Rebuild job, resources and appetite


Newco scored from a free kick they won after 67 seconds, but even at that early stage, the pattern of the game was already evident.  When the home team pressed, they pressed together, and Celtic were unable to pass through them.

Week after week, we bemoan playing against teams who refused to come out, then when given the opportunity, we cannot pick a pass through a press.  It is clear the recruitment job for next season needs to replace Boyata, Benkovic (probably), Lustig (whether he actually goes or not) and Dembele, but the mix is not right in central midfield.

If yesterday was a Champions League qualifier, we would have the luxury of blaming whatever financial, recruitment advantage, or more competitive league our opponents had over us that enabled them to close us down so comfortably.  The reality is we were mugged by an average team and if we go into the qualifiers with the same central mid, we can expect the same outcome as we experienced against AEK in August.

I am fond of all our central midfielders, including Olivier Ntcham, who for various reasons has not had a great season, but this is the most crucial area of the team and the one I am most concerned about.

Back in the 90s Celtic were world class at winning late in the season when it didn’t really matter.  The Knicker Wetters should know that nothing that happened yesterday changes the fundamentals in Scottish football, which remain as they were.  We have a big rebuild job to do, but we have the resources and appetite for the task.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7

  1. Lets hope so Paul.


    Our better and more dependable players need proper recovery , rest time and especially more quality players beside them. HH

  2. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Talking of appetite, the lack of passion from the dugout was noticeable for me.

  3. Hands can’t hit



    It was a bit flippant as an example but Tony Mowbray wasn’t.



    If a successful and sought after manager is only measured by the cost you pay for him then Tony Mowbray has to be included in the Brendan Rodgers bracket.



    We had to compete to get Tony Mowbray. I am not aware of any other club competing with us to get Brendan.

  4. One of the dilemmas any manger will face is what to do with Broony.



    He’s got tons of experience (which can’t be taught/trained and would probably cost a fortune to replace), but we saw during the season how well we can play without his dominant (but – in my view – stultifying) presence in midfield.



    With Calmac, Rogic, Christie and Ntcham, we played much more progressive football.



    Keep Broony, but as a squad player …

  5. glendalystonsils on

    We certainly have the means to rebuild significantly……….if the will is there.

  6. Our midfield rarely tackled the opposition, let alone try play through them. However, with an important Cup Final in view, it’s perhaps understandable that 50/50 balls were left uncontested throughout.



    Sevco have a bit of wind behind their sails now and are gaining momentum, and that matters in footbal as balances of power are challenged. They are the real deal in so much as they represent the only viable contender to our crown – regardless of the noises we hear from Celtic fans.



    We have now lost twice in a row at Ibrox without laying a glove on our opponent. King has gambled well with the reduction of Celtic fans as it has a1005 impact and wil probably be the same in September next season when we visit- unless we get a good tactical manager in and players with no fear in their play…or their hearts.

  7. Paul 67


    We had the resources last summer too.


    It is all very well coming out with your header about us having money available but the appetite has to be with the person making the offers to the other clubs/agents, and we have the charlatan who picked up 3.5 million last year who would be doing that.

  8. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    Why wasn’t the rebuild sanctioned last year during the summer when it was obviously required?



    We had one of the lowest points totals in recent memory but yet we weakened the team over the summer (on the back of a record double treble, turnover and profit).



    I will be delighted if we flex our financial muscles and push on this summer but remain sceptical given our recent dealings.

  9. fieldofdrams on

    But do we have the appetite for the task, Paul? That’s what the support needs and wants to see. We know we have the resources.

  10. Why ddin’t we invest last summer?






    Have we forgotten what a toxic influence the Rat had at the club last summer – wanting away and the Dembele fiasco?



    We are about to enter a new phase – new manager, new infrastructure and renewed focus on finding players to marry against that philosophy – before we can focus on who helps rebuild.



    Lots to do. Win the treble, celebrate and announce the new management team 24 hours later.



    Be ambituous and say goodbye and thank you to Neil for getting us over the line.

  11. fieldofdrams on

    JungleVIP at 12.51, can’t deny that we played our best, most effective football this season when Broony was out the team.



