Gary, Stuart, Michael, Machiavellian beauty


The No. 1 rule of the transfer window is: get your first choices, and there is no doubt that Ronny Deila wanted Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven.  We’ve tracked them for months, Ronny will have watched both players many times, John Collins will have watched them more often, and the entire scouting team will have watched them dozens of times, so on that basis alone, I’m happy.

I spoke to someone at the club early last month and there was some concern that some of our key players would ‘Do a Kelvin’, and present as not in the right frame of mind to play, unless we agreed to a transfer.  While we are still competing in four competitions this was a major worry, but those players who were wanted elsewhere were happy to get their heads down and work to the spirit as well as the letter of their contracts.  Happy at this too.

Stuart Armstrong is every inch a Ronny Deila player.  He can run all day, gets into the box to support – or go beyond – strikers, and closes space in front of the defence.  He will allow us to play to plan a lot oftener.

Last summer’s window was characterised by the signing of wingers.  Wakaso, Inge Berget and Tonev all arrived on loan, while Callum McGregor emerged as a first team contender on his return from loan, and during the early season outshone all of them.  None of these players are now considered as first choice, nor is Derk Boerrigter, who was recruited from Ajax 18 months ago and has proven every adage that ever existed for oft-injured players.

So we’re not short of wingers, but we need good ones, and Gary Mackay-Steven is another known quantity.  He is fast, skilful, and will lend a creative hand to Kris Commons, who had shouldered those duties alone for years.

I’ve no proper information on Michael Duffy, who joined the development squad from Derry City.

To paraphrase Neil Lennon, this is only the beginning.  Of the 10 outfield players who started at Hampden on Sunday, only one was a Ronny Deila signing, the rest were recruited by one of his predecessors.  The summer transfer window was overwhelmingly misconceived, as the regime change cast a shadow over processes.  As well as the wasteful wingers, two strikers were signed, neither of whom could dislodge last January’s late stocking filler, Leigh Griffiths.

Mackay-Steven and Armstrong will both make an impact at Celtic, but it will take more than a couple of players to craft the squad into the image of Ronny.  More work will be needed in the summer.

Hibs, Hearts, Queen of the South, Ross County, St Mirren, Motherwell, and the SFA will all be alarmed at the flagrant influence Mike Ashley exercised at newco Rangers yesterday, despite his written agreement not to get involved.  While the SFA must react accordingly, I’m not sure five players whose appearances are measured in minutes, not games, are ready for a promotion fight.  It can take good player months to settle into a new team, and the potential for disruption, especially if the ‘manager’ didn’t play an active role in the process, is considerable.

The upside for newco is that these players settle quickly, take a Premiership place off Hibs, Queens, Motherwell or St Mirren, and leave a lot of clubs wondering what the point of having rules in the first place is.  The only appropriate sanction the SFA can levy is a player registration ban, which would be the club’s second in their short history.  Clearly a one year ban is not long enough to teach them a lesson.

Whatever you think of Ashley, you have to admire him:

On the last day of the window, he has 5 unwanted Newcastle players he is unable to loan to anyone else.

Realising he had no takers, he sends them to Ibrox, easing the Newcastle payroll.

Newco pay the players with Ashley’s loan, which they still have to pay back.  If his men are kicked out at an EGM, these loans mean the new regime have even more money to find.  It’s almost as though he wants to burn through the entire £10m loan before the EGM, leaving a new regime with an empty bank account and crippling debt.

It is a thing of Machiavellian beauty.  Hibs and the rest are right to be upset, and Stewart Regan will feel humiliated, but I find the whole episode hilarious.

Welcome to Celtic, Gary, Stuart and Michael.

Well done Celtic on a productive transfer window.  As always, it’s too early to tell how well we’ve done, but the perennial adage of leaving the window stronger than we went into it seems assured.  Well done Mike too, keep up the good work.

Start your League Cup final weekend at the CQN11 St Patrick’s Dinner, at the Kerrydale Suite, Celtic Park, on Friday 11 March.  Email me for details, celticquicknews@gmail.com

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  1. Do I detect something of a feel good factor on here after last nights signings?



