Joe the Stabiliser. Motherwell the unpredictable


Joe Hart’s first job when he arrived at Celtic was to provide stability where it was sorely missing the previous season.  Vasilis Barkas started the season in goal and played 22 games in total, he was dropped for Scott Bain, who made 23 appearances, but both gave way for Conor Hazard, who played six times, including a memorable Scottish Cup Final, when he saved twice during the penalty deciders.

When the goalkeeper position is unstable, a burden is added to the defence, which had problems of its own.  Joe brought authority and reliability where it had been missing.  He was a big part of Ange Postecoglou’s success.

Celtic’s treble winning season meant that last term he played more football than any other in his career.  By May, he will be 37, and irrespective of form, Celtic will be planning for the future.  He is not here for the money or the weather, only the chance to play and he would not he happy as an understudy.  Paying Tottenham £1m for a 34-year-old turned out to be good value.

In his interview yesterday, Joe didn’t make suggestions about how he would like to end the season, but he didn’t need to.  You and I both know what his intentions are.

Celtic made heavy weather of it earlier this season at Fir Park.  Conceding a late equaliser before scoring an even later winner is great fun – and how leagues are sometimes won – but better not to concede late equalisers in the first place.

Motherwell lost at Hearts last weekend, their first defeat in the league since a Christmas Eve loss to Newco – evidence that they are difficult to beat when that is their intention.  Their visit to Celtic Park in November started Celtic’s recent run of poor results.  A David Turnbull penalty put the home side ahead with five minutes remaining, enough time for the visitors to equalise, despite contributing nothing but defending in the proceeding 89 minutes.

No predictions from me about Sunday.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3

  1. The Battered Bunnet on

    Stabilisers – reminds me of teaching the kids to ride a bike. Our defence could do with a psychological equivalent.

  2. onenightinlisbon on

    By May, he will be 37, and irrespective of form, Celtic will be planning for the future.



    You really think so?



    Looking at somme rookie goalkeeper no doubt who is a real “prospect”….

  3. i am going to post the Barrowfield planning consents and layouts as requested by a few.



    however, dont inteprept that as me being some sort of board patsy releasing squirrels to distract from the accounts coming soon.

  4. Hearts will do what they almost always do against them tomorrow- they’ll be getting their bellies tickled. 3 points a must for us on Sunday, it’s no mistake football now. We’ll be 5 behind and we need players man enough to step up.

  5. Best wishes to Joe, the best £1MM Celtic has spent in 20 years.



    With a timely and early announcement like that, it’s an opportunity for succession planning…



    Surely the opportunity will be grasped?

  6. From previous Thread….THANKS to ALL who offered up advice.



    MCPHAIL BHOY on 23RD FEBRUARY 2024 11:32 AM







    BIG JIMMY / Glendalys





    It’s a TV thing, if SKY are doing the game that’s it.





    Outwith the TV deal games like the Dundee home game, then Celtic can sell the rights to PPV.














    As well as that you cannot sell PPV for games which kick off on a Saturday at 3 and also maybe a few hours either side of it I believe. I think that is why you sometimes see games with 5.30 kick offs but are not on Sky they’re probably PPV.




    Cheers mate.



  7. Celtic don’t show great evidence of planning, Paul. PL always said he was looking 6-12 months into the future but if that is the case then the evidence doesn’t hugely support it.



    The odd signing such as Moussa springs to mind but how much planning do “prospects” take?



    Most clubs are made aware of players with “potential” very early on.



    There’s a myth that it is desperately hard to run Celtic fc. I don’t believe it is and certainly not for domestic success. We are the richest club in the league and aside from the Ibrox club our other league sides have a fraction of our resources.



    The very humble Gordon Strachan always made the point that “good players” was the most important factor and when it comes to us domestically that is so. It’s not enough to be number one but being number two in Scotland is no great achievement.



    Academy players (if good enough), prospects, some established and experienced internationals and goal scorers are required.



    The last THREE windows have been awful with Johnston the only success (and personally I think he is inferior to Juranovic).



    Rodgers was miles better than Beale but now they have a coach that has actually performed and achieved at a good level.



    The fact we have no confidence in whether we beat ANY of our league sides is harrowing.



    BR needs to pull this out of the bag like he never has before. If he does somehow turn this mallaise around, he needs to also move on along with several members of our backroom staff.



