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. TT- Japan FA said it’s a calf strain, if it was really bad he would be on his way back I’m guessing

  2. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Hmmmm, even by my low expectation levels that was a bit underwhelming.


    I get the non-strengthening in the summer (particularly after partner club getting knocked out of the CL) because we could have pulled too far in front of them, but that’s not an issue now.


    Oh well – some “fun” months ahead in an old firm title race (and with two of our best players injured) – if that’s your thing.


    Maybe we could sack the manager and get a computer to pick the team!

  3. onenightinlisbon on

    The fundamental issue is that whoever is identifying and signing players is not up to the job. To grab a third choice championship player at the last minute is nothing more than panic buying. In any other walk of life the person or persons making these decisions would be fired but as we know in the cosy cosseted world of the Celtic boardroom, millions can be wasted and have no consequences at all. Time for a roots and branch change.

  4. iPaddy McCourt on

    The very fact we are going into the second half of a season which is unprecedented in terms of the financial importance of winning the league with our left back options (in the absence of the not good enough Taylor) being Bernabei (utterly woeful), Scales (out of position and not very good) or Ralston (out of position and not very good) gives the game away. Our custodians do not actually want us to dominate Scottish football to the point that the new huns do indeed become the Espanyol of Glasgow. They fear loss of interest on a grand scale if we’re skooshing it every season. That’s not good for business in their eyes.



    How else can this absolute binfire of a transfer window be explained?

  5. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Need to rally round the team now and put the window behind us. We are in real danger of blowing the league given injuries to key players and our poor form. We need to not indulge our differences re the Board for the remaining months of the season and avoid a self-generated meltdown.



    I would say the loggerheads at leadership level won’t realistically sustain beyond the summer. Something needs to give. Either the Lawwells go or (more likely) Rodgers goes.

  6. onenightinlisbon on

    Desmond summed up the feelings of those in power when he described Rangers as a “great institution”..

  7. RC on 2ND FEBRUARY 2024 12:25 PM


    EKBHOY on 2ND FEBRUARY 2024 10:28 AM






    I was referring specifically to HT warm up , can’t make out the other side of the pitch for the bhoys stretching




  8. imo AJ has struggled all season at right back and needs to return to form quickly , its a pity we only have AR to fill in as he is not the answer.

  9. Scales can’t be moved. BR didn’t do it against Ross County at Celtic Park (when he had CCV), he’s not doing it at Pittodrie or Easter Road (without CCV).



    It’ll be Ralston at LB. Let that sink in.

  10. The Battered Bunnet on

    It’s well known that, while working in Japan, Ange Postegoglu was closely following the emerging talent in Portugal and made Jota his No 1 signing priority when he became Celtic boss.



    He was also a longstanding fan of Cameron Carter-Vickers, his aptness to sweat the detail on Israeli youth development helped him spot Liel Abada, and had tried and failed three times previously to sign Matt O’Riley from MK Dons.



    He also had Starfelt, Juranovic and Giakoumakis up his sleeve just in case.



    The man’s knowledge of football talent was encyclopaedic, rendering redundant at a stroke Celtic’s talent scouting system.



    Once Ange left, the scouting department took over responsibility for player acquisition once again, and here we are.



    Well, that’s one view. Other views are available.

  11. Lol you have to love Paul’s determination to pin the failure on Rodgers.



    So Rodgers has gone from wanting – demanding – quality to looking for backup players? Whereas the club which signed no fewer than TEN squad players in the summer is now on the hunt for quality, and being stymied by the manager!



    Mate, you are not even kidding yourself writing guff like that.

  12. According to the Cardiff FC official website David Turnbull was signed for an “undisclosed fee”. Mmmmm


    Good luck DT didn’t quite work out for you at Celtic, for a variety of reasons, but you scored a fair number of goals from midfield, no easy task.

  13. The Class of 67 on

    Perhaps the board should print off copies of our bank statement and hand them out before next home game, it would be a good diversion and better than watching that performance against 2nd bottom of the league Ross County.

  14. Ho ho ho,Paul’s header of “Off piste”, gladly gobbled up by the jolly japesters,on CQN, ( Jolly japesters ) On CQN,surely not?.Yes,the place is full of them.


    Well,we lost no one from our very good first team,and added 2 more.I won’t make any judgements on the 2,until they have at least played,90 mid.Unlike most of the Crystal Ball geniuses on here,but quietly confident they will make an impression.CCV and Hatate a blow,but hardly saw them this season.


    Unloaded some non starters,which most wanted.


    All in all,we came out the window,no worse,a bit better than we went in.Fact.Not a FACT most want to hear,but they are the deluded who thought we should spend multi millions on back ups.Aye right.

