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. Ah, OK BRRB.



    I’ll turn the car around. Next time we should coordinate a wee meet up.



    Free digs here for you in Kentucky (and others) and my Looval lover can show your lady the best places to increase the credit card balance.



    $25 a beer in JFK?

  2. 2 hours from Nashville.



    4 hours from Chicago.



    Attic with Celtic TV.



    Just bring a single malt and you will be welcomed friends. 

  3. Hardly ever post but regular lurker. I know it’s been speculated as to the reasons why our transfer dealings have been uninspiring and slow but surely it’s no in-coincidence that things have changed for the worse since the last board room reshuffle. If PL has had anything to do with this he should be hunted now. The lowball offer reports are becoming all too common again, it’s a throw back to transfer dealings taking forever. I do hope that MN is being influenced by others. Also, it’s clear there is not as much harmony on the field, it’s being shown in Cal Macs performances of late. It’s got all the signs of falling asleep at the wheel again, it’s not a case of entitlement, it’s a case of the other mob are not as good as they think but from a position of strength we are dong nothing about it. We have the chance to continue to give them no oxygen but no we keep them alive!!!!, speaking from someone who had to endure the 90’s, that’s hard to take

  4. Good morning all from a lovely sunny, dry morning in the Garngad.



    Still no one signed.



    Still haggling over players the pedro way.



    D :)

  5. Good morning from a clearing North Wales





    I wish we’d haggled a bit more over Barkas and Ajeti



    Up the Vale

  6. Gene – True.



    Or McGinn and many others that have escaped through Pedro’s fingers.



    D :)

  7. It is very hard to understand what’s happening at Celtic in this transfer window, punts galore being brought in and form poor injuries and a new manager bringing a different approach.


    I hope it settles down and the next few days brings us the players in the positions we need them in , we really need to be a competitive team on Sunday they smell blood and will do everything to inflict damage on the team and club.

  8. D66


    You and I seem to have the same opinion on lawwell as far as the res12 and continuation myth is concerned but I don’t put our current lack of action in the transfer window (projects aside) down to him.

  9. A wee bit at stake tonight for our domestic rivals.



    A win means them getting into Pot 3 CL and a chance of a bit of energy from the CL but a stretch for their squad.



    A defeat could be bigger than they think. Not Pot 1 but Pot 2 Europa could mean a draw like Roma Brighton and Antwerp, or West Ham, Marsailles and Panathinikos or Arsenal, USG and Freiburg. Potential non qualification post Xmas and a load of Thursday night / Sunday game travel challenges.

  10. We seem to be classifying folk coming to Celtic as punts.



    No one, and I mean no one seems to be able to say who would be ‘over ready’ proven and risk free solutions who would come to a place like ours for £5-10m ?



    I would love to hear one suggestion from those being critical.



    From my perspective every signing is a punt. As Paul says we paid to dollar for supposed solutions in 2020 and none worked out. We paid a bit less in 2021 and many did.

  11. The signings rumours are , we’re getting a couple of last minute loans from Man City.



    In anticipation of the January transfer window , I’m going to take up scouting players , so as I can recommend them to Lawwell jnr, as he can’t do his fkn job.

  12. Good Morning folks- Grand Day To Be ATim



    SFtBs @ 3:58 PM,



    Lucky Cody



    “We brought in Rodgers and furnished him with 7 projects with none being first picks in an Ange team that needed reinforcements.”






    This myth is growing. None of these players are in any different position to Alistair Johnston, bought to fight for the RB slot with an Anthony Ralston who had been, back then, recently impressive. Johnston was given a chance and through a series of aggressive hard working performances nailed the slot as his own. He will need a challenge from a player better than Anthony Ralston to maintain or improve that level.



    Alistair Johnston was very much at first team level before he arrived



    We knew we may lose Jura in the January window and were proactive



    We had heard of AJ, he was an established Canadian International and looked good at the world cup



    Our manager had spoken to Alistair and was very impressed by his professionalism and great attitude, we have all seen what he meant



    We knew what Montreal wanted and got the deal done



    He came in, in a sleek and timely manner



    Jura was still with us, though recovering, Ralston was of course here but AJ got the nod for the New Year’s Derby at Ibrox



    He had a great debut and we can see why Brendan has been calling for physicality, aggression, quality and experience, key attributes



    AJ was No1 from the start, a huge contrast to the prospects we are filling the squad with this window



    Last week Alistair Johnston returned from injury and in his hour on the pitch looked among our best players



    He is the type of player we needed this window and struggled to secure, yet and time and time again Ange and the recruitment team were coming up trumphs only twenty months ago



    It was an excellent working model, Ange spent 45 mn on players, we have already recovered that outlay and still have many in the squad contributing



    Kyogo, Hatate, O’Riley, Abada, CCV, Meada, Hart etc etc



    The “model” didn’t need to change back…



    Yet we have gone backwards and the excuses won’t wash, Ange, with Dominic McKay, Micheal Nicholson etc showed how you add quality and value to a squad and how you run a transfer window



    Hail Hail

  13. So u want bloggers to be scouts what are the scouts doing then, Celtic are taking punts in the market with young players, they have extended some deals in the squad who are older callum kyogo and the younger daizen.


