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Jozo and what we can learn from Shaun Maloney

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Shaun Maloney was 24-years-old when he left Celtic for the first time.  By then he was already known for both his talent and his susceptibility to injury.  We accepted a £1m bid from Aston Villa for a player few of us thought would remain fit enough to make an impact in his career.

He retired 10 years later, having won an FA Cup and established his credentials in English football, although his play was regularly punctuated by various ailments.

Jozo Simunovic is currently a year older than Shaun was when he first left Celtic with a comparable injury record.  He faces a small operation on his knee, which will hopefully see him return to action soon, but the harsh reality is that the remainder of his career is likely to be interrupted by spells on the treatment table.

I had difficulty believing rumours of interest in Jozo this summer for around £7m.  When fit, he is worth that and more, but even Oldco’s knee specialist would fail Jozo at a fitness test.

I like the player.  He is attentive, seeing movement before it becomes a danger and he is comfortable on the ball, seldom making mistakes.  Despite regularly lacking games or training, he is never out of shape and manages to return to the team sharp and ready for action.

He has 21 months left on his contract, and there can be little doubt that a bid in the region of £7m would be accepted, but that’s not going to happen.  I would persevere with him and offer a new contract.

There is every possibility that his career will extend for another nine years, as Shaun’s did.  Jozo is not going to attract a contract that his ability would command on another frame, but there will hopefully be many years of value from him.

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  1. As an aside I agree with Article. Love Jozo as a player, we just have to accept that he will miss quite a few games every season & cater for that in our planning,

  2. ANGELGABRIEL

     

     

    Great post yesterday!

     

     

    Wee prayer said for your good lady and you!

     

     

    Take care!

  3. James Forrest is someone who seemed to never leave treatment room. Looks to have outgrown the weaknesses in his body to become one of our most important players.

  4. Good Morning Philbhoy, We will be like the Walton’s here soon exchanging niceties just to keep the number of posts respectable.

  5. For me the contractual qn with jozo is more to do with his squad status, for me he really is backup no. 1 (when fit) but between plastic pitches and injuries I’d say we’d be lucky if his availability was 60%, u can’t be 1 of a first choice pair with that, then there’s the nir qn, how’s his availability going to be over next 3/4 years of a contract if he is also considered backup defender, are we going to offer both contracts and line up a possible replacement for ajer within nxt year or 2 or try and tie him down too? Say we do, we’ve got left side covered (hopefully) unfortunate that neither can play in middle to my knowledge).. 2 first choice cbs in julien n kris, then 2 cb backups and poss our right back as further backup….

  6. BELFASTBHOY0 on 17TH SEPTEMBER 2019 12:33 PM

     

     

    Great point. If JS is back up number 1 and El Hamed can cover centre back too then it we don’t really need Nir. I know he has been decent as a utility man at the start of this season. I would be inclined to let him go and use the wages (which will reasonably high) elsewhere.

  7. Is the vital celtic website run by celtic supporters?

     

    It would be good if we knew which sites are run by celtic people.

     

    Wouldn’t want to give 1 penny to anyone else.

  8. That is the reality of it BelfastBhoyo,. Lee O’Connor has played centre half OK but he is a bit small for that role and I could only see him used there in an absolute emergency.

     

    So for the next few weeks it is Julien & Kris with Elhamed as back up.

     

    Let’s hope the 3 of them stay injury free.

  9. Niallo, as u say also down to what he wants and can get elsewhere, not sure the ‘backup squad player’ wage structure would suit either to be honest but if it suits all parties, having 2 back 4s for the 2 games a week periods might help the injuries

  10. Paul67 – “the harsh reality is that the remainder of his career is likely to be interrupted by spells on the treatment table”.

     

     

    Paul67 – “I would persevere with him and offer a new contract”

     

     

    Deep cognitive dissonance there Paul. I’d sell or run down the contract and get one with a greater chance of playing more games.

  11. Big Wavy, I think Paul’s point is, if we were offered decent money sell & replace but if contract runs out a 60% availability of Jozo may be worth hanging on to. When he is available he is a top centre half.

  12. Lee O’Connor & Jonathon Afolabi start for Development side in a closed door game against Hibs this afternoon.,

     

     

    Arzani on bench

     

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    Luca out with thigh strain, no sign of Frimpong or Kouassi and no Karamoko.

