Lessons to learn from Pukki mistake


Teemu Pukki’s permanent move to Brondby for a reported £500k is good business for a player who never came close to commanding a regular starting place at Celtic.  While we did well exiting him from Celtic Park but his arrival two years ago is worthy of review.

He came from Schalke as a 23-year-old, having been at Sevilla as a teenager and scoring slightly better than one in two in Finland.  Even his Schalke stats were decent, 8 goals in 7 starts and 30 appearances from the bench, which for a sparingly used young player is around the mark expected.  On paper, Teemu looked a good fit for us, so do we have anything to learn?

For a start, being able to score goals in the Bundesliga does not guarantee you will be able to translate this into an even better scoring rate in Scotland.  We have made similar mistakes when recruiting strikers from Spain in recent seasons.  For all our lack of financial clout, delivering in Scotland is not an easy task.

There is a whole world of potential issues around psychology, motivation and appetite, which I regularly hear cited about players from people in the game.  For the most part, I reckon these are excuses to bridge the unexplained gap between expectation and outcome.  You get the odd indulgent nutcase, but most players have an overwhelming sense of their need to maximise their commercial value by delivering on the park.  I suspect Teemu is no different.

Whatever the reason behind him not fitting at Celtic, the exercise cost us not only the £1.5m net loss on transfer fees, and wages paid, but more importantly the failure to kick on from reaching the last 16 of the Champions League in season 2012-13.

There’s a truth in the game which has stood the test of time: only people who watch a player week-in-week-out know his true value.  Schalke fans would have told us things about Teemu which we can tell others about John Guidetti.  John will pick up a club keen to exploit his untapped potential.  A year from now they will be a little wiser.

Our lesson: scouting is the only important part of recruitment, stats, references and YouTube clips don’t count.

Our friends at Magners have offered us two of the new Celtic away jerseys.  It’s another fantastic offer from Celtic’s main sponsor, my thanks to them.  In order to win, answer the following question:

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  1. An Tearmann mhan on




    enjoy your holidays with the family



    does that mean am burnin the nosh the morra? :-)




  2. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Richie is an expert cook also



    Enjoy tomorrow








    Yer Dad will be proud of yer podium-chasing!



    You a likely lad for the Ayrshire Tims AGM next month?



    You can bring the average age down a bit-it’s either that,or I invite BHOYLO and his big buddy Aiden along.

  4. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    MacJay and Bobby Murdoch’s Curled Up Winklepickers



    Thanks for your earlier posts ghuys. Made me laugh. I’ll certainly not be running bear (barish, maybe) and as for the budgie smugglers (love that advert) no way Jose! :-))

  5. Captain Beefheart on

    Poor SydneyTim is still seething about the Pukki signing. Well, he did warn us.



    Mystifies me. We have made some really intelligent signings except for upfront. Why?

  6. @celticfc: Celtic will work closely with the broadcasters to ensure as many home Saturday games as possible this season (SC)



    Sure they will…….not




  7. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    We’re living in a Generation of unexplained gap between expectation and outcome.

  8. Delaneys Dunky on

    Liking all these Saturday 3pm kick offs. Need to progress to the CL group to maintain them. Though no doubt TV will have a say in switching dates/ kick off times.





    Celtic can do their bit by maximising our chances of qualifying for the group stages of the CL.



    I live in hope that they do. As do many season-ticket holders,near and far.



    To be fair,I think PL holds Ronny’s ambitions in decent regard. So fingers crossed.

  10. Celtic Football Club ‏@celticfc · 29m29 minutes ago


    Saturdays are back! Great news for all Celtic fans with 15 out of 16 home Premiership fixtures scheduled for Saturday afternoons (SC)



    We’ll see CSC

  11. lymmbhoy



    Hopefully the saturday fixtures remain that way, i think a lot will also be dependant on if we get European cup or Europa league for fixture changes.



    I hope the club sticks to it so more fans are compelled to head through the gates and not have lots of changes.

  12. An Tearmann mhan on

    Harry Boe



    how are you since your huddle atop The Ben last week?


    well done.







    Did you see my Dad’s wicked attempt at winning a KANO polo shirt at your expense?



    Had to laugh. An e-lite version of a doobie,hmmmmm…..

