When the player is the only danger


Since a substantial investment in 2021, Atletico Madrid have been more reserved in the transfer market.  This season, they concluded on Antoine Griezmann for €20m, the same sum they paid for Nahuel Molina a year earlier, but those two aside, the top figure they have paid for any one player was €6.5m.

They would need to break a barrier that has been in place a while to get Celtic to give an offer more than a cursory rejection.  Matt O’Riley is good, but is he Griezmann+ ?  We’ll see.

As you know well, the more important factor is that Celtic are nip and tuck in a title race (unlike Atletico), they signed Matt on a new long-term contract last year, they are one of Europe’s most financially stable clubs and have more prize money to play for this season than anyone would offer for Matt and Kyogo combined.

Given the above, Devil’s Advocate, why would you sell?  Matt has picked up as our creative fulcrum from Reo Hatate, who held that title last season and is now fit after a lengthy absence. Everything else being equal, Paulo Bernardo will drop out when Reo is back in town, but Paulo has done an excellent job of backfill of late.  So there is no panic in central mid.

The money coming in would need to be the material difference in acquiring for a gap elsewhere in the starting line-up.  I don’t see this.  The only real danger comes from the player himself.

We have heard that hoary old, “Don’t feel in the right frame of mind to play” line from a couple of central defenders and one striker in the past.  It is not that common a tactic, but it is always disruptive.  On the last occasion, Brendan stood his ground on deadline day morning, then hunted the player at lunchtime.

Matt is one of the good guys, I like him, there is no reason to suspect he would cause issues.  But, he also has an unusual strength of character about him, which led him to walk out on professional football and start again from nothing, rather than stay at Fulham.

Let’s hope the storms don’t come back until next month, that weather would turn a saint.

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  1. Hoping he stays until summer. What I don’t understand is where the other lot are getting the money to buy players.

  2. Unless we’re actively trying to sabotage our manager by selling his two best players within 6 months then Matt will stay.



    I trust the recruitment process this month is going swimmingly well and we’ll have strengthened the squad by close of this window having secured the four quality players the gaffer has asked for.



    Fair play to all the clubs and agents we’re contacting for keeping everything so quiet. You’d almost be forgiven for thinking we’re doing nothing on the recruitment front such is the omertà like silence.

  3. glendalystonsils on




    Even with the huns mysterious ability to keep spending money they don’t have , I would still back our squad as it stands , to beat them comfortably over a level course .


    The big handicapping factor for us is the influence of the refs/VAR , shown up again in their match last night . Which is why I think we need to strengthen above our present levels , to overcome this handicap . It wouldn’t do our Euro performances any harm either .

  4. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on 25th January 2024 12:28 pm



    Fair point about the weather 😩






    Is that a fair weather point?

  5. bournesouprecipe on




    January sales and Matt O’Riley are only available on SMSM.



    Reasonably confident that Celtic will sign a striker next week, along with one other. BR ‘quality’ conferences clearly fell on deaf ears, they are going to try and do it the Celtic way.



    The cheating was ramped and reinvigorated from the moment Sevco sacked their ‘recruitment team‘ and then sacked Michael Beale. We now have their preferred loyalists in place for consecutive games, just in case they need any more help that’s enabled them get within a few points of us.



    Some balls, Celtic taking on the CL, even more so taking on Trump FC in their latest aided and abetted comeback from the dead. To do it, with a top class manager was fine, but not wise without strengthening Ange’s creaking squad.

  6. The returnof weeron on

    Paul wrote:



    ‘The money coming in would need to be the material difference in acquiring for a gap elsewhere in the starting line-up’.



    Are we in a position where, without making a big sale, we currently CAN’T afford to acquire a player to fill a gap in our starting line-up???



    I’d suggest 2 things:



    1. We can.



    2. Any money from the sale of MOR would more likely sit in the bank than be spent on a first team ready striker or full back.






  7. This reads to me .


    If we get an offer circa £20m M O’R will be sold .


    This will weaken our first 11.


    We will lay the blame at Matt’s door saying that he wanted to go .



    Which would most probably be just part of the truth.




  8. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    I don’t see him going to Atletico and certainly not as a loan to buy in this window. England is a different story. Depends what comes in. Most likely he’ll be here till the summer, but you never know until that window closes.



