Scaling new heights


The plan for central defence this season was clear.  Carl Starfelt would be allowed to leave, and Maik Nawrocki and Gustaf Lagerbielke would be signed.  Liam Scales would return to Aberdeen on either a loan or permanent basis.  Stephen Welsh and Yuki Kobayashi were not expected to play significant roles.

Before August was out, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Nawrocki, Welsh and Kobayashi were all injured.  Celtic dropped their first points of the season at home to St Johnstone, with Scales and Lagerbielke in a shaky looking central defence.  We anticipated a difficult time the following week at Ibrox.

Against St Johnstone, Liam Scales was caught in the headlights when defending a couple of over-the-top balls that forced him to turn back and clear.  One which came late in the game could have resulted in the visitors leaving with all three points.  On moments like this, careers can turn.

Newco were watching.  One week later, they tried the same tactic against Liam, but he was ready for it.  To be fair to Newco, Celtic were a bit deeper than they were against St Johnstone, so they had less space to aim for behind the defender.  This allowed Liam to attack several of the attempts to turn him, or simply clear if the ball fell behind him.

He played every minute of our Champions League games but partnered Carter-Vickers, Welsh, Lagerbielke, Phillips and even Iwata during the campaign.  Now, he is without doubt our first choice to partner Carter-Vickers, no matter who else is available.

Importantly, he is left footed, on receipt of the ball he can open the game up more naturally than Starfelt, who played left last season but preferred his right.  Left footed defenders are rarer and therefore more valuable than the more common alternative.

By the summer, he will be 26 years old.  He is not the finished article, like Carter-Vickers, and he doesn’t bring the ball forward, like Kris Ajer, but he is a better defender and less error-prone than Kris.

Were it not for how reliant the manager has become on him in the middle, he may have plugged gaps on the left.  At this age, Liam is running out of developmental road but he is entering the peak five years of his career.  Given a fair wind, his partnership with Cameron could sustain for a few years to come.  There is no surprise Celtic have opened talks on extending his contract.

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    I’d be open to sharing gate money more evenly with our opponents.







    It’s the league we watch most often and I’d like that to be as competitive as possible with more than just 2 teams.



    I would rather give up my ST,rather than my money going to Masonic hun ridden clubs who hate us

  2. Loved this :-



    Sashes to ashes, £Ipox in rust,


    Twelve, years ago today,


    The Rangers went bust.




  3. Good article.


    Saying that, I’m not clear about Lagerbeilke. What happened there and why?


    I still have reservations re our signing strategy

  4. Far from scaling new heights- we’re seeing a managed decline. Scales as our CB for years to come is a ridiculous thought for anyone that wants to see Celtic improve.

  5. The Battered Bunnet on

    “…he doesn’t bring the ball forward, like Kris Ajer, but he is a better defender and less error-prone than Kris.”




  6. Carter-Vickers, and he doesn’t bring the ball forward, like Kris Ajer,



    Agree CCV is not as good on the ball as Ayer. Not many defenders are. However, he does bring it forward. Usually pretty well.

  7. The automatic qualifiers from Scotland are anticipated to earn around 60 million pounds from Europe’s flagship competition.



    not true,



    from sxm aimeine piy yje, rigjy please

  8. No matter how much they argue that they are the same team playing out of Ibrox Stadium, it is most definitely not the same company who are running the football operations. “Old Firm” related to the Company who ran the football operations at Rangers then, and, of course, Celtic. That board of directors placed their company into administration and the inevitable liquidation, so the “Old” part has gone, probably better now to be called the “Glasgow Derby New Firm”, as Aberdeen and Dundee Utd took over the “New Firm” mantle :)). The truth never changes. They left mountains of debt behind, they played football games with illegally registered players, they didn’t pay VAT, nor PAYE or the Inland Revenue. Small business people suffered severe losses because of their actions. These things are indisputable and their fans have to be reminded, so that they never forget, the shame of their club and the way they liquidated out of their responsibilities. Something similar to this post will appear in the SMSM today!!!! :)))))))



    por cierto

  9. I also add my congratulations to Liam Scales – persistance can after all beat resistance.



    Largerbielke, Nawrocki and Holm seemed a good idea at the time, I suppose. Well-regarded in their respective countries, but have ‘hit the ground’ dawdling at Celtic Park. We also have quite a few from the Japan/Korea market who appear to be stalled in their progress, again they all looked good on paper at the time. The success of Hatate, Maeda and Kyogo has probabaly given them more leeway than their fleeting performances have deserved. Palma, Bernardo & Khun will, in my opinion, prove to be good buys. Sadly Abada is on the way out(nuff said), sooner, or, later.



