Various gaps but central defence is strategically important

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As the football operation at Celtic enjoys its first break since returning to training in June, focus at the club moves to recruitment.  Celtic have been busy renewing contracts throughout the first half of the season, the notable exceptions being Dedryck Boyata and Scott Brown, but reinforcements are needed ahead of the Champions League qualification games, if not the second half of the season.

The biggest area of concern is central defence.  Filip Benkovic will (probably) return to Leicester City in June, while Dedryck Boyata will hope to cash-in on last summer’s World Cup appearances before he produces too many like those at Ibrox on Saturday.  The Marvin Compper experiment was over before it began, while Jack Hendry has dropped to fifth choice and the fitness status of Jozo Simunovic has to be assessed on a minute-by-minute basis.

That leaves Kristoffer Ajer (20) as the only reliable option for a position that cost us dearly against AEK in August.

There is work to do elsewhere.  Right back needs strengthened, we are crucially short of headcount in the striker department and there’s a reasonable chance Scott Brown will move on this summer, but while moves are underway to cover some of these gaps, I would forgo all other positions to get central defence sorted out this month, despite the fact that right now it is the most settled of the positions discussed.

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  1. Guys from last thread.

     

     

    I know we are 3 Days into the current transfer window. But past windows does not fill me with confidence, and yes there should be a blinkin list. Ffs our priorities have not changed in 12 months, intensified if anything, so the first thing The club should have been doing from the summer debacle to now, is make sure our scouts come up with names for January that the manager could run the rule over well before now. That would enable us to hit the ground running in this window.

     

     

    There should be NO EXCUSES to come out of this window stronger.

     

    I know it’s early, but the longer we linger and fanny about the harder it will be to tie anyone up and we will end up with panic stop gap players.

     

     

    HH

     

     

    D. :)

  2. TB- i dread to think of where we would be without Boyata, i hope he stays for rest of the season. His agent might be worth the watching, he wasn’t happy in the summer, so i would be wary of loaning Hendry (i know),in case he pulls a fast one.

  3. We need 2 first team centre backs for qualifiers in June,i can see us going back for that donkey McKenna…

  4. succulentlambstinks on

    Penny pinching already with bayo I see.

     

    Couldn’t make this s£it up

     

    Same old Celtic board … biscuit tin mentality once again.

     

    John McGinn part deux.

  5. To think that the manager wouldn’t anticipate that Benkovic and Boyatta are for the ofskie is lunacy, he will know well before anyone else at the club, problem he will have is he won’t be allowed to bring in others till we get these two off the wage bill.

     

    Maybes if we hadn’t indulged some of the deadwood with crazy wages we might be in a position to get shot of a few of them.

     

    But lets all blame Brendan anyways.

  6. prestonpans bhoys on

    Bada @12:19

     

     

    If he ends up at Celtic Park then someone needs their jotters……..

  7. Succulentlambstinks.

     

    I would love to be doing business with you,

     

    do you just pay whatever people ask for something

     

    or do you have a value on it that you wont go above?

  8. If we leave his window having only bolstered the central defence, then the words you will read from me on February 1 will be ‘prepare for the possibility of blowing the title because we are in grave danger of doing so’.

     

     

    Where weakness are clear they must be addressed and as such we have had ample time to prepare for this window. There are no excuses.

     

     

    Regarding Bayo, does any club have as many offers rejected for players as we do? I’ve never known anything like it. It’s a constant farce. Even the deals that get over the line get done at snails pace. Can we please act decisively for once.

  9. I’m not overly concerned with the first bid for Bayo being rejected. Negotiations 101, I’m afraid.

     

     

    I will be concerned if we enter the last week of the window and we’re no further along.

     

     

    Plenty of time yet.

  10. Paul67

     

    Another nonsense header.

     

    Honestly, it’s like you are detached from reality.

     

    ‘ I would forgo all other positions to get central defence sorted out this month’!!!