    Like Armstrong as a player but a little concerned it may limit opportunities for Henderson, though Stokes may be the man who loses out the most.



    Looking ahead to the summer we will need to replace VVD, though hopefully Denayer will stay one more season. Apart from maybe a back up to Izzy, then the only other position that may need addressed is striker. Couple of months to figure out if we already have the answer on our books in Griffiths and Guidetti. Scepovic needs games, but he has to earn the right to get those games like Griffiths has done. Should be a relatively settled squad going into the qualifiers(*assuming we win the league and don’t win the Europa League)



    Anyway, another shameless plug for my err movie debut…



    The Lord of The Rangers




  2. before sundays game … oh this time last week we had nutters from the sevco support


    getting ready for battle, english hooligans coming up for the game,sevco shirt wearing northern ireland hooligans roaming the streets looking for bother ..NOTHING REPORTED



    now, either the police done a brilliant job in controlling all these factions or maybe the supporters only came to see the game..or could it have been that there was incidents that will not be reported in the press…



    or am i missing something (it would not be the first time )

  3. HH all.



    Watched the game again last night. Truly hope that is the last time we play that poor excuse of a tribute act. I’d watched the Celtic TV coverage live but watched the Beeb last night and all the nonsense build up.



    I was home at Christmas and got assaulted in front of my good American lady in Queen St by three from the new dark side. Unprovoked, just because they heard me chatting to 3 folk about missing Scotland and the fitba. Very embarrassing as I always sing Glasgows praises. She was quite shocked.



    Hope we never meet them again.



    Happy Wednesday eve.



    Great transfer window me reckons. Quite the happy camper this AM.




  4. part repost. trust me to post as a new article is loading!



    I’m wondering if anyone kept any newspaper articles as sounveniers when Rangers 1872 died? Like the Daily Records “Rangers R.I.P.” for instance. If so, would it be possible to get photocopies of them?





    Welcome to our new signings. I wish you many happy hoopy years with us. And loadsa medals!

  6. From last thread




    So you don’t see any problem with how people make accusations ?


    Let’s make it as easy as possible


    Someone bottled a child


    Someone threw a bottle and a child was struck by the bottle


    Both reprehensible actions but which conveys the more vicious picture ?

  7. Paul67



    I would be surprised if no one wanted all 5 of these players. I saw shane play for first team a few times and looked very good.



    One match in particular against chelsea he had good game.



    Also is the huns paying all their wages ?

  8. PAUL67



    I’m not sure the last time we exited a transfer window stronger than when it opened. Can’t think for the life of me when that last happened.



    Happy Bhoy today.




    MR Blah blah blah blah



    @KevinJPringle: POLL: @YouGov in @thetimes. @theSNP 48%, Lab 27%. Leadership: @NicolaSturgeon +42, @jimmurphymp -10. #GE15 #voteSNP http://t.co/GwUNep5v4j



    MWD said AYE

  9. Alfie Noakes



    I think the point is you said he was always overlooked.



    The FACTS say otherwise.



    In your opinion all of those caps should have gone to Jimmy as he was a better player. I concur with that assessment but Henderson’s caps started earlier and finished earlier so someone else got those caps over both players in some games. Most likely Scots players based in England such as Willie Morgan.



    The Anglos were often put in first in those days I think it fair to say.



    The number of good players available to Scotland at that time was also far greater than it is now and arguably hasn’t been as strong since the 1960s.



    I am not saying that biases did not exist, they did and the abuse certainly happened.



    It’s hard to look at the statistics and make the argument you did. If you look at the other players you mentioned and did side by side comparisons it might make interesting reading. Maybe you should. I use these two players because as they both played the same position, the comparison is entirely fair.



    A part of me is questioning just how far people like you exploit tensions and divisions for political gain. It’s an old trick and one which your party have exploited from the gullible for many MANY years.

  10. proudbhoy, if Ashley wanted to keep them for newco, why would he not have shipped them out earlier in the month? They had a League Cup final and a game against Hearts to play in the intervening period.



    They were kept until the last minute as Newcastle wanted to keep their options open. Only when it was clear there were no options was the deal agreed.

  11. Moonbeams, as we lost no one from the first team and acquired two it’s inevitable that we’re stronger, but too early to say by how much.