    So regardless of where we find ourselves at the end of this season, it looks like a wee bit of ‘rinse & repeat’ – get some new blood in and shift the ‘deadwood’……..that was the ‘stage’ we were at in June 2023 – nothing for it then but to ‘crack’ away.

  10. i heard the Mark Lawell rumour this morning.



    Reminds me of the conversation I had with Man City Ireland head scout I chatted with before the appointment. He said that Lawell was very much in his early career and yet to blossom.



    The Irish guy (can’t remember his name) was the one we were unlucky to get in his opinion

  11. so who scouted and sanction spending £8m on 2 centre backs that are not even good enough to play for us at SPL level, what a waste of money that was.

  12. Wee honest and erudite Grifter Galloways grifter


    Only cant be honest with itself


    A different moniker for each turn of its multimonikered beetlejuice heid!


    ‘We’ are all your monikers a collective now?


    All with collective amnesia,


    Still struggling for a top6 finish wi Ange are you


    Not struggling to chase boats deliverance boy



    Refugees are welcome racist like you are not

  13. The Centre backs ARE good enough to play for us at SPL level (and even CL level as Lagerbielke showed v Feyenoord). Kwon at St. Mirren has showed that there is a line between being SPL good enough and being the best we can field at SPL or CL level.



    These guys are being kept out of the team by players in better form than them. Even battle hardened EPL performers like Phillips and Duffy have struggled with the demands of playing for Celtic. These guys are decent performers and, like Scales, may just be awaiting their chance to shine.

  14. garygillespieshamstring on

    I don’t think either of the two centre halves aren’t good enough to play for Celtic.


    Neither has had a real run of games but have performed very well at times, less well st other times.



    Scales didn’t start to show until he got steady game time.

  15. on this sombre da – kest they forget.






    Alan Hutton, £364,000.





    Alex McLeish, £1.7million



    Alex Rae, £569,000



    Andrei Kanchelskis, £145,000



    Andrew Dickson, £33,000



    Arthur Numan, £510,000



    Barry Ferguson, £2.5million



    Bert Konterman, £300,000



    Bert Van Lingen, £65,000



    Billy Dodds, £190,000



    Bob Malcolm, £125,000



    Carlos Cuellar, £448,255



    Chris Burke, £55,000



    Christian Nerlinger, £1.8million



    Claudio Caniggia, £1million



    Craig Moore, £1.1million



    Dado Prso, £1.9million






    Dan Eggen, £68,000



    Sir David Murray, £6.3million



    Dick Advocaat, £1.5million



    Douglas Odam, £119,000



    Egil Ostenstad, £370,000



    Fernando Ricksen, £684,225



    Federico Nieto, £24,500



    Gavin Rae, £376,000



    George Adams, £30,000



    Graeme Souness, £30,000



    Gregory Vignal, £173,000



    Ian McGuinness, £25,400



    Ian Murray, £95,000



    Jan Wouters, £285,000



    Jean-Alain Boumsong, £630,000



    Jerome Bonnissel, £48,000



    Joel Le Hir, £28,275



    John Greig £40,000



    John McClelland, £225,000



    Julien Rodriguez, £638,000



    Kevin Muscat, £1million



    Kris Boyd, £215,000



    Libor Sionko, £178,000.



    Lorenzo Amoruso, £639,000



    Martin Bain, £249,000



    Marvin Andrews, £316,025



    Maurice Ross, £120,000



    Michael Ball, £1.4million



    Michael Mols, £260,000



    Mikel Arteta, £674,603



    Nacho Novo, £1.2million



    Neil McCann, £500,000:



    Nuno Capucho, £970,000






    Olivier Bernard, £224,000



    Paolo Vanoli, £592,000



    Paul Le Guen, £201,250



    Pedro Mendes, £1million



    Peter Lovenkrands, £902,000



    Ronald De Boer, £1.2million



    Ronald Waterreus, £510,000



    Sasa Papac, £319,000



    Sotirios Kyrgiakos £532,200



    Stefan Klos, £2million



    Stephane Wiertelak, £28,275



    Steven Davis, £600,000



    Steven Smith, £7500



    Steven Thompson, £485,000



    Tero Penttila, £140,000



    Thomas Buffel, £1.2million



    Tore Andre Flo, £1.3million



    Yves Colleau, £106,200



    Zurab Khizanishvili, £405,000

  16. Most rumours are merely expressions of wish fulfilment or projection.



    If Mark Lawwell was really due to leave Celtic (presumably because we are upset by the last transfer window) – He is taking a long time to go. I think Dom McKay left quickly enough with the cause rumoured (with all the confidence that word can muster) to be the signing of James McCarthy.



