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Indisputable mood to bring in the New

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If you were lucky enough, like me, to enjoy a long Christmas holiday, I hope you had a good one.  I’m sure few of us are delighted to be back at it today but there’s an indisputable mood on the blog for bringing in the New.  A fresh start is needed and fortunately we’re at the start of the transfer window.

For Celtic most attention will be directed towards recruiting a striker who is capable of doing the business in the Champions League, not to overlook the important point of doing the business in Champions League qualifiers.  20-year-old Icelandic striker, Holmbert Fridjobsson, finally joins the club this month but although we’ll hopefully see plenty of the player this month he is surely considered ‘one for the future’.

One prolific striker does not solve all of Celtic’s issues, however.  The club remains acutely dependent on Kris Commons’ creativity (as well as goal scoring), which will become increasingly less-effective as opponents setup to inhibit him.  He needs a foil.

Since the annihilation in Barcelona Celtic have offered greater protection from midfield but with both full backs encouraged to overlap the midfield anchor role, previously occupied by Wanyama, becomes crucially important.  It also offers support to the strategy of allowing Commons a free role as an attacking midfielder.

Over the break, Archie MacPherson, Scotland’s greatest ever broadcaster, wrote an article for Celtic Quick News comparing two of Scotland’s greatest ever managers.  These debates are, of course, subjective, but the article provides a few objective points for consideration.  Archie has a totally unique range to deal with this question and is in no doubt as to who the master was.  Look out for the article next week, you’ll enjoy it – no guessing now.
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  1. Just a wee thought…..

     

     

    Steven Fletcher 1 in 3 ratio EPL

     

     

    Henrik Larsson 1 in 3 ratio EPL

     

     

    It’s a decent ratio in struggling teams.

  2. Greenpinata,

     

     

    I could imagine a scene inside the Celtic Park boardroom.

     

     

    Lawwell is sitting there with John Park and Lenny is called to the Headmasters office.

     

     

    They go through all the pros and cons and identify prioritise the targets including a budget for each one. Lawwell the has the action to make the moves and calls and they agree to reconvene in a week to review progress. Lenny will certainly not be involved in the calls to clubs, Park may be to sound out via an agent or a contact.

     

     

    They reconvene in a week and Lawwell informs Lenny that the 2 principal striker targets are out with the clubs reach. Lenny looks at Lawwell and glances to Park (who has been briefed in advance ) who gives him a longing sigh. Lawwell then says here’s the deal and produces files on Pukki and Balde with glowing reports from John Park. The transfer window Deadline for the CL qualifiers is not too far away , the players have to be convinced and have to agree terms ( which can also throw a transfer askew ). However in this case Lawwell has a feeling he can close the deals and Lenny goes along with it or rubber stamps it.

     

     

    The CEO the power to decide who comes in and goes out of Celtic Park. WGS discovered that with Bobo ( who he was not informed about ) and Kenny Miller. Lenny discovered it with Vic, Hoops, Wilson and possibly Fraser as well.

     

     

    The other side of the coin is that if the poor signings were all down to the manager and he had wasted the clubs funds to the tune of 10 mil , the CEO needs to sack the manager or the Scouting Chief or both.

     

     

    My view based on various inputs is that the CEO calls the shots. To me he is responsible for the shambles of the last transfer window.

     

     

    He has a chance to shine this one as the next 3 CL qualifications represent £80M to the club. Most blue chip companies do a 3 year strat plan with a detailed budget for the current year. Lawwell has to think strategically and stop acting like a beancounter.

     

     

    This transfer window is crucial for Celtic and Lawwell. He has the power to make it successful —I am far from convinced that is what he thinking at the moment.

  3. leftclick Together we will get justice for the Dam 5 on

    bournesouprecipe

     

    17:38 on

     

    3 January, 2014

     

    Andrew Dallas uses invisible ink when booking Ian Black

     

    _____________________

     

    :))

     

    Serious question it used to be Dallas senior the the MIBs Handed their reports into and were allegedlly told now and then to go away and reconsider what they wrote,who do the MIBs report to now is it Fleming?

  4. From press gathering today.

     

    Anthony Stokes doesn`t think that he`s been missing chances because he hasn`t had many. He says that the whole team has to play better football.

     

    He could be right there. :-)

  5. latchford 17.40 hrs.

     

     

    “I could imagine a scene inside the Celtic Park boardroom”

     

    ==============================================

     

    I am very impressed with your imagination, but respectfully I do not concur.

     

     

    How could PL keep players who simply wanted to go?

     

     

    HH.

