Ivorian link at work again, this time in Athens


With three deals done, the pace of transfer activity at Celtic appears to be approaching relentless.  The Ivorian link will have been at work again, as news that we are interested in Olympiakos full back, Omar Elabdellaoui, testifies.  Celtic coach, Kolo Toure’s brother Yaya, spent half a season at the Greek club before leaving last month.

Signing players is always a risk, so getting a first-hand insight into how a player performs from someone who has worked with him daily for the last six months is a huge advantage.  Bear in mind, Elabdellaoui is just one of the right backs Celtic are considering.  This one could run a while.

Reports from the US that we have agreed a deal to sign 22-year-old left back Andrew Gutman are amusing, mostly as he was being trailed as a signing elsewhere in the city.  Great to see that as well as using our Ivorian links, we have plenty of connections at Scotland’s smaller clubs.  If he arrives, hopefully Callum McGregor will not see more action in that position.

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  1. Mild winters morning in the Chilterns… hope the New Year determinations are going well…



    SFTB @ 10:02 PM,



    Think we are closer on our approach than it seems, therefore maybe semantics are getting in the way…



    As far as failure is concerned I was refering to this…



    If we are to “get real”, maybe you could provide the parameters of success we should have had as 5 league titles, 2 domestic trebles, 3 CL Group qualifying stages and one post Xmas Europa qualification in the past 5 years is being touted as failure. What does success look like?”



    So, my point was, of course the last six Seasons can’t be seen as a failure, we’ve had some great times and historic successes…



    Our failure to take opportunities and capitalise on our position as regards team building, squad management and putting some clear blie water beteeen us and or competitors was what was referred to.



    Let me make it clear, we were running a partial “moneyball” recruitment initiative when Rangers died.



    Now the upside to this is we needed to find an edge to help us compete, if moneyball was successful it would provide quality players once the prospects were developed and quality additions to the squad.



    The downside was altough it added some great value, we weren’t very good at it and things were hit and miss…



    In 2012 we did manage to reach the league stage of the UCL and a historic home victory against Barcelona gave us Champions League after New Year.



    This is where things go pear shape in my opinion. Instead of reviewing our moneyball recruitment and maybe tailoring it, we did the opposite.



    It seems buoyed by the sale of over £20M pounds of player sales, including Wanyama, and benefiting from UCL money, rather than bring in the quality to take us up a level in Europe, we went moneyball on steroids…



    We had 40 players in our squad that Season… crazy, yes we brought in the like of VvD, Nir and Tom but there were a dozen others either promoted from the Academy or brought in as prospects (Derk) or projects (Amido) that were no where near good enough or fit enough.



    We started our Euro campaign with squeaky bum time in Karagandy and finished with a 6-1 trousing in the Nou Camp… We brought in Leigh and Stephan to strengthen the first team that January.



    The decision was then made presumably at Board level to bring in Ronny as a specialist coach and play 4-2-3-1 throughout the Club.



    Of course the failed recruitment strategy wasn’t modified go allow us to build a first team that could actually play 4-2-3-1 Lenny and our best players were still being sold.



    This is my point, the moneyball obsession did not allow us to build the team we needed, yet we had an over bloated squad.



    Of course we were finding domestic success and our PLC was very well run but recruitment was not fit for purpose.



    When Brendan came in our recruitment was modified, our wage structure changed, so although it allowed for some first team talent coming in and more expensive prospects, we were still looking for value and it was still hit and miss. Although the higher transfer fees and the higher wages had meant a better move valuable squad.



    However this policy went into reverse last Summer, when BR wanted to consolidate and the “moneyball” guys using Brendans poor January window as an excuse took over again, they wanted to cash in, of course Brendan as head of football had a veto on players and the two policies clashed with devastating results…



    We are now at the stage where we couldn’t afford to be a tier 3 team even if we wanted to. The opportunity was missed in 2013 onwards



    From what I can see we are not even trying to improve the first team this window and the impetus from 2016/17 is now in reverse.



    “Weah, Bayo, Burke and Gutman don’t count then?



    No, not for me they don’t, this is just tweaking;)



    Weah and Burke are good editions no doubt but they are not Celtic players, they are loanees and if I maybe do bold… unproven… personally I think they’ll do well but wouldn’t be needed if we had done what needed to be done in the Summer. In fact IMO if BR had his way then I’d definately be fancying us against Valencia…



    Bayo and Gutman are moneyball projects, hopefully we are getting better at this, hopefully they make it but it’s just a reminder of a not fit for purpose recruitment policy. We should forget about adding to the squad for the moment, we should forget about “moneyball” and concentrate on getting proven first team players in. Prospects are not a priority…



    Also I can see another revenue stream developing that maybe distracting us from proper squad management… are we working for the Yankee do$$ar?



