Jota brought to you by effective analytics


I wrote in May that Jota (23) was more important to retain than Cameron Carter-Vickers on a permanent contract. At that point, the profile of both players was high after a successful term in Glasgow, we would not have been the only potential destination. It is a huge credit to chief exec Michael Nicolson and the club that they have delivered both.

Cameron was our best defender, a potential Celtic captain, but still, I wanted Jota more. Opponents fear him. He can take a ball when marked tightly and the defender will not lunge in to attempt a steal, knowing Jota has the ability to move ball and body before they have formulated a thought.

If an opposition team leave him one-on-one, they better not lose possession. He is Celtic’s most effective out-ball; left with only one defender to beat, he can turn defence into an opportunity to score faster than Usain Bolt could track back.

When Aiden McGeady signed for Hibs this week, my thoughts went back to so many great memories. Prominent among them, was watching him as an 18-year-old, bring his instant control to a 2004 Celtic-Milan Champions League game. No one else in the Celtic team had that ball control.

Jota has the same effortless control.

So what about the Magic Window, where Celtic have seen enough of the player to make their move, before wealthier clubs get involved?

Incredibly, Jota had only played an entire 90 minutes of a game only twice before joining Celtic, both cup games for Benfica against lower league opposition. The season before arriving in Glasgow was mostly spent on the bench, watching his Real Valladolid side fail to ward off relegation. He made 8 starts there and was hooked each time, adding 10 appearances from the bench.

Across his career, before joining Celtic on loan last year, he made 9 starts and 29 sub appearances in senior football. Magic window? More a magic letterbox. He had hardly put studs on grass.

Valladolid was clearly a wrong move. As we have discussed previously about Patrick Roberts, he is a creative talent and needs to be with a team that spends lots of time attacking, sides fighting relegation would be unable to get the ball to him enough to see the benefit of giving him a shirt. It was the classic square peg/round hole problem – one we should be on the lookout for again.

To know the value of the player, Celtic would have to uncover knowledge only visible at Portuguese and Spanish reserve level games. The resources required to cover this much ground is unfathomable through traditional means. You are looking at the result of very effective analytics.

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  1. TB10 @ 9.53



    Hotel — should work / goes as far too say there is room for more than 1 offering.


    Museum — we are probably the only EC winner without one / absolute goer.


    Art Gallery — bulk up our Stadium tour / lots of iconic images to show the world.


    Superstore / Artisan market — posh Barras plus Adidas will make it goer.


    We should offer space to local producers — putting something back.



    The big empty plot has an interesting history.



    A developer had big plans / showed the world big plans then fell out with the council over the validity of a pollution survey.



    Not sure the exact details but it was claimed to the pollution survey put forward by one party was too old / not current enough to be used by the second party so the second party refused to play ball — so no progress on the project as had been the original plan.



    Not sure is the council sold the land at a certain rate on the basis the purchaser / developer would bring forward a project with an element of public good in it / prominent gap site brought into productive use.



    Long story short — big plans have fallen through and much moaning and groaning was heard in the local press.



    My thoughts are that the current owner is just holding out until someone makes him an offer he can’t refuse — I would suggest that the council are very upset that there is a big patch of weeds / tumble weed outside their sporting crown jewels.



    We have space to develop around the stadium but that site would be very useful to a football club with a growth agenda in play — interest rates are going up so the carrying costs of that site will increase over the next year. Maybe a fire-sale can be arranged to speed things along.



    I am not sure if the current owner is cash rich and can sit things out or he is income poor and will struggle as credit tightens.



    The most credible article I can find in a 5 minute Google trawl about the area is a 2012 report shown below — I am not sure if the names mentioned in it are the people who had the stooshie with council over the infamous pollution report. However it offers a data point on what the site could be capable of.





    Below is an even earlier proposal — 2009 plan for the site to contain part of the CG Athletes Village that ultimately was built on the other side of Springfield Road.





    So pans have been drawn up but at the moment all we have is 13 years of weeds.

  2. IniquitousIV on



    “Going with your logic …



    How did we win the league last season … if your logic is based on how we performed in the same league as the previous season ???



    At least try and hope we can do better in every competition we enter (maybe the multiple trophies we have won make some fans a bit entitled) why not just “hope” we do better and enjoy it win lose or draw”




    GERRY, I never mentioned the league. Europe is an obvious step up in class. Leverkusen humiliated us 4-0 at home, and were strolling in their home game, just doing enough to beat us.