     

     

    Karamoko has been injured but was supposed to be close to a return, but doesn’t feature in today’s squad

  13. BOURNESOUPRECIPE on 17TH SEPTEMBER 2019 1:25 PM

     

    Paul67

     

     

    “ I’d drive him to the airport masell for £7M “

     

    ================

     

     

    BGFC here

     

     

    That’s some taxi fare ….

     

     

    HH

     

    BGFC

  14. See fur 7 million a wid drive anybody tae the airport…🚗🛫😆😋

     

     

    Whit …I don’t get tae keep the money ?

     

    On yer 🏍

  15. When Shaun went to Wigan, he had to go on a bulking up regime for 9 months or so.

     

     

    After it, he looked like a rugby scrum half and had a couple of great seasons for them.

     

     

    In fact, one English journalist described him as ‘Easily the best player in the bottom 6’ which is more of a compliment than it sounds.

     

     

    However, Celtic’s training methods at that time mustn’t have been up to much.

  16. Half Time in Bounce game, Hibs lead one nil. Calvin Miller gone off injured, going on updates Afolabi seems to be doing well.

  17. CorkCelt

     

     

    Thanks fella. I don;t get Paul’s point. We can’t dictate Jozos timing. It can come when we have another CH injured and because we have reserved him a back-up slot we’re in dire straits.

     

     

    As said, I’d prefer that slot given to a more durable individual with less injury problems.

     

     

    Feels like really bad asset management.

  18. BIG WAVY on 17TH SEPTEMBER 2019 2:49 PM

     

    CorkCelt

     

     

    Thanks fella. I don;t get Paul’s point. We can’t dictate Jozos timing. It can come when we have another CH injured and because we have reserved him a back-up slot we’re in dire straits.

     

     

    As said, I’d prefer that slot given to a more durable individual with less injury problems.

     

     

    Feels like really bad asset management.

     

     

    ___

     

     

    I think his point is that, generally, if you are willing to accept and plan for the fact he won’t play 40+ games every season (Jozo has played 30, 30 & 33 times in the last 3 years) you will be able to have a really good quality of player in the squad and keep him longer.

     

     

    If Jozo could play 30 games a year for the next 3 or 4 years it’d be worth keeping him around as CB number 3.

  19. ‘We demand the right to deny other marchers the right to march’

     

     

     

     

     

     

    OO csc

     

     

    Made me laugh there…😆

  20. I think his point is that, generally, if you are willing to accept and plan for the fact he won’t play 40+ games every season (Jozo has played 30, 30 & 33 times in the last 3 years) you will be able to have a really good quality of player in the squad and keep him longer.

     

    If Jozo could play 30 games a year for the next 3 or 4 years it’d be worth keeping him around as CB number 3.

     

     

    __________________________________________________________________________

     

    Those are incredible stats, if pushed I would have said that he probably played no more than 12 or so games in each of the last three seasons, if you don’t expect to see someone play and expect him to be injured then the facts get in the way!

  21. Just back from young Jack’s funeral – such a sad occasion – church was overflowing. Lovely tributes from his mates and a beautiful violin solo.

     

    Thanks again to everyone who prayed for the repose of his soul.

     

     

    RIP Jack

  22. Good to see Arzani get a bit of game time today with Development Team, he could have a part to play this season yet.

     

    With Champions League kicking off in a little over 2 hours, I’m starting to focus on Rennes game, I think the Keeper Forster & back 4 of Elhamed, Julien, Ajer & Boli are nailed on starters barring injury, plus Brown, Christie,Forrest & Eduoard . CalMac will most probably start but the Bhoy is beginning to wilt under the incredible number of games he has played.

     

    With the game in France & an obvious incentive for our French contingent to put down a marker, I think Lenny should start N’tcham & rest CalMac,

     

    The game may have come too soon for Rogic to start but I think he will have a part to play along with Elyounoussi .

  23. CORKCELT,

     

     

    I agree with you about Calmac. He needs to be wrapped in cotton wool. He has been over played over the last couple of seasons. Imo, an on-song Calmac is the most important player in the team.

     

     

    The Rennes game should see Ntcham starting.

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