  6. Just logged on

     

     

    Re who we should/shouldn’t sign, who does/doesn’t sign them, who sets/doesn’t set budget…….

     

     

    Can we not get the people who were involved in getting Hooper ?.

  7. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on

    I posted this morning we don’t have enough players capable of making tge pass giving the strikers a chance..

     

     

    One striker can’t be front and back post bever mind in the middle.

     

    Stokes is correct. No chances created

  8. From the Sunderland echo

     

     

    Neil Lennon would be interested if Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher was offered to Celtic, but he insists there has been no contact between the two clubs.

     

     

    Reports today linked the Scottish Premiership leaders with the 26-year-old Scotland international who is said to be available at around half the £12million he cost the Black Cats when he moved there from Wolves in 2012.

     

     

    At his pre-match press conference ahead of the Scottish Premiership clash with St Mirren in Paisley on Sunday, when the Parkhead boss was asked if £6million was beyond Celtic, he replied: “No, but people are quoting £6million pounds, but he (Fletcher) was bought for £12million.

     

     

    “I know transfer fees change over the years but he is a youngish player still so I would imagine it might not be £6million we are talking about.

     

     

    “He is a player that I think most teams in Britain would like but affordability might be a problem for us though. Could we afford to spend £6million for one player? Yes, we could.”

     

     

    Asked if there had been contact between the clubs, the Northern Irishman said: “No, not at all. It is speculation. I don’t know where this story has come from, I honestly don’t.

     

     

    “I don’t know why I am sitting here five minutes into my press conference answering questions on him.”

     

     

    However, when asked if he would be interested if Fletcher was put to him, the former Celtic skipper said “yes” before addressing the possibility of any new signings breaking the club wage structure.

     

     

    He said: “I don’t know, you would have to ask the board that but if we are going to bring in a big-name player then wages will obviously have to come into mind when negotiating.

     

     

    “I wouldn’t imagine we would break it by a lot if we were going to do that.”

     

     

    Lennon, however, was again keen to stress his desire to get a new face as soon as possible.

     

     

    “What we want to do is sign players for the future, for the second half of the season and obviously with the qualifiers in mind for next year,” he said.

     

     

    “I think the squad needs an injection of fresh blood and that is what we are trying to do.

     

     

    “We are in a position where we can spend a bit of money. It is a position we probably haven’t been in for quite a considerable time, a position as strong as this, and we will endeavour to bring quality in.

     

     

    “That is what I want to do.

     

     

    “It is very difficult in the climate we are in, we have to sell at times to make ends meet but we have done that this season so we are looking to forge ahead.”

     

     

    One player who has definitely joined the squad is Mo Bangura who returned to training following his loan spell with Swedish side Elfsborg, for whom he played against the Hoops in the Champions League qualifiers last year.

     

     

    The striker, however, will not be involved against the Buddies with his future still seemingly up in the air.

     

     

    Lennon said: “He is back training. The reason we let him go on loan was to get games, he has had that and we will get a look at him in the next few weeks and see how he goes.

     

     

    “He might want a change of scenery. I spoke to him briefly today but it is good to see him back and he is an addition to the squad.”

     

     

    Anthony Stokes claims he is unconcerned about possible new signings, and indeed, insists increased competition for places only serves to spur players on.

     

     

    The former Sunderland striker, who has only scored once since early last October, said: “It doesn’t concern me whatsoever. It is standard at the club.

     

     

    “Every transfer window there is rumours and speculation that we are going to bring in players and nine times out of 10 we do.

     

     

    “If competition comes in you have to up your game and that is good for the club.

     

     

    “I am disappointed with my goal return this season but on the other hand, it is not like I am missing chances galore.

     

     

    “I haven’t had many chances in the games. We all need to buck up a bit and play a little better football.”

  9. leftclick Together we will get justice for the Dam 5 on

    I watched A Stokes against St J hit the bye line and roll the ball across goal line for a Tap in(if A Stokes was in his best position as a goalscorer should have been)If that makes any sense :)).

     

    Get him into the box and supply him and IMHO he will score.

  10. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    Fletcher at 6m quid is a smokescreen or is it the first print day of the year for the record.

     

     

    HH

  11. Jeez….PL was the devil, as he didn’t sign Fletcher. Had we signed this player, we would have won league and cups and euro lotteries, we are told.

     

     

    Now we are allegedly thinking about signing him….he’s not the answer…!

     

     

    We seem to have created a home for the permanently unhappy.

  12. Neil Lennon expects to spend the whole of January fielding questions about potential signing targets.

     

     

     

    The Celtic boss was linked with a series of players in the lead-up to the transfer window opening and after the 1-0 win over Partick Thistle at Parkhead on Wednesday, he was asked about one of them, Wolves striker Leigh Griffiths.