    This team in my opinion is crying out for experience and sometimes recruitment has to be flexible agile to meet that, our experience at the back is hart Johnston and ralston where are we going with that?

  14. If we’re still interested in Podence, I can see Hatate going the other way,Wolves lost Neves to Saudi,and another MF has went on strike trying to force a move to Man City….

  15. Curious who folk think brought Ange to Celtic ?



    Was they such a disaster ?



    Or is someone only ‘on the building’ when a blame figure is needed ?



    This place is so funny.



    Everyone would love us to sign 3 or 4 £10m players who would be 100% guaranteed to help Brendan do his job and at least win us trophies in his more laborious style.



    Sadly these folks simply don’t exist. We are not at the theatre watching the Celtic story where happy outcomes are assured.



    Any really top players go for really top money to top leagues. Any below that will either play for really top clubs in their second string like league cup last night in England. Any below that will try to put themselves in a shop window in a decent league like Germany France or Holland or Portugal.



    Only last chance saloon types (eg Joe Hart), or really ambitious players who are not getting games (eg O Riley) or very early stage recruitment such as Jota will come here. There are few Starfelts (Russia quirk) around. All of these come with risk. No super scouting system will change these dynamics. I know next to nothing about global football but can see this but I am at a complete loss why other experts on here cannot.



    Maybe this stuff is easy and we simply introduce the Lawwell clause and ensure all signings come with league and cup winning guarantees.

  16. Morning bhoys,



    Another day of panicking transfer gurus on here?



    Or big grown ups with big bhoy pants on?.



    Exciting couple of days ahead.



    Iwatta for Sunday.




  17. The day may come when the money men will come for Celtic and Sevco.


    Men who will initially turn a blind eye to profit and loss .


    Men who will have so much money that making large losses won’t matter.


    The short term losses will be needed to create change .


    Change to UEFA’s competition rules ,format and geographical borders .



    Is that what is happening in Saudi Arabia just now ?



    What is the goal for the Saudis?



    Is it access to the champions league ?



    If Sevco were to accept these new riches would Dermot ?



    All far fetched thoughts at the moment .



    But the seeds for serious change are being sown just now .



    Celtic should be in Saudi right now talking to the movers and sheikers.




  18. Tim Malone Will Tell on

    People conveniently have short memories.


    CCV was derided by very many on this blog as not being “Champions League Class” given that Spurs had loaned him out to various English Championship clubs for a few seasons – and the reaction to Jota was “project” – both of them were signed at the last knockings two years ago.



    We may be finding out the hard way that “Champions League Class” is beyond our reach financially and emotionally (nobody established wants to play in Scotland) so “punts and projects” might be the reality – even if we have CL qualification already sewn up.



    I know that there is a sense of panic that Sevco might not be far behind given that they have got in early with their “journeymen picks” – but we need to wait a few weeks to see how this will pan out. The best recent signings for Celtic (both players and managers) have always been those “on the way up” with something to prove – that’s the one thing that concerns me about Brendan Rodgers return if I am being honest with myself.

  19. GENE @ 9:08 AM,



    Probably a couple of loanees before the deadline



    We used to dream about a couple of loanees on deadline day….



    Hail Hail

  20. bournesouprecipe on

    Shame for wee Karamoko Dembele, the Celtic wonder kid label is a heavy burden, and not an easy shift it seems. One start in Ligue 1, would suggest the 20 year old was nowhere near our team, you’ve got to wonder what if had Ange been able to get the player to sign that new contract.



    Apparently he’s being offered on loan to Blackpool. A talented bhoy in a game that. needs more than that, and surely another example of money not being everything,

  21. We are at the ‘nobody wants to play in Scotland’ stage now I see……



    It’s been a long, long summer on here…..







  22. BSR


    Ligue 1 is a step up from the Spl – thought he would have been able to progress without the clogging – but hey ho

  23. paulsthroughball88 on

    BURNLEY78 on 30TH AUGUST 2023 8:11 AM



    ‘A wee bit at stake tonight for our domestic rivals.”





    With an eye to Sunday, I’m hoping for a pre- match downpour. Then, on a heavy pitch, Sevco to take an early lead, but shortly after be reduced to 10 men, forcing them to chase a PSV team with 95% possession for the rest of the night, dominance that doesn’t result in a goal until the 14th minute of added time, leading to another exhausting 39 minutes of play, which produces no scoring, resulting in the longest -ever penalty shoot-out in CL qualifying match history, with the Dutch side scoring the winning penalty via both posts shortly before midnight.



    Could be rough on the old nerves though, I’ll give you that.

  24. bournesouprecipe on




    It was a step up for sure.



    But seeing him on in the flesh at Parkhead he was nowhere near ‘oven ready ‘for the Celtic team.

  25. big wavy on 30th August 2023 9:54 am



    We are at the ‘nobody wants to play in Scotland’ stage now I see……






    Sadly, unless you offer them two contracts, established players don’t.