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. Rail strike — Grauniad reporting about the possibility of using agency workers to replace people who are on strike.



    Seems to be a topic with a lot of history — back to 2015 at least.


    Given some of the comments from BoJo there would appear to be a plan coming together on this — to the point that memories of Wapping keep coming back.



    Agency workers to replace striking workers — would that he on a temporary basis or like Wapping full time? The alternative would be a long strike and wait for people under financial pressure to return in dribs and drabs — Miners in 84/85.



    The whole thing looks very manufactured.


    The Tories and their establishment pals look like they are spoiling for a fight.



    Just a case of what are they working on in the background?



    Wapping style replacement workforce being trained in the shadows?


    Miner’s strike attrition with a group being readied for a breakaway?



    With the low passenger numbers / working from home vibe now would be the time to do it if you really wanted to stick it to the railway workers for being too well organised / too expensive.

  2. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from Shawlands. Very humid today. Gene, working at my Mums house this morning. Damn well makes you thirsty. 😂🍺

  3. Tom McLaughlin on

    I remember the rail strike of the early 80s. I was working in the London Stock Exchange. The strike was on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was living in north Kent, so the Tube wasn’t an option.



    Our employer and many other member companies put us up in a city centre hotel from Monday evening till Friday morning, all expenses paid plus spending money daily.



    This lasted 3 weeks before they baulked at the expense of it all and resorted to hiring coaches. Traffic was already a nightmare and it took 2 to 3 hours to get to work at 10am and we had to leave at 3pm for the journey home.



    The strike lasted 5 or 6 weeks and cost companies millions in ensuring their staff got to work.



    I wonder how they’re coping this time, like I should care.

  4. Tom


    Passenger numbers have dropped and lots of office based can work from home. I fear this could last for a bit. There’s also a queue of other workers looking on.


    Feel a bit guilty being a triple lock pensioner

  5. Tom,



    WFH has changed all that. My mate works in insurance in London and WFH 4 days a week, pops into the square mile to press flesh one day a week

  6. I think Paul is right to point out the dimensions of our players. There are 6 foot 5 strikers doing the rounds in the SPFL and that presents a physical challenge for the defence.



    The signing of Uruguayan left back Diego Laxalt was an ambitious move which unfortunately didn´t work out despite his impressive cv of games played in Serie A. Across the water from where Diego was born in Montevideo is the city of Lanús in the province of Buenos Aries, Argentina where Alexandro Bernabei has played 57 games and has scored 3 goals for Club Atlético Lanús.



    In the early years of his life Alexandro Bernabei lived not far from the city of Rosario in a rural setting enduring harsh poverty. He lived with his grandfather and his mother at different times. He learned to go hunting and fishing for food when he was a youngster. At age 13 he joined Club Atlético Lanus and like many other juveniles at this club he went on to make his debut for the first team, in October 2019.



    Paul is also right to alert us to the issue of how Alexandro settles into the east end of Glasgow. At only 21 and with little experience of life outside Argentina it will be a huge challenge for him. He will be far from his family and his language. He deserves more than a cordial welcome at the club, we need to get the likes of Emilio Izaguirre in to advise him on life in Scotland, Emilio not only speaks Spanish but has been a great left back as well



    I see this signing as an opportunity to build ties between Scottish and Argentinian football as well. Like many of us on here, my childhood was blighted or even scarred by Racing Club and Atletico de Madrid, but one day I grew up. Not that long ago…… por cierto.

  7. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Greg Taylor is 5’9 ?



    Even the SMSM wouldn’t run with that fairy tale Pablo. 🤪



    Our tiny tots conceded 22 goals in the league last season.



    Next best were the tall, powerful, muscular Sevco – who conceded more than 40% more goals than us.



    Might have just been luck.



    There once was an Italian central defender er called Fabio Cannavaro.



    I watched him lots.



    1. He was a brilliant defender


    2. I never once saw the guy he was marking score a headed goal from a set piece


    3. He was 9 feet 7 inches tall




    1 of the 3 statements above is false




    ROSARIO you say



    That’s the incumbent in ROME’s team if i am not mistaken

  9. Ge @ 3.07



    Your acceptance of / engagement with Tory language is the real issue here.


    The Tories are only in power because of the voting patterns of the O/60′ and the O/65s.



    Maggie failed at every level but eventually her ideas took hold in the coffin dodger segments of society as they looked at their own inadequacies and shouted stuff the lot of them I am doing OK..



    I blame the property porn on daytime TV for turning pensioners into a tribe of poundland aristocrats.



    The Tories play to the pensioner vote and screw the “working class”.


    The hypocrisy over wage increases vs pension increases is brazen.

  10. Couple of guys I know here working in finance in the UK.Doing it every day from the Bar !!!.Cycle down and back.


    By Election results might go a long way to putting a few gasses at a peep.