    I’ll reserve judgement till then window does close, but January shaping up as another damp squib. Unless something unexpected happens my biggest complaint will be the lack of exits of non-contributors. I know it’s hard to move on poor players on excessive (to their talents) wages – so stop buying them.



    I would like another top level striker in, but don’t see it happening. Unlike most I’m not concerned about GK or LB as both Joe and Greg would not be easy to improve on. We’re also well covered at RB, midfield and the wings now Kuhn has come in Iassuming he is an upgrade).



    We do also need a path for talented young boys like Vata (who will hopefully resign then go,out on loan for development).



    If we don’t punt any one of Matt, Abada or CCV in this window – and we don’t suffer further key injuries – we will win the league. But it will probably only be by a couple of points.

  9. Superbru Round 22 Update



    Round 22 started on the 2nd January with 4 matches including our 3:0 win at Paisley and it finished over the last 2 nights with 3 more fixtures. One person equalled Big Jimmy’s best weekly total so far (from Week 2) and one person surpassed it and finished top in this round.



    Our Top 3 this round are:-



    1. Bada Bing – 15 points (our new best weekly target to aim at)


    2. Pannysbhoy- 14.5 pts


    3= BMCUWP, BC Milan & fitbabhoy- 13.5 pts



    Despite the high scoring, some punters managed to maintain their consistency in the lower depths. The computer awarded the wooden spoon to Partizan but he had missed 5 of the 7 fixtures so I would place the bottom scores as:-



    1= Friesdorfer & Jobo Baldie- 2.5 pts


    3. The class of 67- 3 pts.



    This leaves the overall Top 10 scores as :-



    1. BC Milan- 134 pts (beginning to get a wee gap of a lead)


    2. Leggy- 130.5


    3. Billy Bhoy- 127.5


    4. One Malloy- 126.5


    5. Celticrollercoaster- 119.5


    6. Pannnysbhoy- 117


    7= Tirconnell- 115.5


    7= Hopeful Hoops 115.5


    9= James Cant- 114.5


    9= SFTB- 114.5 (my highest position ever)



    Among our regular participants. the bottom of the table looks like



    1. Friesdorfer- 66 pts (how does he manage to get so much wrong?)


    2. Cosy Corner Bhoy- 73.5 pts


    3. Belmont Brian 63- 75 pts



    They are threatened in the wooden spoon challenge by the constantly inept Jobo Baldie, Partizan, Chalmersbhoy, & Melvin Udall. The Token Tim and TheLurkinTim are still in contention too.



    Round 23 begins with Sevco going to Paisley at 12.30 pm on Saturday and concludes on Tuesday night. There are 8 matches in this game week so it gives a good chance to smash Bada Bing’s 15 point total. Good luck to you all!

  10. Unlike most I’m not concerned about GK or LB as both Joe and Greg would not be easy to improve on.






    I disagree with that but regardless, we have no adequate cover.



    Rumour has it that Taylor is now out for a month.



    An injury to Hart and we’ve got Bain standing in.



    A club with our resources should not be in this position.

  11. yesterdays quiz question from BHOYJOEBELFAST was easier to answer than I first thought, but basically because recently on Sportsound a Hibees blogger was asked if he could name all the Hibs managers since the year 2000, and he rattled them off and about half of them were ex celtic players and that piqued my interest to go look them up.



    Joe asked for 9, I thought there was 10









    jock stein




    tommy maley ? This is wrong, It was Alec Maley, tom and wullies younger brother and he never played for celtic.




    john collins


    yogi hughes mark2


    pat stanton



    I know for some there is no love lost between the supporters, hibees holding all sorts of historical (hysterical) grudges about the celtic, and as true as it was that several early celts came via hibs, the same for me applies in reverse, much of their success is blessed with celts.


    Right up to our loan bhoys winning them the cup, Stokes and Henderson in particular.



    If Broonie makes a fist of it at Ayr, I would bet he becomes a hibs manager sometime.



    More on the remarkable Maleys later.

  12. St. Stivs



    “and as true as it was that several early celts came via hibs”





    It was a bit hypocritical of Hibs even before they got Celtic players and managers. As far as I remember reading in our history books, we obtained 3 Hibs players and 2 of those were guys

  13. AN TEARMANN on 25TH JANUARY 2024 11:50 AM



    Cheers, we’ve got a few walks lined up to get us moving in the next month or so. Camino is late May so a bit of time but conscious we need to get ourselves into some regular pattern.