    “Opportunities get lost all the time. Some re-appear and some are taken, but many will be lost again. If only someone was a Master of the Universe and could get it right all the time, or most of the time, or 50% of the time- is that too much to ask for?



    Or we’ll have to keep going and accepting the imperfections of human judgement as I suspect there are many errors lying ahead that we have yet to make and, wait for it, someday we will lose a league- maybe even this year. Now that is an inevitable and surefire prediction.”



    You know, I agree with that, but poeple make decisions and they need to be assessed on those. If poeple try hard, put everything into succeeding then fail then so be it. Yet what if poeple have the resources to make things work but don’t implement things properly as they have their own agenda to follow… That’s quite different.



    My whole thing is that our recruitment policy is not fit for purpose. It’s based on getting a team “just” better than our Scottish opponents and speculating on “moneyball”.



    That’s why I’ve said there is systemic failure with our recruitment, we know this, they know this but refuse to change it.



    Brendan Rodgers is head of football at Celtic, he should be making the recruitment policy and taking the main decisions. Of course he must be in contact all the time with the Board and he must be accountable.



    He’s got something’s wrong sure, yet too many poeple seem to have an input and so no-one seems accountable for an unworkable system.



    As TBB posted earlier this month, if we fail to win the league this year (and I paraphrase) PL and DD will need to find another hemisphere.



    I kinda agree with that… it will be an unforgivable lapse.



    Hail Hail

  2. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    CHAIRBHOY on 12TH JANUARY 2019 5:47 AM



    You`re describing what you consider to be failure.



    What would you consider to be success ?



    And what specifically should be done now to achieve success ?




  3. MACJAY1 @ 5:57 AM,



    Yes, failure to capitalise on the demise of Rangers and the introduction of a Champions route for the UCL Qualifing campaign.



    For me a smaller squad with more quality bringing us up to a tier 3 Club… where the likes of Ajax, Salzburg, Basle etc were… in other words having a team as good as our peers and with a reasonable UCL league draw, being able to reach third in the group table and getting Europa football after New Year’s.



    Of course we’re not always going to qualify for the UCL and we we’re not always going to get European Football after New Year, but it’s a bench mark and would ensure we were head and shoulders above our domestic opposition.



    ‘Fraid I’ve got to run, so will catch any replies later… aff oot:)



    Have A good one…



    Hail Hail










    What would he know




    Good morning CQN from a cold and windy Garngad



    Macjay1- Ah well, I did think BR would have bought a relatively experienced playe, maybe a (Right Back), but at the end of the day it’s up to BR, as its he who will either get praised/adulation or gets the bump. I obviously hope it’s praise and adulation.



    I still think we will win the league anyway, we just needed some depth of quality in the squad and as I say if BR thinks the bhoys that he has snapped up can do that then fair play.


    Let’s all circle the wagons and get behind our glorious club/team and get 8IAR.???????- – – ?



    Hail Hail



    D. :)

  5. Celtic model is about value and developing talent.



    The last thing you want to hear when the club is supposed to be trying to win the league again.

  6. Peter Lawwell won’t be at Parkhead for ever.



    I’m sooooooo looking forward to Celtic utopia when he leaves.



    The promised land awaits.




  7. morning bhoys from a dreich looking Cheshire, im with david66 on this, was hoping for a good experienced defender, but if Brendan thinks we don’t need any marquee signings who are we to argue.hh.

  8. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    DAVID66 on 12TH JANUARY 2019 7:34 AM







    Circle the CQN wagons would also be desirable.



    I think Brendan is simply trying to moderate expectation .

  9. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    CHAIRBHOY on 12TH JANUARY 2019 5:47 AM



    We need to get you (or SFTB) signed up right away ….. the double-trebles / invincibles / financial well-being of the club was pure co-incidence and we need to get out there now and spend spend spend ….. glad I read your post ….makes it all sound so simple ?

  10. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    16 ROADS. on 12TH JANUARY 2019 8:09 AM



    We’ve done all right over the past 7 years

  11. Good morning, friends, from a grey, damp underfoot but currently precipitation free East Kilbride.

  12. 67Heaven .. CHALLENGING THE LIE ..I am wee Oscar...... Ipox belongs to the creditors on

    DAVID66 on 12TH JANUARY 2019 7:34 AM



    Absolutely…..too many experts, and not enough plaudits for our club / manager ….. despite the agenda, we have prevailed and will continue to …..

  13. Celtic @ home Domestically have played some scintillating fitba this Season. 2017 seen a lot of poor fitba @ home.



    2019 and chastened by a defeat set up by the Angry Ones (who knows what really went on)…. Celtic I suspect will go Nuclear on the field. Goals Goals Goals Home and Away.

  14. If anyone is remotely interested the salaries of the majority EPL clubs CEO’s can be found without to much effort. A quick check on a few shows that PL is paid significantly more than some and significantly less than others? I guess the point being our financial turnover is dwarfed by all of the EPL teams and yet our CEO earns a very competitive EPL range salary, excluding bonus of course.

