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. onenightinlisbon on

    Defoe? Would we be happy with that signing? To be honest, he will no doubt score goals against the teams here and at the moment we are in desperate need for at least one, possibly two proven strikers. Makes you think….

  2. Go tell the Spartim on

    The league is in our own hands, do our business right and it doesnt matter what anyone else does, thats the worrying bit, Bonus Collector doesnt exactly fill you with any confidence and thats as polite as i could manage.

  3. Has Lawwell expressed his “surprise” yet or is he too busy re-counting his £2m + pound coins?

  4. we were beaten to Defoe accoring to Sevco media – say what you want about them, they get the deals done. we just fanny around.

  5. Guys I could not care about Defoe going to Huns, what bothers me is that they are oot the traps like a greyhound…


    Again I will say we have known for 12 months what we have needed and we should have been talking to clubs in October/ November /December with a view of getting them in NOW 1,2,3,4,5 days into window.



    Quality not stop gap PROJECT LOANEES



    D. :)

  6. Sn@kePLissken67 on

    No doubt we’ll see a month of being linked with a ton of players for ONE to come in at 5 to 12 on the last night.



    Beyond a joke.



    I didn’t want Defoe at Celtic at 36 but it shows they are making moves while we chase a 6 month loan for an 18 year old with a famous father and won’t pay the money a Slovak club want (so far).



    After last week, there should have been two signings made by Friday of this week just for starters.



    Truly depressing.

  7. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    So, two EPL players (bench warmers, maybe, but still be on pretty high wages) on top of a whole new management team, a director of football and 15 new players in the summer. Would love to know how much they are charging for the pies over there…….

  8. P67 – As the owner/administrator of this highly thought of blog I cannot understand the tone and trend of your blogs lately. I agree with others on here questioning your agenda. Why not call it as it is for a change. Today is the final straw, will PL demand a further explanation from the SFA regarding the More or less decision earlier? Wont hold my breath. At least Sutton has the balls to call it as it is. Will Lawwell or Bankier take the cheats to task over the disgusting banners displayed at the hate factory last Saturday? No don’t think so. The GB are easier targets with their banners. What about the welcome the team bus received at the hate factory last Saturday, is Lawwell or Bankier going to pursue this? There was a snapshot of Celtic Head of Security (think it is Ronnie Hawthorn) waiting at the door at the hate factory welcoming the team, WTF does he actually do apart from harass his own fans and turn up at Champions League draws. Starting to get a bit of fed up with this sitting at the back of the bus/we are better than them/don’t lower yourself to their level approach. What good has it done us? None.

  9. Sn@kePLissken67 on




    Where the boy plays is neither here nor there. People said the same about Van Dijk when he played in Scotland.



    If the manager wants him, sign him. That’s it.



    Matic started in Slovakia for Kosice (and has joint Slovak citizenship).

  10. onenightinlisbon on

    Sevco are cashing in big time on their victory. Pander to the hordes, ex player and “big” name in the door and it’s only January 3rd. Early days but they have the upper hand.

  11. Silver City 1888 on

    For those who remember when Only An Excuse was funny…



    There will be no panic buying at Celtic… only panic.

  12. if my employer left me to the vagaries of bullies actions ,i would be looking for a new job, after i told my employer where to shove his job. I will give celtic a week to bring out a statement about the referees actions ALL season. If nothing is forthcoming, my ticket is ripped up. If there is one thing in this world that i detest it is the coward and that is what celtic have become, and that is not me.

  13. agree Silver Cty – the early shows were funny. Time to hang up your boots or sign for Hearts – that could be revamped this year for you know who!

  14. Genuine question, who else but Chris Sutton sticks up for Celtic and calls out the symbolic SFA. ?

  15. The late, great Jock Stein once famously said, football without fans is nothing. Absolutely correct. Now then, if we expand on that, then who really does have the power at our beloved football club? Is it the Board, the manager, the players, no! We do and really always have, we just don’t see it.


    Like any business, customers are king, without which there would be no business at all,sorry for stating the blindingly obvious. What use are the board, manager, the players if the fans don;t pay to watch? No fans, no football club.


    Ask if we are using that power, not really are we? As a support, we are 100% taken for granted, the board well knowing that we are the ones who really love our club, not them, their god is the silver dollar.