    But yesterday, especially with the way Der Hun set up, was a day where I think Ntcham should have started. I love Rogic but winning a kicking contest isn’t his strongest suit.

  12. Chris Hughton sacked at Brighton. I think he would be a great fit for us. Very tactically astute !Would tic so many boxes.

  13. I personally think the biggest question that needs to be asked/answered is why have Celtic not appointed a new manager in the present timescale. If they thought Lenny was the man surely they would have announced him as such now. There is obviously doubts in the minds of the Board as to his permanent appointment.


    In my mind the Board have:


    1. Got their man but can’t announce it until his contract has expired.


    2. Know who they want but need to overcome some obstacles.


    3. Can’t get anybody better than Lenny at the moment and will turn round and say that he was always the preferred candidate.

  14. !!Bada Bing!! on

    I would be surprised if we spend the £9 mil we got for Rodgers in the summer….

  15. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on




    4. Waiting to sell a sufficient number of season tickets and then appoint Lenny.

  16. we currently have 15 plus players in the first team squad who should not be at Celtic period.

  17. The Battered Bunnet on

    You can’t pass through the midfield when your two guys are faced with their four.



    We only got into the game once Ntcham (finally) came on. All things considered, yesterday’s loss was all about Lenny’s choices, and they were poor, to be polite to him. If that was an audition for the job, he wouldn’t be getting a call back.

  18. The Battered Bunnet on

    Looking more broadly, things are happening in European football which offer the prospect of a change in environment for Celtic. Hazarding a guess, I’d say that Celtic were attempting to shape up to be a credible part of it. If the recruitment efforts do indeed turn out to be fruitless – that is, no like-for-like BR replacement – it’ll be a longer term concern in this regard.

  19. Ron67 – I list 15 but could make a case for the ‘plus’ being used. What a terrible indictment in our signing policy…



    De Vries


    Toljian (L)












    Benkovic (L)










    Burke (L)





  20. Dorus de Vries


    Jeremy Toljan


    Emilio Izaguirre


    Jack Hendry


    Cristian Gamboa


    Marvin Compper


    Mikael Lustig


    Anthony Ralston


    Nir Bitton


    Scott Sinclair


    Oliver Burke


    Calvin Miller


    Youssouf Mulumbu


    Kundai Benyu



    feel free to add , players time to move on.




    I personally think the biggest question that needs to be asked/answered is why have Celtic not appointed a new manager in the present timescale. If they thought Lenny was the man surely they would have announced him as such now. There is obviously doubts in the minds of the Board as to his permanent appointment.






    Look at what’s happening at Manchester United. It’s prudent to have a look at how Lennon’s doing before appointing anybody permanent. Maybe a top manager decides to step down at the end of the season?



    Neil Lennon is acting manager and is heavily involved with recruitment for next season (one of Lennon’s strengths).



    It’s the right decision.

  22. Sevco have a fairly solid if unspectacular midfield. If they improve their defence it could be close next season, especially the way the referees are helping them.


    The big scandal of this season is how they have told the SFA who can and cannot referee their matches. Still no Willie Collum for them. In the first match of the season they had the red card against Morelos overturned. Wasn’t Clancy the referee that day? Yesterday he was afraid to show a red card for the elbowing incident. Referees have obviously been intimated. They will do nothing to harm Sevco at Ibrox. Dallas even gave them four penalties in one match. I trust our club is taking this up with the SFA?

  23. TRADITIONALIST88 on 13TH MAY 2019 10:38 AM








    CQN isnt the Celtic support in its entirety. I am referring to fans across all platforms and, you know, at matches, in pubs etc.





    Lots very vocal against Lennon, maybe around 10% who have an alternative suggestion [which is often Steve Clarke, a guy who doesn’t even want the job…but this is what you’re up against. Folk in denial and wilful ignornace].











    Around 10%.




    Did you pluck that figure from out of your head or did you conduct a survey?




    The point you are totally failing to see and trying to berate Neil Lennon’s detractors with is that when we had Brendan Rodgers in charge we got a glimpse of the type of manager and management we need to progress as a club. It is not the job of fans to identify individuals who fall into this category it is the job of someone at Celtic Park who is handsomely paid to do so. Job Specification, Person Specification. Compile list of candidates who meet these most closely then interview and appoint.