  14. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Admit to feeling a little depressed when I read this.






    The reformer fighting corruption himself becomes …..



    Comparable behaviour to African dictatorships.



    Everyone loathes The Establishment .. until they become part of it.



    “Power tends to corrupt but absolute power corrupts absolutely” (Lord Acton)

  15. RC 2.23



    Taylor has performed just as well as AJ .






  16. Remembering Wim Jansen who passed away 2 years ago today.



    Kelvin Boy



    Add the Pentland Hills outside edinburgh and coastal walks in Fife too,best build up ‘leg’ in miles so you can fully enjoy Camino and are not grounded with footsore and cramps.




  17. St Stivs



    I think it was Hibs chairman(the one who took down the harp carved into walls at easter rd) who was behind,via SFA,attempts to get the tricolour removed in the early 50s.




  18. I have to laugh at the suggested valuation of Matt, £ 20 million.


    Shit, if he was plying his trade say for Bournemouth or such like and one of the “big boys” came in for him, would that £20 million still apply, no, don’t think so. EG, Declan Rice is a good player all right, but is he 5 times better than Matt ? Of course not.


    Celtic should not under any circumstance accept less than £ 40 million, why should they. Look at Virgil as an example. Big winner was Southampton when they cashed in.


    Let us as a club be proud and NOT be treated like some backwater outfit.


    Bit of pride please, Celtic




  19. KB


    Good advice from AT – when I was training I was doing 12 miles 3 days a week over the local hills and along the canals.


    Did the odd 17 miles now and then. I had 2 stones in my bag weighing about 6kg.


    Had no issues when it came to the real thing – except for the heat.

  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Kinglubo …..



    £40m is high (IMHO) but I get your point totally.



    I wouldn’t budge under £28m.



    Haven’t watched Brendan’s media excruciation but if he says Matt is not going that should put a lid on this non-event.



    As for Matt, he’s a sensible bloke.



    Why sign for a bottom half EPL club in January?



    Wait until July – you’re guaranteed a full season in the top flight instead of half.

  21. It’s the old joke – an Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman. But in 1893, particularly with the addition of another Irishman and a Canadian it was no laughing matter. Indeed, until quietly covered up, it must at the time have threatened to bust open international football. You see, there were three brothers, Tom, Willie and Alex. They were all raised in Scotland, mainly in Cathcart to be precise, but two of them had a problem, even problems, in some eyes, identity problems, which in the case of one mattered little but in Willie’s did and, although at first quietly ignored were pointed up soon enough.






    Superbru Round 22 Update







    Round 22 started on the 2nd January with 4 matches including our 3:0 win at Paisley and it finished over the last 2 nights with 3 more fixtures. One person equalled Big Jimmy’s best weekly total so far (from Week 2) and one person surpassed it and finished top in this round.







    Our Top 3 this round are:-







    1. Bada Bing – 15 points (our new best weekly target to aim at)





    2. Pannysbhoy- 14.5 pts





    AHEM….I may have to call for a “Stewards Inquiry” ASAP ?



    If my memory is correct, I THINK I reached the Total of 14.5 Points one week from JUST SIX GAMES to select from.


    Which begs the question…..How MANY Games di the Chumps above to select from when they Equaled and/or Bettered my Total of 14.5 Points ?


    Didnt those cheaters HAVE EIGHT Games at least equal or better my Total ?



    I must insist on VAR being involved and a Stewards Enquiry. tae boot.



    HH SFTB….Good to see you back on here DESPITE you and others cheating me.



  23. BR’s comments on Matt are welcome and clear. There’s no wriggle room. If the Club sell Matt next week, it will be against the expressed wishes of the manager.



    As for more incomings, his words are far less definitive. I don’t think we’re looking at anyone in particular right now because agents or selling clubs would leak the news.



    It looks to me like it’ll be a transfer deadline day scramble for a loan or two.

  24. Bhoyjoebelfast on

    4 at 4. :All answers are English teams:


    1)Provided the opposition at Celtic Park 1959,when floodlights were turned on.


    2)Opening of Jock Stein stand.


    3)After Liverpool (1966) and Leeds (1970) our next European guests.(1983)


    4)John Barnes was manager.It was the first time that two opposing managers of clubs in the UK (top tiers) were black.

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