Our infamous summer of 2020


Whatever plans Celtic had for the summer of 2020, the pandemic and a 6’ 7” goalkeeper put paid to them.  Fraser Forster spent the previous season performing miracles for Celtic on loan from Southampton.  Both were keen to extend his stay, so much so that Fraser’s pal and understudy, Craig Gordon, accepted lesser terms from Hearts than were on offer from Celtic to get some football.

A week after Craig left, Southampton gave Celtic the green light on a fresh loan, but on taking the call, Fraser about turned, he had heard of interest from Chelsea and wanted to pursue that option to a conclusion.

Without two keepers, and with a ban on international travel, Celtic had to go to market for a replacement without the ability to watch players.  The list came down to the best from the Scottish market, or theimpressive AEK Athens keeper when they eliminated us from the Champions League qualifiers two years earlier.  The Є5m plus wages spent on Vasilis Barkas will remain a lesson for years to come.

Fresh from a domestic crisis, Shane Duffy arrived on loan from Brighton.  The Celtic supporter suffered a torrid time alone in Glasgow that spilled into his play.

We needed a striker and money was available with two options under consideration: Peterborough’s Ivan Toney, or West Ham’s Albian Ajeti.  Toney was banging them in, in the English third tier, whereas Ajeti had just spent a wasted year at West Ham.  Ajeti, though, was a full Swiss international, who got the move to West Ham on the back of two great seasons at Basel, where he had also gained Champions League experience.

Albian was the man the manager and scouts all wanted, a rare unanimous nomination, they were delighted to get his signature.  How you can score 26 in 32 starts for Basel, then do nothing for four years between spells at West Ham, Celtic and on loan at Sturn Graz, is another red flag.  Toney became a sensation in the EPL and a full England international.  He is currently serving an 11 month ban from the game for betting transgressions.  Red flags, eh?

With Ajeti is set to leave for Turkish football this week, the lessons from him, Duffy and Barkas, not to mention Forster and Toney, paint a picture of the many pitfalls in the sport.  It’s only easy on paper, once the whistle goes, normal rules are off.  Maybe we should stick to players Benfica are prepared to cut loose after one league start.

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  1. Prestonpans bhoys on




    Popped over to the celtic blog for a look, below is a fair comment from him, caveat if it’s not his recommendation.



    “Don’t get any ideas that this guy is some kind of battering ram either; he’s 5’8 which is a clear sign that this is some Celtic scouting department recommendation and not someone the manager has identified to fit his style of play.



    The manager wants pace and power. Does a 5’8 forward suggest those things?”

  2. St. Tam’s



    “Alistair Johnston was a Canadian international who played at the world cup.



    To say he was brought in to challenge Ralston, is laughable. He was brought in to be no1, right back.”





    A Canadian Internationalist you say?? Like Scott Arfield? David Wotherspoon?? Victor Loturi at Ross County?



    Their national squad has players from the MSL, Chaves of Portugal, Korona Kilce of Poland, Rosenborg, Basel and Tijuana in Mexico



    They have one superstar in Alphonso Davies of Bayern and a very good player in Jonathan David of Lille.



    Canadian standards are improving and they are now 43rd in the world with Norway at 44th. yet Al Johnston was a ready made starter and young Odin Holm is a project/ will never make it?



    Just look back and see what we were saying about him when he arrived.

  3. “The manager wants pace and power”



    Not on the wings he doesnt. Only last week he was saying we need wingers like Yang.

  4. bournesouprecipe on

    Never bothered me when Juranovic was replaced with a better player before he’d even left.

  5. bournesouprecipe on

    🎵Oh send for McGrory



    Oh send for McGrory 🎵



    ( To the tune of Erin’s Green Valleys )

  6. I do understand the better class of player not wanting to come to Celtic, aye we have CL football, but and always the but, apart from say a handful of games, we play against ten men behind the ball and on carpets, throw in no protection for the cheats with the whistles, it’s no wonder scotland is way down their list.