  11. RTT @ 3.14



    DL was wasted by the NL shambles of 2020.


    He quickly worked out that it was all just a beer game for those in charge.


    No pressure / no expectations / no standards.



    I wonder how well he would have played in an AP team?

  12. TB @ 3.23



    What are your thoughts regarding the two by-elections today?


    BoJo pulling a rabbit out of a hat is my worst nightmare.


    Train strikes are never off the TV for a reason.


    BBC is a disgrace at the moment.

  13. Guy i car pool with is a supporter of dark side



    He said to me end of last season



    ” do you lot lose a lot of goals from set pieces you must”






    “surprisingly not”




    Also someone said earlier if i was opposition i would play for fouls and corners


    about our box… I THOUGHT THAT WAS IN RANGERS DNA especially recently against us


    and in EUrope



    1. humph ball within vicinity of a blue jersey.


    2. Said blue jersey fall to ground as if sniper had taken you out


    3. Scream and shout for penalty/foul/yellow card

  14. 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.


    no shit sherlock , not a new tactic , as long as refs and ref assistants carry on with their performances nothing will ever change , especially if we are downsizing even further at the back and signing full backs smaller than karamako dembele

  15. TB @ 3.23



    Yes — disposable incomes are higher for pensioners than the working classes at the moment.


    Happy to keep pensioner incomes where they are if wages can be increased for the working class — tough gig though.



    Given that the working classes have to provide for children that is not how it should be for a properly function economy.



    The great charade of modern UK life is the complaining that pensioners do about the state of the nation.



    They forget that the state of the nation is and was down to them.


    They were active in the UK economy / politics for longer than anyone else.


    if we are a shambles then they made it a shambles.


    Not unfortunately ow they see it.



    So they s*ite / dump on everybody else’s children and then complain when their grand children struggle to get a good education / cheap housing / decent job.

  16. Never fail to amaze me that Scottish weather gets brought up in the transfer debate.As if every other country has a wonderful climate.It rains fairly regularly in Japan,torrential as well.I watch loads of football.Some S.American games played torrential rain.Dont get me started on Italy.Players know about playing in the rain and cold,some probably prefer it.Wont put them off if the money is good.

  17. MM,


    Nothing like showing your true colors.UK pensioners are well off,you say.You are an A–hole.Not that that is news to most people,but how big a one has been the question.Now we know.

  18. TMcL @ 3.36



    Sorry you either don’t understand what I have written or you do not want to understand.



    The Tories are now the Pensioner Party first and foremost.


    You need to understand reality not slogans.

  19. I’m 72 this weekend, I’ve voted in every general, local and even police commissioner elections in the UK since I was 18 – I never have and never will vote Tory


    Are my political views on every subject the same now as when I was 18 – of course not. Views change and adapt to circumstances – one side is not always right and the other wrong.

  20. The impartial BBC have an article on how SPFL teams are going to prepare for the forthcoming season. All simple, informative stuff about who teams are playing and when.This is how they start with our team:





    Celtic’s last trip abroad for a training camp – the infamous mid-season break to Dubai in January 2021 – is about as calamitous as it gets.



    However, that chaos amid the failed 10-in-a-row bid is now a distant memory `.



    Obvously not such a distant memory for the BBC Scotland chaps.



  21. TB @ 3.42



    You don’t understand the income statistics for the UK at the moment.


    Maybe it is all that free time you are having out there in the Ottoman Empire that is detaching you from reality.



    You would appear to be a “pensioner” living the life of Riley out in low cost Turkey — I wonder how many of the current working class would love to swap their lives for yours at the moment?



    But you don’t care — you just want to live in your bubble come what may.

  22. Ge @ 3.44



    So you have voted for UKIP …


    Political choices never change — just a case of the efforts that have to be made to achieve them.

  23. Respected Argentine journalist Cesal Luis Merlo wrote on Twitter: “Alexandro Bernabei, a 21-year-old winger, will arrive in Scotland this week.




  24. Crossword help, please:



    Writer`s block is unending (6)



    – a – r – e – .

  25. Ge @ 3.55



    So that is a yes then …



    Unfortunately there is / was a lot of it about.


    Nightmares of SSE / BasVegas in 2003 and 2004.

  26. JC2


    Pope Francis is a follower of Club Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro, a team in Buenos Aries. Many Argentinian clubs are also multi sports clubs with a strong Athletics focus.

  27. Gene


    Your `berries` had me even more confused!


    I did consider J.M . Barrie ( he lived not far from here) but didn`t make the connection.






    Maybe lost in translation.



    His position is defined in Spanish as “lateral”, which literally means side player and could stretch to what we used to call a wing half



    However the classic left back position is often translated as “lateral izquierdo”

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