Where Do We Go From Here?

Morning,all. I start the day with a song in my heart,but it’s more a crie de couer. After Saturday’s display,let no-one be in any doubt that we are in a title race.

And it’s no-one’s fault but our own.

Where DO we go from here? Well,that is for later,let’s first discuss how we got here in the first place,why we are where we are. Let’s not forget,of course,that where we are is top of the league with a game in hand,but Saturday was one bad result too many in a season already chock full of them.

Since Sevco arrived in the SPl,they have outspent us. Now,nobody knows where the money is coming from,nor how long their spending can last. But do you think they care? Not at all,their goal is simple-to stop us,and they’ll use every means necessary,call in every favour possible from an amenable and supportive establishment. This season,they are closer to us than ever,closer than I considered likely,closer than I’d bloody like! But why is that,when our income dwarves theirs? When,man for man,our players are vastly superior? Well,I’m not going to dwell on them,this is about us.

Once again,we had a poor transfer window,something both unsurprising and unforgivable. With a reported schism in the ranks between our Chief Executive-the man responsible for signing the players-and our manager-the man responsible for targeting them. Not helped by the latter revealing a tempting offer from China,which he was only convinced to ignore by the carrot of a huge bonus for another CL qualification.

At which,PL promptly downed tools and wrecked any chances of that by refusing to sanction signings. We then lost our star striker on the back of this,reportedly trust in the manager had been lost! I mean,that’s Comedy Central,not Celtic FC.

Additionally,our star midfielder,having seen his best pal walk out the door,did a PL and downed tools as well. And it gets worse,our only experienced striker now on the books has to go on the sick due to non-football related matters.

The whole rigmarole is now entering the realms of farce,and I only find farce funny when ‘Frasier’ does it. There’s certainly no place for it at Celtic Park.

There is work to be done in the next window,because those bastards smell blood. And it will take more than a sticking plaster to sort this one. And once that work has been done off the pitch,the hard work needs to start on the pitch and at the training ground.

Let’s have a run through our staff,position by position.

In goal,Craig Gordon. Saved us from a hiding,but as usual,his distribution has been putting us under pressure. At least two of their chances resulted from that on Saturday. He has to sit down with Brendan and they agree that he plays how he is comfortable,or we bring in Scott Bain. He hasn’t let us down,and I think he will do well for us.

At Right Back,we have Mikel Lustig and Anthony Ralston. Sorry,but I’ve already written off Christian Gambia,mainly because Brendan clearly does not rate him. Frankly,when teams are continually targeting your right-back,and he is frequently coming up short,you have a problem. With a heavy heart,it is time to run down time on a great servant for the last six years. Ralston has been much improved this year,but there is talk of a young Belgian international. But since he really doesn’t want to join us,apparently,it’s unlikely he will. So while Ralston might do,with time,we need a new straight into the team Right Back.

At Left Back,we have our best since Tommy Gemmell in Kieran Tierney,with backing from Emilio Izaguirre and Jonny Hayes. I’ll settle for that,just now,though both replacements could do with upping their game. And we could do with the young fella getting fit and back to his previous form.

At Centre Half,we seem to be spoiled for choice-on paper! I’ll go through them one by one,and hope I don’t miss any out. Dedryck Boyata is for the off in the summer and possibly sooner,as too is Filip Benkovic. We need to plan for a future without them. Kristofer Ajer,definitely one for the future,and I’d be playing him every week if one of our main two were injured. Jozo Simunovic will not be offered a new contract,and frankly has been a waste of space since he arrived,a major disappointment. Jack Hendry,on the other hand,hasn’t been a disappointment-he has played right up to expectations. Whoever thought he and Marvin Commper are Celtic-class needs shooting. That’s about £8m in fees and wages wasted on those two,plus the same on Simunovic. You’d pish yourself laughing if it wasn’t so tragic.

But if you want real tragedy,let’s have a look at the midfield. Why is a player with all the attributes wrecking his career by playing like a coo? Olivier Ntcham,that’s you I’m talking about. Are your performances going to attract the big clubs with the big money? Are your petulant sulks likely to have the suitors banging down your door? Of course not-get your finger out and you can eff off with my blessing in the summer,there’s a good lad.

Broonie can sign a new contract and lead us forward,or not and leave with our best wishes. He put out more fires on Saturday than my big pals-and believe me,they’re huge-BADABING and WEETWEETWEET -did in their entire careers in Strathclyde Fire Brigade. Not bad wi a pair of bruised baws,but it didn’t do the rest of his game any favours. He is a must in games like this,but not in games where opponents sit back;he seems to slow the pace down,and that allows other players to hide.

Nir Bitton has been out of the picture for so long,it’s difficult to rate him here,while Kundai Benyu has never been in it. Josef Mulumbu probably still has it,but is he likely to get a much-needed run in the team? About as likely as Scott Allan,I would suggest. I think we need to plan for a future without ALL SIX mentioned,and that leaves us struggling a bit for numbers.

