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. mike in toronto on

    re: bedwetters …. given the average age on CQN, if you aren’t wetting the bed, it just means that you are wearing depends.

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

    @ CORKCELT on 3RD JANUARY 2019 5:36 PM



    I hear what you are saying, but we have all seen this movie before…



    We have already had a big rejected for the lad from the Slovakian team. Now, as we seem to be signing Weah and attempting to sign this player from Slovakia, we have to assume that he is the first choice signing; we are not bringing in three strikers this window.



    Now, if he is the first choice, get it done early doors rather than alerting the whole world that we are bidding for him.



    It’s not an acceptable position to adopt the “we are tough negotiators” stance when selling a player but then simultaneous hold the “we will not be held to ransom” stance when attempting to buy; it’s not a one way street, we can’t demand our price when we sell and be unwilling to negotiate with teams who have just as much right to adopt similar tactics.



    It’s naive and poor business.




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



    We will be humble indefeat, take it on the chin and feck up the next window too!

  4. Mass hysteria



    Combined age – 70



    Combined League appearances 2018/2019 – 7

  5. glendalystonsils on

    There’s no doubt that Sevco see their chance and will be excited at the prospect of it coming earlier than they had probably expected.


    The response from the players we have got and from those who come in this month will have to be emphatic.


    Brendan will not want his CV tarnished by a rookie manager.

  6. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    BBC Sport Scotland’s first top story of the day didn’t make it onto the BBC Football home page.



    But their second – Defoe – was published in minutes.



    You’d almost think they don’t want folks darn sarf to know about Morales’ indiscipline.



    Strange !

  7. Rock Tree Bhoy on

    Davis is 34 and Defoe is 36, thats a collective age of 70. If we had signed them they would be going mental on here. Mind you we haven’t signed either of them and their still going mental. Let’s have a wee bit of patience FFS.

  8. “and like I said, we will learn from it. The better team one the League. We need to be humble. Stevie G is a beautiful man”

  9. HS- the least we should do,is ask for a copy of Cheatins match report, if he included the 3 red card incidents,we should look at how he described them.





    That is how business works. We would be daft not to negotiate.




  11. Sn@kePLissken67 on

    No one is wetting the bed. That’s ridiculous.



    People are seeing our team in decline while another is going for it spending money they don’t have while ours (the one that is supposed to be so wealthy and well run) dithers as usual.



    Celtic need to be so much better than everyone else in the league to make decisions like today’s and that one at Pittodrie irrelvant. Right now, we are not in that position.



    Celtic also need to be strong all the time. They on the other hand don’t need to look long term because they don’t operate like that. Fear of 10 in a row is driving them while our club look like they are resting on their laurels. The invicibles season was not properly built on and as a result, last season was a hard watch for far too long and inconsistent and boring football was in evidence far too often.



    Weah and Bayo should be done by tomorrow or the weekend to allow for bedding in time.



    They are signing Davis who will run through walls for them, if they sign Adam or Naismith as well, there’s another two who despise Celtic who’ll give that little extra.



    Do we have grafters like that aplenty? Don’t think so.



    Is there anyone in the league who would do that for Celtic we could sign or an ex-player we could bring back for that purpose? Not sure. There was a guy who played here not that long ago who’d have done that but he went somewhere else and we all know why.



    These are real problems that need addressing.



    People are right to be concerned because others smell blood and are going for it. If they fail this season, they’ll collapse having put far too much into it to claw back the debts and the disappointment.



    Celtic need to be outstanding all the time, run up a lead that is uncatchable and watch the fallout.



    The number of home games after the break will help but there needs to be serious, viable and demonstrable willingness to see Celtic spend the money they need to spend to get this over the line.

