European qualification, chaotic ownership, Armstrong great deal


Ajax; ooft! If there’s an AQN out there, you can imagine what it’s looking like this morning. Europa League finalists in May, bumped out of the Champions League qualifiers in August and now a goal down to Rosenborg after the first leg at home.

What does this tell us?

The crux of this problem for better funded clubs like Ajax, or Celtic, isn’t that Rosenborg have a better development model, or that they are, in any objective sense, better at their jobs.

It’s that with any random distribution of talent, mid-season preparedness, and simple good fortune, a Rosenborg, Malmo, Molde or Maribor (unfortunately, the list goes on) will be able to bridge the gap between them, and a Europa League finalist from three months earlier.

Rosenborg have an excellent opportunity to progress to the group stage, but over any period you care to mention beyond this, they are highly unlikely to match Ajax’ record in Europe, because that random distribution of attributes will revert to the mean.

For Ajax, and Celtic, this is a problem. Not so for perennial achievers at this level, such as Arsenal. Arsenal are masters of Champions League qualifiers, persistently finding themselves there (until this season) and always progressing. So the problem is not totally down to randomness.

Arsenal, however, do not need to cope with the inevitable rebuilding after they assemble a successful team. Ajax lost their manager, captain and, clearly, a whole lot more, this summer. A new coach must now plan long-term but act short-term. And that’s never easy.

Celtic have one benefit over Ajax, Copenhagen and other dominant clubs from small northern-European leagues: we have no well-run opponents of comparable stature who could force us into ripping up our plans, due to a the loss of the domestic league.

Ajax had a memorable season in Europe, but lost the domestic crown to Feyenoord. Copenhagen have won two of the last four Danish titles. These losses make that long-term planning we discussed more difficult.

What Ajax need, more than managerial stability, is what Celtic have, chaotic ownership at their nearest economic equivalents.

Stuart Armstrong

I don’t know exactly what wages Stuart Armstrong will get under his new deal, announced this morning, but if he was sold, or left next summer under freedom of contract, he would be able to earn more than twice what we’re now paying him.

Extending his contract until 2019 gives the player the opportunity to solidify his performances from the second half of last season. If he’s worth the £50k per week he could pick up elsewhere, he’ll earn it two years from now, or sooner, if Celtic agree to sell him next summer.

This deal sorts the player’s immediate future out, without costing him significant time on a comparatively unrewarding contract. It also allows Celtic the opportunity to pay the going rate for his next deal, or prepare to sell him at the right time, for the right price. It’s a win for all sides.


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    My kid sis has a dog,and a wee spoiled bugger it is.



    Most lovable thing ever-and I wouldnae even have a goldfish in my house.



    On my visits home,he slabbers me to death. As soon as I show him a leash,he turns.



    When I say he turns,I don’t mean he turns bad-tempered. The wee fella,aye,right.



    I mean he turns round. Onto his back. “And if you think I’m going for a walk,it’ll be on my back.”



    It starts to look like cruelty after twenty yards…

  2. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    Not sure that its all Man City fault – maybe another crack at the CL and then onto somewhere else suits Paddy?



    Not too dissimilar to Stuart Armstrong I suspect…

  3. TGM


    you could say it was the sky and BT subscribers (like myself) plus the russian oligarchs, Arab and other billionaires ruining the game.



    Many commented on Ntchams brilliant pass to Griff for Jamsies goal.


    I posted before the game that i would have preferred Armstrong as his pass and move style and attacking the last third would force their defenders to alter shape.


    I did qualify it to say Ollie’s style needed runners ahead of him to be effective.


    The Thistle game highlighted he had the skill but our static play and lack of movement meant he often had to go sideways or backwards.


    Against Astana he had that movement with Griff,Sinclair and Forrest all giving him forward options.


    I was even more impressed by his positional awareness and patience on the ball,

  5. Patrick Roberts WILL be back at Celtic on a season-long loan deal.



    It is understood that Manchester City, whose preference was for Roberts to go to Southampton or Nice, have acquiesced to the player’s own desire to return to Celtic.



    The deal has yet to be finalised but is expected to be formally completed in the early part of next week.



    Celtic have been in communication throughout the summer with city officials and it looks like they have been successful in getting the player they have pursued this summer.

  6. MIKE IN TORONTO on 18TH AUGUST 2017 2:45 PM


    Davidopoulos …. wasn’t it W.cC. Fields who said ‘never work with children or animals’? I bet Mr. Caixinha wishes someone had told him that a few months ago!