    Betis away, when they wanted to step it up, scored 4 and twice scored 2 goals in 2 minutes. Hoping for the best isn’t going to cut it in Europe. And I am not going to enjoy getting gubbed 4-0 at home. We have had the worst Europa League group defensive record of 32 teams 2 years in a row. That is pitiful. We need to address our obvious failures in these games, which were mainly in midfield and down the left side of our defence. Ange noticed, and he will address it. He has augmented us with the Lanus kid and I think he will go for a defensive midfielder in the next few weeks. If Julien goes, we need a replacement there, and with luck, an upgrade on Starfelt. Beef up for Europe and the League will take care of itself.

  3. INIQUITOUSIV 2.46am



    I agree … hopefully after a full pre season Ange’s team will be a bit more street wise, Leverkusen & Bodo Glimt were both clinical at Celtic park, and I think both away goalies were men of the matches …



    But … I will go with Ange and take the risk … rather than try and pack a defence and take a 1-0 win …



    Europe for me is always a bonus … win your league and a cup or two for a cracking day oot is always good



    I think this team will get points in the group stages



    5am … in Bonny Scotland … I better get some shut eye before I need to get the breakfast on :-)

  4. Good morning from a bright and breezy Bo’ness!



    Hope you all have a good day!



    And happy 60th birthday to JOBO BALDIE, formerly of this parish.

  5. Good morning from an overcast North Staffs.



    First Communion Mass this morning – but only 3 or 4 recipients.

  6. Tom McLaughlin on

    I sit near Jobo at Celtic Park and see him fairly regularly.



    Happy Birthday Jobo.



    I hope you’re enjoying retirement.

  7. Every Minute counts.



    Wow Celtic have the Pre-Season to work on things.



    You bet I am Excited about how Good we are gonnae be.



    Early Doors Last Season I knew we hud a Brammer in Jota.

  8. still went for a wee swim tho’………………








  9. Celtic First XI



    Hart, JJ, CCV, Vacancy, Bernebai, Vacancy, McGregor, Hatate, Jota, Kyogo, Maeda



    Celtic Second XI



    Siegrist, Ralston, Welsh, Starfelt, Taylor, Guchi, Turnbull, O’Riley, GG, Abada, Vacancy.




  10. Madmitch What about Barrowfield ,as you mentioned who owns that vacant land is it the council or some speculator who purchased it from the council and we’re does the cash go,as for Dermot Desmond he has held Celtic Football Club far to long , about time some genuine Celtic Group bought him out we need somebody with hands on ,not in The Caribbean or the Golf Course.

  11. `TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 3RD JULY 2022 9:59 AM


    I sit near Jobo at Celtic Park and see him fairly regularly.`



    That`s good news. I thought Jobo had stopped going. Possibly he just stopped visiting CQN Corner?

  12. Sláinte Ange on

    Absolutely delighted with our signings – – well done Ange and all involved.


    For me, I really hope we can also secure Vini Souza on some kind of deal. Maybe a loan with option to nuy is best. Never seen him play but by all accounts he sounds like just the kind of player we need to protect the back four and allow Calmac and Hatate to play further forward where they are most effective.


    I can’t remember a pre-season with so much interest.


    What a time to be a Celt

  13. Tom McLaughlin on

    Last night at Wimbledon – Kyrgios and Tsitsipas trading insults and whacking tennis balls at each other.



    This morning at Edgbaston – Kholi and Bairstow exchanging verbals and hand gestures.



    Don’t you just love sport?




  14. Tom McLaughlin on




    I can’t remember when I last saw Jobo at the game. Might have been last year.

  15. Big Wavy,



    Hatate looked totally lost in so many games.



    Yo, ye, are right this Japanese Bhoy will hopefully Rock planet fitba.

  16. Tom,


    Just saw this on Sentinel Celts:



    `Happy 60th Birthday Jobo. … It was great to hear you’ll be back at Celtic park next season. `

  17. TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 3RD JULY 2022 11:35 AM




    What does he think he is, a boomerang?





    Take a bow fella. Absolutely top drawer….




  18. Celtic Mac



    Yup the golf at St Andrews. The 150th will be special. Maybe the last with the structure of the game as we know it too. I think it will be a great competition with a really open field this year. I hope we have 4 or 5 in the mix going up the 72nd hole on the Sunday.



    Feel very lucky to have been at 100th Celebration of the Centre Court. Not something I would get the chance of often. My daughter and I normally queue from 2am for the outside courts. The tennis has been really special in parts and where it has not been there has been plenty drama to make up for it.



    Even cricket is evolving. Engerland and Baz ball taking one day methods into a test match with staggering impacts.



    As you say plenty of time to see what other sports are offering.



    4 weeks and counting to go though until we play the dandy dons…… who will have had 4 or 5 competitive games before they visit us btw.