Ruining young players


From the moment the team was announced, and we knew Ange was giving many from the second 11 a game, a positive result was always a tall ask. Still, the manager’s immediate objective was served: several fringe players experienced a thorough examination.

Yuki Kobayashi was caught in the headlights. His passing was erratic, he was behind the defensive line at the first goal and was outmuscled when allowing his opponent a header at the second. I have heard the same verdict on him repeatedly since full time.

The player is 22 years old. There is a reason he is at Celtic which was not evident on Saturday. He is not here because of his aerial dominance, or composure under pressure, but be clear, there are reasons, he was not randomly plucked from the other side of the globe.

When I was young and Jock Stein was doing his thing, Celtic fans believed their club knew how to develop young talent, whereas I repeatedly heard, “Rangers ruin young players.” This was almost certainly true, what else would explain two clubs fishing from much the same pond returning such dramatically different catches?

Success with a 22-year-old footballer, is not always finding the finished article (Virgil van Dijk was 21 when he arrived at Celtic and is a clear exception), it is more often how to build on the resources the player already has and turn him into the finished article.

If we throw a young player into an environment which they are clearly unprepared for, then dispose of him, we will ruin more talent than will survive to enhance the club’s reputation as an attractive destination.

Yuki is not ready for the physical side of the game, which might be something we can work on. We can certainly work on his composure. He has another four games this season then a summer to do upper body work. I have seen nothing to suggest he is a future star, but you and I really need to work on how we view player development.

On the result. If we sell Carter-Vickers, Kyogo, Johnston, Taylor and Maeda – and we sign no one – next season is going to be nip and tuck.

Also, on the Ibrox Third Goalkeeper Rule. If a defender’s hand or arm is on the ground when it collides with the ball inside the penalty box, no penalty is awarded. If the ball hits the outstretched hand of a falling defender inside the box, a penalty should be awarded. While he was falling and before he landed, Connor Goldson’s outstretched hand collided with the ball inside his penalty box. The referee – and more importantly VAR – declined to award a penalty, in clear contravention of the rules.

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  1. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    He’s not playing for the B team, Paul. He’s a member of the first team squad, which brings expectation and pressure to perform to a minimum standard.



    Several players fell short of that standard on Saturday.

  2. Regarding Goldson’s handball, a lot of us, me included, predicted we would get a penalty in this game just because the result was meaningless in the league and and there was growing coverage of their penalties against stats.


    Just shows you, we know nothing. Maybe next week the refs will decide to penalise them.

  3. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Agree. Saturday wasn’t about winning. We were in a rare and luxurious position and Ange took full advantage of it. The experience will be a huge learning point for the fringe players. Kobayashi is a lovely passer of the ball, but that ain’t enough to succeed as a CH at Celtic. He needs to up his game for that to happen.



    In times past that’s exactly the kind of transfer strategy the club pursued. Fortunately Nicholson appears to be his own man.

  4. Our midfield never got going. CalMac was really poor. His influence has been curtailed a great deal in recent derbies, that is something we’ll have to look at. A midfield of Jack, Lundstrom and Raskin should not be winning the midfield battle against us.



    Not worried in the slightest by the result. Some squad additions to provide acceptable cover will be required in the summer but Ange will sort that out. A few things for us to work on tactically perhaps.

  5. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Crikey – looking back at some of the comments you would almost think we had just been beaten by Rangers!


    Probably not the worst result looking forwards. A 16 point lead over our old firm partners might well have been a bit uncomfortable for some and we have seen what happens when we get too far ahead of partner club (and it ain’t good!).


    Far too early to make a judgment on Kobayashi, but it seems odd that we let Jenz go halfway through the season.


    Re the LeBron Goldson incident. On Friday you said:


    “Referees’ refusal to award a penalty against Newco is reaching embarrassing levels. A meaningless game against Celtic would the perfect retort – ‘See, we’re not biased.’ ”


    Ah well – predictions eh!

  6. A lot of people advocating the binning of anyone and everyone from saturday but agree Paul67, we need to be better than that.



    I like a left footed centre half more than I like Carl Starfelt’s awkward wrong side angle that looks like he could give it away every time, but I’d love us to spend the money and get closer to a CCV clone on the left. Welsh isn’t the alternative answer & from watching Lawal last week, not convinced he is either. Maybe we build up Yuki over the summer and give him a year with an SPFL player like we did Ajer.



    I’d still like us to build bigger and stronger into the side, and a CH would seem a natural starting point. Noises suggest CS might be a leaver too.



    Anyway, make mine a treble ya hun lurkers….




  7. If we sell our top players and do not replace them the following, IMO, will happen :



    1) We will lose the league.


