Ruthlessly dedicate to data or return to Voodoo


The battle between what your eye tells you about a player and what his outcomes are is over a decade old.  Does the player have heart and mental strength, or does he manage to achieve impressive outcomes without it?

Given the choice, I would probably opt for a player who can impress without the heart/strength combo.  You can do a lot of work on those things, but you cannot move the dial much when it comes to innate talent.  If he is achieving because he is maxed out on heart, adjust your expectations south.  How do you judge if a player can translate form in one environment to another, such as Celtic Park?  The stats tell you no more than your eye will on that one,

In 1990, Aston Villa chairman and manager, Doug Ellis and Graham Taylor sat preseason watching Villa play a Trinidadian side in a friendly.  They didn’t know the players name, but they knew they were not leaving the Caribbean the standout striker.  Doubtlessly, both the eye and the stats were in Dwight Yorke’s favour.

Brendan Rodgers entered this debate yesterday:

“There are things that you can never find out through analysis other than by being at a stadium, watching the player and seeing what their movement is like, seeing how he deals the with atmosphere.

“I always say, the analytical side doesn’t tell you if someone has a heart and personality. When you play for a club like this one, you need to have a heart and the mental strength.

“You have to find out those things and see them live. Obviously, statistics will give you a lot, but I’m not driven by it. It’s something which is a really good support for us.”

Who am I to tell our manager different, but I respectfully disagree.  Data driven recruitment is how elite teams operate.  If a player gets results because he has buckets of personality, because he has the Judgement of Solomon or because he has mastered the ancient practice of Voodoo, outcomes are all that matter.

Ruthlessly dedicate to outcomes or accept all this data modelling is just not for you.  Some souls in Haiti practice both Voodoo and Christianity.  Two gods to keep happy!  But don’t let me worry you, maybe it’ll work out fine for us.  Anyway, Hail Mary………

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  1. In the NYT today I discovered an article referencing a new(ish) search engine called ‘Perplexity’.


    AI based. Fired a few questions at it, based loosely on Paul67’s leader today. And in response, not surprisingly, got the same kind of flannel in response.


    To be honest I much prefer the actual Perplexity we find on here….


    A permanent state of confusion….

  2. St Mirren in for van Veen,he would have been a better option than the Norwich one……..can’t believe I actually said that……

  3. On the subject of left backs , the young blonde lad from Rosenberg looked a good bet , pretty sure he went to German football. Memory of him skipping past the sieve to score against us , his match up with Jamsie was good to watch.



    Our problem for this position will be similar to big Gus , everything looks OK for Gus to be a player but even a few games in , you can tell his recovery pace is poor ( even poorer than Liam) , so for our high line bit of challenge.



    Low expectations that this position will be fixed this window but for the next venture into Europe we need a massive upgrade in the back line ,starting with the full-backs.




  4. Powder puff article today, the last day of the transfer window and not even a sniff of a rumour. Where’s the back-up LB? I agree with BR that the data doesn’t tell the whole story, but it is important. The NFL operates 100% on data.



    Looking at what other clubs have done in this window tells you that it’s a lean time for making change at a football club. Almost every move is a loan move across every division in Scotland and England. Most top level clubs use this period to cut wage bills and give 2nd string players game time somewhere else. 6 of the 20 PL clubs have brought no-one in, an additional 9 have spent no money. So, 75% have not spent a penny and through trimming their squads will come out of the window making a profit.



    Why are we critisizing our team for doing the same thing as most of the teams in the top league in the world? Why are we creating such high expectations when the data is telling us they’re never going to be met? This is not the fault of Lawwell Snr or Jnr, not is it the fault of Brendan. It’s just the market.

  5. “CELTIC MAC on 1ST FEBRUARY 2024 2:56 PM


    In the NYT today I discovered an article referencing a new(ish) search engine called ‘Perplexity’.”



    I had a look. This is what it said re Title this season:



    “The search results indicate that the 2023/24 Scottish Premiership season is ongoing, and the favorite teams to win the title are Celtic and Rangers. Celtic is currently the odds-on favorite, while Rangers are also strong


    contenders. The season promises to be competitive, with both teams having a good chance of winning the title. Therefore, it is not possible to determine the winner with certainty at this point.


    The latest outright odds from Oddschecker show Celtic as the favorite, with Rangers also in contention


    . Additionally, Sky Sports pundits have predicted a close competition between the two teams


    . Therefore, the race for the SPFL title remains open, with Celtic and Rangers being the primary contenders based on the available information.”

