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. Man in know on KDS :



    “Pole position for Souza. Fenerbache can’t/won’t pay €9m. Loan to buy to us is now under serious consideration. Our relationship with The CG proving beneficial.”



    Stauner alert.




  2. MADMITCH on 3RD JULY 2022 8:21 PM



    Haven’t watched it, though from what I’ve read about it the end was a bit of a cop out (no pun intended).



    But I’ve read some of the evidence from the Spycop inquiry. Even as someone who used to belong to one of the organisations under observation, and always aware that it would be going on, the extent of it is hard to believe.



    They seemed to think we were much more of a threat than we ever did.

  3. TOM MCLAUGHLIN . You mr grumpy this morning PAL. So you have the monopoly of tongue in cheek . I merely stated my take on the season ahead and my opinion that we at present still have the same defence we had last season plus the new argentine bhoy . But if your going to be so petty we are as well just leaving it at that . .

  4. SM Media




    Reports in Japan have linked Celtic with a possible move for Japanese attacking midfielder Tsukasa Morishima.



    The 23-year old currently plies his trade at J-League club Sanfreece Hiroshima and would cost around £1.5 million.

  5. VS — not quite getting the vibe with this one.


    One full season in Belgium at the age of 22 and he is a worldbeater / snip @ £8 or £9mill.



    Not sure where the hype for him has come from.


    CG connections / Brazil born / desperation on our part for a proper CDM?



    If he was as good as the booster club suggest then you would expect him to have other suitors making a move for him.



    Hope I am proven wrong but he will need to transform the team to justify his current valuation — at least he has 12 months to prove his worth if he comes in on a loan to buy move.



    No matter his situation we still have a lot of work to do with our MF.


    If CMcG continues as a starter then we will find it hard to deliver the MF we need.


    RH has to start as he has the most potential for next season.


    Where that leaves DT — most complete player — and MO’R — our most productive player during the run in — is anyone’s guess.



    For the CL and also games against the TFOD2.1 / any SPL team with a bit of quality in the middle — we will need to deliver a huge improvement from the MF.



    Anybody coming through from the reserves for the MF — now or never for SR?


    He has shown a bit of quality when he has been out on loan.


    Anybody worth watching from the SPL — DL @ DU / MU?


    He was the form MF player in the SPL during 2022.



    VS on loan = yes.


    VS @ £9mill = No — he hasn’t done enough.


    CG sold IK — CB / CDM talent — for £4.5mill — now that is more like it.

  6. Mad Mitch



    Interesting theory re Lord FM and his interest in QP.



    Why is he still spending at CFC and engaging there to the same extent ? Every week with his gang in the Executive Lounge enjoying the mediocre self service food and taking his seat in the directors box ?



    Or is that some kind of double bluff ?



    I do get that the potential of QP might be huge if properly unleashed. Way more than Livi.



    This is a a 10 year project though. Surely ? It could be exciting. As you say though AP has spiked it for now I would suggest.



    I also think he has made a poor call with Dempster. She really is not what the media would have you believe and as ‘staunch’ as they come.

  7. big wavy



    HH Bro,



    Imagine we Won the CL with the CG’s help. Oh how I’d laugh.



    Celtic is a lot Bigger.

  8. The 2 kids Alcaraz and Sinner showing the future of tennis in such a positive light.



    Great skill and a great mutual respect.



    It may not have ATP points but what a championship this is this year.

  9. MM,



    I think Souza has had a standout season in Belgium and caught the eye. All the attributes of a modern Number 6 and has been pursused by Ajax (got their own vg number 6 and might sell later in the window), Fenerbahce and teams in Belgium and Holland. Wants a quick decision so we might steal a march rather than wait until the end of the window.



    Price has risen since and I suspect it’s probably landing at another 6-7m, which I’d much prefer to the ole endless £3.5m we use to buy but to no avail. A loan to buy would be ideal, so we can hedge our bets.



    We’ll see. McGregor is going nowhere and just voted POTY in Scotland. He’ll be pivotal for us and hopefully not flogged like the proverbial. A roaring Reo and 2 excellent others in Turnbull and O’Riley and we are in a very good place.




  10. EL @ 8.54



    Sherwood was a very complex programme / story.


    It was also a very good story with depth and some great performances.


    It is a story that needs to be discussed and understood by the generations born after 1984.



    It tried to show / explain / delve into the complexity of the situation in the Notts pits in 1984 — my takeaway was that the author probably had local rather than national sympathies but was trying to get the point across that they were being used by the establishment back in the day and that some thought that they were more clever than they actually were.



    Some worked it out but the story suggested that some were still clinging onto their delusions.



    Also here was comment about how they had been cast by the media / rest of the country as ex this / ex that and that nobody wanted to breakout of this constrained / negative narrative.



    Very telling conversation between the spycop team leader and his charges — they were to find the union hotheads and feed them ideas / storylines / propaganda until the snapped and did something reckless / dangerous / stupid.



    From the tragedies that came out of the Miner’s Strike they succeeded on a regular basis.



    Pebble in the pond time — the same tactics were used in the 6 counties during the Troubles.


    The early 90’s produced some strange local strategies regarding opposing the NI armed state.

  11. What a match on now.



    Wildcard Dutchman vs Novak Djokavic.



    Now at 1 set all

  12. Mad Mitch



    Agree re Sherwood.



    Really good compelling TV. Working at all levels.



    Lots to talk about and explain/ question with my kids (aged 29 and 26) and indeed my wife. All of whom have come into my life since 1984.



    I was a sales rep selling booze in a mining community (miners social clubs and other social clubs) from 84-86 so I recall the scenarios. I also recall the posturing and the Yuill and Dodds scab lorries going through our village.

