Tom, Nir, James. Identity in the dressing room


Tom Rogic (29) leaves us tomorrow, 8 months shy of a decade at Celtic.  After a couple of loan spells back in Australia he became a mainstay of the Celtic side in Ronny Delia’s second term.  Tom will be remembered as an artisan, a throwback to an earlier era, when grace was more common.

His goals stick in the mind more vividly than most.  The league winner at Kilmarnock, the last-minute winner at Motherwell, he was the scourge of Newco, scoring against them at three different venues.  He leaves Scottish football as one of four nominees by his fellow professionals as Player of the Year.  This season, outstanding performances against Hibs, Dundee United, Motherwell and Ross County all come to mind.  He harvested votes across the season.

Nir Bitton (30) also wears a Celtic shirt in battle for the final time tomorrow.  He arrived seven months after Tom and leaves on a high, bookending his career here with a controlled cameo at Ibrox that saw Celtic comfortably over the line.

Their contemporary, James Forrest (30), signed a new deal yesterday that will keep him at the club until 2025.  All three have more to offer the game.  None were likely to be first choice at Celtic next season, but, when fit, James has the ability, pace, experience and goalscoring threat that the manager values.

Having watched Scott Brown interact with the rest of the squad, I also believe there is an important role in maintaining an identity about the club, one that is best secured from within the dressing room.

You will have lots of memories to deal with tomorrow, none more than the incredible Hampden moment in May 2017, when Tom ran from 30 yards out, evaded two challenges and slipped the ball into the net to secure the invincible treble!  Some heroes are destined to inspire long after they leave.

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  1. Sorry to see Tom and Nir leave,a bit to early but that’s what tey wanted.Must admit i liked Nir he could take a few stupid fouls but did everything that was asked of him and he could sure pass a ball.

  2. IniquitousIV on

    Talk on various blogs that Celtic are in contract discussions with our manager.



    The question has to be asked.



    What has he done for us lately?

  3. HOT SMOKED on 13TH MAY 2022 3:46 PM



    I can’t comment on anyone else but I dont think I give disproportionate stick. I comment on what people post, individual posts and series of posts which build up a picture for me of peoples intentions.



    Fair play to you for sticking up for him. I see it differently.

  4. its now joined by a st stivs logo illuminated in the sky ………..



    that can only mean someone is having a go at the JJ bhoys , James and Julien.



    this is serious.

  5. When Tom came to us, he was a skilful futsal player and unsuited to the rigorous parts of our version of football. it took a couple of years for him to learn to ride the vigorous tackles and charges and groping allowed by Scottish refs. He grew into a massive game-winner for us, dangerous, even when having a quiet game. He wanted to leave Celtic a couple of years ago but he was invaluable in providing Ange with a Kent face and an advocate, even for one year. For that alone, I don’t mind letting him go a year early.



    Nit Bitton, like Tom and all our players had strengths and weaknesses. A steady cool head in passing while being pressed allied to a hair-trigger tackling technique which, if a fraction off, resulted in clumsy reds. He sacrificed himself to utility play, saving us on a real CB’s wages but, he never could overcome a midfielders tendency to not worry about letting a ball go over his head, in a way that real CBs find to be anathema. He made a fist of the CB position but not really a decent fist. What he did do well was to function as a squad player without rancour and, indeed, he has been a useful mentor for Neil Abada, his countryman. I hop he can function well without Nir.



    We will miss both players sentimentally but I think we can recruit and be stronger.



    In 2 seasons we will have lost Broony, Rogic and Bitton, leaving Calmac and JF as the last of the old guard. James’s deficiencies, (weak tackling, switching off occasionally on tracking duties, losing a notch when played on the left, and , worst of all, having several injury spells in his career) are well known and commented upon. His attributes go without comment. He has very good close control while moving at a fair speed ( his loss of pace much exaggerated) and is a rich source of assists and goals, plus defender attention which frees space, and has a temperament to cope with the less than ringing support he gets from our crowd. Ange has regularly picked James in his squad. Neil Abada with a great goal scoring first season has kept James out of the team, even when JF was fit, because goals trump dependability, rightly so. Neil, does not have the close control that JF has nor the short passing ability, but he has more explosive pace and goals. As a young player he will still have form slumps and it would not surprise m, in the least, if JF wins his place back as he did when Paddy Roberts usurped it. Therefore, I am not at all surprised that Age gave him a 2 year extension (he was already signed up till 2023). JF is 2nd choice currently for the right side of our front 3. Unless we buy a better one or young Owen Moffat kicks on quickly, we will be using JF regularly next season if he remains fit.



    All 3 deserve our thanks for contributing to a very successful playing era

  6. Nir has been a fantastic servant to Celtic. Served under several managers who all saw quality in his play. You don’t last 10 years at a club if you are a liability (ONIL). It’s time for him to move on because he should be playing 90 mins every week. He also really gets Celtic which always helps. Very sad to see him go.