    If,as seems to be the case,no-one knows whether the rules forbid five players on loan at one time between clubs then the rules need tightened up.



    And whoever drafted them in the first place sacked for incompetence,at best.



    Lessons were learned in England after the fiasco of Watford employing virtually a full team of loaners from Udinese-?-yet we,apparently,loosened our rules despite previous with Hearts and Kaunas.



    Aye,yon Campbell Ogilvie is a world-class administrator. Certainly in comparison with the clowns in the SPFL.

  13. jimbo67


    12:18 on


    3 February, 2015


    Oh and Alfie when did Celtic fans ever become Butcher’s Apron loving Tory Bhoys.



    Why don’t you just go and eff off and fester in your bigoted wee world cultivating your victim status wishing it was still 1956? Every time I log in here you are on here with your self pitying drivel and I am effing sick of it Tory Bhoy.








    If you had the nous to argue a point, I might listen to you – but like all the other sheep of your ilk, you don’t and merely resort to swearing and puerile insults.



    I am a card carrying member of the Laboury party for 35 years and a ‘real’ Celtic man for 45 years – and quite frankly. I don’t care how ‘sick’ you are – if people on here keep ‘spouting’ SNP rubbish – I will keep ‘shoving it down their throats’



    Labor – the ONLY party EVER to do ANYTHING for the poor and working class – not an opinion – A FACT!






    I could not care less how long you have been a member of the Labor Party ( are you in Australia? I ask because there is usually a third vowel in the title of the British party that used to do good things) and regret only not putting my question mark at the end of the question in my first paragraph.



    You are a bigot and worse for a blog like this you are a real bore. And whilst I voted in favour of Independence – obviously a mortal sin in your Australia based eyes- but I am not a supporter of the SNP.



    I am to vomit now that I have wasted any time responding to you.





  14. Best wishes to the new bhoys.


    Future legends.


    Will be interesting to see if Gary and Stuart can up the tempo and move us closer to Ronnie’s vision.


    Also big shout out to young Duffy .

  15. canamalar



    Yes. Either that or they are panicking big time about the possibility of not getting promoted this season.

  16. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    I reckon the Sevco loanees will have about as much impact as MacLeod has had at Brentford!


    Don’t think it will be great for dressing room harmony either.


    By the way, Paul, I very much doubt if Regan does humiliated!

  17. thetimreaper,


    I’d be more inclined to think he was awaiting permission to break the rules, and by how much rule breaking he could get away with, I expect he probably had 11 earmarked and got told only 6 would be his limit

  18. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    It is no surprise to me that the tribute act will bend the rules what is rank rotten is over at Hamdump they are getting the Vickies from Mike Ashley.Scottish football is in a mess and it is getting worse not better the fans of teams who keep the rules must be wondering why they bother as the tribute act are trampling all over Scottish football. H.H.

  19. You are a bigot and worse for a blog like this you are a real bore. And whilst I voted in favour of Independence – obviously a mortal sin in your Australia based eyes- but I am not a supporter of the SNP.





    LOL – So you can have your view, but anyone who disagrees cannot? – You act like the SNP – oops, dropped the ‘u’ in Labour – but hey, you were clever enough to see it and turn it into a kangaroo.



    If you are not SNP – why did you vote YES – bet I know… to get a dig at the ‘Rangers’ = lowest common denominator reason – impoverish your countrymen to shout na na na na na na at the huns!

  20. jonnyrambo67



    Apart from maybe a back up to Izzy, then the only other position that may need addressed is striker.






    Disagree mhate. We still desperately need a goal-scoring keeper. Thought gordon would be the Bhoy but after Sunday’s shameful non appearance in their penalty box at corners I’m starting to harbour doubts about him.



    HH jamesgang

  21. jimbo67,



    Don’t you be trying to foist him on the good Tims of Oz, and just for good measure, our Labor Party are doing just fine having won Victoria and rumbled Queensland in the past few months.




  22. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    Welcome to the new Bhoys..



    Ashley riding over the SFA..



    2 for 1 on the word oftener…



    Would Rachel countdown Riley allow that?



    Cracking word!




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