    Now this is where the PLC should come to the fore, they are money men, it’s all they really care about, yet they do nothing, zilch, nada to try and bring the game into the modern age, they need cleared out and a new younger hungrier breed of director brought in.


    The days of lying to supporters should be consigned to the bin.


    FC not PLC



    🎵Oh send for McGrory



    as is my want, I prefer looking at our history rather than sitting fretting over who is coming in and what height , weight, hair colour and if they have any tattoos,



    so the wonderful shamrock article about Glengarry that AT linked, led me onto another about McGrory, which in turn had me looking at the great mans family tree of Ancestry.



    His acheivements in the game, just the goals scored, are incredible.



    But if only he had been six feet 2, then he could have been an all time great and not a barely unknown footnote due to his lack of height.






    I want to find this somewhere on the timternet – as the National Archive is not open to Joe O’Public.



    Arthur Montford interview with ex-Celtic player and manager Jimmy McGrory in his home – McGrory talks about his early career with St. Roch’s and Celtic, the ‘more individual’ players of his era including Patsy Gallacher, Tommy Cairns, different style of game, slower-paced, terms of employment for professional players, wages and playing bonuses, £10 bonus for winning a cup final, players not allowed to drive cars (12.13) Montford asks about his reputation as a goalscorer – McGrory talks about greater desperation to get results, main competition from Rangers, Hearts, Aberdeen and Hibs (14.04) BW Pathe Gazette archive footage of 1930 Scottish Cup final at Hampden, McGrory talks about his scoring from headers (15.17) Montford asks about McGrory’s eight goals in game against Dunfermline in 1928 – McGrory talks about modern players and tactics compared with older methods, experience of moving into management with Kilmarnock then at Celtic – McGrory talks about other good players of his time, including Jimmy Delaney, Charlie Tully, Bertie Peacock, and about changes in Celtic’s playing style to the present, working relationship with chairman Sir Robert Kelly, how players of his era would adapt to the modern game – McGrory names the best player of his era, Patsy Gallacher (22.21) blank and countdown leader (22.39)




  8. THE EXILED TIM on 29TH AUGUST 2023 6:14 PM



    The Directors cannot be “cleared out”



    They are the defacto owners of the Celtic PLC.



    They have to be bought out



    We swopped old family dynasties of White and Kelly for Desmond and Traynor.



    They are not going anywhere anytime soon.



    Accept it,

  9. garygillespieshamstring on





    I agree with what you say as regards the comment in James’ blog.



    I was more focussed on the contrast that one commentator’s low ball offer was someone else’s crazy money being offered for the same player.



    Hopefully they are both wrong and we have made a decent offer for a player who is of standard where goes on to be a success for us.




  10. SS


    No I won’t accept it, I will highlight their shortcomings whenever I can, esp their lying, if your happy to accept that, then with respect you are part of the problem.


    The game in scotland deserves to be brought into 2023.

  11. No I am not part of the problem, i recogonise that me, you, the 60,000 who attend matches, and the millions worldwide can do nothing to affect a change.



    The club/plc belongs to them.



    Calling out their shortcomings matters not a jot.



    They won, the rebels didnt.

  12. bournesouprecipe on

    St Stivs



    Nice linkage.



    The CQN purpose of keeping heights in metres isn’t an accident, it catches the sizeist Celtic supporters completely off guard.



    For example Daniel Podence is 1.65 metres but only 5ft 5in?



    Anybody over 6ft that signs for Celtic will be known as “ a big lump of wid “ as soon as he misses his first sitter.



