Recruitment planning


How was the transfer window for you? The perceived negatives: we didn’t sign particularly experienced players and we only signed one striker. We also lost the best central defender we’ve had in years.

The positives: we recruited the first on the list defensive (Simunovic) and striking (Ciftci) targets, so we were not scrambling around for literally anyone (Scepovic) on the final day of the window. There were a few experienced, Samaras-types on offer, but the decision was taken to stick to plan.

The first issue I raised was about the striker headcount. We could have brought in any one of a number of players, but forget Fletcher or Michu, we’re not talking that calibre. The waifs and strays we’ve churned through since 2012: Lassad, Miku, Bangura, Scepovic, Guidetti have been a considerable waste of money and opportunity.

An overhaul of process took place for striker assessment, no one would be brought in without new levels of assessment and aptitude. The was an acceptance that we are light in headcount but options available in recent days convinced no one they would be better than Scepovic, and the club were happy to cut him loose. The squad needs focus, fewer passengers and space for our own youths, not just Dundee United’s, to break through.

Although his start at Celtic has been considerably hampered, Ciftci met the criteria. He was watched extensively and the manager knows what role he wants him to play. We’ll see if he proves to be more effective when he returns to the team, hopefully fully fit, after the international break.

Lack of experience has inhibited us and there are certainly experienced players we could have brought in for the money spent on Simunovic. Would this help short-term with the forthcoming Europa League campaign?

From here, it feels like it would, but a team development decision was made. Recruitment criteria is to bring in players capable of reaching the highest levels of the game. Get them in, get them playing the same way together. Recruit late-teens, early-20s and build a team. We can afford players who may have genuine talent at that age.

A year ago, when we were recruiting to replace Neil, I asked for a student of the game who could plan like this; improve players and build a team. I also wanted a striker yesterday, not a Scepovic, of course, just someone Champions League-ready.  There’s no question that we have to plan like this, or that the hemorrhage on bench-material strikers has to stop.  And I suspect the Champions League-ready bit might be a shot in the dark.

If the plan works, it’s going to take time and a bit of patience (aye, I know, patience, you don’t need to tell me).  Other plans are available, therein lies the joy of team management.

Over to you now, Ronny.  Show us some of that awesomeness we read about.

I’m going to write later on the business over the city, if only because I’m itching to run an article with the headline:

Green, Whyte and Gaol-d © CQN.

Speak then.

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  1. Glad we brought in a the Croation U21 international Centre Half…this I’m afraid to tell you is probably now the height of our pulling/buying power.



    If we could have done the same for the striking position I’d probably been very happy for our summer transfer window dealings.


    This is our market – U21 players from Eastern Europe, Benelux, UK and Ireland.


    If we can pick 1 or 2 of the best U21 players every window from these then we will be doing ok.



    My question is why didn’t we do this for the striking position? We have had months to prepare.


    I’m a fan of ‘Thumb’, I always have been since the day he signed.


    I’m also one of the few who think Ciftci will come good.


    But we needed someone else to push them.



    My only other disappointment for this window is letting Christie go back to ICT…would much rather see him in the hoops with Allan, Armstrong, Johansen, GMS, Biton and Forrest working with Brown and Commons as the latter 2 have maybe 2 years left in the tank max. I know that’s a few in there but Johansen and Biton wont be here next year.



    Hopefully Boyata improves exponentially cos so far….(stay positive…)



    I think Janko looks a steal.


    I’ve always liked Izzy the new boo-bhoys favourite. Probably covers more ground than every player every week and gets slated…maybe improve his crossing ability a little, but there isn’t a target for him to hit anyway with 1 up.


    I would be happy with Charlie at centre half with Simunovic, jeez the guy won player of the year in there and hasn’t played there since?????????????

  2. I appreciate it has been mentioned already….. But if we are thin on the ground Striker wise, and a recruit is seen as providing better cover for Griffiths, then surely someone at Celtic must be gaining a handle on available bosman’s as we speak.



    There has to be a number of out of contract strikers… Even if it was an old campaigner, 32/33 yr old that’s been around the bundesliga or seria A.





    Always appreciated,mate.



    Voice like sand and glue,IIRC by Bowie.

  4. Ibrox Monopoly, the tribute act have been loosing money from the word go, I wonder where they will end up?

  5. Paul



    If memory serves me correctly, we chased Scepovic for at least a few weeks before last summers window closed. He was no last day panic buy, in fact it was him who got cold feet and almost signed for another club, though changed his mind again at the eleventh hour to sign for us. The fact is we wanted him & I believe it was reported as such on here at the time. Whatever our strategy might be now, Scepovic should never have been allowed to leave this window without us having a suitable replacement.