    If he was going for a disaster of a window, why was it just him who had the disaster? and why has he not gone already? And what good would it do to change him now when we don’t have a window to shine or fail in?



    I fear some of us just don’t get enough soap opera out of just watching Corrie

  17. So some Celtic suppoeters still feeding off and passing on daft rumours. Will they ever learn?



    After the embarrassing “Brendan to Switzerland” debacle, all I can say to the regular rumour-mongers is — Fool me once . . .



    You know the rest.

  18. SAINT STIVS on 14TH FEBRUARY 2024 1:39 PM


    on this sombre da – lest they forget.




    Did these individuals ever pay back their taxes ?

  19. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Pleased for the individual that is Liam Scales … but I’ll pass on the rest of the love in Pablo.



    IMHO, He’s in the team because of injuries and because Brendan thinks a left footed passer at left CB is a big deal.


    (FWIW – I don’t)



    Like Greg Taylor, he needs to become more athletic and powerful physically before I start carrying his photie in ma’ wallet.

  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Looking forward to us playing one game per week.



    Sincerely hope we look fresher and, from more time on training field, more coherent.



    One downside though will be the increase in slow news days in between matches.



    One look at NewsNow Celtic is instructive.





    Made up p15h


    Negative Celtic connotations at all costs


    The opinions of imbeciles


    O** F*** connections that are looser than the stools of a diarrhoea sufferer






    418 (i assume it stands for Devotee of Adolf Hitler – in a Combat18 style?🤷🏻‍♂️).


     anyway, still peddling that 49 quid non-story.


     with 53, 500 season ticket holders, then take away players, staff, corporate and sponsor freebies, you will be lucky if there are much more than 2000 tickets that are actually on sale at that price.


      000 or so out of 60000, less than 5% of the tickets a whole arguement based on less than 5%


     a joker





    You have been mugged for 7 years £49 – £52 – £54 old firm priced tickets.



    In December 2016 7,000 Celtic season ticket holders paid £49 for tickets to watch us play new club Sevco at Ibrox.



    So why were the tickets for a new club the same £49 price as it was for the old club?



    Celtic fans bought these tickets…Rangers priced tickets…and then sang your not Rangers anymore?



    So they are a new club but Celtic fans agreed to pay the same £49 ticket price as it was for the old club….and went along with the PLC and married Celtic to the same club lie ticket stitch up.



    Do you think that the Rangers fans would have bought ‘fixed’ tickets to help Celtic to pretend that they didn’t die?



    Celtic fans got mugged and Brendan.1 was recruited in 2016 as Ibrox got promoted to sugar coat the fixed-ticket-stitch-up-mugging.



    So go and take it up with the muggers.

  22. I always rate Paul’s articles because they offer an insight into the economic situation at Celtic Football Club PLC. However when it comes to the football and political and Rangers analysis it endears me less.

  23. !!BADA BING!! on 14TH FEBRUARY 2024 12:13 PM



    The bhoy should have had a better contract months ago



    *why are you so negative all the time, you remind me of an acquaintance who used tae bemoan the huns goal in “oh hampden in the sun”.



    You recently asked what trophies had Peter Lawwell won and my thought then was he is being disparaged as much as Bob Kelly was, now that was mainly in what is known as the “years in the wilderness between the 7-1 game and the Big Billys bumper cup final as the front pages of the Sunday mail labelled it.



    And yet it wisnae all that bad as we had a few decent cup runs then including a replayed final against Jock’s Pars which IMHO was the repercussion that caused the rot to set in.



    There was a big supporter used tae stand at the corner of the Celtic end and the enclosure waving a noose shout “Kelly this is for you”, it was that bad, but the same Bob swallowed his pride and brought the Big Mhan back and as they say the rest is history.



    But before that he had helped rebuild the side after WWII with the signings of the likes of Bobby Collins, Willie Fernie, Sean Fallon, Charles Patrick and of course the Big Mhan, he also established he Kelly Kids a forerunner tae the Quality Street Gang, 8 of who played that magical feast of Corpus Christi afternoon in Lisbon.



    Apart fae the trophies we collected enroute tae building that young side he oversaw us win the Festival of Britain St Mungo’s Cup, the Coronation Cup, our first domestic double in 40 years, the 7-1 game, and most importantly stood up tae that demagogue sir george graham and his henchman hibs, aye hibs harry swann who demanded we take the tricolour, a present fae Eamon DeValera down.



    So, what has Peter Lawwell done, well if nothing else sat on the committee in Europe that stopped the likes of sevco fae throwin money around like a man with nae erms, he’s there as long as DD a self made billionaire, and no a grifter like the Ayrshire tangerine heid was, wants him.

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