Insights from strategically huge window


Having rested nine players from Sunday, last night’s result and performance was inconceivably good.  There were several star performers but I thought Anthony Ralston and David Turnbull put in shifts that may go below radar, but were both outstanding.

Callum McGregor made the most of his freedom to move forward to catch the County defence sleeping at a corner kick.  The unlikely amount of space he had inside the box was punished with remarkable simplicity.

Giorgos Giakoumakis did what Giorgos Giakoumakis does.  He was a handful for the home defence throughout, taking some industrial treatment in the process, but got his goal and could have added more.

Sead Haksabanovicat hasn’t played in 12 weeks and only signed with Celtic a week ago.  I did not expect to see him until near the end of September and, during the game, was adamant his was on the subs bench only to help him integrate with the squad.

I am happy to put a caveat before what I’m going to suggest, specifically, this Celtic team could make you or I look good, but what an impressive 15 minutes we saw of him last night.  He is direct, can cross and shoot, and was always available.  He is a player.

You and I have been doing this stuff on deadline day for a long time.  Never have we been so chilled out.  Never has the Celtic squad looked so complete.  Never have the “just one more player would guarantee the league” brigade been so prosaic.  In that time, we have seen a lot of great Celtic teams, several sides that progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League and completed four trebles.

For years, Callum McGregor played more football than any other player on the planet.  He coped admirably, but this did his development and longevity in the game no favours.

Oliver Abildgaard is a defensive mid in the peak of his career who may become the third capture from our development club in the east.  Whether he arrives or not, you have never seen as comprehensive a Celtic squad.

One more thing, as Columbo used to say.  I am very familiar with the precarious finances across the city, which continue to underpin our second successive Generation of Domination.  But even I’m surprised at their lack of transfer spend so far this window.  Has financial realism finally reached Ibrox after 34 years of havoc?

Let’s not tempt provenance, there are hours left and all this strategic stuff will feel inappropriate if the result doesn’t go our way on Saturday (it will only feel that way), but despite A Europa final, Champions League group stage and all those player sales, this window indicates the depths of their problems.

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  1. I really don’t envisage anybody out on loan making it at Celtic at the moment and I include Scales in that. A guy who’ll do very well at SPFL level but slow as a week in jail. Get what we can cash-wise off Jim before he gets the sack.








    Apologies fella . I mis read your post , and regards the emoji I couldn’t see it .dont get old pal .

  3. Congratulations James Forrest.a goal every season for the last 14.well done that man.



    09/10 – 1


    10/11 – 3


    11/12 – 9


    12/13 – 4


    13/14 – 7


    14/15 – 4


    15/16 – 2


    16/17 – 8


    17/18 – 17


    18/19 – 17


    19/20 – 16


    20/21 – 4


    21/22 – 4


    22/22 – 1




    14 :: 97



    He certainly wore the hoops


    Hail Hail James Forrest




  4. Go tell the Spartim on




    I’m well on my way to being old, but then I just see it as more opportunities to see us play.


    Take care Amigo.




  5. I am also enjoying this time in Celtic, though I understand all the caveats people have.



    We have been remarkably lucky in the transfer market , especially considering the rush in which our manager had to begin rebuilding a broken squad, without the continuity of Scott Brown or Peter Lawwell.



    We have been willing to spend, though we are not shopping in the over-inflated market of the EPL as we did under MON because it costs a fortune to get a cast off from there. We have shopped largely using Ange’s knowledge of the Japanese market and have also benefited from buying non-Russians from Russian clubs- in a fire sale market. We have got value for money from all of this’d the only ones not to be clear successes were the injury hit unfortunate Ideguchi and the just-not-fast-enough James McCarthy.



    But, who could have foretold that all our Japanese Bhoys would settle as well as they have? Doubts have ben expressed about all but Kyogo. Hatate was seen as a one game wonder as he tired towards the ned of 2 seasons of consecutive football and Daisen was seen as a non-scoring crisp-bag-chasing forward at times.



    Who knew that Matt O’Riley would become a first teamer straight away? A Fulham reject playing at MK Dons? And I, personally had sever doubts about a Greek centre forward playing with a lowly Dutch club who had one season of scoring prowess and wasn’t even good enough to play for a poor AEK side when they played us?



    All of these buys have been made in the middling to bargain basement (though Spurs negotiated a good price for CCV) and all, bar Ideguchi and McCarthy, have enhanced their transfer value by being part of a winning team. They will enhance even more if they shine in CL circles when given the chance. I am not desperate to sell any but sales are inevitable as our stars will want to go on to a higher platform than the SPFL.