    2) We will get clobbered in the CL.


    3) The fans will be seething.



    Whatever Peter Lawwell is doing now – and he is skilled in many areas – I hope he has no direct involvement in the football department.

  8. Malachy Duffin on

    And Dermot Gallagher, right on cue is in the media making excuses for Sevco.. .



    He’s been at it all season and seems to be a craven individual who misses the limelight and would do and say anything in order to appear relevant.

  9. The Battered Bunnet on

    Lots of meeja discussion lately about how Ange has got everything right in the transfer market, but it’s just guff really.



    He’s delivered top trumps in Carter-Vickers Hatate, Jota, Kyogo, good business in Maeda, O’Reilly, Johnson, Mooy, Abada, and underwhelmed with Haksabanovic, Bernabei, Ideguchi, Jenz, Siegrist, Abildgaard. We’ll see how Oh, Kobayashi and Iwata and the plethora of youngsters develop in the coming season or two.



    If we want to keep him here beyond next season, we need to give him a reason to stay, and that comes down – I think – to competing keenly in Europe. The guy wants to test himself against his peers and he can’t do that without a considerably more capable team.



    Upgrades required at goalkeeper, left back, centre half. We need a locksmith in central midfield and someone who can use a dead ball to good effect. And we need a credible alternative to Kyogo while/until Oh develops.



    Upgrade the team in 5 positions this summer and let Ange see what he’s got against the big boys.



    BTW What’s wee Tierney up to these days?

  10. One thing that is a stick on we need to replace broonie . Those three sevco midfielders did there job on Saturday , they scared the living daylights out of our midfield and not for the first time since the winter break . Had broonie been on the park we wouldn’t have lost . Been calling it from the rooftops we need toughening up . By the looks of things we need an upgrade , soon see if ange has full control .

  11. Looking at the squad , I think the summer window will be very interesting both in and out.



    i don’t see a future for Welsh so another CH for me – possibly Murray coming back into the 1st team.



    Oh will take time to flourish so we need another experienced striker; we have missed GG since the turn of the year (very lucky Kyogo has stayed fit).

  12. What about the other “reserves” that played? Why only focus on Yuki?



    In June 2022, Bernabei signed a 5-year deal for a reported 3.75 million. He is also 22. He has played around 20 games for us, around 10 of which he played most or all of the game. If the coaching staff believe they have a top LB there then fair enough. Do any of us see it when he plays? Would anyone want to see him play in the CL if GT wasn’t available?


    Most of us wanted an improvement on GT (who himself has improved enormously) but that does not look to be the case. I imagine he will be given 2022-2023 to make his case and then, if no big breakthrough, loaned out or sold at a loss.



    Abada, at 21, has played in around 40 games this season, starting in 14. He started in four CL games. His stats are great but he has been pretty ineffective when starting in games like on Saturday. I hope he stays but he is not yet a starter.



    Tony Ralston we know all about. Has been a reliable deputy though clearly not first choice.



    Oh. I can only assume we have not seen him anywhere close to his best. He got 7 touches of the ball on Saturday, almost scored with his dink but received next to no service for the hour he was on.

  13. “Plenty will disagree with me, but Virgil van Dijk is vastly over-rated. A nice footballer, but too often gets found out by decent strikers.”



    Tom English (Nov 2014)



    I recall a time on CQN, where Celltic had been put out the league cup by Morton, VVD had been moved up front to try something different.



    And the blog was full of drive him to the airport myself time comments.



    but hey ho it was ever thus.

  14. Prestonpans bhoys on

    Yip Dermot Gallagher making an arse of himself again in the DR, he doesn’t know the rules of the game but brought in every time to defend these useless refs.

  15. If Dermot Gallagher doesn’t toe the party line he won’t be asked for his opinions . Maybe he wants a stint on the sportscene sevco couch . God almighty even petrov was at it last week .

  16. Sorry but I never believed the predictions of others that Celtic would be awarded a penalty on Saturday.



    It’s now 1,336 days since the home team conceded a penalty at Ibrox. 52 league matches since they conceded a penalty at all – the 55 is on.

  17. bournesouprecipe on

    Overly used cliches bad day at the office, and dead rubber.



    Injuries and the law of averages caught up with us, and if you’re being brutally honest, we haven’t played well for some time. Not played really well against Sevco since the 4-0 game despite all crucial hard fought victories, in both cups and the league title.



    Fringe players, are fringe players for a reason and the changes Ange made along with his underperforming regulars, were suppressed until a game that counted for little. Even when we’ve beaten them on just the four occasions our midfield can get swamped.



