Squad downsizing though not as you think


Signing a 21-year-old Argentinian for a few million pounds breaches the box-office threshold around these parts.  If left back Alexandro Bernabei clears his medical and joins Celtic, he will be the kind of addition to the squad that will have fans looking forward to the new season with renewed confidence.

I have seen too many bogus YouTube clip editions to pay any heed, we learn nothing there.  What we know is that he has been scouted through our recently appointed resource and meets our criteria as a potential Champions League player.

He is still young and Parkhead is a long way from Rosario: the language, the food, living away from home, the weather, will all present encounters that will make any early performances a challenge.  Fortunately, we all know signing 21-year-olds is not about the first month.

One of my strategic concerns about the Celtic squad is height.  Last season’s excellent defensive stats were achieved with small central defenders and full backs.  Bernabei is 2” shorter than Greg Taylor, who at 5’ 9” is an inch taller than Josip Juranovic.

Taylor is a couple of inches shorter than Kieran Tierney, while Mikael Lustig had a 4” advantage on Kieran.  That’s a very real downsizing in a few years, albeit not in the common use of the phrase.  We have plenty of ability middle to front, but not a lot of height there either.

Two years after Shunsuke Nakamura scored the only goal of the game against Manchester United to put Celtic into the knockout phase of the Champions League, the player was benched when the teams again met in the Champions League.  Gordon Strachan spoke to Shunsuke before the game to explain the team was vulnerable at set plays due to a lack of height.

Naka was not short, but Gordon went with Barry Robson, who had a slight advantage and was more accomplished in the air.  If I was facing Celtic next season, I would play for corners and free kicks.  I expect we will see lots of this in the Premiership.

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  1. “Fortunately, we all know signing 21-year-olds is not about the first month”



    Maybe not all Paul , first mistake and he will be rubbished by media and fans as not Celtic class , and never will be …😁

  2. Pingback: Squad downsizing thought not as you think | Celtic FC News Now

  3. Ah no, not this nonsense again. By way of evidencing our improvement, here’s a fact for you Paul67:



    Celtic conceded 10 headed goals in the last league campaign.



    Might have went under the radar but they didn’t concede any in the final 11 games



    Last one being dundee’s 2nd in the 3-2 win.







  4. Thanks Paul67



    I think size is less of a concern after our defensive performances in the second half the season. After the goal we conceded from a throw in at Ross County in February I dont remember any soft goals conceded from set-pieces. I can’t remember any set-pieces leading to goals at all, but that’s probably selective memory.



    We conceded fewer goals from set-pieces than the Huns, but that might also have something to do with conceding fewer corners. We conceded fewer corners than season before last as well.



    Under Ange we play the game, as much as possible in the opposition half, noticeably at the end of games. It leads to less opposition possession in our half and less opportunities for the less gifted teams to win the free kicks and corners they are looking for.



    I think it’s part of a plan, I think going thousands of miles away to sign a smaller full back than the one being replaced in the team suggests Ange sees it that way.



    I dont think Ange does half measures, we’re all in and he’s not going to compromise

  5. It also might suggest that we’re signing a DM who’s good in the air.



    Or it might not. What do I know

  6. P67 — you really are very one dimensional.


    Talent and energy can make up for a lot of things.

  7. Recycling …



    SE statement — I think that it shows that AP has found Wee FMcC’s Growth Agenda Part 2 stuffed down the back of a couch where PL had hidden it as he didn’t understand the concepts or the language or in fact the need for it.



    And guess what it has worked — Stupid / stupid man was our PL.



    Aus angle = interest from a far away place through the roof.


    Japan angle = interest from a huge population far away through the roof.


    Sure we have had some of this before but the AP mantra comes into play — “We never stop”.



    AP football = full house signs now out for every game / better hospitality numbers.


    Adidas = Much bigger / better merchandising offering more readily available.


    PPV angle = interesting new revenue stream,



    The only downside was the B/G ConL debacle but lessons would appear to have been learned all round.



    Interesting that the accounts will come out in mid Sept — more than month after the usual timing of a few years ago.



    The 21/22 figures won’t change just a case that a more complete picture will be available from the post reporting day events to provide a better forward understanding of 22/23.



    If we buy players in June that means that we are shi**ing cash and want to get rid of some to help our tax position / end of year cash position. CCV now / SB in 2007 seemed to be a similar transaction.



    There is also the point that moving some of the deadwood on at a loss in June will also help our tax position in the current financial year.



    One to watch / quite a few to watch?



    AA / VB / IS / CJ / JMcC — I know, I know — all need to move on.