  13. IniquitousIV on

    After their loss yesterday, Bodo now trailing league leaders Lillestrom by 11 points, with a game in hand.

  14. BW @ 9.27



    I have great admiration for CMcG in that he has improved and matured all throughout his career — even last season. He is a natural left sided AM with a bit of pace / trickery. His only regression has been his shooting which is neither as frequent or fruitful as it used to be.



    However I do not think that he should be a starter for us as he struggles as a CDM — can’t tackle and too often an attacking team just runs past him en masse. And I think that he does not have enough quality as a left sied AM to be a starter for us given the standards we are aiming for.



    If RH clicks next season — we move to a higher level.


    If we can get a new CDM of the quality of VW – we move to a higher level.


    If DT can find some energy / MO’R learns and matures — we move to a higher level.



    In this context there is no place for CMcG no matter his past or his SPL standing.



    VS — happy that it is going to be a loan.


    If he matches the performances of VW with us then happy to pay the £9mill.


    Another JNPF situation — he improves on our watch and then we have to pay the bill.


    At least we should have the money to pay for him.

  15. We are all impatient when it comes to getting players in.


    However since Nicholson & Ange took over there has been a dramatic improvement in the quality of players brought in, and it is quality more than Quantity that is important,


    I am confident there will be another 2 or 3 in and I imagine we will sell at least one of our first team squad, if the money is right.


    We need to give a few of our B Team a chance to impress & push for a regular place in first team squad. We also need to do a bit of a tidy up & move on Bolli, Ajeti & Soro. Either move on Jullien as well or else give him a bit of game time & make him earn his corn,


    Bhoys like Hatate & Guchi could & should contribute a lot more next year and I think Gio . Maeda & Kyogo will kick on as well.


    I honestly think we are on the verge of something special, cant wait for Season to kick off.

  16. MadMitch on 3rd July 2022 9:42 pm



    You are something else, I like you and yer Knowledge.



    Callum has been Incredible for Celtic, I’d have him further Forward but its to his Eternal credit he can play so well anywhere he is positioned.



    I get the Feeling Ange will play oor Capitano at his strongest position this coming Season.

  17. B78 @ 9.39



    You have punched bruise with Yuill and Dodds — every society has got them.


    Reptiles who will do their bit for establishment / their masters bidding for good money.


    The above comment relates to the owners — Maggie economics in Scotland produced enough casualties to provide a pool of drivers willing to hurt their fellow workers.



    1984 strike — it was 10 years in the planning.


    By the Tories and their establishment friends — in or out of power.


    They just bided their time and then put the plan into action.



    The long overtime ban in the run up caused a lot of problems for Team Tory.


    The coal stocks were lower than they had planned for.



    They were saved by the same trick used by the German Navy in WW1.


    Spraying oil onto coal to make up for a lack of quality then / quantity in 1984.



    Still trying to understand how they managed to groom the Notts miners?


    First attempt would be the Notts vs Yorks rivalry — Yorkshire being bigger and louder.



    The talk in the programme was that Nottinghamshire was the best / most modern pits.


    My thoughts were that the Selby complex was the future but it hit geological faults.



    It might be that people migrated to the Notts pits for the money and the “future”.


    More pliable / easier to manipulate / easier to lie to?

  18. Callum absolutey smashed it doon @ Notts County.



    His strike rate for a midfielder was Monumental.



    His shooting has been crap since playing the deeper role.



    Next Season.

  19. Meada needs to sort his first touch and finishing to be anywhere near devastating in Europe

  20. Brian f on 3rd July 2022 10:13 pm



    Meada needs to sort his first touch and finishing to be anywhere near devastating in Europe







    You are correct, We, Celtic, are gonnae Rock.



    Amazing isn’t it?

  21. B78 @ 9.14



    Politics before football for me so missed this post.



    Lord FM — he will do as many bluffs as he has to to get what he wants or more probably needs — you don’t generate his business career by playing it straight / not working on a plan in the background.



    DD is into arbitrage / right place right time — growth is secondary to him.


    Lord FM is into growth / developing competencies / working new markets.



    That skillset and outlook is what we need not waiting for an EPL Godot who will never come — the biggest issue for me is that are other ways to get into the EPL but they require patience . investment / planning and guess what DD isn’t into that for football and we are the losers for this level of inaction.



    DD dreams of the EPL.


    PL dreams of some sort of Euro League.


    Neither dreams of better football or winning anything.



    CEO comments — she has a name and probably a star in the right compass heading.


    If she doesn’t deliver she will go / if he finds someone better she will get a new badge and a bigger office somewhere in Eurocentral counting toilet rolls.



    QP with desire / plan for growth will be interesting.


    PT have a similar potential but they just don’t seem to have the drive.



    The talent / analytics / scouting guy is the thing that made me sit up.


    From memory he has had a good career in the front rank in Holland.


    If he delivers in Scotland then they will be flying.



    This was before I knew that OC was their manager.


    Big name with a bit of a track record for making things happen.


    Probably not long term EPL quality but still good for the SCh.


    Interesting to see what players they bring in this season.


    Gretna showed how easy it can be to make the SPL if you have a plan and focus.



    One thing is for sure I would be looking into who owns Cathkin Park?


    If they make it to the SPL then they are going to be needing a bigger stadium.


    Plan B could be Shawfield and that might start to cause us issues.



    All of this might be reading too much into a hobby horse of a very rich man but the analytics guy is either a PYG / Dome mix-up or it is a masterstroke.

  22. CC @ 9.43



    The B team cohort need at least a season of proper coaching / conditioning / tactics.


    We were phoning it in last season.

  23. bankiebhoy1 on 3rd July 2022 10:52 pm



    Dearie me…………..







    Stop it.