    There is one clear reason why so many of these buys have been successes and that is our Manager. He has made good players even better than they were. He has made moderate players into good players and he has sympathetically moved those without hope, on to other opportunities.



    I said early on in Ange’s reign, that I had no idea of how good or bad a coach/manager he would be but I could tell already that he was a good man from the way he spoke and espoused his values. He was the kind of character you would want to work under. A gruff reserved man with strangers but a relaxed funny guy amongst friends. a demanding man with no time for trivialities but a sympathetic hug who did not blame refs or players if things did not go well. He rarely says- “They (the players) were not at it today”. He says much more often “We were not at it today”. He shares his responsibility for team failure without crowing about his part in any successes.



    I think we have a man in the mould of Jock Stein’s character – obviously without Stein’s achievements ( or Stein’s advantages of a golden generation of Scots to pick from). I think there are a few rare coaches around who can make good teams great and moderate teams good. They can also make bad teams, at least moderate but, even they, cannot make bad teams good.



    He inherited a bad team and turned them into a very pleasing on the eye outfit. We might still get hammered in CL’s rarified atmosphere and we might even drop points to Sevco at times, but we are on the up at the moment and we need to enjoy that.



    If we can keep Ange for 3 seasons it will be great (and maybe a bit of a miracle) but succession planning has to better than just giving the job to John Kennedy or Harry Kewell, if and when Ange goes. I think we have to look at guys with similar traits of enthusiasm and energy and motivational skills. Jesse March at Leeds is probably already beyond our means but Josh Wolff at expansion MLS club Austin FC has impressed me as a guy who has got disparately assembled team working well together.



    Anyway, the future appointments are for others to arrange, I will just enjoy what we are doing just now.

  6. bigrailroadblues on

    Big Jimmy buying a new computer, firestick and gallons of beer for me tomorrow. Happy days ya old scattercash! 🍻🤣

  7. Paul67 et al



    One of the most impressive aspects of Celtic’s signing policy under Ange, is that the players being brought in are not only made to measure, have a bit of nous about them and enough game time behind them to know how to play team football, and shock horror, are fit enough to actually take the pitch. No shortage of examples, Hatate obviously, but also younger players like O’Reilly who made the move from Fulham to MK Dons specifically to play competitive football, so much so that he is now at Celtic. And a whole host of others from whom take your pick. Contrast if you will the signing policy of the previous regime. I think it was Mahe, of Sentinel Celts, who just a few weeks back, with the type of broadside against the Board you will never ever see on this blog, published a list of players signed under Peter Lawwell so long, so comprehensive and so lacking it would make even the most attentive Celtic supporter believing he must have dreamt most of these players up. And despite the best hopes from most of us, encouraged by even a modicum of talent, a decent pass here or there, a flash of skill, the vast majority of those highlighted by Maha represented, not so much a generation of domination, but a football generation dominated by a shocking and scandalous waste of resources. Thankfully for now at least, those days are gone.


    In Ange we Trust

  8. The returnof weeron on

    Madainn mhath, a h-uile duine,



    A few random comments…..



    It is probably unfair to suggest that Dylan Reid is messing us about. He’s a kid, and is no doubt reacting to the advice he is being given. Wise advice, I would say. Celtic is no place for talented youngsters these days. Our development program isn’t working. He is wise to stay where he is at this point.



    James Forrest deserves much more respect than he is given. I get it, that wingers seem to frustrate us more than other players. It seems so simple. Just beat the guy and then find a team mate in a crowded penalty area. He is a Celtic Great. Very few players in the future will match what he has done in a Celtic shirt. Yes, his best days may be behind him, but he can still contribute at a high level. Last night’s goal….Ralston was doing 100 mph….most of our players were sprinting towards the 6 yard box….JF had the smarts to slow down, create space and indicate where he wanted the ball. Top player. Let’s enjoy him while he’s still here….



    As for last night, I don’t share the view that Jenz had a good game. Both he and Bernabei seems intent in giving the ball away. Passing from the back needs to be much better than that.



    And finally…..the intimidation of refs seems to have worked. As was the case at Ibrox at the weekend, last night’s ref didn’t want to know. Several of our players were subject to really dangerous tackles last night. Willie wasn’t going near his cards.



    That’s it from me. Have a great day everybody…..

  9. HH



    BIG WAVY on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2022 2:00 PM


    I really don’t envisage anybody out on loan making it at Celtic at the moment and I include Scales in that.




    I would agree with that.


    I think all players out on loan at the moment are surplus to requirement.




  10. Blog making pleasant reading today. Some slight disagreements but everything polite & courteous.


    It won’t last of course but it’s nice to see.