    With your suggestion of us not wanting to scramble around last minute for just anyone?


    Then what you’re saying is we had no targets at any stage to help strengthen our strikers. Ciftci was the extent of our ambition & we got him in early. so job done?



    Sorry but this is unacceptable.



    Deciding on a long term youth strategy is fine & we all understand the model of improving players to make them more desirable & therefore more valuable. However there needs to be some flexibility in both the type of players we recruit but more importantly the timing of doing so.



    Selling Matthews & failing invest earlier in the window shows no planning whatsoever, only living in hope. Not having the foresight to front load our campaign (not for the first season). Has cost us the best possible opportunity to qualify for champions league, the riches it brings & opportunity to improve on & off the pitch. Now this sounds like a far better plan to me than the one we are currently implementing, we are basically hoping for miracles.

  6. Ciftci was our number one target? Really?



    What a load of nonsense. We chose to let Scepovic go and were happy to go forward with 2 strikers? One who is unproven?



    We now have very few saleable assets in the playing squad.



    We have an imbalance in terms of positions (upfront and defensive midfield) and an imbalance in terms of experience.



    I expect Aberdeen to beat us, they are in top form and we have to cross our fingers that we have no injuries during international break and then patch up a defence who may never have played together.



    It cannot be underestimated how important VVD was to us.



    Ronny is now telling us he is happy with the squad, last week he was asking for more experience. Previously, he was telling us he wanted to sign players good enough for the champions league, then he wanted to grow players for the champions league. He didn’t want loans, then he did want loans. We were scared on the ball, then it was a misunderstanding…… He wanted to lead us to being 24 hour athletes, then he started appearing on Youtube, bevvied, doing karaoke or the Ronny Roar. Mixed messages indeed.

  7. “…………..Recruitment planning


    By Paul67 on 2nd September 2015 CQN BLOG & COMMENTS



    How was the transfer window for you?


    The perceived negatives:


    The positives:…………..”



    So the negatives are perceived but the positives are de facto.!


    Just a ‘slip of pen’ or political messaging Paul?






    Regards & Hail Hail







    Always good to hear your witticisms. Personally wi Monopoly I think it is too easy to get out of jail. Roll a double,nae bother. Those basses ripped bliddy trebles from us,and laughed as they did it.



    No,Old Kent Road for me. Down amongst the brown stuff wi no hope.



    I don’t hold out much hope for the Scottish version of Fleet Street to do much…

  9. CIFTCI no1 target JEEZO,my prediction is that between him and Griff they wont score 40 goals between them this season,..wouldnt suprise me if Commons total of thirty something from a couple of sesons ago was beyond them…


    ÁRD MACHA on 2ND SEPTEMBER 2015 11:27 AM



    Anyone who knows me, knows I would be not be advocating to spend, spend, spend.





    I’ve only met you the once,mate. And I have to agree,those were helluva long pockets!



    Kidding. You’re a generous spirit and a generous man. So I sincerely hope that your generosity to yer lad is rewarded.



    Hotels and flights booked for Amsterdam,that’s a marvellous present for him.






    If so,I can pass on the details,and you will be ever a hero in many eyes.



    Thanks in advance…



    From the BBC:





    ‘a sale of Rangers’ assets to a consortium led by Mr Green was concluded. ‘






    Surely the assets that were sold were owned by the company, not the club?



    Otherwise, well……………





    Of course we have saleable assets in our squad. Every damn one of them.



    Law of Diminishing Returns. And just as PL comes up to retirement,too.

  13. We seem to be cherry picking the best young Scots, scot based player and to be fair there is nothing wrong with that!!!! Little risk high reward for most players



    if you cant get better then don’t buy at all, again fair point. however, i don’t believe Celtic could not get better if the boat was pushed out a little



    problem is we still have guys like commons, stokes, lustig, dirk, effa and mulgrew taking a hell of a lot of money out with little in return and if you think they are any good ask yourself why they still hear and the answer becomes clear!!



    over the next year or two Celtic should shift the above lot out the door, add a new top earning wage tariff for 4 or so players on 30k per (week based on value to team and market value), should assist in maintaining harmony in the dressing room for those who believe themselves better!!!

  14. Lots of angst about…….



    Not sure why we expected. Maybe we have lost sight of the stark truth that faces us.



