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. balornock bhoy on

    Burnley78 your 1600 games trumps me and I hope you attend many more.


    You will have seen the good and the bad of our club just as I recall some tough days growing up in Balornock in the 70s and 80s, at a non denominational school, with 95% of my school mates supporting Rangers.



    Not so my two sons, one who has just completed 7 years at primary school, and one who has gone 6 years at Cathkin HS and never saw anyone other than us win the league with both having the bragging rights over their school mates.



    Long may it continue.

  2. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on



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









    Back in the day , mating used to be acceptable , nay compulsory .






    Guid New Year to your good self . maam.

  3. According to German newspapers this morning, Bayern are said to be showing interest


    in Tim Weah.



  4. So John Beaton, the man that entered the history books as being the only referee to ever give a straight red for dissent sees nothing wrong in Morelos’s three red card offences.



    Celtic should be making their feelings clear on this or Beaton will be encouraged to cheat further down the line.

  5. After this latest diabolical decision by the SFA, let there be no doubt we are in a fight for this title.Sevco are signing experienced players for short term glory.Add this to our recent shortcomings then I can understand some fans fear of not winning the title.Two ready made first team players are a must this window. hh.

  6. morning bhoys from a not as cold as yesterday Cheshire,,,,,in my 50 years watching celtic, the the men in black have always favoured the huns,,sadly its Scotland don’t think it will ever change.hh.

  7. Bhoyjoebelfast on

    My late father’s take on the referee in Scotland.


    They may not be pro (sevco) but they sure are anti Celtic.

  8. Stairheedrammy on

    Encouraged by their better than expected European run and our lower than expected points tally the dobbers are throwing everything at winning this league. The addition of experience should bolster their relatively young team, but as we know, experienced players dont always deliver.

  9. South Of Tunis on




    Cricket ,lovely cricket . I love cricket .



    Australia trailing by 588 at stumps .



    Watched in a wee beach bar rammed with Bangladeshis and Pakistanis . Neutral me simply wanting the best team to win . The Bangladeshis and Pakistanis would prefer both teams to lose.




  10. Stairheedrammy on

    For those wondering why our club are noticeable in their reluctance to call out the cheating in Scottish football imagine this scenario


    A football club, built on religious intolerance and seen as a conduit through which the local population can fairly safely express their bigotry is struggling having been caught cheating the UK tax man.


    Our club, through their politically driven chairman have publicly announced that we will no longer be discriminated against and this is seen as threatening the status quo at this crucial time


    The government have recently thrown their efforts towards a publicly highlighted campaign to reduce sectarianism at football, which in reality includes new powers to criminalise the Irishness that much of the population find offensive


    The police, keen to attract additional funding, accept government hints that one club is rocking the boat and agree to “help out”


    Celtic are then mysteriously reported for discriminatory chants to both local and international football authorities, with warnings of further sanctions depending on future behaviour.


    Celtic then accept the status quo and keep quiet no matter what.


    It could never happen, could it.

  11. Is there a queue of Celtic supporters waiting to take up season tickets? If not there will be an increasing number of empty seats at paradise next season should Celtic not make some solid investment in this window. There are 4 season cards in this family alone which is looking like 2 if this corporate negligence is allowed to continue.


    Allied to resolution 12 debacle ( on the part of Celtic, not the requisitioners I should add) a lot of bhoys are sure to call it a day. How many percentage wise? No idea but within the Celtic supporting friends I have the numbers considering calling it a day are worrying.


    This is NOT a call for others to follow suit. The bhoys who purchase their season tickets will make their own decisions on their preferred course of action, if indeed they feel unhappy.


    Today’s headlines on the various Celtic websites carry the pictures of cheatin’ Beaton grinning alongside a Rangers supporter, allegedly taken on Saturday night. This won’t of course appear on mainstream news, not in corrupt Scotland.


    It’s another kick in the proverbials though and compounded by the absolutely diabolical decision yesterday that no retrospective action can be taken because the referee SEEN all 3 incidents. Yes, read that again. He seen all 3!



    Will Celtic raise concerns over this? Ask for clarification of the rules re booting an opponent in the family allowance regions, or stamping on an opponent? Or will they say nothing?



    The entire team of officials was handpicked for that hatchet job on Saturday. Now whilst we played so badly and deserved nothing from that game , our players deserve protection and an application of the rules. That didn’t happen and it needs addressed.



    In some 53 years of my 60years on this planet, following Celtic, I’m 90% leaning towards calling it a day. I can accept losing games, losing titles, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to pay another penny towards lining the pockets of incompetent Celtic directors/ board members, and to a blatantly anti Celtic establishment.



    Fair play to the bhoys who can continue to do so but it’s time to call it a day I fear for this bhoy.



    I’ll await the next days and weeks with increasing interest and sadly increasing levels of doubt that Celtic will come out fighting on all fronts.



    Rant over – other than to say trying to compose this message on an iPhone on this site whilst the page jumps all over the place is equally frustrating!! So, if full of typos, apologies. I ain’t trying to review / change it.

  12. traditionalist88 on

    ROCK TREE BHOY on 3RD JANUARY 2019 5:47 PM


    Davis is 34 and Defoe is 36, thats a collective age of 70.





    Notwithstanding the fact these are smart players who are well aware they can extend their careers by looking after themselves physically, and that they are coming from the EPL and not League 1 for very good reasons, If its pointless exercises we’re into, why stop there?!



    Adding both players shoe sizes brings it up to 89. And then, f*ck it, if you double it (because why not) thats 178!



    With numbers like that, no point us signing anyone eh. We just have to turn up and we’ll cruise it!