    We are many other clubs in that if we win, supporters are still not always happy. Despite the myth several of my friends felt we needed to make several upgrades on the squad that won the treble. The football in the second half of last season was “patchy” and we relied on individuals getting us out of a hole. The good thing was we had those individuals. We have lost Jota and Abada is as good as lost. Kyogo, one of our few class players is being wasted by our manager and an very average player is in his place.



    We rarely win one’s that we don’t expect to. 2008 is the last time.



    We have huge success as a club and it is often tarnished by our inadequacy to kick on from a position of strength.



    BR has a dozen league games and three cup games to really perform a great “comeback” with attacking players that would get a game for Hearts at best. Kyogo aside.



    I am well up for it. Adversity seems to suit me.

  8. Huns V Benfica.



    I watched some of the TOULOUSE v BENFICA game last night and I wasnt overly impressed with either side, although Benfica were slightly better than their French opponents.



    I will assume that the Huns will fancy their chances ?




  9. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    I’d go 4-3-3 with Forrest, Kyogo, Maeda up front.


    Don’t think it will happen but I would bring in Iwata as a hybrid CB/DM. Allow the other MFs to push on when we have the ball and provide more options in the forward areas. Also allows you to keep the three men on each of the wings.


    CCV only if 100%.


    All the best for the future, Joe – thanks for a great three years.


    Our next keeper needs to be one who is comfortable taking up positions outside his box if we are going to be using a high defensive line, otherwise the gap gets too big and you leave yourself susceptible to getting exploited.

  10. glendalystonsils on

    Late winners used to be our thing , less so now . If we show the same intent we did in the dying minutes v Hibs ,then maybe . If the heads are down and the nerves are shredded like v Killie then we’re fecked .

  11. Why oh why oh why do supporter keep inflating the money to be made from the extended champions league. Uefa have already said they expect ito increase prize money by between 30 and 50% and unlike before it is also much more preformance related. Unless you have been living on the moon you’ll no likely see much benefit for scottish participants for that particular aspect. It will be worth max 35 million minus gate etc. At the same time the europa league will see an uplift in prize money and games. Uefa are trying to give to their biggest club and to make sure middling clubs get decent compensation to keep the gravey training running,



    The board in my opinion have decided to risk (spend) needed to guarantee champions league is not worth the reward at the end of it, read the room. They are very conservative in their approach and will simply point to their success to date.



    The truth is they have lost the hunger, for football success and now just look at the money as as benchmark, they have had it to easy for to long and have become complacent which is a sure fire way to fall on your arse. It’s a story true the world over and throughout time.



    Our only hope is if we do indeed fall on our arse, dd and the board’s ego gets dented and they feel the hunger again.

  12. ‘Underachiever could solve Celtic’s No. 1 problem’



    Siegrist, seriously? Is Peter Lawwell now writing CQN articles?



    Wtaf! 😳🤷🏼‍♂️💩😡



    Painful days to be a Tim. Football department is a clear non-priority these days. Handing a very average Hun team the riches of the new CL and looks like we’re also planning a penny-pinching summer by these types of headlines.

  13. onenightinlisbon on

    MELVIN UDALL on 23RD FEBRUARY 2024 1:15 PM



    Totally agree. He is obviously not quoted by Rodgers however maybe the new manager will give him a chance.

  14. BIG JIMMY on 23RD FEBRUARY 2024 12:29 PM


    Huns V Benfica.



    I watched some of the TOULOUSE v BENFICA game last night and I wasnt overly impressed with either side, although Benfica were slightly better than their French opponents.



    I will assume that the Huns will fancy their chances ?




    Funny that. As the BBC article has Benfica as European giants today with some superstar players. Clearly preparing the hun hordes to get skelped, but will also praise them to the heavens if they go through.

  15. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Benfica vs huns will be evenly matched. For some reason they do well against the Portuguese big 3. Not the worst outcome if they get through as taxing midweek euro games improve our chances in the league. Maybe the next round would bring a welcome rematch with Liverpool…

  16. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Lawwell is toxic. BMCUWP on Sentinel Celts today.






    The depths of winter have not always been kind to us as Celtic fans over the last few years in particular. Even though we are only ten days away from the 30th anniversary of our own Glorious Revolution,when Fergus McCann wrested control of the club from the long-standing dynasties which had controlled it for a century-and driven it into the ground towards the end of their tenure-it cannot be argued that what he left behind is now how he had planned or expected his foresight and legacy to be carried forward.



    It is also around this time of year that significant change has more recently occurred at the club. From the departure of BR Mk I to Leicester in 2019,having become thoroughly brassed off at the internal politics which were undermining his plans to have the best side available,to the departures of NL Mk II and PL Mk I only three years ago,and then last year the arrival of PL Mk II,which was probably when Ange told his agent to get his finger out and earn his money.