     

     

    The former Hoops skipper was happy enough to speak about his desire to see midfielder Joe Ledley, who scored the only goal of the game against the Jags, and Georgios Samaras, sign extensions to their respective deals which run out at the end of the season.

     

     

    However, he was less open about possible new faces, although he stressed that he will be doing everything he can to bring players in.

     

     

    “That (Griffiths) is just speculation,” said Lennon.

     

     

    “I am going to get names thrown at me all month now but I am not going to name names.

     

     

    “It is a long month, it has just begun and I am being asked questions already. I will probably be doing this for 31 days

     

     

    “But I am determined to bring players in to make the squad better for the latter half of the season to give some of the players here, who have been magnificent for us this season, a hand, and to make us better.

     

     

    “We are in a decent position financially, where we can look to bring players in. There is no question of that.

     

     

    “If we pick up a couple of injuries the squad looks light – for us.

     

     

    “In comparison to other teams in the league, we are still very strong but in terms of where I want to take the team and the club forward, we need an injection of quality.”

     

     

    Ledley’s first-half strike extended Celtic’s unbeaten league run to 19 games and kept them 11 points ahead of second-placed Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership with a game in hand over the Steelmen.

     

     

    Despite cruising their way to their third consecutive title, skipper Scott Brown insists Celtic “don’t need motivation” for the rest of the campaign.

     

     

    “We want to keep winning between now and the end of the season,” he said.

     

     

    “It’s not easy. Look at Thistle, they came here, had a go and didn’t just sit back. It was a big win for us.”

  13. Time Celtic said αντίο to Georgios Samaras

     

    Andy MuirheadJan 03,20140 Comments

     

     

    With just six months remaining on his current Celtic contract, Greek striker Georgios Samaras has rejected any offerings of a new deal from the Parkhead side despite manager Neil Lennon interested in keeping the 6ft 4 inch Greek.

     

     

    Already Hull City have been linked with the Celtic striker, giving him a second bit of the cherry in the English game after three lacklustre seasons down south for Manchester City between 2006 and 2008.

     

     

    Lennon has already intimated that if Samaras is not interested in re-signing a new deal then he would rather see him move on in the January transfer window than stay to the end of the season and leave the club for free in the summer.

     

     

    Speaking in regards to the news of Hull sniffing around Samaras, Lennon said: “There’s been no conversation between us and Hull at the minute.”

     

     

    However, the Northern Irishman added that they were not giving up on keeping Samaras in Glasgow, he continued: “The situation is he’s going to be vulnerable and there is going to be a lot of interest in him because he’s a quality player. But we’re not finished on our side of it with Sami.”

     

     

    There is no denying that at his best, Samaras is a technically great player with an abundance of pace. He is best when he is in a position where he can run at defences rather than playing with his back to them as a lone striker.

     

     

    However, when he is having an off day, which is more often than not domestically, he infuriates and bewilders supporters, being classed as a waste of a jersey or starting spot in Lennon’s first team.

     

     

    This season he has looked a shadow of his former self, even in Europe the long haired Greek was poor. He has looked disinterested as the January transfer window approached and that can only mean one thing – he wants away.

     

     

    His current contract was renewed after his game winning performance against Rangers back in January 2011, when he scored both goals in Celtic’s 2-0 win at Ibrox. After that game his form dropped once again and many were asking why he was offered a new deal based on one game.

     

     

    With that deal coming to an end in the summer, Celtic would be advised to sell Samaras during the current window and get as much money as they can for him rather than let him leave for free in the summer.

     

     

    He is not needed domestically as Celtic will stroll to a third Premiership title in a row this season, without the challenge of city rivals Rangers. Selling Samaras now will free up his wage which is reportedly around £20,000 a week.

     

     

    With Celtic linked to a host of strikers, including Sunderland’s Steven Fletcher, freeing up that amount of money would help fund new recruits and ones who could add consistency to Celtic’s much-maligned strike force.

     

     

    So in my opinion, it is time that Celtic, the fans and even Samaras himself cut the cord that binds the player with the club he has been at since 2008.

  14. The Honest Cover-up on

    Just watched some footage of Edinburgh derby last night. Great to see another packed stadium but some disorder from both sets of fans. More smoke bombs as well.

     

    What an utter disaster Salmond’s legislation has been. Before the new laws the biggest problem we were faced with was sectarian chanting. Now we seem to have a mini surge of hooliganism not seen since the 80’s.

