When we cannot trust what we see with our eyes


Filip Benkovic collected his 2019 Scottish Cup winner’s medal after yet another solid performance. He was viewed by many of us as the senior partner alongside Kristoffer Ajer, who erred when Hearts took the lead that day. Benkovic returned to Leicester to wither on the vine, while Ajer continued to develop at Celtic.

The failure of Filip to develop is inexplicable. He left us as a 21-year-old first choice talent, a player Brendan Rodgers took on loan to Celtic and played him whenever available. Rodgers’ Leicester should have been a great place to return to. Subsequent loans to Bristol, Cardiff and Leuven earned him a total of five 90-minute performances in two and a half years.

Something was not right. When asked last week, Brendan Rodgers said he had been “unavailable for personal reasons”. That’s one of those phrases that we have no right to query, but it is enough. It sufficiently explains the incongruence between what we saw with our eyes in season 2018-19 and what happened since.

I have no idea what Filip’s personal reasons are and hope they soon lift. The game is full of players who struggle with family, relationships, mental health and various temptations. It always has been. It also has its fair share of absolute rockets, who cannot stick to plan and will not learn. Managers drop this type, usually frustrating fans who, again, trust their eyes, but every team needs to stick to plan and every manager has to be the boss.

If he was available, I would have backed Celtic to spend £10m on Filip in 2019. A stay in Glasgow may have lifted what ailed him, or we may have splurged a lot of money down the drain. That’s how this game works. A proportion of players will simply drop off the radar for no externally apparent reason. Hopefully a stay in Italy will sort the lad out.

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  1. Pingback: When we cannot trust what we see with our eyes | Celtic FC News Now

  2. 4 more sleeps till we return to paradise.



    I think I am more excited about this post winter break period than any for many seasons.

  3. Watched a couple of Benkovics games,one when he was on loan.Atrocious performance.The other he got hooked.A shadow of the player we watched.His recent attempts to get back,seem to back this up.Should have stayed with us.

  4. TO borrow some old phrases;


    The best ability is availability but you can’t show any ability without some stability.

  5. Benkovic did ok with us but never in a million years was he good enough for us to spend £10 million on.

  6. Strange how some players appear to have the world at their feet at age 19 but are floundering by the time they get to 23.


    I thought Peter Grant was a better player than Paul McStay at age 19. Davie Hay gave Grant his debut at Ibrox and he strutted about the park with all the confidence in the world. A bit of Souness type arrogance as well. For whatever reason, Grant was not able to take his game to a higher level, but the quiet, unassuming, McStay did.



    Fitness, attitude, character, coaching, a happy home life. Lot’s of things come into play that very few of us are aware of.

  7. “and various temptations. ”



    Young men propelled from zero to multi millionaire in a matter of months. Its actually amazing its relatively few that fall by the way side although how many fail to fulfil tier potential.

  8. TURKEYBHOY @ 12:24 PM,



    Saw him play against Wycombe and he certainly looked about that level, although the Wanderers had much more fight than Cardiff that day.



    IIRC he was partly responsible for Wycombe’s goals, both headers.



    Hail Hail

  9. Benkovic schmenkovic. Pah.



    Give me a signing Celtic. Now.



    Attacking middie, LB or RW would be nice.




  10. Benkovic been at it for a couple of years now,happy to be in the treatment room and pick up his money,will return to Croatia a multi millionaire, and play regularly then.

  11. JIMDOM



    have to disagree on Mcstay v Grant at 19 or any other age.



    First saw Mcstay strut his stuff at a Scotland schoolboy at Wembley think he scored 2 as


    we won 5-4 ??


    Made his debut at pittodrie and scored at 17 couldnt keep out team.



    Was at game when when he scored a couple against Israel for Scotland when he was ?? 19.



    Grant i remember heading to Ibrox that day when he made debut.


    None of us knew who he was and played very well. But never in my mind in Pauls class.



    ps i am biased



    EK PAULMCSTAY founding member :)

  12. With regards to the 5 subs.


    Ange said at the beginning of the season that he wasn’t in favour of it.

  13. St Tams,



    Think you are mistaken about Ange.Sure he brought up we should have 5 Sub’s.


    Then again,maybe I am mistaken .

  14. BSR,



    In fairness,those buzzers can be dangerous.Gareth Bale done his Hamstring on one.



  15. THEBHOYFROMU.N.C.L.E on 13TH JANUARY 2022 1:15 PM


    Supposedly Holby City are interested……..





  16. the long wait is over on

    Not disagreeing with P67 but the issues don’t seem too dramatic or sinister.



    Looks like he lacks “toughness” – whether physical or mental , or both, isn’t clear.



    May be just be one of these guys who’s a standout up to a certain level but just lacks those final few


    marginal percentage points to be consistently good enough – or even to get the game time to get to be good enough – at the highest levels of the game.



    Leicester fans are not shedding tears.







  17. JC2 on 13TH JANUARY 2022 1:08 PM


    Grant i remember heading to Ibrox that day when he made debut.





    JC2, what sticks in my mind most about going to Ibrox, early 80’s pre-Souness, was how much of the stadium was green & white. All of the Broomloan, half the standing enclosure, a bit of the main stand and a bit of the Govan stand. The Charlie Nich goal from that period is probably my favourite one.

  18. Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou confirms, after discussions, Riley McGree has chosen to look elsewhere.



    “Nothing significant” in the short term regarding the permenant transfer of Jota but it’ll rumble on in the background.




  19. So,the Pandemic was at Ibrox in 2018.That’s the reason they had to stop us getting into the Broomloan.


    There you are.Straight from Wee Stuarts mouth.


    Boris comes out with the second best whopper of the century,they have to go one better,and hold the top two positions.

  20. The 20 names that come out tomorrow are all lies and fabrications”



    🍀Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou claims the club are not interested in making any more signings this transfer window despite links to more players



    – There’s your lot folks. Still feels light in certain spots and clearly we were interested in McGree. Odd one.




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