    And then there is the clear out that is badly needed with the in-betweeners / loaners.


    Plus the JF / MJ re-incarnations which are the miracles I would love to see.



    The later publication of the accounts means that we will have the full picture of our summer transfer window activities — players coming in and also players going out as mentioned above.



    We need a spare GK / LB / CB / DM or two plus a 20yr old striker aka LA Mk2.


    Plus work the loan angle again — the CL angle means that we are a great destination.


    And then there are all the holes in the B Team / youth grades to fill.


    We don’t stop so we need to fix the production line to the 1st team.



    And quickly — the big recent improvement is the fact that the issue as now been recognised.



    Big issue would be an offer we can’t refuse for one of our newer first team players.


    One will definitely come — just a case of how our squad management will handle it.



    Consequently interesting times ahead.


    It is all down to us — no excuses for not making progress.


    The only issue is how much.

  8. Statement from the board to stock exchange. Dark times ahaead :)



    “”Celtic has enjoyed a strong on-pitch performance in the 2021/2022 football season and has returned to full capacity spectator attendance following the loosening of the Covid-19 restrictions. This means that revenue for the year ended 30 June 2022 will be significantly higher than market expectations, which were formed at a time when the outlook was understandably more cautious as result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”



    Full results for the season to June 30 will be published in mid-September

  9. Pebble in the pond time — loans going forward …


    OE seems to be a bit lost @ CP / EPL — worth a phone call?

  10. Next season — who will come up from the youths / B team?


    Who is currently ready to make the jump?


    We should be looking at at least two?



    BL / DM?

  11. G @ 12.54



    So we have moved on …


    We are too good for OE / MD / KA?


    Aye right.

  12. We’re different – don’t see OE being an Ange player


    I see what you did there introducing other names.


    KA – have him back in a heartbeat


    MD ?

  13. Gene



    G = street slang, short for Gangsta



    It’s a term of endearment. I think he likes you

  14. G @ 1.00



    Soft spot for OE — I think that CoViD has knocked him back a bit.


    Plus all the nonsense of 20/21 seems to have removed his focus.



    Just a case of needs must for the CL challenges.



    GK = OK.


    FBs = Looking good.


    CB’s = Passable but need at least one upgrade.



    DM = Desperately needed.


    LM = RH or CMcG


    RM = MO’R or a fitter / faster DT.


    MF overall = needs a lot of work on the mix / very open at times.



    LW = OK


    CF = OK


    RW OK but might need more depth.

  15. fieldofdrams on

    All this use of initials and wee acronyms drives me mad.



    Still, lovely day here in D.

  16. ‘I have seen too many bogus YouTube clip editions to pay any heed, we learn nothing there. What we know is that he has been scouted through our recently appointed resource and meets our criteria as a potential Champions League player.’






    Do you mean to say the days of Lawwell grabbing Dudu Duhan’s portfolio and coming up with a player are over?


    Are you saying that we are now being run as a proper football club relevant to it’s size and stature regarding incoming players?

  17. Wits


    We’ve signed ‘nobody’ today – haven’t watched his YouTube clips so no idea if he’s any good

  18. fieldofdrams on

    We are looking at Personne from France, Niemand from Holland and Nadie from Spain. You heard it here first.

  19. thebhoyromu.n.c.l.e



    Zat no ra Tollcross Wee Men? No?




  20. theBHOYfromU.N.C.L.E on

    Naw pal…….the parkheid wee men were first……right.



    eastenders csc




  21. El Hamed 6′ 1″


    Laxalt 5′ 10″


    Blackett 6′ 2″


    Fox 6′ 0″


    Janko 5′ 11″


    Toljan 6′ 0″


    Camara 5′ 11′




    Lizarazu 5′ 7″


    Alves 5′ 7.5″


    Lahm 5′ 7″


    Marcello 5′ 9″


    Cole 5′ 9″



    Full backs are not just defenders , they are de facto wingers too, hence why so many are significantly under 6 foot. A good full back matches runs, blocks and helps out their lumbering giant colleagues.



    Wanting full backs to have all this and be 6 foot is in the Top 5 League area of price and even then they are rare



    PS I played FB a lot (sometimes up the wing and midfield when i got old and slow); the reason tall forwards scored with headers was not down to my height (5′ 6″) but that i was shite😎

  22. Tom McLaughlin on

    Jimmy Johnstone played his best football against tall left backs like Giacinto Facchetti of Rangers and David Provan of Inter Milan.



    They didn’t know where they were with Jinky.

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