    Celtic, as I see it, are imprisoned in an interminable, bad game of monopoly. Without a massive change in the structure of European football, I see no way out of this.



    ‘Downsizing’ is a word that a select few of very frequent posters on here. Downsizing IS happening. However, it is being used on here as a verb. As something WE (i.e., Peter Lawell) is doing, consciously and deliberately.



    I believe that it is happening TO us. A consequence of being a big club in a wee country. A consequence of UEFA’s decision to distribute CL TV money to the extreme favour of the big 5 countries. A consequence of UEFA’s decision to use increasingly extreme seeding algorithms – again, in favour of clubs from the big 5 countries.



    The result is that we are condemned to be -at best – Champions League fodder. There is no place for us there. Clubs from the big 5 countries can spend 200 million pounds in ONE transfer window. 30 to 80 million pounds on ONE player. 300,000 pounds wages to ONE player for ONE week.



    Frothing at Peter Lawell for not spending an additional 3 or 5 million pounds is futile. As futile as it would be for him to sanction these expenditures. Such an expenditure would be utterly futile in a European context…and unnecessary in a domestic context.



    This is where we are.



    We are the Motherwell of Europe. And the Real Madrid of Scotland. At the same time.



    In any meaningful way, how do we change that? The only way that Scottish football will become more competitive, is if we become weaker. None of our opponents could possibly strengthen to match a team with our budget. And yet, Europe is disappearing over the horizon. Last 16? Look at the group in which Malmo find themselves. Those days are not only gone, but the gap continues to grow.



    So, like a game of Monopoly, where the blue, green and yellow properties are pre-determined, we continue on, getting weaker at every roll of the dice.



    So, those of you who berate Peter Lawell for not buying an additional player (assuming they are available, and assuming they want to come to this league/country/reality) – keep on shouting. But not about this striker, or that left back.



    Instead, ask him, as 25% (heading for 30%) of our support drifts away…..



    What are we doing to change our environment? Are we talking to Ajax (a club similarly damaged by the current UEFA model)? Are we talking to the Belgians, Turks, Portuguese? Is there ANY talk of extending our pyramid structure?



    THAT is where our efforts need to be. That is the only way out of this suffocating environment. And as the Champions League becomes more and more of a borefest, maybe that is the only way to breath life back into the game. I don’t know.



    But I do know that continuing as we are, in the league that we are in, will lead to continual weakening and a continual reduction of our attendances.



    Someone needs to be on this, and not distracted by trying to sign some guy who won’t make a whit of difference to our Motherwell persona. Or our Real Madrid one.






  15. CultsBhoy on 2nd September 2015 11:06 am



    I don’t see how you can say that? They dropped 5 points ignoring games against us. And you say they’ve improved? What are we to do in your opinion? If they win all their games bar the 4 vs us this year then what? Is that our fault?



    If they do that and it comes down to 4 games (presuming we acheive a tall order for any team and win all our games) then we’ll be lucky to win the league. You couldn’t ask for a tighter title race even with the uglies at the height of their cheating and spending of tax-payers money.



    In your more recent post you talk about keeping VVD like it was a valid option? I’m sorry but are you actually serious? I get the impression you’d be happier keeping our best players until they run down their contracts, then you’d probably expect us to go out and spend the same money as we are (maybe more?) on their replacements? That’s not football management, that’s supporting Rangers pre-2012.

  16. Go tell the Spartim on

    There are a lot of informative posts that highlight the pitfalls and opportunities that are open to us, given our standing in world football and the environment we operate in.



    However, there is a lot of our money being spent on salaries for people that are supposed to run the club properly and, in theory, advance the ability of the football team.



    There is far too much acceptance of oh well this is where we are no point trying.



    If we’re going to adopt The Simpsons mantras why not swap our current



    “Cant win dont try” one for “…….there are no easy answers, I say, he’s not looking hard enough”



    This happens every transfer window, there is no recruitment planning of note

  17. Malone Bhoy



    If you remember, in 2010-11 we picked up 7 points against the huns. They picked up 4 points in that season.



    Yet we lost the league with 92 points. It can happen.

  18. Regarding PL’s salary…



    What do people think the Chief Executive of Celtic should be paid?



    I’m not having a go… I am just interested to hear peoples opinions.

  19. mullet and co 2 on

    guernica, one of the funniest posts I have read. Ronny of course is a manager not a player so he can afford to get beveraged like the rest of us mortals.


    That said, the rest worries me.