     

    Why would you forgo any of the positions we are screaming out for strengthening when we were 27 million in the black. not including the 20 million Dembele money?

     

    We have no fit centre forward to last 90 mins at Ibrox. Who knows how long Griffiths will be out for, so we only have one forward to rely on when the season resumes.

     

    Lustig is done. Did you see him at Ibrox. The man has been past his best for 2 years and teams are targeting him.His replacements are not good enough to hold down a place in a club with our ambitions.

     

    These 2 positions are absolkutely essential to put us in a position to win the league.

     

    We have never been so financially strong, so only getting central defence sorted this window would be a disaster…why don’t you state that? Rather than the nonsense you posted.

     

    Honesty Paul67, reading your header today, I am beginning to wonder if you actually watch the matches.

     

    No tim who watches Celtic week in week out, knowing where we are badly lacking would post what you did.

     

    Or, are you getting Lawwell’s excuses in early for another shocking window?

     

    Hey, maybe you are correct Paul, save the money required to strengthen the team, and put it towards another bumper Lawwell salary and obscene bonus.

     

    Would you prefer that Paul?

  11. DAVID17 on 3RD JANUARY 2019 12:31 PM

     

    If we leave his window having only bolstered the central defence, then the words you will read from me on February 1 will be ‘prepare for the possibility of blowing the title because we are in grave danger of doing so’.

     

     

    Where weakness are clear they must be addressed and as such we have had ample time to prepare for this window. There are no excuses.

     

     

    Regarding Bayo, does any club have as many offers rejected for players as we do? I’ve never known anything like it. It’s a constant farce. Even the deals that get over the line get done at snails pace. Can we please act decisively for once.

     

    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————

     

    No. All major financial decisions have to be approved by Dermot Desmond. That’s why everything moves at a snail’s pace. If we need to increase our initial offer for any player then it needs further approval by our major shareholder when he can find the time in between playing golf and running his many other business interests. Lawwell does not have the authority to make decisions of this magnitude yet gets paid an obscenely high salary and bonus to do so.

  12. Boyata freaked out again at the Hate Factory – like a frightened rabbit – and not for the first time in his Celtic career.

     

    Sometimes it’s a question of mental fortitude, and McKenna is of stronger mind. Exotic signing aren’t what’s required to win this league. Cheerio Boyata.

  13. onenightinlisbon on

    “I would forgo all other positions to get central defence sorted out this month”

     

     

    Are you serious? We need much more than the central defence sorted and we have the money to do so. Being a board apologist must be a worthwhile job Paul?

  14. Let’s not kid ourselves either with talk of buying for CL qualifiers. We’ve won 3 away games all season and just got spanked by sevco.

     

     

    We’re buying to win the league.

  15. 16 ROADS. on 3RD JANUARY 2019 12:45 PM

     

    Boyata freaked out again at the Hate Factory – like a frightened rabbit – and not for the first time in his Celtic career.

     

     

     

     

    Sometimes it’s a question of mental fortitude, and McKenna is of stronger mind. Exotic signing aren’t what’s required to win this league. Cheerio Boyata.

     

     

    McKenna is a carthorse, and doesn’t stand out in a very average Aberdeen team, not in the same class as Boyata, comparable to Hendry more like IMO HH

  16. M6BHOY on 3RD JANUARY 2019 12:43 PM

     

    No. All major financial decisions have to be approved by Dermot Desmond. That’s why everything moves at a snail’s pace. If we need to increase our initial offer for any player then it needs further approval by our major shareholder when he can find the time in between playing golf and running his many other business interests. Lawwell does not have the authority to make decisions of this magnitude yet gets paid an obscenely high salary and bonus to do so.

     

     

    That wasn’t the case before.

     

    How do you know this?

  17. succulentlambstinks on

    GORDYBHOY64 on 3RD JANUARY 2019 12:30 PM

     

     

    If I need it badly I will pay the going rate. Especially if I had millions I wasn’t using.

