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. Bada Bing


    I would have thought so as well.



    Ange said that 5 subs is half the outfield players and would completely disrupt the team if all were used.



    12 days since Celtic signed anybody.




    And 147 days until we might sign the next one.




  3. JIMDOM on 13th January 2022 1:34 pm



    I remember that day Well I was in the Enclosure near the dugouts. We went mental!!


    Some nice men above us in the stand with suits, shirts and ties were not happy.


    Spitting and sectarian abuse, somethings never change.

  4. TIMMY7_NOTED on 13TH JANUARY 2022 1:51 PM


    I remember that day Well I was in the Enclosure near the dugouts. We went mental!!





    It was only the lack of ambition by our old board and the Ibrox over spending largesse post-Souness, that halted our advance on their Copland Road. Some things never change !

  5. I can’t for the life of me understand why a manager wouldn’t want 5 subs.


    If you are well ahead in a game you can rest players and get fridge players


    some game time in their legs.


    Also, if that is the transfers concluded I am disappointed.


    I suspect that the particular players Ange wants are not available.

  6. JIMDOM on 13TH JANUARY 2022 12:37 PM


    ‘I thought Peter Grant was a better player than Paul McStay at age 19’




    What sport?






    Please confirm for peace of mind that you don’t work foe Celtic as a talent spotter.

  7. Markiebhoy,



    He wanted McGree. McGree didn’t want to come but does suggest he had a vacancy in that area (Tunrbull out and cover for Rogic).



    He seemed annoyed in his response and with 17 days left in the windae it seemed an odd thing to say.




  8. Ange may be putting other transfer snatchers off the scent in relation to this transfer window. Mibees Aye, Mibees Naw! por cierto.

  9. Maybe Ange wnted all his signings done before we


    started back with Hbs on Monday to integrate them


    straight into the squad



    On the subject of Paul Mc Stay I remember watching


    that 5-4 win for the Scottish schoolboys when I think he was only


    15 and could have probably played for our first team even then



    Peter Grant was never in the same class



    On another point I cant remember too many others who played


    in that 5-4 game except Paul Dickov who also had an ok career

  10. Tom McLaughlin on



    “and for those of you who are watching the snooker in black and white, the pink is next to the green”


    To be fair, in a snooker context, that comment is entirely valid where the colour is on its spot. It is correct to say – the pink is next to the green – because snooker fans would know which is the green ball based on it being on its spot.

  11. So far Ange’s signings and targets are from his own little black book. The previous scouting structure is still in place and they have failed badly over the last few years.



    What happens when Anges contact dry up? thats my biggest worry

  12. McCarthy needs to contribute in the 2nd half of the season. He has looked OK in his more recent appearances



    Based on 2 good players for each position:



    Hart ( average back up )


    Juranovic (Ralston) CCV (Julienne) Starfelt (Welsh) Taylor (youngsters)


    Rogic (McCarthy) McGregor (Bitton, Ideguchi) Turnbull (Hatate)


    Forrest (Abada) Kyogo (Giakoumakis) Jota (Maeda, Johnston)



    I think a LB would have been a good idea but probably not until we offload Bolingoli in the summer(or next week).


    Still light at CH with Julienne not back yet and CCV on loan


    Plenty of midfield players but a bit of shuffling needed when Rogic is out – can’t replace him one for one.


    Looking good up front apart from reserve no9. Shuffling again if Kyogo is out. As others have said, give the big Greek lad a chance

  13. “I can’t be any clearer than that. The one thing I won’t do is lie.



    “There’s no-one else we’re talking to, there are no other offers, there’s no-one else I’m interested in as we sit here today.



    “If that changes I’ll let you know.”

  14. Paul McStay V Peter Grant



    my taking on this . I remember seeing a young Paul and immediately named him Wonder Bhoy, he really was that good, in fact brilliant.


    Peter the Pointer was a different type altogether but he was a great player and , like Paul, he was Celtic through and through, something missing these days sadly.


    If any player has to be coaxed to join us then, do we want him really. Far better one volunteer than 10 conscripts any day


    Over AND out and get Jota and Carter Vickers signed up,NOW




  15. MARKIEBHOY on 13TH JANUARY 2022 2:12 PM






    ‘If you are well ahead in a game you can rest players and get fridge players





    some game time in their legs.’







    The only fridge player I can think of at Celtic was big Evander Sno.

  16. DESSYBHOY on 13TH JANUARY 2022 2:45 PM




    Where’s Scales in that squad




    in with ‘youngsters’; still not a senior player for me

  17. Boris Teflon Johnson solating at home after A family member


    tested positive for covid



    He wont be seen outdoors for the next week



    I am sure he can resign by video call

  18. bigrailroadblues on

    Calling all beer drinkers and hellraisers. Meeting called for next Wednesday in the Crystal Palace, Jamaica Street at 12. BRRB and Leggy from sentinel celts in attendance.

  19. What is the Stars on

    Big game tonight



    Cape Verde -V- Burkina Faso


    Cmon The Blue Sharks



    Dubliner Roberto (Pico) Lopes became the first League of Ireland player to play in the finals of a major tournament when he lined out for Cape Verde in their 1 nil win last Sunday.



    Up de Dubs

  20. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Could Stephen Fletcher still do us a turn?



    Is it Monday night yet?

  21. watching Paul McStay during the holidays on many a clip.



    something often not highlighted, quite tough, strong in the tackle without having to be dirty, never shirked anything, won many a ball in midfield that resulted in a chance on goal.



    Right up there with the best of them.

  22. Back to Paul,



    same age as me, when I was attending the games, I thought I look like a bhoy and he looks like a grown man at 17.



    Now looking at the clips he was justs a bhoy, and I am an old man.

  23. “Teddy McCarthy to Mick McCarthy, no relation, Mick McCarthy back to Teddy McCarthy, still no relation.”

  24. CONEYBHOY @ 2:49


    That was a fascinating link you posted on the widely different fates of the schoolboys representing Scotland and England in 1980. I remember watching the game and the stirring of expectation every time Paul McStay or Alistair Dick got the ball. Happy day!

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