  12. Tell you one thing,you have got to hand it to Sevco, especially in them signing players,Defoe,will be a massive signing for them,make no mistake,Our Mob mess about to much,won’t pay over the odds on decent players,also for a club that has a mountain of cash,they want good players at there price ,then sell them on,so Bhoys don’t be surprised if no new players arrive in this transfer window,and finally time is up in my mind for the likes of Desmond, Lawell,why just look at the bonuses they receive,for what ,the fans put plenty into Celtic,and all we get is Contemp,no for us to get 10 in a row or even 8,is big Changes at Board Level,what I would like is a lot Young Celtic Fans and I mean fans to take Control of our Club.

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

    @ ADI_DASSLER on 3RD JANUARY 2019 5:49 PM



    Of course you negotiate, but we have previously missed out on deals through our “tough negotiating” stance. The fact we have been unable to secure the services of this lad from Slovakia- with our original bid being an amount less than Lawwell’s bonus- is ridiculous.



    As stated in my previous post, he must be our first choice pick given that we are getting Weah on loan and will obviously not sign three strikers in this window. If he is first choice, let’s go out and get the deal sealed. We are not short on cash.



    The Lyon president said Lawwell was a tough negotiator and yet the Lyon president managed to get the deal over the line; too often we fail or the deal ends up being protracted and drawn out.

  14. onenightinlisbon on

    Bed wetting? It’s called being concerned about the direction our club is heading. I agree that it’s early days re the transfer window but yet again we are being laughed at. We are also allowing ourselves to be bullied by the corrupt footballing authorities and that too makes us a laughing stock, a pushover. I’ll leave the bedwetting to those who realise too late the situation we have put ourselves in.

  15. Long way to go in this window.



    If we were signing players in their mid 30’s I would be concerned, unless it was Ronaldo ! As it is I won’t be losing sleep over Defoe and Davis. We can afford better and we now have to go deliver better.



    I do agree that they see this season as their chance. The next two months are crucial for Celtic. Get the players in and stack up the Ws.

  16. People complaining about ‘bedwetters’….bear in mind that Lawwell’s conduit to the fans, Paul67, would be happy that come the end of the window we have only signed one or two central defenders!


    Bear in mind that Griffiths is out for an indefinite period and only have one forward left!Brendan stated months ago he wanted 2 in for that position.


    He also wanted a right back in the summer but lost out because of Lawwell. None of the 3 are good enough to take us to where we are aiming for.


    The concern is apparent because we have a guy who earns obscene amounts through salary and bonus that a large amount of Celtic fans don’t trust, who messed up the Willo Flood window, last summers window, briefed against the manager to Chris McLaughlin, has never pushed enough on res12 despite sitting with all the evidence need, and as of now hasn’t responded to Morelos farcically getting away with thiuggery.


    People make all sorts of excuses for him..Lawwell is a charlatan, an imposter.


    He’s out his depth and must look in the mirror every morning and wonder how he managed to pull it off.


    His salary and bonus is a disgrace and he should be shouted down at every match he attends.

  17. There is absolutely no doubt the Hun is going for it. The signing of Defoe and Davis will add further momentum to their horrible support who already think they have our measure now.


    We have to not dither.


    We have to be decisive.


    We have to invest in quality.


    We have to demonstrate our power on and off the park.


    I’m tired of us being laughed at with corrupt refereeing and corrupt SFA. We have to grow a set and quick.


    Otherwise, we will be passively accepting that our treble treble and 10 have gone.



    Time to issue the call to arms

  18. glendalystonsils on

    This season has seen us have our first serious stumble but that’s all that it is……so far. We should be thankful that we have this transfer window (and the remainder of the season) to address the issues which are plain for all at CP to see. I ,for one , am not allowing myself to be panicked

  19. Rock Tree Bhoy on 3rd January 2019 5:47 pm




    Davis is 34 and Defoe is 36, thats a collective age of 70. If we had signed them they would be going mental on here. Mind you we haven’t signed either of them and their still going mental. Let’s have a wee bit of patience FFS




    Lubo was almost 34 when we signed him. How old was Kolo when he came? Henke was 35 when he signed for Man Utd. We could and should be looking at quality experienced pros to bolster our squad. The reason we don’t do it as often as we should is that they have no resale value and hence the board aren’t keen on the idea.

