Various gaps but central defence is strategically important


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. celticrollercoaster on

    ****Goals Galore 4- just 2 days to go…beneficiaries announced****



    Good Evening folks



    We are delighted to announce our two beneficiaries



    Our Lisbon beneficiary ( who will receive 80% of the donated element) is “The Beatson Trust” as a tribute to those that fight the evil cancer (past or present) or know someone close to them that has battled or continue to battle, including our good friend, Murdoch, Auld & Hay and Dena29’s daughter who continue to battle; Lionsroar67 who has defeated it and Wee Oscar and Eileidh Rose who sadly lost their battle, amongst many others.



    We asked Stephen (MAH) for his thoughts on our suggested beneficiary, before finalising the choice and he replied:



    “I cant think of a better organisation which delivers numerous & umpteen services for cancer sufferers . I can’t recommend the Beatson highly enough no task is to big or to small they will have an answer to any query asked of them



    I have found them an excellent support line on my cancer journey& wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them for any donations as it would be thoroughly well deserved


    Fighting cancer is tough hard.brutal but with the Beatson by your side you know your not alone ”






    Our Seville beneficiary ( who will receive 20% of the donated element) is the amazing voluntary charity FRED run by our very own Scaniel and his family. FRED stands for Farmersfield Rest-home for Elderly Donkeys and is based in Dumfries,This is a registered charity who currently care for 18 retired donkeys.along with the ponies, Shetlands, miniature Shetlands, tortoises, cats, dogs, guinea pigs and Maisie, a pot bellied pig. Most of these animals have been rescued from distressed conditions. With the support of the charity, the animals are allowed to continue to live out a full and happy life in good care. There are no employees as all the work is carried out by family members – and the odd volunteer from time to time. An amazing cause which is open to your visits and help. Simply contact them by leaving a message on their facebook page









    Thank you for your continued and amazing support which allows us to continue to support these great causes



    Still time to join the competition. Just send us an email to cqnpredictor@gmail.com






    CRC and Bateen Bhoy



    We have two of the fastest players in spl with Forrest and Sinclair yet nullify their pace by only playing to feet with them facing backwards.


    The occasional ball for them to run on to would add another dimension to our play.

  3. i agree with you kev, im on record saying we should do a belfast celtic and disband if need be first of all we pay for our own cheating and its nearly impossible to get a fair crack of the whip as they say but this board our truly pathetic and we need them out worst of all fergus mccann left us this bunch of tories and like thatcher its killing us please stop whinging like i said you pay for your own cheating and then cry about it every week ffs do somthing about it

  4. GlassTwoThirdsFull on



    Very good point about the way Forrest and Sinclair position themselves. If you look at Sterling and Sane, they are always tight on the touchline, with their backs to the stands.


    This means they can see all the play and make runs early. If the attack goes down one side the opposite winger will make a run inside to the back post. They score so many goals this way.


    It also stretches the defence, which allows midfield players to attack the spaces.

  5. Jeezo,



    Had to stop reading….full of this window angst about supposition of actions past, present and future…why don’t we wait and see what happens before proffering an opinion about facts….







  6. Ps P67…



    Wow…hubris and expectation management…you are better than that…wow




  7. So 50 years ago my dad took me to see Celtic for the first time.



    We walked from my grans tenement in Dunning St about 100 yards to the Celtic Supporters Association on London Rd.



    Uncle Paul and Uncle Billy seemed less concerned than me about our recent form winning just 1 of our last 5 games including losing for the 2nd time to our Glasgow rivals. I was only 7 and was told it would all work out.



    They were right we won 3-1 against a really good Dunfermline team and went on to avoid domestic defeat until the game after we beat the Govan mob 4-0 to win the treble at Hampden.



    Since then I have been to over 1600 Celtic games. We have won 26 leagues and 20 Scottish Cups. 6 more of each than our biggest rivals.



    Celtic has given me so much joy and agony over that time. But mostly a lot of joy as we have quite clearly assumed a mantle and a dominance my dad and uncles honestly only blindly dreamt of back then.



    How they would love to see what we have seen this past decade.



    These are great Celtic times. Some on here should enjoy it a wee bit more.



    Back in 1969 after we won the treble they signed Colin Stein for a Scottish record. £100k. They also had a refeee banned for being Celtic minded.



    The fundamentals are now with us thanks to great management in the post Ferguson era. Brian Quinn set the course and others have followed. Heroes on and off the park.

  8. Looking at our fixtures the league is there for us. If we’re anywhere near our best, I can’t see us dropping any points until Rugby Park, straight after the Valencia match.



    We’ve Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen and Sevco at home in the third quarter of the season.



    We should be aiming to finish this by Easter.

  9. Just about most managers in Scotland have come out and been critical of our referees. EXCEPT Celtic!



    Brendan came out with a joke about Shinnie diving ! Ha bloody Ha.




    Speak out Brendan or go home.