    Are we about to see more change in the dead of winter? The imminent-or,as with Ange-planned departure of one or more of the chief protagonists in the pissing competition which has all but destroyed our current season and probably a few to come? Well,without winter there can be no spring-not my own,sleeve notes on a Dylan album-and if the right decisions are made to prevent any possible repeat of what we have seen then there is a possibility of some hope for the future.



    Previous experience of how our Plc operates obviously tempers any attempt at optimism,and memories are still raw when we consider the events of Jan 2009 and the three years or so which followed. When we had the chance to bury the huns and threw them a lifeline for THREE years when we should have been throwing them an anchor. Are we doing it again? Is this what it is all about? Is it always about them?



    If there can be no spring without winter,does our board of apparently intelligent men,experienced in many types of business,believe that without Rangers there can be no Celtic? Ask Celtic fans if they believe that. I suggest that you will learn a few different ways of saying no. Ask them though if they think that is what the board believe,and a growing number of them will enthusiastically agree. For even if that is not the case,the board are going the wrong way about showing it.



    The return of Lawwell last year has been an unmitigated disaster. There can be little argument about that. He was a divisive but all-powerful figure before he left,but we were assured that his new role as chairman was a Non-Executive Director role which by definition excluded him from any operational role within the company. Well,that’s a relief then! Except that the reality is different. Not content with somehow having parachuted his non-descript son into the premier role for player recruitment the previous spring,he has overseen a return to the bad old days of hoarding cash while simultaneously throwing money at the wall for players who would be lucky to get into our failing academy sides.



    We signed players at a time when we had no manager in place. We signed players that the new manager clearly was not aware of. We ignored players requested by the new manager. On whose say-so was this done? Lawwell,Jr didn’t have the authority. Nicholson wasn’t interested,and wouldn’t have been able to identify them anyway. Only one person would do this.



    Not for him the desperately needed oven-ready players who can make an immediate difference to the side,as specifically requested by BR from the minute he walked through the door. Not for him the continuation of the Ange revolution which had completely upended our previous signing policy and actually brought quality into the side,the type of quality that can make an immediate impact. Like five out of six trophies in two years,from having finished TWENTYFIVE points behind the huns before his arrival.



    No sooner in the door than that successful strategy is binned in favour of his previous grand plan,the one that had seen us spiral from Fortress Parkhead under Martin to a continental punchbag. Credit where it is due,his previous regime had left us with cash in the bank. £18m in his last financial report in 2020. Which was built on the initial success brought by BR Mk I,when our turnover finally hit nine figures. Yet even that figure of £18m is considerably skewed by one-off factors,namely a player trading profit that year of £24m,otherwise we would have been in the red as per usual under his “leadership”



    The accounts had yet to factor in the full effect of Covid-19,which hit football hard. An entire season was played behind closed doors,with a significant part of the following season under tightly controlled attendance limits. Yet,despite these factors,the accounts for 2023 which included the years when Lawwell’s influence had “gone for good” saw us back into nine figure turnover territory last seen in 2018 and cash in hand of over £70m. And all the while we were winning our record eighth treble with that side of new recruits who were able to fit into the side immediately.



    You would think,wouldn’t you,that he would leave well alone. Stick to his NED remit and let the experts get on with it,let them build on the success that the new strategy had brought. But naw,he just couldn’t help himself. He saw opportunity knocking in the return of BR,the man he probably blames for his own downfall first time around. It was personal,not business! He saw it in our weak,reluctant and uncommitted CEO,who was just there to be steamrollered into insignificance. We,on the other hand saw disaster unfold. And few of us can really say we were surprised.



    The upshot of all this is not just that the board are absolutely petrified of releasing the latest Glorious Balance Sheet for fear of the backlash from the fans. Nor that we are pissing away our trophies to a desperately poor rival. It is that we now have a club which cannot continue to function with the three most important personnel still in their current positions. Each of them has to go. And each of them has to be replaced by someone who is the right man for the job despite having absolutely no previous connection to the club.



    BR has to be replaced by a manager with the credentials to do the job properly while imposing his will on the board. It is no secret that I was reluctant to see him return-I’ve only ever known one successful prodigal return in my lifetime and that was Bertie Auld. Even Cesar’s Centenary Double was tarnished by what followed. I wanted Andoni Iraola,and I still say that he would have jumped at it. Oliver Glasner,available after leaving Eintracht Frankfurt,was my declared second choice. I don’t blame BR for what has happened behind the scenes,but I do hold him responsible for putting a side on the pitch which has been a bombscare in defence,a shambles up front and has no idea what to do with a set piece-including throw ins and corners. Ours OR theirs.