Eboue Kouassi is out for the season,but I think there’s a player in there that’s worth keeping. A future midfield anchor,but needs a lot of work from himself and the coaches.

Since that only leaves us-I,think-Ryan Christie,Tom Rogic,and Callum McGregor,you can see that there is a lot to be done before the summer-and this in an area where many of us thought at the beginning of the season that we were,if anything,top-heavy. The good news is that they all have time on their sides,and new long-term contracts.

Hmmmm,as they say,and it gets worse. I haven’t even looked at our front-line yet!

James Forrest is a top top player,even if,like most wingers,he can be inconsistent. On Saturday,he was gash,but that is rare. Lewis Morgan,can play either side,is one for the future,as is Michael Johnston. Note to Brendan,he is a winger with an eye for goal,not a lone striker.

Scott Sinclair,well,no harm to you,Scott? But do you really need to send the missus out to work? It clearly affects your form. Get her back home full-time,barefoot,pregnant and chained to the kitchen sink. You know it makes sense.

We also have Calvin Miller to return,and I think he is more of a left mid than a left back,so he should be pushing Scott for a place. Time will tell. Odsonne Edouard,who is our only striker,is more comfortable coming in from the left,so may find that to be his starting position in future.

If I’ve left anyone out,my apologies. But as you can see-even if you don’t agree entirely with my assessments-there is a lot to do. We need,at the very least,two new Centre Backs,a Right Back,a holding midfielder,and an experienced and strong striker.

Brendan has to get his finger out and identify them,and be on the blower to Dermot right away if PL refuses to sanction them. Time is of the essence,gentlemen,and we will never forgive someone we hold responsible for screwing us up on the park.

*

On an entirely unrelated matter,should PL neglect to resign before the end of the day,he qualifies for a £2.3m bonus. While I’m sure he can find c4,000 season ticket holders who are happy to pay for that,I’ll hold my counsel on the subject. My opinion of him is well-known,and I think you can guess what I think about a bonus like that.

*

Above by majoc,still raging. It is our intention to run another series of MOST MEMORABLE MATCHES during the winter break. We want to hear your stories,folks,good and bad. Just mail them to Mahe at

sentinelcelts@gmail.com

and let us do the rest!!!

HH and HAPPY HOOOOOOOPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!

Notify of

But, but, but, but we are a well run club, the best in the UK apparently, naw, you must be talking about another club, couldn’t be Celtic, we are the best run club on the planet so they say.

THEEXILEDTIM

Aye,mate. That’ll be those 4000 or so that I mentioned. It’s a fairytale,really,you know.

The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Reckon you can make it to Valencia? Delaneys Dunky will be there with his lad and one or two others,and my Dad and I will be there to keep an eye on them!

I know it won’t be easy for you,mate-more important things at the moment-but would be a real genuine pleasure if you were there!

With grateful thanks to “e-Tims”,an excellent site. And I’d like to know why more wasn’t made of this earlier.

https://mobile.twitter.com/i/web/status/1079658388701790208

Remember the Liverpool fans attacking the Man City bus? TV was all over it,the press were on the case for days. Martin Hannah deserves praise for this article,and I gather another few journos got a pair of balls for Christmas and are pushing for Morelos to be cited for at least one of his offences on Saturday.

I’d like to think that if that happens,Celtic then ask why this is happening so often in games against them. Yes,the offender is eventually penalised,but it does us no favours when we should have been playing against ten men.

A thing of beauty

Thanks for the article majoc. Just when I was starting to rationalise my thoughts after saturday’s pathetic performance I’m off like a two bob rocket again. I’m angry at the board for their ineptitude, angry at Brendan for constantly changing the team and asking players to do things they obviously can’t and I’m raging at players who are paid handsomely but choose when to turn up or not. There is a malaise at our club just now and we are where we are due to complacency in the boardroom, the changing room and the stands. A dreadful state of affairs. As for the attack on the bus, is anyone surprised? I’m still waiting for charges to be pressed against the Hun that racially abused Scott Sinclair in the ground and the others at the airport. Combined with the constant singing of their racist bullshit game after game I expect nothing ever to be done. We don’t challenge it so why would anyone bother. Which brings me to referees. I don’t attribute our defeat on Saturday to Beaton, we were so bad it wouldn’t have mattered. But week after week we see inept refereeing and downright cheating and the most we have said is a jokey remark from Brendan about shinnie being in the British diving team. I’m sick of it. Call it out every week, win, lose or draw. We are shrinking away in the corner hoping that by staying quiet they’ll take pity on us. That back of the bus shite should be long gone from Celtic park. I’m away now to do the new year cleaning and take my mind off things. It won’t work but at least the tasks will be attacked with some vigour.

Gold

Good day, Majoc.

A forensic analysis of our ills and, in the main, very difficult to disagree with overall.

However there is the question of balance given our ongoing and uninterrupted domestic success over the past two and a half years.