    Or alternatively adopt the approach, Mourinho?, Rafa?, Marcus Rose? nah they’ll not come to Scotland. Steve Clarke? Nah, says he doesn’t want it. What do you mean, talk to him and make him an offer he’ll be tempted by? There’s not exactly a list of candidates queuing up to come to Scotland, is there? What do you mean check who is available, check who might be tempted? They’ll cost a mint. They’ll want us to spend money on buying players. Nah, we’ve got Neil. He gets the Club, knows it inside out. If it doesn’t work out we can widen the search next time.

  24. mullet and co 2 on

    I’m not concerned about yesterday because it was on the cards. Why would anyone expect a different outcome.


    My worry is what happens between now and our first Champions League qualifying game.


    I normally plan my holidays in the summer on a date around late June or early July. I haven’t booked anything but plan to be away somewhere enjoying sunshine and a beer in 6 weeks.


    Will Celtic have a manager in place by then or will we see some managed PR exercise after the Cup Final and a climb away from Lennon and a hodge podge recruitment process running to mid June?


    I heard 6 weeks ago that Lennon had all bit signed a contract to be Manager from June onwards.


    Lennon is without doubt Lawwells candidate but Desmond is away going through his happenstances with Alex Ferguson/ Irish connected candidates. Golf, Horse racing and property play a large part in these meetings and connections.


    If Lennon was going to be manager he would be sitting in front of the cameras today with his Celtic scarf and Slaters suit on. One game against Hearts doesn’t change or shouldn’t alter the suitability of any guy to take on the job. You can bet on a lobby campaign for Lennon before that match and some may feel the hysteria may be enough to convince Desmond and others that Lennon could do 10 and continue to take in cash.


    So I expect that we will still be looking for a manger come June but perhaps there is a role for Lennon or a promise to find him a high profile one elsewhere.


    You can look forward to stories about a MON and Keane axis or Chris Hughton or Mick McCarthy or even David Moyes pairing up with Henrik! That is how Desmond’s mind works. Meanwhile Lawwell is trying to sell him the base cost model – 3 star manager rather than a 4, pay him a wee bit more than last time – less salaries for his staff and bring back John Park.


    Our Captain said he doesn’t know who will get the job.


    When we should be looking at Erik Ten Hag and doubling his salary we are going for the Lawwell or Desmond options.


    The wage bill should be £10m down now per annum or will be when we shed the loans and players coming to the end of their deals. I ca only assume we extended Sinclair because of a time trigger and his ability to become a free agent.


    The club has done ok but isn’t ambitious enough. Ambition doesn’t have to mean spending beyond your means just employing the right people and not those that fit your de facto Director of Footballs Strategy.

  25. Ron67 @1.42


    Some of our recruitment has been catastrophic (under BR). Why sign Benju, a player who was not good enough for Ipswich and went out on loan to lower league clubs and failed to impress. So far he has played 0 games for Helsingborgs. At least he was cheap, but the malingerer Compper will be on top money. Do Ajax ever recruit dross? I doubt it. They do get good money for dross, however (Boerrigter).

  26. Paul 67



    Yesterdays game was one I’m happy to see the back of.



    Even before I saw the line up I thought a draw would be a good result simply because The Rangers players had more to play for than us, revenge being a strong motivator for human beings and contrary to myth pulling on a Celtic Jersey does not confer super human qualities. A mans a man for aw that.



    However when I saw the midfield line my cry was we surrender because it was too light and only Scot Brown could give it any strength physically and of purpose.



    I looked at the bench and regretted the absence of Christie and wondered about Ntcham before Rogic but , based on his recent performances where my memory was of misplaced passes and being caught in possession, I could understand his ommission.



    The thing was when he came on he actually played better than of late but he should have been brought on at half time so poor was Rogic.



    So yes we need another boss for midfield for next season and with our injury record maybe two.



    My view is that we need to concentrate on strengthening physically the squad through the spine. That means CB, midfield and CF.



    Get the right players with a winning mentality in to bolster the technicians already there.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7