  15. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on




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






    And let’s not forget AJ was a life-for-like replacement for JJ so in actual fact we have not signed anyone who is better than what we have.




    Fair summary, begs the question why are more managers not like Ange ?



    Even if we take the process that the manager sets out his requirements and the Scouts bring back a list.



    I’m baffled by how from this we sign young Tilio , a young lhad a million miles from first team ready ; centre halves without a turn of pace who can hold a high line , simple things.



    Still looking forward to tomorrow,



    H H

  17. I know I will be ridiculed, but my conspiracy theory is beginning to make sense , well, to me anyway.



    Convinced there is a plot to allow Sevco to win the league, no doubt in my mind. Call me mad, paranoid etc, fine, I can handle that.


    I’ve said before, the ” old firm” is bigger than both us and them.


    The attraction worldwide is withering on the vine, Celtic win everything, no competition and so on. So toe whet the appetite, let thems win the league and increase out=r audience, simple economics.


    Off to wash my car.


    Also way to much nepotism in the board room, More Lawells than you could shake a stick at, too may Strachans, and Desmonds.


    When will it change, or will it




  18. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    As for transfer windows … I rarely have expectations these days.



    If we get a gem it’s a bonus.



    If we don’t lose gems – that’s ok.



    The true measure of a transfer window’s success are outcomes (or lack of) months or years later.



    I remember Brendan’s first window – there was much talk of needing a creative midfielder.



    We didn’t get one and I felt really disappointed as the need (in my head that is) was obvious.



    Turned out, we didn’t need one.



    Brendan got to work doing what he does best and the rest is history.



    Of the five signings we did get



    Old Kolo did a great job for 6 months. ✔️


    Moussa was a sensation ⭐


    As was Scott ⭐


    Dorus coached rather than played 😐


    Gamboa was a pup 👎



    Even the good windows are not perfect.

  19. I must have missed something, it’s not back up players we need,it’s first team starters

  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    BTW – credit to The Blogger Formerly…. and Geebee for sound, rational posts this morning.



    Intelligent, straight down the middle contributions among many an emotional response.

  21. James Forrest,



    Why don’t you go back to your Blog,fek off back,and try some more rabble rousing there.Any bandwagon,any chance to get more hits,your in like a shot.


    Why don’t you dig out the articles you wrote on the John Mc Ginn transfer,from your archives,slaughtering the Hibs boss ,Petrie for his stance on not selling to us,and wanting 4 million.You backed Celtic then,but more recently you like to use it as a stick to beat them with,because it suits .Total opportunist.

  22. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    “If we don’t lose gems – that’s ok”



    Matt O’Riley is still here – despite SMSM triggered yap that he was off to various clubs including some who patently could not afford him.



    Liel Abada is still here – despite clichéd, ignorant drivel about what motivates him.



    As soon as Kuhn was signed one guy on here immediately leapt to the assumption he was a replacement for Liel.



    No evidential basis whatsoever. Just the old “the world is what I see it to be” routine.



    As old as humanity itself.

  23. SAINT STIVS on 2ND FEBRUARY 2024 1:52 PM



    I don’t think they’re moneyball. If they were, they’d be drooling over the potential CL jackpot.



    I do though, think the people in charge of recruitment need to be scrutinised. We’ve spent all January trying to punt people we bought in the summer.

  24. Bada,



    Oh,I see.OK,tell me the players who these,” 1st team starters” would take the place of.I have been asking this,funnily,know one answers,but since you have brought it up,please inform me.


    I was always under the impression,it was,


    Back up for Taylor


    Back up for Kyogo,.


    The main ones.I await you correcting and informing me.

  25. King Lubo,



    OK,you are,stark raving mad.Totally paranoid,and should be locked up.Accept it.In saying that,you should have enough Madmen on here,to set up a “Madmen Anonymous” group.Help is always at hand.

  26. TB- Taylor isn’t good enough and we need an upgrade,plainly obvious we need another striker,Kyogo has lost a bit of confidence, Oh unconvincing but he’s promising. O’Riley will go in the summer, where’s the forward planning for a replacement? Joe Hart will probably go back down south in summer, Seigrist looks like he’s on holiday, we will need 2 GKs in,Bain only getting kept on as he’s Scottish, the squad needs a revamp badly, and we sat on our hands in January, another winger, and a striker who’s next team will be Forest Green Rovers. Your excuses to back the Board are trolling, you don’t even believe what you put on here.

  27. Spartim,



    Sorry mate,not me that’s in need of Deludamol.Feel free to answer the question I asked Bada though.


    No one will answer.Out of all the experts on here as well.

  28. bournesouprecipe on




    True dat, they could’ve revealed the big guy at a more respectable hour.