  10. Just a passing thought…has CBN ever done an analysis of refereeing in our games ;-))




  11. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Scroll by, Celts.



    Don’t mean to lower the tone Paul67, I haven’t anywhere else to gloat. Cheteshwar Pujara 151no. Carry on, son.

  12. Ronny Delia’s team were the best in recent years. Everyone admits that the team BR inherited was RD’s.



    He was only half way through.



    I wish he was back.



    BR is struggling. Like most Liverpool supporters warned us.

  13. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    JIMTHETIM53 on 4TH JANUARY 2019 12:48 AM


    Ronny Delia’s team were the best in recent years. Everyone admits that the team BR inherited was RD’s.






    No they don`t.


    I don`t.



    Brendan converted the players Ronny had into achievers and winners.



    Brendan`s won seven trophies in a row.


    Sack him.

  14. Honestly couldn’t give a toss as to how the manky neighbours are running their hoose – Bright House will be at the door 5 mins after the 1st payment is overdue. However, we have the resources to be shopping about in John Lewis yet we’re bumbling aboot in B&M asking where last year’s Black Friday deals went. They haven’t got the spare cash we’ve got but they’re sending the youngest oot to put a line on at the bookie’s because they’ve been studying form and know that they might end up with the same wallpaper and tele as us. We’ve been showing aff our Air Max trainer’s, iOS fandangles and holidays to Dubai for years now and they want to gamble the little they have on matching us. Fair play to them. Meanwhile we want to take a new Ferrari on loan for 6 months and show aff while forgetting the consequences. Doesn’t matter what you’ve got or think you deserve, there will always be a manky neighbour that will do anything to upstage you. So keep your own house in order and avoid blaming everybody else. We’ve become arrogant and complacent, nothing to do with ugly Colombians, desperate masons or conspiracy!

  15. No point in being patronising mj, they’re taking a gamble and Gerard is willing to run down the road and put his giro on it.

  16. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on




    Not patronising in the slightest………



    Just attempting to reassure the doubters.



    Don`t give a damn about Gerrard.


    He supports the hun.


    His giro may well bounce .

  17. Deflection is complacency and there’s no point in blaming anybody but our own team, board and support. We’re not superior to any other team, I give you Europe! We’ve been lauding over Scottish football as if we’re the Lisbon Lion’s yet we couldn’t lick Martin O’Neil’s nethers. Reality check is in order. Someone earlier mentioned Ronnie’s players in the ‘Invincibles’ and another poster scoffed. I believed from day one Ronny was a cracking coach – not manager we should have kept him on in some capacity. IMHO of course.

  18. No doubt Gerard’s girl will bounce. The point is the whole Celtic family should be howling with laughter at the thought. We’re not.

  19. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on







    Profoundly disagree.



    What`s his record since he left Celtic ?



    Mate. Sorry. Have to head out .

  20. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    Just to keep it going for the wee man. Pujara 181no, having a bite of lunch now.



    Such a thrill to hear abc ball by ball commentary on 5livesx

  21. Would rather you call me Miss, Mrs, Lady etc. . Mate’s quite offensive to a woman ? Happy New Year MJ!

  22. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Long day – time for bed.



    A big thank you to the CQN community for a very entertaining day.



    Keep the faith.



    We are here to support the best club in the world.



    Our enemies are here to



    stop us






    just to make money by peddling BS to the hard of thinking.



    July, 1997 – Celtic presented their new manager, Win Jansen.



    Earlier that day, IN A NATIONAL “NEWSPAPER” some guy said it would be Artur Jorge.



    Incredibly this guy still works in the Scottish Sports Media.



    November 1998 – Succulent Lamb



    December 2002 – Thugs and Thieves



    June 2012 – Rangers died (followed ever since by naw they didnae – by the same people)



    July 2016 – Warburton is coming to take your title



    July 2017 – Pedro is coming to take your title



    January 2018 – the Graeme Murty / Jimmy Nicholl ticket are coming to take your title



    July 2018 – Stevie G is coming to take your title



    Is it 04 January 2019 already?



    Just seven days to go before King has to have South African approval to transfer £11m to the UK.



    Watch out for those squirrels !!!!!



    Hail hail and good night.

  23. Bankiebhoy…ment to say….***Sparklegirl*** is a Tim…although some of the Timterlopers…make me wonder

  24. Seen some positive narratives from some sources that Sevco hav remorgaged everything this year…but r about to bust…so where r their Defoe finances coming from…







  25. All clubs in this country should be pushing for financial fair play…All our clubs i this country should be pushing for VAR….




  26. The late great Jock Stein used to say Celtic had to beat their opponents so comprehensively to rule out the Officials input whilst “refereeing”. Brendan Rodgers has to instill this mentality into the players now that the Officials have stated their intentions so clearly this season. The Celtic board have to rise to the occasion, say feck all, give the manager what he needs to slaughter Sevco and the SFA on the park. That’ll hurt der hun hordes more than any protest off the park.

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