    With the resolve to take the treble back to Parkhead now surely stiffened, Ange will reflect on his enforced changes, and have a better idea of how his passing game can be perfected, and who is equipped within his squad to deliver. Nobody however will be judged on Saturday’s performance in isolation.



    Boasts of zero debt and clean slates were made by design not accident, they chose to let the first club die before they would retackle their nemesis. We’ve made a modern passing technical team, that strives perfection. Ange skated our league even in our transition season, we never stopped.



    That also goes for the revolving door and Celtic’s short summer should take into account automatic entry to the CL, previously brought to us by good buyers and sellers.

  18. I wonder if we will see a KT sell on fee windfall during the summer ?



    More Newcastle chat over the weekend.


    There was a really good interview with Howe about longer term strategic planning versus throwing money at it now with big transfers, and he basically said he is there for building his type of team,


    he impressed me some to be honest.



    Next I listened to sutton phone in, couple of Liverpool supporters going at it hammer and tongs , Klopp lost dressing room, Klopp playing favourites, sticking by bad defenders (vvd included) , lost the midfield, world class strikers now cant hit a coos arse, last seasons Quadruple chasers are a busted flush,



    their consolation was how shite everton are.

  19. I would not be suprised if Ange sticks with the Ibrox team to get more games to the squad players to give more assessment analytics.



    Bringing back the first picks for the trophy day, and the cup final.

  20. JIMTIM on 15TH MAY 2023 1:00 PM


    One thing that is a stick on we need to replace broonie



    100% nail on the head. Our midfield is too lightweight in games like this. We need an enforcer, we don’t have one.

  21. SAINT STIVS – After a shaky start at Newcastle (which was to be exppected), Howe has shown that he is a top class coach. He would have done a great job for us and it is absolutely inderstandable why he was our no.1 target. I doubt any Celtic fans would currently swap Ange for Howe but, in my opinion, that does not in any way mean Howe would have been any less successful.


    Only an opinion, but if Howe was now about to secure the treble after the double last year, he would almost certainly be heading to the EPL this summer. I think and hope Ange will be here for at least 1-2 more seasons.

  22. Kobi wasn’t at his best Saturday, but to be fair, the midfield did not provide the normal outlet for the defense to play out the ball. Callum had a shocker, and was not able to shake off his marker and create our forward movements. Reo still looked not up to speed and didn’t help much either. The whole team just didn’t look up for a fight and the huns set out their stall to win through aggression and bully us all over the park. Fair play to them as their plan worked. Carl was the only player who put in the effort. It was not the situation where we could learn too much, but I’m sure Ange was disappointed with the level of commitment.



    The no-away fans in grounds needs to stop. This creates an unhealthy, hostile environment, and an unfair sporting advantage to the home side. In this day and age it’s an embarrassment to Scotland that it has come to this. The football authorities need to intervene.

  23. Saint Stivs – on the Liverpool fans wanting to bin Klopp, hope they know that Slippy G is available.

  24. Melvin Udall on

    MNCELT on 15TH MAY 2023 2:16 PM



    The no-away fans in grounds needs to stop. This creates an unhealthy, hostile environment, and an unfair sporting advantage to the home side. In this day and age it’s an embarrassment to Scotland that it has come to this. The football authorities need to intervene.



    Agree 100% with this, but it’s working in the Huns favour now. They’re getting results out of us at Ibrox. So nothing will change.



    On that, I’ll bet anyone now that the first game against them next season is at Ibrox to give them the best possible start against us in the league.

  25. So Dermot Gallagher says ” Celtic players did NOT claim for a Penalty at Goldsons Hand Ball” ?



    Firstly, I REFUSE to believe that. I havent seen any Video footage suggesting one way or another ?


    Secondly, The Celtic Bench including Big ANGE DID claim for a Penalty, but Gallagher FAILS to mention that !


    Did the Hun Goalie ASSAULT ” OH” ?


    Some Hun PLAYER claimed yesterday that the Hun Goalie ” LEARNED” THAT from Hun Goalie McGregor ?


    IF the Hun Goalie ” LEARNED” something….WHAT was it ?


    I missed it at that time, and again I havent seen any video evidence since ?


    Have the Huns been FINED yet for the throwing of items towards Celtic players ?




  26. Surely the question that should be asking. Is why were Kobayashi and Bernabei signed in the first place and 22 years old is not young in football.



    I thought the days of the projects were finished.

  27. bournesouprecipe on

    So long as the handball rule remains a mess , Rainjurz will benefit. It’s the same as all the other unenforceable rules, batted away in Scotland.

  28. Its HIGHLY IMPROBABLE that NOT One Celtic player claimed for a Penalty after yet another Goldson Hand Ball.



    That is why I refuse to believe Mr Gallagher.

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