Eye for a player and the scouting feedback loop


I remember a sharp intake of breath when I looked up Eboue Kouassi’s playing record when he joined Celtic three years ago: 10 appearances in the Russian league, where he arrived as an 18-year-old from Ivory Coast.  There is always an assumption that the club have scouted beyond YouTube clips, but with only 10 appearances, the opportunity to go from settling into southern Russia, to solid performer and then promising talent are limited.

Celtic moved early, too early, as it turned out, but there would have been an acknowledgement of the gamble before it took place.  With most European leagues blanket-scouted, our resources moved to the periphery, and even then, if you take too long to make your mind up, you lose.

Feedback loops are important in scouting.  When scouts make good recommendations, clubs back their next call.  “He has an eye for a player” and all that.  But no one’s vision is faultless.  Whoever put their name to Eboue will have since suffered the feedback loop consequences.

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  1. Eboue has had the worst luck and I wish him well in Belgium



    If he can cut it at that level then there is some evidence that there was a player in there.

  2. The stories surrounding Edouard, Ajer & Ntcham right now are non-starters.



    I’ve no doubt there is interest in the three players and currently Ntcham is the only one nailed down for the long-term.



    But we still don’t know when the Scottish season will start, when the transfer window will open and how long that window will be.



    There are so many unknowns out there that there will be no business until we know what’s going on.



    One thing for sure, the people who distribute these stories still need views for their sites.

  3. I Hope Kouassi Eboue does so very well.



    Soro. Nae Sorry in this House. Sunshine on Leith. 😉



    Harthouse Fish and chips from that Album 1994. Its the last on it.🙃☺🙃☺🙃☺

  4. fieldofdrams on

    WGS is bound to cop some flak but it’s hard to disagree with a lot of what he’s said

  5. While I take all transfer speculation with a pinch of salt, I’d bite your hand off for a deal involving Forster staying with us and Ntcham going to Southampton

  6. Big Wavy



    Don’t sell Ntcham, Ollie Ntcham, I just don’t think you understand 🎶






    I get he splits the support, each to their own




  7. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Ntcham too temperamental for me, hot and cold is not reliable


    In other news .PITY DOMINIC C was not in charge at TRAFALGAR.






    WHIT dae tory waens piss in the woods.



    Poor bears not at races now.

  10. I agree with Bhoylo, from now on we will be bombarded with nonsense, The Huns will be swooping for fun, and we will be getting snubbed like a fart in a space suit.


    Yet maybe 2 or 3 % of the news flashes will have any substance,


    Still I love this time of year, when the talk is about football and we can all put our troubles to one side & dream & speculate about the Bhoys who are going to represent us next season & deliver the ten in a row.


    My first thought always centres on the young emerging talent at Celtic Park.


    I have big hopes for Mikey Johnston & I think Jeremie Oh my Days could be a major player if moved to a more forward role, maybe playing 3 centre halves at the back & terrorising them with pace down the flanks.


    Will young Dembele, Henderson, Church, McInroy, Oko Flex Afolabi O’Connor, O’Connell make a breakthrough.


    We have bought in talent like Shved, Soro & Polish Paddy, I still haven;t given up on them & all that is before we spend a penny.



    Ntcham too temperamental for me, hot and cold is not reliable





    Pretty reliable when he scored that last minute goal in Rome or got on the end of that move to beat the Huns…



    or the cracker in the cup final…etc etc etc…



    Brown, Forrest, McGregor, Rogic, Christie, etc etc all have the unreliable tag from time to time…



    Boy’s a class act.

  12. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    I’m hoping MJ has bulked up a bit, or at least made himself tougher to be dispossessed or barged off the ball, it was all too easy.

  13. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Big Wavy,


    exactly, you can remember when he turned it on.

  14. When German football resumed 10 days ago many of us on here tuned in, perhaps more out of curiosity rather than any real interest and the overall feeling seemed to be that the absence of fans resulted in the matches being like pre-season friendlies.


    I’ve just noticed that there are games on BT this evening including, at 5.30, 2nd v 1st (Dortmund v Bayern). That’s almost a league decider with Dortmund currently 4 points behind with 7 games to play. This might be a better match to properly consider whether behind closed door games are the temporary answer

  15. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on



    Brown, McGregor and Christie consistently bust a gut, not always on top form but run themselves into the ground, Ntcham picks and chooses when he will perform.

  16. Corkcelt,


    like you i am looking forward to seeing some more


    from the new signings,unfortunately unlike you


    i dont see MJ making it at Celtic.

  17. Canamalar,



    He may not be the roadrunner that too many in our support seem hooked on but that’s always a bias we need to shake off when judging what good looks like. He’s got an array of skills those 3 (all fine players in their own right) won’t get near.



    I’d like to keep him, flaws and all, especially at a European level where roadrunners only take you so far…

  18. Canamalar it looks like OCD obsession on

    Big Wavy,


    I was a big fan of Sammi, so I’m not judging on that level, I have seen him look disinterested too many times.

  19. Fieldofdrams


    I am surprised WGS comments have not been picked up



    Huge amount of truth and common sense in what he said



    42 so called professional clubs in Scotland ???