     

    I’m convinced the new laws treating them like children have created a wave of indignation amongst young supporters who now look to smash seats and set off flares as a GIRUY to the authorities. Not for a minute condoning such behaviour but it wasn’t there before the offensive behaviour legislation and is there now.

     

    Police resources are now stretched to contain a problem they helped create with ridiculous laws and a “we know best” attitude.

     

    The SNP and the police should be ashamed of themselves. Instead, rather than admit they were wrong tough they will point to the trouble as evidence the laws were/are needed.

  15. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    Twisty

     

     

    If we can afford £6m for one player …why do we keep signing rubbish for a fraction of that

  16. jinkyredstar cuts it back for Neil Lennon on

    I’m on the only ferry from the mainland to Bute- experiencing some ups and downs!

     

    Fortunately the storm has dropped below drink spilling force

     

    Looking forward to the pain of the ole Window

     

    Fletcher mmm…

  17. According to Neil Lennon:

     

     

    “I haven’t worked to a budget before, just what we’ve brought in. I’ve never really had to knock on Peter Lawwell’s door asking for money.”

     

     

    Now I’m no expert in language but if Neil hasn’t had to speak to Peter for approval for the players he has signed, then that pretty much points to Neil as the guy who finds the players. It may also imply that he has decided how much he was willing to spend, otherwise he would have had to be at Peter’s door. Or so it would seem.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  18. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    Twisty

     

     

    Muirhead must have missed Sammi running some of Europe’s finest ragged in the CL 2012 ….

     

     

    He could also be one of those idiots who cannae spot a talented footballer

  19. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    Jamabhoy

     

     

    What does ….” Just what we’ve brought in ” mean …any idea ?

  20. PFayr,

     

     

    Exactly, and the bill so far for the failures is greater than striker we should have signed ( Fingobasson )

     

     

    A game of 5 a sides with Pukki , Balde, Bangura, Stokes would end up nil nil unless there was someone like Commons playing.

  21. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    SFTB

     

     

    DD runs Celtic like his other businesses and has done so under Peter Lawwell. No deviation except when we financed his dalliance with an EPL invite. Door closed on that one and only a few month after Seville even. So nothing that can be achieved outwith his objectives can inspire him to take less or invest more except his own ideas. I believe that was MONs ultimate dissapointment Billionaires tend to live by principals as their empires are so great. It makes life easier. I find it worrying ..but that’s my worry not a put down. That smart decent bloggers like yourself cant identify that and indeed think the opposite. Clearly their is no extra affecrion that DD has over us than any the rest of his empire.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    *side note: For the stupid on here. Nowhere do I mention sugar daddies or expect handouts so spare me your falsely deduced tripe.

     

     

    P.s I think four more regular side notes could make the happy clappers redundant on this blog as far as debate is concerned.

     

     

    P.p.s was that p.s a joke or am I being serious ?

     

     

    Its the internet the written who knows ? ;-)

     

     

    Lighten up we all want what’s best for,Celtic…apart from the hun lurkers

     

     

    Who is going to be brave enough to name them ?

     

     

    HH

  22. latchford

     

     

    18:14 on 3 January, 2014

     

    PFayr,

     

     

    Exactly, and the bill so far for the failures is greater than striker we should have signed ( Fingobasson )

     

     

    A game of 5 a sides with Pukki , Balde, Bangura, Stokes would end up nil nil unless there was someone like Commons playing.

     

     

    Who’s the goalie?

  23. Awe_Naw_No_Annoni_Oan_Anaw_Noo on

    jamabhoy

     

     

    18:10 on3 January, 2014

     

     

     

    Neil does not say I in that quote.

     

     

    HH

  24. Can I have raspberry on the champions league ice cream,

     

     

    The other Pedro of course…..Latchford.

  25. PFAyr

     

     

    I’m not sure to be honest. I took it to mean he had money from the sale of players in previous windows.

     

     

    Hail Hail

  26. Awe_Naw

     

     

    It looks a lot like he does to me, certain does on the Videocelts site, or are is there a wee joke in your post I’m missing?

     

     

    Hail Hail

  27. Awe NAw

     

     

    “That smart decent bloggers like yourself cant identify that and indeed think the opposite”

     

     

    As far as I can see, that sentence occurs after you have told me that there was a bigger spend pre-Seville when EPL or Championship transfer was a stronger possibility and that there was a relative downsizing thereafter. Not only do I concur with that analysis, I have written so under my own name on here so I am struggling to see where the disagreement far less “believing the opposite” comes from.

     

     

    What is it you are saying that is different to what I believe?