  6. glendalystonsils on

    Wow ! Paul . The gloves are really off and the knives are really out for the manager now , no beating about the bush , Yesterday the signings were all down to him and today they are researched in an unprofessional , ad hoc manner .



    Whether you are right or wrong , whether you are expressing your own opinion or that of a certain other(s) it confirms a worrying degree of dysfunctionality at the club . This needs sorted one way or the other, asap .

  7. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    A lot of sense in that MNCELT, but I think it’s the fact we’ve made such a Horlicks of the last 2 windows that has many people thinking we need to make a couple of quality signings.

  8. Simon Jordan made a good point earlier today, (with EPL player transfers down 90% on last year) that it looks like the clubs have stopped competing with each other for the same players.


    At this point in the window, you can guarantee that nobody, and I mean nobody, will be competing with us on our targets.


    Which I find reassuring….

  9. “MNCELT on 1ST FEBRUARY 2024 3:41 PM


    Why are we critisizing our team for doing the same thing as most of the teams in the top league in the world? Why are we creating such high expectations when the data is telling us they’re never going to be met? ”



    That SHOULD have an effect on the scribes of many of the posts featuring heavily of late. Unfortunately, it won`t make a blind bit of a difference.


    Well done for trying, though.

  10. The dysfunctionality comes from the people who have been at the club for far too long, who treat the place as their own fiefdom and things get done their way or no way, they are a professionally qualified clique but in no way good at running a football club whose primary objective is to be the best it can be and develop year after year , the club is stale but the major shareholders dont care, they just want their 6% on the preference share the best seats in the house and positions on the board. There’s your recipe for dysfunctionality.

  11. glendalystonsils on



    It just came to me that someone thought the appointment Neil Lennon for a second time was a good idea because “he had an eye for a player”. 🤔



    You could also addd ‘he knows the city’ .



    So do most Glasgow bus/taxi drivers .

  12. We need a centre forward, with strength, height, a proven goal scorer, in a decent league.


    Oh is not that person. Kyogo, is brilliant, if we play a style of football that suits his game, that is not going to happen.


    I have seen Idah play for Ireland and I always love to see an Irish player line out for Celtic, however….. he has done nothing to date to suggest that he is the answer to our problem regarding goals to possession ratio.


    I believe we need a goal scorer more than a left back or goalkeeper.

  13. MNCELT on 1ST FEBRUARY 2024 4:00 PM


    GM – I agree on that, but the quality is not available in the January window.



    Plenty of transfers going on,at all levels, not so many in EPL, running scared of financial penalties….

  14. Just seen that Newcastle have signed a Man City reserve player and was intrigued to hear the manager’s response:- Reflecting on the transfer, Howe said: “We welcome him into the football club, I wasn’t directly involved in that transfer but we welcome him into the club. He’s a very talented young player and we hope he does really well with us.”

  15. BIGCHIPSUK on 1ST FEBRUARY 2024 1:28 PM


    Why are we signing Idah? I’ve certainly no Idea. And what about selling Turnbull… at a loss to boot?!







    Some data (from BBC Sport):







    Idah: Goals 7 from 34 apps at 0.40 per 90 mins, with 74% shot accuracy and 26% goal conversion.





    Turnbull: Goals 7 from 19 apps at 0.86 per 90 mins, with 73% shot accuracy and 32% goal conversion.





    Kyogo: Goals 10 from 30 apps at 0.42 per 90 mins, with 51% shot accuracy and 20% goal conversion.





    Oh: Goals 5 from 24 apps at 0.64 per 90 mins, with 55% shot accuracy and 16% goal conversion.







    It looks from that lot like we are signing a striker who can’t get into the regular starting line up for a 2nd tier English team, and is less prolific in front of goal than a midfielder who can’t get into the regular starting line up at Celtic Park, yet still manages to be more effective when he does get on than both of our incumbent strikers! And at the moment I think I’d have more faith in DT taking the next penalty kick than any of the regular first 11.







    There’s strange goings on at CP for sure….





    Perhaps the data driven only approach may not be completely without challenges!

  16. !BADA BING!! on 1ST FEBRUARY 2024 12:48 PM



    BSR- BR is trying to get rid of the dross he was given in the summer…….



    *aye Ange’s dross

  17. here’s where stats fail! imagine you’re a winger or attacking full back – you get to the line, cut back and the striker fails to convert. Lets say this happens 20-30 times in a season. Those don’t show as assists – Match them with a good striker – overnight their stats increase – by doing what they were doing before!



    One stat that is undeniable – the number of corners that fail to land on a CB head