    Should be 28 max, with others in juniors at best


    Absolute madness the football set up in Scotland

  20. Jobo


    Fans or not I always find most games where you don’t have a dog in the fight quite boring

  21. So we know Celtic always like to make a profit on transfers. We also know that it may be even more important this year to do so. Fees will also come down and really only EPL clubs (if even these) will be able to make big transfers. A creative way to play the market:



    Outs/ income (17m)


    – Hayes, Gordon, Miller (Free)


    – Dembele sell on – 3.7m (true figure could be more or less)


    – Kouassi – 1.3m


    – Ajer – 10m (plus Benkovic)


    – Bolingoli – 2m


    – Ntcham – 0m (plus Forster and Elyounoussi. In this trade I’m valuing Ntcham at 14m, Forster at 5m and Elyououssi at 9m)



    In (7m)


    – Benkovic, Forster and Elyounoussi (swap deals)


    – Turnbull (2m)


    – Hickey (1m)


    – Olise (1.5m)


    – Soppy (2m)


    – One more youth player for – 0.5m (similar to O’ Connor, Frimpong and Connell last year).

  22. Canamalar



    Have a nosy on the Celtic by Numbers site – can’t do the cut and paste here – called Ntcham bias. He quotes:



    “He has averaged almost the exact same number of duels per game as Scott Brown and has been more consistent than Brown and close to Christie in that regard..”



    and of course his forward game is in excess of those around him.



    I’m sure we’ll continue to disagree so will leave it at that…




  23. prestonpans bhoys on

    Ah happy times for the Huns, no football to distract them from their fantasies, the close season cup begins, we know who wins this every season😵

  24. There is no Dembele sell on…



    Nobody is buying Boli for 2m….



    and don’t sell Ntcham :)

  25. BIG WAVY on 26TH MAY 2020 1:37 PM


    There is no Dembele sell on…



    Nobody is buying Boli for 2m….



    and don’t sell Ntcham :)






    It’s been widely reported that there was a sell on… where did you read that there isn’t?



    I think Boli for 2 million is optimistic. But you never know… we managed to get something for Kouassi. I think we could get SOMETHING for Boli considering his experience in Belgium and Switzerland.

  26. JOBO BALDIE on 26TH MAY 2020 1:13 PM



    I’ve just noticed that there are games on BT this evening including, at 5.30, 2nd v 1st (Dortmund v Bayern). That’s almost a league decider with Dortmund currently 4 points behind with 7 games to play. This might be a better match to properly consider whether behind closed door games are the temporary answer





    I can only speak for myself but I have really enjoyed the Bundesliga.



    It’s not as good as having a game with a proper atmosphere but it’s still been enjoyable. It’s still football played with intensity and quality.



    Not sure if that will translate to Scoddish football.

  27. I know Gordybhoy, there are far more nearly men than stars,


    Craig Beattie, Tony Watt etc looked destined for great things but faded to mediocrity.


    That is why we should cherish the likes of Forrest & McGregor .


    It really pisses me off when these Bhoys get abuse, they stayed the Course where others followed the money.


    Re Mikey, he certainly needs to bulk up as Canamalar said but the Bhoy has talent.


    I am aware talent alone is not good enough but I do really rate Mikey, it could be my heart ruling my head, but I’m voting for Mikey to make it at Celtic.


    Also a ghuy I didn’t mention, The Griff was only starting to get into his stride last season,


    My initial point being not to be fixated by the sexy signings,


    Sign Forster & a Bobo type centre half plus hold on to Eddie & we are a long way towards 10 in a row.

  28. The thing I liked most from WGS article was his comment on plastic pitches in the top flight.

  29. CorkCelt



    I’d classify Dembele, Edouard, Ntcham and Julien as sexy signings.



    I’d like more of that ilk thank you very much….

  30. CORKCELT on 26TH MAY 2020 1:06 PM



    Great post. I also haven’t given up hope on Shved, Bayo, Soro or Klimala. I’m sure at least two of these will come good.



    With regards the youth players here are my thoughts:



    Dembele – the great hope. He really does need to get even a little bigger if he is going to make it.



    Henderson – didn’t do anything really for Ross County. A tidy player but maybe just not to the required standard.



    Church – definitely won’t make it.



    McInroy – needs to get out on loan next season and get over injury. I think he has a real chance.



    Oko Flex – seems to be very hot and cold. This time last year he went on a great scoring run for reserves and I thought he would make the breakthrough this year. This year hasn’t been quite as good.



    Afolabi – loan spell was beginning to look promising. Another season on loan ahead of him I reckon.



    O’Connor – loan spell was only average but he is Ireland’s most capped underage player. He will make it professionally at some level…..hopefully good enough for Celtic.



    Connell – another with a good chance. Will hopefully see him in preseason.



    You missed three others I would have added:



    Aitchison – can he kick on from first full season in League Two this season. still has a chance



    Coffey – similar player to Connell and has been capped a decent bit underage by Ireland.



    Harper – I’m going to go out on a limb and say this guy could be the surprise breakthrough player next season. Playing consistently for U.S. U20s and I read an article where he got called up to train with the seniors in one of their camps in early 2020.

  31. Melbourne Mick on

    Hello again all you young rebels.



    Well ! thats our first night back training over, and that was strange


    to say the least, no contact allowed and the usual distance apart to


    be kept during the session, and liberal amounts of sanitiser for


    everyone, before, during, and after, balls all disinfected etc.


    So how do you explain to a rebellious 6 year old not to dive on his


    pal when he scores a thunderous shot past the 72 year old keeper.


    Yes thats right i had the mini roos, under sixes.


    Spent most of the session telling them not to high five or kick lumps


    out of one another, but it was great to be back, and when a child


    says to his mother ” we’ve to practice this trick for next week mum ”


    you know you’ve done alright.


    Time for a wee rid biddy now as i’m knackered.


    H.H . Mick

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