    A story about WC Fields quotes by Davidopoulos…



    On my third date with the now Mrs Davidopoulos at Cafe Andaluz off Byres Road back in 2011, I began telling not-yet-Mrs Davidopoulos the WC Fields quote:



    “I don’t drink water, fish f**k in it”



    I got as far as “I don’t drink water” when at that very instant the waiter put down a jug of water and glasses. Cue much hilarity.



    The end.







    Its Manc City greed that is the problem. Its because of the transfer behaviour of English clubs that the system is a joke. They want it all ways.



    Id like to see us try to buy Paddy, but it will be a loan again.



    Coutinho of Liverpool, valued at 120 Million, that is just ridiculous.



    The English clubs are ruining football for everybody, their greed is horrible.




    Yep.As someone posted a bit earlier,Johnny Evans,18 million.Sums it all up.


    If we get Paddy,which seems cert now,we will have had him for 30 months.Not bad




    Aye, they can be wee sh!tes, I’m sure they take pleasure in embarrassing their owners. I’ve tried explaining to him that the little santa costume at Christmas wasn’t my idea but he still bears a grudge…





    It’s actually quite cynical how Man City have treated Roberts.



    From Day One.



    They signed him on a five year deal which runs out when he is 23yo. This entitles them to a development fee at the end of his contract.



    Meantime,they have minimised their outlay by playing him elsewhere with another club coughing the cash.



    Hardly sport,and frankly just not cricket.

  10. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    Its neither your fault or mine. That is for sure.


    Chelsea, PSG, for example. All that money, for what, just to store players so that their rivals cannot sign them.


    Its bent, FIFA, 200 Million for Neymar, Sepp Blatter, and the latest chancer. They want to make football a closed shop. Privilege for the top clubs, and f everybody else.


    That attitude will be challenged, supporters everywhere are fed up with it.


    Its not football anymore, its like UFC or Wrestling.


    Celtic are the best team in the CL imo, we get there, on merit. The rest buy their way in.




  11. traditionalist88 on

    BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS on 18th August 2017 3:02 pm



    Yeah, and the player will have noted this. Taking him to Girona and giving him no game time the other night was ridiculous.



    Glad he never caved to their wishes to go to Nice.








    He’s playing you,bud.



    He knows the guilty party-and you being fluent in French would realise how much easier it is to make that distinction-but he knows you feel guilty.



    Because you didn’t stop it!



    He also knows that you couldn’t. Not wi being a married man.



    So,hence…he’s playing you. Call his bluff. That’s my advice.

  13. BMCUW- Man C and Chelsea horde players, the loan fees circumvent FFP rules, Chelsea had about 40 out on loan last season….

  14. mike in toronto on

    If I am understanding Bada Bing’s post, I think what he is saying is that there need to be more lawyers involved, to sort out these problems…



    that is what you meant, right, BB?




  15. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    English clubs are wrecking football.


    Spurs full-back Kyle Walker, 50 Million transfer to Manc City.


    How much is KT worth then?


    Just crazy.








    And on the same weekend of a total eclipse in the USA.



    That’s not a coincidence,canny wait for the next one.



    (The above may be a poor satire on newhuns.co rousting their troops.written in the Stars,and we’ve got five already!)



    Oh,I’ll be taking a week off when they are separated from their titles and their past.

  17. Gerryfaethebrig on

    The CL is the major carrot Celtic can offer any new (re) signing, BR didn’t buy anybody because some aren’t interested in SPL but CL is a gave changer….



    Good times, if true, hope wee Paddy can get in the team now :-)

  18. Catman`s post at 3:07 means that , for me, Paddy`s return has been confirmed.


    I am pleased. Very pleased. Apart from everything he brings in terms of adding potency to our team, he is also a pleasure to watch ( and it will mean we have a happy Left-Back ! ).




  19. South Of Tunis on

    GENE @ 2 40



    “Windies bowlers a shadow of their former greats ” .



    Indeed ! . Really sad to see . Most of yesterday was absolutely dire . As of now ,today doesn’t look much better .. If their batting is as bad as their bowling this Series will be a farce .,..



    Me and the Bangladeshis watching in a beach bar – they can’t believe what they’re seeing . I didn’t expect much from the West Indies but this is truly dire stuff.

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