  20. Hot Smoked on 3rd January 2019 5:38 pm



    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.







    My feelings exactly. Absolutely gutted and can’t help feeling that our board have no intention of ever doing the right and proper thing by the fans but are more intent to do what capitalists do and line their own pockets for as long as they can.



    Grow a set FFS Celtic!

  21. The article assumes we will be the in the champions league qualifiers , more complacency ?? meanwhile they get on with it .They see an opportunity and will do anything to win and we know it means anything , all the warning signs are there big flashing ones come on Celtic let’s some serious business done quickly




    @ ADI_DASSLER on 3RD JANUARY 2019 5:49 PM



    And PL got what the club wanted. Its dead easy for us to say ‘ lets go and get the deal done’ but if you go and buy a car do you just rollover & pay what the dealer wants ?.



    I want signings in but not panicking because crook FC using …ahem ….money from ??????.




  23. OGLACH on 3RD JANUARY 2019 6:04 PM



    Why aren’t man united in for him then? Chelsea and Tottenham both need strikers but he’s ended up at ibrox

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

    @ ADI_DASSLER on 3RD JANUARY 2019 5:56 PM



    It revolves around participation in the CL.



    Pages 31 and 32 of this year’s accounts cover both the criteria for payment and payment amount- £1,406,000 this year alone- to PL.



    This year alone PL received just shy of £2.6m for his services. A truly staggering amount for any executive of a football club, nevermind one based in the SPFL.

  25. Sid/Hot Smoked.


    I’m in agreement with both of you.


    I had strong suspicions that he would get off with it.


    My reasoning was that the forearm smash on Christie, the most obvious red card, didn’t appear to be one of the 3 incidents being looked at.


    I think, on this occasion Celtic should make a statement, if Beaton is,so incompetent then what are the consequences for him, obviously more eloquent than that. :-)


    Hail Hail

  26. I commented last week that Scot Sinclair was perhaps the feartiest Celtic player I have seen. Well he may not be a player but today our CEO has donned the mantle of ‘Feartiest Celt Ever’ not one word not one wee statement regarding the Morelos ‘whitewash’.


    Nothing to see here Timmy, move along

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

    ADI_DASSLER on 3RD JANUARY 2019 6:06 PM



    “And PL got what the club wanted. ”



    When selling. That’s my point. Even with PL’s intransigence (which is an asset when selling an asset) Lyon’s president got the job done.



    Now, when the shoe is on the other foot and PL is dealing with his equivalent, does he similarly get the deal done? That’s the point I’m making.

  28. Stairheedrammy on

    Now that Beaton has admitted making an erse of 3 major decisions in the Glasgow derby will the SFA be demoting him for incompetence, or rewarding him for following orders? Clear and blatant cheating now being flaunted in our faces with no attempts to hide their bias.

  29. GreeninbingleyinOslo on

    TIMBHOY2 on 3RD JANUARY 2019 5:53 PM


    Tell you one thing,you have got to hand it to Sevco.






    You lost me right there.



    The only thing Sevco needs handing to them is administration, followed by a criminal inquiry into their finances over the past six years and how they have been allowed to operate for at least the past three years when trading while insolvent and failing to produce audited accounts.



    Defoe and Davis? Hong Kong phooey.

  30. celtic40me on 3rd January 2019 6:15 pm



    OGLACH on 3RD JANUARY 2019 6:04 PM



    Why aren’t man united in for him then? Chelsea and Tottenham both need strikers but he’s ended up at ibrox




    I wasn’t talking about Defoe or Davis but experienced pros in general. Look at the teams that wanted to sign Zlatan Ibrahimović for example.

  31. Stairheedrammy on

    With the dobbers throwing all of their grey sourced cash at winning this years title would a Celtic win finish them off forever, or at least until the SFA can invent another Rangers?

  32. “We want to come out every transfer window stronger than we’ve gone it.”



    OK, Peter, remind me, how did that last one work?



    A chance to redeem yourself but I won’t be holding my breath.



    Early days.

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