    For whatever reason known only to the directors, we the fans are suffering the bile and cheating and blatant discrimination at the hands of the “establishment”, week in, week out, year in, year out and despite many many promptings, our board continue to do nothing, why? and that my friends just ain’t right. On top of that , there are bullets in the post to our manager, assaults on the manager and team bus attacked at bigotdome, the list goes on and on.


    We have of course, known this for decades, yet we get fobbed off at every turn, year after year. Just look at the brilliant work the Res 12 guys did and the painstaking work they put into that, yet our board just kicked it into the long grass.


    So , what can we do then? I’m a tad too old to be leading a revolution but as I see it, the way to make our board see we have the power , is for us to use our financial muscle. Whether this is done by not renewing season tickets, boycotts, I know not, but ask yourselves this. Who is the constant at Celtic, us the fans. The board and managers and players are custodians and transient and nothing changes.


    If we want change then it is up to us to make it happen, failing that, then sit back and be treated like the idiots we possibly are.


    We also need a much more open board who keep us informed with the actual day to day running of our club. Something like a weekly statement to the fans would be a start.


    Anyway, sorry for going on.





  16. onenightinlisbon on




    Well said. And I ask the question again, what will we do as supporters if we don’t win the league?

  17. i'vehadtochangemymind on

    Totally agree paulcqn: we need loadsa players. Btw , you remember your frIend from the dark side, who suggested to you that, when you started the blog you press ‘readers can respond’ ; which thankfully you did. Did you ever thank him/her?

  18. STIRLINGBHOY on 3RD JANUARY 2019 5:08 PM


    must be loadsa rich boys with deep pockets in ulster financing this defoe deal!!!!!






    Pretty sure he earns more than £100k per week.

  19. Phukin scunnered by the lack of action on all fronts by our board. This will end up with our support losing the heid, collectively.

  20. Paul67 – perhaps flick on a few of the comments from this afternoon on to Peter (and colleagues) so that he can see what REAL fans feel. I have been through the lean the lean years including the cheats 9IAR so am more than grateful for the position we are in as a club at the minute. At the same time as a paying season ticket holder the last 20 odd years I am more than entitled to a whinge when I see OUR club being taken for a ride

  21. CAMBHOY on 3RD JANUARY 2019 5:11 PM



    If you think it’s bad on here, PL is currently ‘trending’ on Twitter and believe me the comments are not pretty.

  22. The window is already a shambles…since it last shut we knew what players we needed.. 2 X cf…2 X ch. I TV..1 Lb cover… at my imam..they should have been lined up

  23. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    Sevco have wrapped up Defoe with Davis to follow. I’d assume Defoe’s wages will be higher than Weah as well. Sevco are going for it.



    The generation of domination looks like it’s about to come to an abrupt halt. All that was required was incompetent management willing to rest on their laurels (despite our most successful financial year in our history) and let Sevco (who last year had Pedro standing arguing in a bush) catch up with us.

  24. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    I remember when Iain Wright played for Celtic.



    What a signing he was!

  25. defoe arrived over here tae lots of hoopla, “a bloody good deal” it was called, he spent more time on the couch than the likes of Sean Maloney did on ours, TFC were glad tae be shot of him. In other words he was as much a flop as boyd and nowhere near as good as the bin bag.



    Likes tae bless himself, that’ll go down well.

  26. Jaysus this place would give you piles.


    Let the Huns do what they like, but if we do our job right we will be OK.


    If we feck up this transfer window I will be as vociferous as anyone but bloody Hell it’s a bit early to be going all tonto.


    Stay calm FFS.

  27. So Davis and Defoe to Sevco. Rangers MkII getting their business done early doors. Real intent being shown that they are after the league flag. Not sure how they are funding all this as I doubt either player will come cheap. Meanwhile we put in a low bid for a player that of course is rejected. Now we either we want him or we don’t – if we do pay the asking fecking asking price and stop faffing about and sign the lad if Brendan wants him. He will cost less than your salary and bonus this year Peter.

  28. When I read this, re Morelos:



    `But all three incidents were seen in their entirety by match referee John Beaton so no retrospective action can take place on this basis.`



    …and hear NOTHING from anyone in Authority at Celtic, then I am truly sickened .


    As this type of blatant bias continues and is seemingly ignored by all at Celtic, then so grows the feeling that Celtic and I will one day part company.




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