  18. Go tell the Spartim on

    It suits the SMSM and garbage like Sky and Talksport to lead with such headlines, im certain that our negotiations are no different to many other clubs, rejections to bids by say Chelsea, Spurs etc are given much more positivity, as those clubs wont be held to ransom. Lets see what happens if Davies prices himselft out of the TRIL move, see if they dress it up as them pulling the plug etc.

     

     

    Im surprised that any celtic supporter isnt aware of how the SMSM work, negative celtic headlines, positives forces of darkness headlines (or no stories at all, e.g. release of accounts etc).

     

     

    Im with Bada 100% McKenna should only be at Celtic Park as a visiting player or if he wants to come and watch. We’d only be throwing money away

  19. succulentlambstinks on

    LAMBERT14

     

     

    Lustig is done. Did you see him at Ibrox. The man has been past his best for 2 years and teams are targeting him.

     

     

    I agree completely.

  20. LAMBERT14 on 3RD JANUARY 2019 12:56 PM

     

    M6BHOY on 3RD JANUARY 2019 12:43 PM

     

     

    No. All major financial decisions have to be approved by Dermot Desmond. That’s why everything moves at a snail’s pace. If we need to increase our initial offer for any player then it needs further approval by our major shareholder when he can find the time in between playing golf and running his many other business interests. Lawwell does not have the authority to make decisions of this magnitude yet gets paid an obscenely high salary and bonus to do so.

     

     

    That wasn’t the case before.

     

     

    How do you know this?

     

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

     

    Because all the evidence points to this being the case now and before. Over the past number of years the club has wasted tens of millions of a variety of donkeys which would have seen any other CEO chased out the door. Lawwell gets kept on because he is doing his master’s bidding.

     

     

    Desmond may be an absentee landlord but he is an unreconstructed capitalist and his behaviour when it comes to his business spending money reflects this.

  21. Bada – Did you not watch the zombie game?

     

    Granted the Hate Factory is one of the most hostile environments in sport, he got spooked again though – once the nerves went Boyata was totally useless. McKenna strolled it when the sheep won their recently. Boyata doesn’t want to be here anyway – he needs to leave ASAP, hopefully in January so the club can get some money for him.

  22. The No.13 Shorts on

    As if January wasn’t bad enough, turns out it’s also the not-very-bright, attention-seeking tadger (lattely known as troll) season. Going to be a long month.

  23. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “but reinforcements are needed ahead of the Champions League qualification games, if not the second half of the season.”

     

    ———-

     

    Well, Paul, if there are no reinforcements for the second half of the season there may not be Champions League qualification games.

     

    We have all seen the threadbare nature of the squad (quality if not quantity) when we are missing more than a couple of regulars.

     

    Several positions need strengthening. CB, RB, FW and to a lesser extent GK, LB and W.

     

    Work also to be done on tactical matters, in particular how to beat the high press and break down packed defences.

     

    When we play as we did v Hearts and Kilmarnock (home) and Dundee and St Johnstone (away) we are unstoppable. But we can’t go from these highs to the lows of St Mirren, Livingston, Hibs and Sevco.

  24. Paul

     

     

    The fact we approached the end of the first half pf the season with ONE recognised striker tells you where the priority is.

     

     

    Quite scandalous . Dembele should have been told to honour his contract till we had a suitable replacement.

  25. Go tell the Spartim on

    Playing for Aberdeen is nothing like playing for Celtic, less expectations and a more uglier version of football, plus they were down to ten men. He’s a siege defender with nothing else expected of him other than to use his frame in the road. Not our type of player, not even defensively.