    Happy Supporters make a Happy Blog.

  11. bournesouprecipe on

    After Celtic made it to a Euro final we were told we had to get used to ‘life in the slow lane,’ Sevco can’t use the old Rainjurz route, and have to conform to paying up including to their soft loaning Directors who are overdue their cut.



    It’s a tough old game they haven’t sold or bought a true star first team player yet, they’re in a niche market of journeymen and prospects.



    Sevco the taxpayer, no side letters, no contrition just a welded on Rainjurz tattoo we should indeed be miles better on this deadline day.

  12. Looks like we’re still trying to find a home for McCarthy although Stoke is a no-go…



    That DM role just got harder for him with Mooy getting up to speed and the big Dane ahead and with Guchi coming back.






    I am also enjoying this time in Celtic, though I understand all the caveats people have.


    We have been remarkably lucky in the transfer market , especially considering the rush in which our manager had to begin rebuilding a broken squad, without the continuity of Scott Brown or Peter Lawwell.






    We are in this position due to Lawwell being away.


    That’s been our biggest bonus.

  14. A wee highlights reel of our incoming DM.



    Nobody but nobody is messing with this big lad. A nice turn of pace, skill and a left foot that could open a can of tennants.



    Looks a great addition. And interestingly both 7 inches taller and 12 kilos heavier than the squeaky Hun Lundstrum…..






  15. A wee repost to those who read Seamus Heaney


    On The TG4 iplayer now.Beautiful insights into the man and words from his family and friends



    Seamus Heaney


    The Music of What Is



    Hail Hail



    Ollie Burke ? Now there was a ‘crisp bag chaser’




    That’s brilliant; have a great image in my head now🤣

  17. TURKEYBHOY on 1ST SEPTEMBER 2022 1:36 PM



    Yes I admit I do get a bit negative regards the team . Like every other Celt i want the best team possible which we have at the moment . But lol

  18. bournesouprecipe on




    I read it on here.



    ‘Crisp poke chaser’ – makes the image even better somehow 👍

  19. Lambert14






    We are in this position due to Lawwell being away.



    That’s been our biggest bonus.”





    I wasn’t advocating that Lawwell should have stayed; I was emphasising the vacuum that Ange walked into without the continuity of the 9iar captain and the 9iar CEO.



    I understand that he had to walk just as Neil Lennon did, after the loss of the 10 but it left Ange with a rookie captain and 2 rookie CEO’s (in football terms). That was the measure of the situation facing him.

  20. SFTB,



    As you know we don;t only buy great footballers but chiselled, handsome hunks too.



    Big Oliver is a hand model for the Nivea range and his mitts are insured for millions.



    Gloves are merely insurance-related.



    You’ll never see him point either.



    FACT. Read it on the internet.






    TUES 6 Sept | KO 8PM





    A limited number of match tickets for Celtic v Real Madrid (Sept 6) are available to buy online only, to Season Ticket holders who have not already purchased a three-match package.





    £60 – eligible Season Ticket holders can purchase one match ticket per client reference.




    These tickets are available to buy online now until 9am on Friday, September 2 (subject to availability).






    A match ticket will be issued by post and must be used for entry on matchday, your Season Ticket will not be activated for this game and print-at-home tickets are not available. Booking fees apply online.







    Due to UEFA requirements for UEFA Champions League matches, a small number of Season Ticket holders will be unable to purchase their seasonal seat for the group stage games.



    Season Ticket holders who are impacted and are not members of the Home Cup Ticket Scheme will have a priority window to purchase a three-match package for an alternative seat online only from 10am on Wednesday, August 31 until 9am on Thursday, September 1.



    Match tickets for the alternative seat purchased with will be sent by post. Print-at-home tickets are not available for these matches.

  22. Looking forward to Saturdays game.


    If would be nice if the majority of the fans could stay until the final whistle, rather than leaving with 10 / 15 mins to go, like happened at Hearts game.

  23. Boris Johnson urges struggling households to buy new £20 kettle to save £10 on energy bill


    During a speech earlier today the PM said households can help themselves by cutting down on the electricity and gas they use by buying more efficient goods.




    A CHUMP ( Just like Trump) to the very end.


    How I hate them both.




  24. So funny



    When we go through a tricky spell or don’t deal with a situation as fans might like we keep hearing Lawwell hand is behind everything and he is still involved. When it is good we hear it is because he is not involved.



    Same for his son. Who has something to do with recruitment in and moving players out I believe ?



    This seems to be an area most seem happy with but his name seems to never get mentioned.