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. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Evans on a short term deal, six months or a year?



    Could live with that.

  2. garygillespieshamstring on

    St Stivs



    Wouldn’t be the first or last time the press stitched up a Celtic player either.

  3. Brenda was a mistype by me – no attempted slur.


    I genuinely thought BR was a trade-up on Ange, who I lobbied for b4 he joined.

  4. garygillespieshamstring on

    Continuing the defenders with contraceptive connections, I give you Ronnie Coyle and Virgil Van Dyke.



    Virgil makes the cut as he is a Dutch cap.



    I’ll get my coat.

  5. Today’s leader is a poor reflection on our club epitomised by Ajeti and Barkas signings.


    Ajeti was a journeyman in Switzerland / Germany before 1.5 decent seasons got him a move to West Ham and then Celtic where he went back to being a journeyman, albeit a handsomely rewarded one. He then went to Austria and did zilch and is no doubt destined to do the same elsewhere.


    As for Barkas, why on earth was Craig Gordon allowed to leave before Forster put pen to paper. Its pretty basic risk aversion and if the Celtic leadership team hadn’t sussed that verbal agreements in football are worthless, they should have been dismissed for gross incompetence.


    I keep reading stuff about out how much more professional Celtic’s recruitment is, but compared to when, 2020?


    IMHO our best recruitment strike rate is when we sign guys that the manager has an inside track on – managed previously, played against etc. When we move away from that model for every CCV or Jota there are four or five Soro, Haksabanovic, Abilgaard, Banguras etc.


    I don’t envy BR being handed a culturally diverse group of projects and having to shape them into some sort of cohesive unit over the next 2/3 weeks.


    Hope I am wrong, but it doesn’t feel like we are set up for success.

  6. CELTIC40ME on 29TH AUGUST 2023 10:38 PM


    PSG winger and Celtic tormenter Julian Durexler?




  7. Dexter P. Bampot on

    Rumours- of course rumours- about this Benfica midfielder. If he is incoming surely DT might look elsewhere?



    I am convinced Holm will be a player for us.



    If Palma incoming where does that leave Yang? He has looked good Tbf.



    Still no sign of a LB, keeper or CB but sure isn’t that always the way?



    Any word on Tillio? I’m already getting the feeling he’ll be another one going out on loan when fit

  8. Prestonpans bhoys on

    From DR



    Hibs have reportedly sounded out Neil Lennon over a return to Easter Road



    Really !?!

  9. Prestonpans re Evans…



    Bada linked us to Wolves LB Jonny


    I made some condom wisecracks about 2 jonnys…



    Innocent but misleading.




  10. Dunno PB



    If Ten Haag thinks he can cover ManU defensive gaps, chances are he could do same for ours – esp a bit of experience for Euro ties

  11. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    My daughter is a Fleetwood Mac fan and has the volume turned up in her bedroom.

  12. Still reckon we’ll have some starters in before window ‘slams’ shut.



    Reading back I wonder how some folks sleep at night.

  13. Rest of you might want to leave while BRRB and I handle his new found New York gangsta attitude.



    If I get in my wee Subaru I can be there in the morning with the Kentucky troops.



    Had to endure a Masonic conference this week in Louisville. Posted a few videos of me online shouting at them. My language was a little too colourful for CQN but bhoy did I have fun.

  14. BRRB



    In car and driving your way with my obligatory ‘merican AK47.



    Get the drinks in.



    Where are you tonight? Had many a good night in a friendly bar up there.

  15. OK.



    For clarity. I was not at conference of said Masonic bar stewards but they had their annual “Scottish Rites” conference in Louisville this week. Sent AT some videos of me shouting at the wee clowns.



    Made for a solid happy hour today!