  15. https://twitter.com/SwissRamble/status/1025284080957579267


    Pedro is paid way more than most of the epl directors, he is the sixth highest paid in the UK.


    Not bad for presiding over a transfer shambles, this will be the third season in a row that we will go into the euro qualifiers with a makeshift defence, no matter who you THINK is to blame, the buck stops at the CEO’s door, he gets the obscene wages to make sure these things do not happen, yet they do and he still gets the wages, one day the ordinary supporter will see they are shafting you, it’s all about you money.

  16. Today’s CQN Coupon –


    The Exiled Tim – Grimsby


    Gerryfaethebrig – Edinburgh City


    Bobby Murdoch’s Curled Up Winkelpickers – Barnsley


    Awalkacrosstherooftops – Burnley


    Lennybhoy – Cardiff


    Jobo Baldie – Queen of the South


    Pogmathonyahun – Swansea

  17. With operation Expectation Management in spate and our avowed desire to take punts on value projects who may come good, a (new Socceroo) CB from Australia is a steady if not spectacular project. THOMAS DENG.


    Plays for Victory, schooled at PSG, relatively tidy and mobile. An antipodean Dedryck Boyata.

  18. CASTAGNE –



    This morning’s fluff –



    Likely to sign for Hoffenheim – His choice . Atalanta not over the moon -allegedly they could have got silly money from Swansea -but the player didn’t fancy it .

  19. So we have been quoted as really trying to sign a couple of right backs,Castagna and the guy from Greece.None of who seem interested ,at the moment of coming to Scotland.This is put down ,somehow,as Celtics fault on here.Never mind that,lets once again focus on PLs salary.WTF has that got to do with anything.His employers think he is worth it,end of story.If his salary was smaller,would that help us to attract people to our club?


    Our failure in the last couple of windows,has been down to our scouting dept.A fekin blind man can see that.Brendan hired them,so the buck for this stops with him.Many saying we have far too many fringe players.I agree.Who signed them?Who went to PL and said,give me money for him?


    Commper,Hayes,Morgan,Mulumbu,Hendry,Gamboa.Not one,remotely good enough to hold down a place.Taking transfer fees,signing on fees and wages,probably around 7-8 million down the tubes.This falls at Managements door.Nobody elses.As was seen in the summer,when we get taken short,as with Dembele,and Boyatta,there is no contingency plan?No list of players who could be brought in.We saw that with the mad attempt to buy a CH from Aberdeen at the last minute.I have some sympathy for them,for to try and get in players good enough for the positions we need,and demanded by people on here,3 players would cost around,25-30 million.Aberdeen are quoting 10 million for their CH to the EPL in the future.I want to see us getting in the best we can,but Ilive in the real world.A world that does not class what we have achieved as some sort of failure.

  20. Happy Birthday to CosyCornerBhoy



    If anyone see’s him, tell him to get his pick in for GG4, along with Bada Bing, Greenpinata, A Source Said, and Mursheen :-)


    Like I said last night….no more reminders :-)

  21. Turkey


    It’s a PLC FFS, if you are under the illusion that the CEO allows those under him to do as they please and feck the consequences, you really need to get out a bit more.


    The buck stops at the CEO’s door, end of.


    You can come on here and bleat away till your hearts content, the fact remains that the CEO is in charge of everything under him.


    Him and the board sets out the transfer policy, the manger has to adhere to it with it’s boundaries, the policy is still buy cheap and develop and hopefully sell for profit, that has not changed.


    Take away the CL & europa money that Brendan and the players have brought in for the club, we would be in financial shit, but don’t let that fact get in the way of slagging the manager.


    But you bleat away.

  22. See that Dermot Desmond self made Billionaire and Denis O’Brien with his £4B or there abouts



    Surely these two guys with fingers in every pie have a blind spot for Peter Lawell in that they don’t replace him with someone else from their vast Empires



    So it either a blind spot Peter has something on them in this pair of the shrewdest characters going think he is doing what is exactly required from them




    Next man in will have exact same remit but unlikely to be as passionate about Celtic as Peter and his family

  23. Celtic will be very fired up to Pass and Move.



    The Tiger has been poked.



    The stats dinnae Lie.



    Let’s get 8 First and Foremost.

  24. I suppose there’s a first time for everything.



    Macjay. 9.01am .



    100% correct.



    Btw, did anyone really expect a radical change in transfer policy after a very disappointing performance at Poundland ? We need to up our game in every department of the club, but wholesale change ain’t gonna happen. HH





    Cosy Corner Bhoy .


    Many happy returns .


    Only recently, when driving through Kilwinning did I realise where your moniker came from. Have a nice one & pass on my regards to rest of the family. HH

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