  13. if you are an official in scottish football or if you work at the SFA there are 2 very important rules.


    rule 1 is do not offend rangers/sevco.


    rule 2 is do not favour celtic.


    the breaking of these rules is a career decision.


    last saturday beaton did exactly what he was told to do and it would not have mattered who had refereed the game. the result would have been the same.

  14. BURNLEY78 on 3RD JANUARY 2019 11:51 PM



    Great post. Sums up my relationship with Celtic over a similar period although I haven’t made 1,600 games – probably about 1,000 for me.

  15. TRADITIONALIST88 on 4TH JANUARY 2019 9:43 AM



    The point is that there seemed to be an increased amount of anxiety, panic, anger, call it what you want, yesterday over the signing of a 36 year old with 22 minutes of league football to his name this season despite being fit and at Bournemouth. You’d have thought they’d signed someone to take them to the mythical land of “the next level,” not someone with a handful of goals in the last two seasons from 30 odd performances



    Maybe its just me but it felt a but like some people wanted him to be better then he is to prove a point.

  16. Should we win the opening 3 home matches against St Mirren, Hamilton and St Johnstone, we will open up at least a 3 point gap and a goal difference of around +10 better than any rival, essentially a net 4 point lead. From the remaining 15 matches, we will face Sevco twice. Those games are where the title will be won and lost, make no mistake about it. Two decent results and 35 points from the remaining 45 available will secure there title with a bit to spare. We are not yet behind the 8 ball but we must ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated. This requires simple investment in the playing staff. On the pitch, we are about to find out how good this Celtic team really are and how good Brendan is. Lets hope the Board give them the help they evidently need.

  17. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    Well this mornings huge news from Celtic will rock Scottish football and make Rangers title chase seem unlikely to succeed Celtic are looking at becoming major shareholders in Shamrock Rovers. What absolute nonsense if it is true over at Celtic park the High Heid yins are having enough trouble trying to run Celtic without becoming involved in running another one. Just exactly how would this help us to win major honours ? how would this improve our first team ? for goodness sake you auld duffers who run Celtic wake up we need new players not another club focus on the team you are supposed to be running and the thousands of fans throughout the world who are looking for you to improve our first team. H.H.

  18. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Celtic had to put up with a succession of disgraceful refereeing decisions at the weekend.



    But its all Celtic`s fault , so I`m going to take it out on Celtic.



    That`ll show them huns.

  19. Silver City 1888 on

    Thank goodness for that. The Norm Irn couple who won the £115m are called Frances and Patrick. Not likely to be generous benefactors to our rivals.

  20. South Of Tunis on




    Today?s speculation –



    Atalanta have told Lazio that they want 7.5 million euros for Castagne plus Lazio’s midfielder -Danilo Cataldi . .” Journos ” claim that Lazio value Cataldi at 4 million euros.

  21. Delaneys Dunky on



    From today till the end of the season will indicate how good the Celtic Board are, how good the Celtic Management Team are, how good Celtic players are and how good Celtic Supporters are. Hope all 4 departments perform to their best.


    No bothered wi Defoe and Davis signings.


    Tribute Act players going to Tribute Act club sensation! Meh



  22. (clears throat)…



    BAY-O! Bay-ay-ay-OH!


    Kick off comes and he wanna score goals!


    Bay, me say bay, me say bay, me say bay, me say bay, me say bay-ay-ay-o


    Kick off comes and he wanna score goals



    He’s a six foot, seven foot, eight foot GUN


    Kick off comes and he wanna score goals


    Left foot, right foot, smash dem huns


    Pass him the ball and he’s gonna score goals…




  23. traditionalist88 on

    CELTIC40ME on 4TH JANUARY 2019 10:10 AM



    True but I was only pointing out that age is nearly irrelevant if you are signing fit, hungry, players, and combining two different players ages together is about as pointless an exercise you can carry out.



    There is also the (understandable) lingering feeling of uneasiness after the farce which was our summer transfer window.



    Celtic signing players is becoming akin to pulling teeth. Even in the summer Sevco played against a side in a European qualifier, liked the look of their left back and were parading him as their own 4 days later. No idea how hes doing but we need to get business done. I’m sure he’ll outlast our backup Left Back we picked up in the summer.



    All well and good saying we’re only a few days into the window but there have been positions we have been weak in for over a year and in terms of numbers alone we will HAVE to sign players this window in forward positions.




  24. Delaneys Dunky on

    Silver City


    I know two bitter huns (aint they all) called Patrick. Don’t know if they are bitter cause they are huns, or cause their parents named them Patrick. One is from Yoker the other born in Old Kilpatrick. Can understand the latter where he was born. The Yoker one was full on Ulster Loyalist FTP type. Sadweehunsyndrome. ?????

  25. MACJAY1



    Cheers! I’m ready for us to splash out 2.3mill just so us fans can sing that beautiful refrain ;)


    Imagine Sir Rod leading us all off on that one…

  26. SOUTH OF TUNIS on 4TH JANUARY 2019 10:24 AM



    My lazio supporting mate says the really need to strengthen at right back, but they’ll likely want to include a player exchange.



    If they want him, and Lotito doesn’t start messing around there’s not much of a choice for the player

  27. TRADITIONALIST88 on 4TH JANUARY 2019 10:43 AM


    CELTIC40ME on 4TH JANUARY 2019 10:10 AM




    True but I was only pointing out that age is nearly irrelevant if you are signing fit, hungry, players



    A players age is always relevant, but when he’s 36 it becomes more relevant than fitness and hunger, and arguably ability.



    You’d take a 36 year old Larsson over 26 year old Boyd, but the amount of football he’s played recently suggests Defoe is neither

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