hate and biases.



    Curious, is it not?



    Anyway- football talk for me in the run up to the next 3 important games

  23. garygillespieshamstring on

    I choose to buy all my tickets and support my team in as many games as possible, as I have done for almost sixty years.



    Just like my father and grandfather before me and my son will continue to do after I am no longer able to go to Celtic Park.



    CCV and Reo are a big loss but we were able to see off the hun twice already this season without them.



    No reason to think we can’t do so again. Players available should be good enough to beat Hibs and sheep and the Asian players should be back for Klie game.




    Let’s go and win this league Celtic.

  24. £2m for DT is great business….but for who?


    £10m, £2m or even £50k…..it just goes in the bank for whatever

  25. Nicholas Khun is exactly the player we should have been talking about yesterday with the Data v eye test argument…. ..or possibly Kwon… obviously stats were decent but according to celtic by numbers nothing great. We then have the eye test on first viewing Kwon …dear God Dunfermline player .. Khun who Paul obviously thinks is great . Is a 3 million euro 24 year old and my eyes thankfully still work….so my heart sank just a little watching those first nearly 30 mins .. ..physique maybe not even on a par with MJ …you can be fast but no point if still pushed off the ball


    Maeda is fast but is a little warrior…hence why managers love him

  26. I’d hope we line up tomorrow as






    Johnston Nawrocki Scales Frame



    O’Riley McGregor Bernardo



    Abada Kyogo Palma (or Kuhn)



    I worry that we’ll see Bernabei again instead. I rarely write players off early but I was worried early on by Bernabei’s cavalier play and passing in defensive positions and I cannot see him as a player who fits the manager’s preference for keeping possession of the ball. Equally, on much less evidence, I was worried that Tillio had, as yet, not many skills to get by a man. He wasn’t especially fast nor a skillful dribbler or a technical crosser of a ball. He is young enough to prove me wrong but I was relieved to see him go back to Oz to develop further before we reconsider.



    The removal of some players from our “bloated” squad could leave room for some of our peripheral players (Ralston, Welsh, Lagerbielke, Iwata, Holm, Yang and Oh) and our likely young guns (Frame, Kelly & Vata) to play more significant roles in our run in.



    I share the disappointment that, Kuhn apart, we did not attract any strong likely recruits but I am nowhere near giving up on this league.



    I think our approach has been less Off-Piste and more Haulf- Pissed

  27. As many have mentioned, something just does not seem right at the moment in the full club set up.


    Blame who you will for that.



    Rogers should always be trying to defend his players which I believe he does.



    Yes we have cash to spend and that seems to be what annoys many people.



    A few on here asking for Liam Scales to operate as a left back and this weekend would be ideal considering he played at that ground as a left back many times.



    A solid goalkeeper instills much confidence in a team and those with top quality keepers often do very well especially in Scotland where the spine of a team often dictates success.


    This is where I feel we need urgency as Joe is not the most confident with the ball at his feet or coming for crosses but shot stopping still a strong point.


    Maybe Brendan Rogers has a plan and we will see.



    CCV is always a big loss but maybe time for somebody to play well enough to keep him out of the team and cement their place.



    We all support Celtic and want the best for the team.


    Time to see what the manager has in his toolbox.


    I am disappointed he does not have more contacts from previous jobs that could help him and also his own solid backroom staff which I feel is not helping him.


    Just my opinion BTW.


    Hail Hail.

  28. Hoop hoop Hooray on

    Since mark lawwell came in we have signed what 20 players.? Only AJ would start if everyone was fit.