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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. The hands cant hit what the eyes cant see on

    @ CELTIC40ME on 3RD JANUARY 2019 6:15 PM

     

     

    Defoe is not in the same class as Larsson etc, but he is a proven goalscorer and fox in the box.

     

     

    Unless Sevco sell Morelos, I will be worried by a Morelos/Defoe combination as they are both penalty box players who will score a lot of goals for Sevco with the assistance of compliant officials. Sevco had 28 shots over two games against Hibs- a guy like Defoe is the type of player to get onto the end of one of those chances.

     

     

    There is an irony in that we are dying for a striker (having only one fit senior player at the club; I’m not including MJ as he is a youth and a winger) and yet Sevco have signed a striker before us in the window!

     

     

    It was ever thus with Celtic.

  2. A combined age of 70 will not be to difficult for the sevco signing’s aided by cheats with whistles.

     

    Morelos fiasco says it all.

     

    Someone posted earlier that Weir was a good signing for the huns and considering the help and leeway he had for refs it could be argued as true.A guy who fouled constantly pulled at jerseys and committed penalties without punishment or repercussion.

     

    Two glaring examples was The Dundee utd with the cheat McCurry when old man Weir committed a blatant penalty offense that should have resulted in res and a penalty awarded but neither happened.Or the two blatant penalties the cheat Thomson refused to give but booked Celtic players instead and then had the audacity to apologize for his deliberate mistakes next day.

     

    We could bring back Mjalby to help our defensive woes if we had a fraction of the hun pensioners protection.

  3. Sn@kePLissken67 on

    STAIRHEEDRAMMY

     

     

    I think they’ll collapse and be off the pace for years. They are throwing everything they don’t really have at winning this title.

     

     

    Are Celtic?

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

    BOURNESOUPRECIPE on 3RD JANUARY 2019 6:23 PM

     

     

    Precisely! That’s why we signed Mulumbu on the last day of the season.

  5. Stairheedrammy on

    We will find out over the next month how much desire Celtic have for winning this title

  6. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    Defoe will always get a goal or two. Potentially a good signing. I’d guess Bournemouth will be covering part of his wages. Can’t see why they are going for Davis.

     

    Anyway, we need to concentrate on our own business. Get that right and we should be hitting the high eighties or even into the nineties points. Don’t see any other club getting near that.

  7. Defoe, he’s done nothing since Robinson Crusoe!!

     

    The guy has glass ankles and was good once, but come on, he’s knacked

     

     

     

    KINGLuBO

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

     

     

    Quite. None of them were interested in Defoe for a reason.

     

     

    Not all experienced pros are the same

  9. God- wish I was a Sevcoite- they do things so much better than us.

     

     

    We have declined from being Top Dog in Scotland to being just nearly, only a wee bit Top Dog.

     

     

    It’s as clear as the nose on my face that this league is lost because we will sign nobody, except if we do they will not be good enough or not what we needed. Anyway, you know what a mean

     

     

    Celtic are Scheidt- Big Jim told me that.

  10. STAIRHEEDRAMMY

     

    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?

     

     

    Based on statements from Desmond their survival is paramount to our business model.

     

    Our clubs continuing silence on Res 12 and the blatant cheating by SFA and officials on sevcos behalf suggest they are not adverse to a hun title win.

     

    Worrying times but we will have to wait to see what happens in next few weeks to get the full picture.

  11. The Chinese can land a spaceship on the Dark Side O’ the Moon

     

    and we canny even land a guy fae Slovakia!

  12. THE HANDS CANT HIT WHAT THE EYES CANT SEE

     

     

    Thanks for info. A lot of money for Mr L.

     

     

    If PL ends up getting the signing done will you still think he has failed ?.

     

     

    My point is you never take/give the first offer in this business. That’s business.

     

     

    A

  13. The old Defoe was the streakiest striker, he’d go on a long scoring streak then not score for ten games. He relied on lightning pace over short distances and a great finish. But he was an old fashioned 18 yard box sniper, pretty poor on his own or leading the line. That was then

     

     

    How he fits in with Gerard’s plans is anyone’s guess. He might do really well, but he doesn’t strike me as the sort of player or person who’ll enjoy getting booted around the park

  14. Could someone please explain to me how exactly our beleaguered squad are now magically going to start winning all our away games at Ibrox,Tynecastle, Rugby park and Almondvale when we’ve failed miserably to compete in any of these grounds so far this season?

     

    Re the bed wetters…. The only p*sh I’ve seen recently happened to be running down our players legs last Saturday.

  15. Sn@kePLissken67 on

    SETTING FREE THE BEARS FOR RES. 12 & OSCAR KNOX

     

     

    I think people see a club living beyond their means hell bent on stopping Celtic and being allowed to do what they want on the park going all out to win the league.

     

     

    Have Celtic done enough since last January to make sure no one is even having the chance to get close to them?

     

     

    The signings or lack of them or proper ones have put us in this position and people are correct to be angry when we consider the amount of money that has been brought in to the club.

  16. macjay1 for Neil Lennon on

    Morning all.

     

     

    Paul ” gets ” the most basic rule of team building.

     

     

    First , close the back door.

     

     

    Good goalkeeper and second choice goalkeeper. TICK

     

     

    Good solid CENTRAL defence……………………………..TOCK

  17. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    They know they can liquidate and “stay” in the top league as the “same club”. There won’t be any fourth division nonsense.

     

    We don’t have that luxury (not that we would want it). We can only operate in the right way for us. We can’t do what they do and neither should we.