    Tom leaves with our best wishes. I’d rather he stayed another season as he has plenty of football left in him, but if he is heading home then I am pleased for him. Truly a great servant to the club and on his day one of our best players ever.

  7. Must say I’m surprised at CJ’s statement. He will have his own reasons for putting it out, one may be to assure any interested parties that he is fit & worth a bid – it sounds valedictory to me.

  8. Weebobbycollins on

    Huns will be glad to see the back of big Tom…he was responsible for a lot of their pain…

  9. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on




    2017 Scottish Cup Final v Aberdeen …



    The betting slip was £20 – £10 each for me and my brother – on Celtic to win 2-1. Oh how we celebrated when Tom Rogic scored that late winner, just as we were resigning ourselves to extra-time.






    Out of curiosity Tom …



    … what odds did you get?

  10. Tom mcLaughlin



    Thanks for the source Tom.👍



    Hope you enjoy tomorrow




  11. I’m sure we have all watched Nir play for his National Team,a back three with another xCelt.excellent.



    It’s all about having the right players and playing in there proper positions and a midfield that can help defend.



    Also coaching helps and tactics……….see Shane Duffy.

  12. CaddingtonCommon on

    Shall miss big Tom. He could caress a football like it was his pet and the wonderful ability of seeing the pass early. A very very talented football player.


    Hail Hail


    Stay Safe

  13. I know it would never happen, but would any of you welcome Goldson as a CH? Out of contract and obviously looking for a bigger club.


    Been a good player for them.

  14. Weebobbycollins on

    Celtic40Me…I agree with you that, rightly or wrongly, an individual’s posts lead one to build up an idea or picture of said poster…and I can’t help myself if I believe someone is not the real deal. There are those I manage to ignore, others I have to respond to. Fud seems to be my favourite, harmless insult. It’s not really personal as I don’t know the poster other than the moniker, however, it usually makes me feel better and quite satisfied. Sad innit? :-)

  15. Tom McLaughlin on




    I remember I got £180 back so it was 8/1.



    What a celebration that night.

  16. DENIABHOY on 13TH MAY 2022 4:39 PM



    If he is good enough and if CC-V leaves, I would be perfectly happy for us to sign Goldson.


    I haven`t really seen much of him. Is he a decent player?

  17. BOURNESOUPRECIPE on 13TH MAY 2022 4:45 PM




    Was MACCARGO`s 4:24 PM link not good enough for you ? :-))

  18. Pretty sad to see Tam leave. Enjoyed the montages posted.



    Nir as well, as many have said he seldom got to play his preferred position and always grabbed the role given to him. A few wee moments of course, just short of bomb scare.




  19. Hot Smoked – He’s been their best defender. Excellent passer, good in the air, organises their back line and a real threat at corners.


    He’s out of contract and probably EPL bound.

  20. onenightinlisbon on

    Surprised to see Julien’s comments. Would have thought Ange’s style of management would deem such outbursts unnecessary. Think his boat may be well and truly burned now though….

  21. leftclicktic on

    MACCARGO 4:24


    Thank you for the Ange presser link.


    Not only have we got a super manager at the helm but in Ange we also have a great man.


    In Ange we trust.

  22. Hot smoked


    If the win next week and qualify for the CL I’m sure some of their players will stay and if course attract others.

  23. !!Bada Bing!! on

    I think low line trains are back on tomorrow, can anyone check? Might help a few Bhoys out

  24. CADDINGTONCOMMON on 13TH MAY 2022 4:28 PM


    Shall miss big Tom. He could caress a football like it was his pet and the wonderful ability of seeing the pass early. A very very talented football player.







    Opposition teams consistently doubled (or more) on him creating space room for other players. He’ll be missed.



    It’ll be a shame if he doesn’t get a crack at the EPL. I’d like to see what he could do with better players around him, no hammer throwers trying to cripple him and unbiased referees doing their job properly.

  25. TOM MCLAUGHLIN on 13TH MAY 2022 4:40 PM






    I remember I got £180 back so it was 8/1.



    What a celebration that night.





    Think we all celebrated that goal Tom,hope ye tipped the barmaid well bro 🤣




  26. Weebobbycollins on

    Has anyone seen the images of the Israeli police attacking the pallbearers of the slain Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, causing the coffin to fall? Unforgivable! Shameless bigoted bastards!

  27. DENIABHOY on 13TH MAY 2022 4:59 PM



    Thanks. Sounds just right for us !


    I was never a Jullien fan so would be happy to see Goldson replace him. Also, and I am not sure why I think this but he has never struck me as a man happy with the nature of the Hunnish element of their support ie most of them !


    Cheerio for now.

  28. My personal highlight of this year was a Joe Hart interview – you could tell he meant it and he knew there was something about this squad. He is class.

  29. I would think Tom is more likely to be playing in Quatar or Japan than the EPL.


    He deserves a year or two of pension-boosting wages before retiring to his homeland.