    For proof see Oh hyeon-gyu who is BTW 1.85M

  13. Shoart arses eleven –



    1. Ronnie Simpson – 5 feet 10. (john thompson was only 5ft 9 and god bless him)


    2. Danny McGrain – 5 feet 10. (Frimpers modern day 5 feet 7)


    3. Emelio – 5 feet 9 (suprises me)


    4. Bobby Evans – 5FT 8.


    5. James Kelly – 5 feet 7, i mean a centre half old school


    6. Bobby Collins – 5 feeet 4.


    7. Jinky – 5 feet 3 inches. everyone one wrapped in copper topped genius.


    8. Kenny Dalglish – 5 feet 8.


    9. Dixie Deans – 5 feet 6.


    10. James Edward – 5 feet 8.


    11. Patsy – 5 feet 7.



    having said all that you couldnt play them al together they would not be able to defend corners or take a shy.

  14. Come home Jota onthewing….we weren’t doing anything with the money anyway.



    Thanks for the McGrory interview St Stivs. Not long past it was St Roch/San Roque Feast Day 16 August.

  15. bournesouprecipe on 29th August 2023 4:04 pm



    I beg your pardon I never promised you a Kvistgaarden






    Bob, he is the Funniest ever on WILTY. Is he cheating? I hope he isnae and I certainly don’t think he is. And I dinnae think he is, I can get he makes certain Memorable names so he can Remember them






    I know we will be working our nuts off on the training field this week.



    We really need to get up 2 speed ASAP.

  16. Snake Plissken on

    An awful lot of players being linked.



    The Dane is too expensive considering he has scored almost no goals.


    The Portuguese player will be a good decision.


    Pierre’s kid? Good idea. Jordan Larsson would have ben too IMHO.



    Left back and CB needed.

  17. RIMTIMTIM on 29TH AUGUST 2023 7:07 PM


    Come home Jota onthewing….we weren’t doing anything with the money anyway.







    Thanks for the McGrory interview St Stivs. Not long past it was St Roch/San Roque Feast Day 16 August.






    There cannot be many players who won a Junior Cup scoring in the final before coming to Celtic, as he did in 1922. The club was just 2 years formed, Jimmy was just 16.



    The bhoy in the picture.







    brilliant, ta for that.



    Your post about visiting the grave in the bronx.



    It struck a cord that either a founding father or an early player is buried somewher around new yourk, need to get the thinking cap on and go search.



    Not forgetting , seldom posting recently, but Melbourne Mick has a mission from me to go find the founders grave out there, i will need to go find the thread again.




  19. One of my favourite Celtic images, it just screams at me, history, threads, from the very first match right up till 1982, all in the one picture – how many celtic games did they play, manage, score, witness, how many collective trophies, and how many together .



    and the old front door.



    and lifes spanning over 100 years from even before the club was born.




  20. Kviistgarten,9 goals in 53 games,and rumours that Brendan wanted him,!!!.Overpriced at our offer of alleged 4 million.We ripped the pish out the scum for those kinds of strikers.

  21. bigrailroadblues on

    St Stivs


    Charlie Gorevin is buried in Holy Cross cemetery, Brooklyn. My cousin Frank has been to the grave several times.

  22. TURKEYBHOY on 29TH AUGUST 2023 1:03 PM



    Reports were circulating at the time that signing Ajeti was a huge gamble. I was told the rumours came from West Ham sources. That is why I wondered if Paul 67 had heard similar.



    The rumours were nowhere near as dramatic as the quote by Frank McAvennie that the current West Ham manager never even knew who he was. .David Moyes did not sign Ajeti.



    I could understand the philosophy of a loan deal that was arranged, but then jumping in with a 4 year permanent deal on mega bucks wages by Scottish standards was a huge uncaluclated gamble and subsequent costly mistake. Especially since the player didn’t really want to come in the first place.



    Rumours are rumours, but they often are correct. I have heard this story many times from various avenues.






    St Stivs





    Charlie Gorevin is buried in Holy Cross cemetery, Brooklyn. My cousin Frank has been to the grave several times.






    your some man, did you tell me that before and my raddled heat forgotten to join the dots, you did dint you.