  18. The truth is has Celtic unveiled Defoe today most of us would be going apeshit at the biscuit tin mentality.

     

     

    We can afford younger and better. We need to deliver younger and better.

  19. Snake P

     

     

    “I think people see a club living beyond their means hell bent on stopping Celtic and being allowed to do what they want on the park going all out to win the league.”

     

    —————————

     

     

     

    Well, that description should, at least, stop people from urging us to imitate them. There has always been cheating on their behalf. We have not suffered the levels that Tony Mowbray had to put up with.

     

     

    If we believe, they are definitely going to derail any chance we have- why this year? Why not have put a spoke in it in the previous 7?

     

     

    Yes we won by too large a margin, in the end, for their influence to have been crucial. But there were stages in those campaigns when Hearts and Aberdeen were ahead of us, and a few acts of obvious sabotage could have seen us with a large gap to overcame.

     

     

    That did not happen and it has not happened yet. Despite their best efforts, we are still top. it might get more blatant. It might also be that Rangers get a few bad decisions- did they not get a few red cards already this season.

     

     

    I repeat my mantra- concern about our position is fine and understandable and must be shared by those inside Celtic with a chance of doing something about it.

     

     

    But, most of what I am reading is not concern- it is just premature forecasting of doom- and we have had it every year of our past 7 titles being landed. More are joining in just now because our angst has increased as we near our desired target but more people saying that the sky is falling does not make it true, merely a popular opinion.

  20. Celtic fans have been withdrawn since summer with some justification especially over the Full Back issue IMHO. A poor pre season didn’t help, but we are top of the league with a game in hand, still in The Europa and have the only winnable trophy in the cabinet in Parkhead.

     

     

    SMSM would like you to think Celtic have their heads in the sand, its their mantra in permeates the support on the internet. BR knows its an important window, and has said so, confirming we need two strikers.

     

     

    We’ve got to the window and we are still fighting on all fronts it’s better than expected, but the away form is a shocker.

     

     

    Some of the people on here seem to be extremely nervous returning posters who don’t post when Celtic win?

     

     

    Don’t therefore be surprised if you’re labelled a ‘bet wetter’ whilst others prefer to wait longer than three days in, for Celtic to strengthen.

     

     

    Happy to wait and see who we bring in CSC

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

    @ AN DUN on 3RD JANUARY 2019 6:56 PM

     

     

    True. We have different expectations, partly because Sevco are 6 years old and skint and we have £40m in the bank (plus the money received for Demeble).

     

     

    The difference is that Sevco seem to get things done more easily within their budget than we do. Also, save for OE and Ntcham, most of our signings were within the same price range as Sevco signings, so we don’t have the comfort of arguing that our signings are more difficult to obtain.

  22. Sn@kePLissken67 on

    SETTING FREE THE BEARS FOR RES. 12 & OSCAR KNOX

     

     

    Those Mowbray level decisions can quite easily appear in the coming months. When the league is tight, they appear with frequency down the years. That is always something that concerns me. When you have a gulf, they cannot hurt you. Look at the number of penalties they’ve had alone this year.

     

     

    What Celtic do from now will determine where the league ends up but looking at the last 3 transfer windows over all I am not optimistic that the right decisions will be made and that lessons have actually been learned when Celtic are not just paying the money they have for a guy from down the road from me.

     

     

    It always comes down to this – they will find money and operate outside what they can afford. It took 20 years for it to come back and hurt them the last time. Celtic should not give them any encouragement.

  23. 50 shades of green on

    I wonder if anyone from FF ever copies and pastes the stuff on here for his fellow huns to laugh at.

     

     

    If so he’s going to be bloody busy tonight.

     

     

     

    ???

  24. If the referee had applied the rules of the game last Saturday with even a quantum of integrity the Colombian’s interest in the game would have ended inside 10 minutes.

     

     

    In other words had Beaton been honest Celtic would have been in with a real chance.

     

     

    Maybe the Celtic players should have fought fire with fire but that would have resulted in a flourish of red cards. Beaton and Morales in tandem made it clear that it was open season on Celtic. Our bhoys were lucky to escape serious injury.

     

     

    But then again, this is Scotland.

  25. This window is important for two reasons. The first isn’t we need to strengthen squad for a league challenge and the second is that a successful window will secure Rodgers for another season.

     

     

    If Rodgers isn’t backed I suspect he’s gone in the summer. I think the board know that too and will deliver.

  26. 50 shades of green on

    Has anyone thought to show Defoe the comments Ejaria got up here from the” fans ” of the team he was trying to help.

  27. Right who knows someone who lives in County Armagh.

     

    £115 million euromillions winner.

     

    A couple from County Armagh.

     

     

    It’s my dear Irish home, far across the foam

     

    although I’ve often left her in foreign lands to roam

     

    no matter where I wander in cities near or far

     

    sure my heart belongs in old Ireland

     

    in the County of Armagh

     

     

    That was my old Dad’s party piece.

     

    Hail Hail

  28. CELTIC40ME on 3RD JANUARY 2019 6:40 PM

     

    The old Defoe was the streakiest striker, he’d go on a long scoring streak then not score for ten games. He relied on lightning pace over short distances and a great finish. But he was an old fashioned 18 yard box sniper, pretty poor on his own or leading the line. That was then

     

     

    How he fits in with Gerard’s plans is anyone’s guess. He might do really well, but he doesn’t strike me as the sort of player or person who’ll enjoy getting booted around the park

     

     

    ———

     

    But he won’t be, will he?

     

    The MIBs will see to that.

     

     

    HH jg