  20. timaloy29



    My point is if Aberdeen run us that close it’s not our failing, they’re beating other teams consistently, that cannot be blamed on Ronny or PL.



    Sure I’d have liked to have kept VVD, brought Denayer back and Wanyama while we were at it and maybe added a £5m+ striker – but we can’t do that. If we were in the EPL, La Liga, Ligue 1, Bundasliga or even the Turkish league no problem, but not here. We have no long term option but to build over time, to trade up gradually, but that means taking players from a 4 to an 8 with the hope of selling that 8, buying a 5 and maybe reaching a 9, then being able to find/afford a 6… for want of a better analogy. It’s going to have periods of growth and development and periods of maturity, that’s the natural cyclic nature of things.

  21. Weeminger-please don’t take this as a critisism, as I have posted similar to your recent stuff mate.I always laugh when I see suggestjons of an EPL player coming to Celtic, Crouch & Defoe ane a couple of recent ones.These guys are in a different stratosphere, when it comes to money, and what league they choose to play in.Then we get other guys, warning us of the dangers of spending £3 mil on a player, as ‘remember what happened to the team fae Govan….’ blah , blah, scaremongering nonsense.Both my loints make up half of the excuses we hear at AGM’s fromLawwell & Bankier.It is pointless comparing the EPL in attracting/ buying players for Celtic, I wish it would stop, as we are just wasting our breath.Hope you are well.HH

  22. Paddy Gallagher on

    When buying local you know the players have been assessed by the Celtic players.


    Ask your defenders who they hate being up against and if they all reply Ciftci then you have a reference.

  23. weeron



    Top post.



    I still believe Motherwell seek to improve every season



    I also fear we will lose our Real Madrid staus in Scotland and become a Motherwell of Scotland as well as Europe

  24. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Come on Bhoys the strikers we currently have Griffiths,Stokes and Cifti are good enough for the SPL and in Europe we need more than a striker to get out of our group.My only concern is our team is very young and inexperienced so they will have to learn quickly.I think it is a poor show that some on CQN are having a go at Ronny for having a holiday and also having a drink and a sing song on his time off.We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time Ronny is no different. H.H.

  25. Malone Bhoy



    I agree with you. It’s not our fault if Aberdeen win their other 34 games. I didn’t blame Neil Lennon when we lost in 2010-2011 to the EBT’s

  26. glendalystonsils on

    If Sammy is still without a club he might be worth a look for backup, failed medical or not.


    After all, a certain BBJ failed a medical with a certain deadclub before he signed for us and look what happened.

  27. The Battered Bunnet on

    That’s a clean sweep of D&P Administrators for COPFS, with Paul Clark arrested today.



    It’s quite intriguing that Whyte’s involved in the alleged fraud, and if/when the evidence is presented in court, it’ll at least shed some light on a few opaque matters.

  28. Paul67



    So The big Turk was our no1 striking target ??



    I’m guessing Ronny was given a 2m budget for a striker and he prob thought sod it give me one of the SPL top goal scorers. Easier than another European project .



    Also we play 1 up front.. Even at home in the SPL.. This is a difficult role for 10m rated strikers especially in Europe yet we expect bottom of the ladder buys to go out and blast us into champions league ??



    If ciftci is going to have any chance he needs to be played alongside Griffiths.



    Look how deadly stokes and hooper were.. I think Griffiths is faster ,more mobile and a better finisher than hooper.



    Give him a partner and watch the goals hit the 30 mark.



    Surely it’s not hard for us to have 2 systems.. 1- will only use 1 striker and other system will allow 2 out and out strikers.

  29. timaloy29



    What do I think PL should be paid?



    Very good question – I’d be comfortable with a TOTAL not exceeding £500K/year.



    I’d be more comfortable if the remuneration was tied to attendance figures and pay of our lowest paid employees.



    I find PL salary out of kilter with the history and values of our club.



    I’ve stated this many times – but you will get highly qualified guys who can do the job for 500k/year.



    An NHS CEO usually has a similar professional background in terms of qualification ( MBA, CA, etc) they operate organisations comprising of 1000’s of professional emplyees, they have budgets in excess of £1billion/year. They are under constant political scrutiny and ultimately make life/death decisons on a regular basis – requiring excellent leadership and decion making skills. They are also performance monitored to the nth degree. They typically earn £120-200K/year in Scotland.


    Obviously football is a different context but I’d say it would be easier for people with the skill set to walk in to Celtic than for Lawwell to walk in to a NHS CEO post. He is over rated and over paid at £1m/year.

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