    Nicholson has to go,because he clearly has no appetite or aptitude for the position. Simple cold hard fact.



    Lawwell has to go because he cannot be trusted. It is not in his nature to take a back seat role of any kind. He will always schmooze or bully himself into a position of absolute control. He is toxic,as simple as that.



    Additionally,the majority of our NED board members have to go too. Sat too long there for any good they are doing,so to speak. Too male,pale and stale,to coin a phrase.



    All must be replaced with non-Celtic aligned people. A manager who knows what he is doing and will settle for nothing less than what he wants. A CEO with experience in the big wide world,be it football or not,who will work with the manager to bring success to the club,both on and off the pitch. A chairperson also with experience of business in other spheres which can bring some much needed professionalism and fresh ideas to a Plc which has mouldered through simple disinterest and cronyism.



    There can be no jobs for the boys nepotism either,and while everyone deserves their chance to impress,I doubt that any of the Strachan or Lawwells can hold their head up in the company of their peers at other clubs. Quite simply,there are better out there. Cheerio and best of luck.



    That sounds like quite the revolution,doesn’t it? And it is. But the thing about revolutions is that on the whole they are necessary because of what has gone before. And this one definitely falls into that category. And the sooner it takes place,the better. While there is still some chance of salvaging something from the wreckage.




    Above article by BMCUWP



    MELVIN UDALL on 23RD FEBRUARY 2024 1:15 Pm



    Totally agree. He is obviously not quoted by Rodgers however maybe the new manager will give him a chance.




    Let’s hope that chance is to prove himself a better No. 2 than Bain. We need a quality No. 1 and Siegrist ain’t it.



    Was gutted when the is signed Butland. Knew he was a quality keeper.



    Let’s hope we find someone. We’re usually ok with finding decent keepers.



    Big Joe the latest of them.

  18. onenightinlisbon on

    MELVIN UDALL on 23RD FEBRUARY 2024 1:21 PM



    I was surprised we didn’t go for Butland with the Joe Hart (England) connection.



    Par for the course for us though.

  19. dearie me its doom and doomer on here today, even worse than the usual submissions.



    that sentinel celts piece, really pins why i never got around to joining the site, hyperbole depressive repetative , and a boring read actually, i learned nothing from it, nothing real, just opinion dressed up as , well i dont know what actually, a hatred of everything at celtic.



    i am finding it difficult as why Joe Hart announcing his retirement has added to the angst of so many web based posters, who now fear next season we will have a rubbish goalkeeper.



    what a miserable existence,



    back the team.



    sack the board.



    oops, we dont have the power to do so, and we dont know how to mobilise to even get started.



    i look forward to getting a season card next season, once you all chuck it in (please)

  20. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    All these late equalisers/tight games.



    For the opposition: Keep it tight, wait for the subs, press aggressively.



    I hope our manager parks his ego: either take our chances and put the game to bed in the first half or don’t make the subs.

  21. onenightinlisbon on

    TONTINE TIM on 23RD FEBRUARY 2024 1:31 PM



    It’s all about opinions Tom. I respect that you have a right to yours, would be nice if you extended the same courtesy to others.

  22. onenightinlisbon on



    I hope our manager parks his ego: either take our chances and put the game to bed in the first half or don’t make the subs.



    His ego is way too big to be parked, think we know that…

  23. How the hell have we got to February and we have NO idea of our strongest 11.



    Players that havent featured at all are now being suggested as starters, I even saw a “recall Mikey Johnston” tweet.



    Its al abit of a shambles and very sad,

  24. onenightinlisbon on

    I note that s few posters have voiced “negative” opinions on the blog. Are they also trying to cause disharmony?

  25. onenightinlisbon on

    DESSYBHOY on 23RD FEBRUARY 2024 1:53 PM



    I fully expect a “dearie me” reply to that Dessybhoy…..

  26. lets all do the huddle on

    How the hell have we got to February and we have NO idea of our strongest 11.




    i dont have a problem not knowing our strongest 11, im more worried that we dont seem to have a good 11 going by recent performances

  27. lets all do the huddle on

    The breathtaking arrogance and pomposity of some people on here is sickening….stiffy…




    that last bit was too much personal information that we didnt need to be alerted about.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3