  14. DD,


    Yep TV will spoil a lot of travel plans, I’m surprised the SPFL don’t simply had over the fixtures list draw with the home teams to sky and let them identify dates and times to publish, it would at least allow our far flung supporters to plan travel arrangements with a bit more accuracy.

  15. mike in toronto on

    Lloyd Cole show last night was superb …. low key, but terrific.



    And Leon Bridges is coming (home) to Toronto again ….



    but, on to more important business ….



    looks like we will be in Ireland/Scotland for the last week of September/beginning of October … probably will miss the home game with hearts on September 26, so the only other game while we are there will be away to Hamilton on October 3 …. (or a Euro game if we make it) …. what are the chances of getting a ticket away to Hamilton? Or, would I be better to try rejig the trip to see the Hearts game (although, that could be difficult with flight times, etc)?



    Thanks in advance for any input lads.

  16. kikinthenakas on

    Pukki…was a bad fir from the start and seemed liked a rushed signing…he looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights from day one and seemed to have little self confidence. The John Park method of recruitment by using stats and videos has cost us big time for a long time.


    Ronny seems to know the market reasonably well..Berget apart..and I hope that he tells the CEO who he wants and it’s then discussed if it’s possible re finances.


    Watching any player over a period gives you and idea..my son superimposed my head on maradona and I would look great on YouTube.


    Looking forward to the new season with some optimism but the qualifiers always throw up major problems for us.




  17. Afternoon Timland from a vey hot hun free mountain valley.






    A wee tear watching that :-)








    Aye Paul, scouting is the key, pity the scouting dept have made so many mistakes the past few years.



    Thankfully it looks like our new coach is taking a more pro active role in the scouting and recruiting these days.




  18. Son of Gabriel on








    I’ll be getting an earful for that, I’m meant to be in podium chasing rehab!



    I’m a tim on his travels for some of next moth but if I’m free there could be an appearance with the thoughts of alcohol and banter ever on my mind!




    Ps, second place doesn’t suit me as much as first

  19. An Tearmann mhan on

    Delaneys Dunky


    12:36 on


    19 June, 2015


    Liking all these Saturday 3pm kick offs. Need to progress to the CL group to maintain them. Though no doubt TV will have a say in switching dates/ kick off times.



    heh DD do you think that might be an unexpected debut in the SPFL for your relation?



    eh,hope so mate :-)




  20. For every Johannsen,van dijk and Gordon there are 10 pukki’s, balde’s and borrigter’s I’m afraid, it’s hard picking the winners all the time. HH

  21. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ..P.M Saturday kick offs.



    All the Engerlund PL fixtures are currently listed as being at 3 pip emma.

  22. Just had a look at the fixtures, where are the games v huns? Ohh, that’s right, I remember now. Lol

  23. leftclicktic



    12:41 on 19 June, 2015


    Celtic Football Club ‏@celticfc · 29m29 minutes ago


    Saturdays are back! Great news for all Celtic fans with 15 out of 16 home Premiership fixtures scheduled for Saturday afternoons (SC)




    You can guarantee that the first game at CP will be moved.

  24. Wow the world is full of irony. Or is it cognitive dissonance?



    Or is it ironic cognitive dissonance.



    Lets start with Paul’s article. Getting 500K for Pukki is good business? Even the MSM would blush at that when discussing hun transfer fees – but at least you then discuss lessons learnt.



    But perhaps even more ironic is your conclusion that:



    “scouting is the only important part of recruitment, stats, references and YouTube clips don’t count”



    I actually agree with the conclusion but isnt the much vaunted moneyball all about stats?In an article earlier in the week you were espousing how accepted moneyball was (though I dont think it is) – now you are saying stats count for nothing.



    Wow, ironic cognitive dissonance in action…..



    Speaking of which are Celtics claims of Saturday games being, ahem “back”.



    Not a hint of irony in that. Ignoring the fact that it was Celtic who moved most of the saturday games last year either through the desire for a holiday or to make some money from friendlies or through the Europa participation, its breathtaking that Celtic now espouse them as back, before the telly companies have their say and change it all and before we know if we are back in the Europa again!!



    Its almost as if all they want to do is sell Season Tickets so they will say anything to us to encourage that (even tell wee white lies)……..

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