     

     

    Id pass on taking him every day of the week. for the money they want surely it could be spent better elsewhere (as in other leagues)

     

     

    Cant speak for the ordinary supporter (there are no ordinary Celtic supporters, they’re so much more) but for me, this should be PL’s last chance saloon. Personally i believe his involvement in many things has us hamstrung, its not just the football “department” that needs new blood

  26. Good afternoon, friends.

     

    I think that we all agree that there are several areas of the first team where we could do with replacing and/or improving. But I completely disagree with Paul67’s view that we should simply look to get some new central defenders and forego the other areas. Surely, the proper planning is to continuously be on the look out for players, referred to, I think, as succession planning. Players don’t wait for us to come calling. We need to identify them and sign them. I would like to see us acquire 2 full backs, a central defender, a midfield ‘enforcer’ and a couple of strikers. Getting 4 out of those 6 might be acceptable; but just getting a central defender is probably not.

     

    Polite rant over!

  27. Hi Paul67,

     

     

    Interesting piece, my thoughts are we need to get three or four quality signings in…

     

     

    Celtic have been busy renewing contracts throughout the first half of the season, the notable exceptions being Dedryck Boyata and Scott Brown…

     

     

    Is renewing contracts like a new signing;) We need to get Dedryck and Scott’s replacements in this window. Sure we double up on wages for six months but we bring much needed depth to the first team, Scott can show them the score and they will be bedded in for the UCL Qualifiers…

     

     

    SAINT STIVS @ 12:25 PM,

     

     

    Erik was great, one of those players who did exactly what it said on the tin…

     

     

    Of course we needed a reasonable SPL level CH and paid the going rate, we’d done so much flaffing about and wheeling dealing at CH, once it became obvious Simonuvic was not fit and carrying a long term/permanent injury…

     

     

    But he’s not what we need now, we need a Tolo Toure type, Captain material even.

     

     

    We also need a very good right back. I don’t go along with the Lustig us finished mantra, For me he’s always been one of those players who need recuperation he’s always looked a much better player after returning from injury.

     

     

    He’s played a lot (too much) football over the last couple of seasons like several if our squad. If we get a right back in, we can monitor young Ralstons progress and if he’s not quite ready, maybe extend PC Lustig for another year…

     

     

    Hail Hail

  28. traditionalist88 on

    LAMBERT14 on 3RD JANUARY 2019 12:42 PM

     

     

    Paul67

     

     

    Another nonsense header.

     

     

    Honestly, it’s like you are detached from reality.

     

     

    ‘ I would forgo all other positions to get central defence sorted out this month’!!!

     

    ================

     

     

    Didn’t understand the rationale for this either. Expectation management?

     

     

    Is there something inhibiting us from strengthening as much as possible in every department it is required?

     

     

    Money being the obvious inhibitor but when we are looking at £1.7m+ for our striker target and the other attacking option being a 6 month loan, nothing in the public domain so far is going to ‘break the bank’.

     

     

    Get the deals done, if an extra 30-40% is required to secure a top target then it would be wise to get it done or else save the lot and give it to the new manager, because there is only so much incompetence Brendan will be able to take.

     

     

    HH

  29. SOUTH OF TUNIS from last thread.

     

     

    The press have always had an agenda but historically there was more individual proprietors giving different viewpoints.

     

     

    The Vietnam war changed everything.

     

     

    The establishment realized that they failed to control the message and it was their opinion that it was not the Vietnamese who defeated them and ended the war but public opinion.

     

     

    Since the seventies it is not coincidental that media ownership has concentrated.

     

     

    The sevco Lazarus situation being a perfect example of having control of the message.

     

     

    Politicians have facilitated and Thatcher was a prime example.

     

     

     

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/apr/28/how-margaret-thatcher-and-rupert-murdoch-made-secret-deal

     

     

     

    In America Murdoch also got the benefits of politicians rule changes.

     

     

     

    https://qz.com/139743/america-is-looking-to-relax-the-rule-that-spurred-rupert-murdoch-to-become-a-us-citizen/

     

     

     

    Since then consolidation has continued.

     

     

     

     

    https://www.morriscreative.com/6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america/

     

     

     

    Without the insidious effect of media many empires would never have come to pass.

  30. I thought you had to win the league before thinking abut “reinforcements for the Champions League Qualifiers” – typical arrogance that typifies why we wont win the League this year.

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