There is no doubt that corrective surgery is now required on the squad; however we are able to approach this from a position of strength both on and off the field – the defeat at Ibrox does not change this fact. All successful teams eventually need to press the reset button, when and how it is done is the key. We now have this opportunity.

A defeat at the hands of the Ibrox club had to come sooner, or, later – let’s face it, we have suffered defeats to the likes of Hearts, Hibs, Kilmarnock and Aberdeen, and contested some pretty miserable contests against St Johnstone, Dundee, Livingstone, St Mirren and Hamilton, over the past thirty months whilst winning every competition entered.

I want to see changes just like you, and I believe that if we get it right, we will be looking back at the completion of a triple-treble and wondering what all the fuss was about.

Awe Naw

Congratulations to Kilmarnock on winning the most SPL points in 2018.

Killie 74
Celtic 73
Rangers 72

They have played one game more and do play on a plastic pitch but well done to Steve Clarkes men on being the first team to do so in thirty years

It’s come to something when most of the other top league managers have got plenty to say on the standards of refereeing in Scotland, bar Celtic! S. Gerrard, D McInnes, C. Levein, N Lennon, S. Robinson – have all called them out, even if we don’t always agree with them on some instances.

Perhaps Celtic thought they were boxing clever! Treat the refs. with respect, say nothing and we will get a level playing field? (Not favours btw!) Well if so, how has that worked out? Just look at the last two matches amongst many. We are still the most wronged team in the league.

Now I understand it is not the Celtic Way to issue statements hand over fist, nor to make a fuss. My goodness look at Res. 12 and LNS debacles. No, we take it on the chin. I wonder if it is a throwback to a long time ago when unwelcome Irish Immigrants sometimes took an attitude of work hard and ‘keep your head down’.

The only occasions I can think of when Celtic stood up for itself were the issues of flying the Irish flag at Parkhead and the Jorge Cadete registration.

It is time we stood up for ourselves like everyone else. And by that I don’t mean having a giggle about G. Shinnie joining any diving team. We need to grow up. Call out the SFA on all things including the referees.

My big worry is, are Peter Lawwell and his board the people to do it? I very much doubt it.

Awe Naw

I’m not surprised Celtic didn’t publicise this by themselves. We know money is more important than fan safety and now player safety with regards our major shareholders. When one game can generate 10million in punts and you own a few bookmakers, you’ll want some of that action. No sane person can ascertain that this was unlikely to happen.

I no longer ask questions like why were all Celtic fans escorted in one chunk and 90 minutes before k.o when no such precautions or recommendations from the independent safety analysis comissioned after the crush at Celtic Park were made. Clearly these actions are being performed by Police Scotland to protect Rangers.

If anyone on the Celtic board think that being cowardly to those at Hampden, and even the media, will make us the darlings of the establishment, then think again! We are not and never will be. We have had members of The House of Lords, an ex deputy governor of the Bank of England, an ex Minister of defence and they still hate us! We have had players, staff, managers, board members of all or no religion, even Masons, it makes no difference.

Thrive on it! Stop trying to cosy up to them!

big packy

hi jim, still cant get over that result, we should be miles ahead of that lot even with the men in black on their side ,when are celtic gonna stand up and be counted, ive had sectarian abuse thrown at me as has probably everyone on this site, but we are all taigs so we don’t matter, hope your well pal.hh.

mahe

HI Majoc.. Great stuff pal .
Where do we go from here ? THis season League wise , we will get some bodies in and have too much quality and the know how and will deliver silverware again is my guess . MIght get pushed but will do it .
Next season ,,, that squad wont make the Champs league ,,, probable new manager and style of play , numerous new players ,,, being honest that would have us underdogs in my eyes to take the title next season .
Medium term where are we going ,, Nowhere .
This Punch and JUdy show will keep rolling on until big upheaval in the European leagues .The same thing will happen ad nauseum , unless the fans act for the betterment of the game .
Seems we sit and wait on the suits guiding us , many trust that they have our best interests and that of the Club at heart . Im not one for waiting around and as far as the suits go they wont be acting in anyones best interests but their own .
Zero pals and zero sway ,, and this the biggest club in the country that actually pays taxes ,, its a scandal and if it wasnt soo serious I would laugh .
One would almost think they want it that way , playing the downtrodden oppressed , just like Mags keeps saying it brings in the bucks, keeps the rivalry going , and they ride the gravy train .
We really really need to get this shower out ,, but then who the next shower is , is in their hands !
And would anyone bet against DD sticking the son in charge and collecting ten percent gross and the train just keeps going ?
Not a great squad at all ,, senior pro’s departing on free’s soon ,,refs bad as ever,,governing bodies still against you ,, racism /sectarianism worse than ever ,, manager unhappy ,,
But we are a well run club apparently .
The fans hold the key to stopping this . However the fact that while all the above is going on , all it takes is one decent manager to pack out the stands and bring in record dosh does not fill me with confidence that the fans are going to act .
They might if the right message came from the right people , but right now they are fine watching the charade and all that it entails .
Im scunnered and sickened , but having got hooked at a young age its in the blood and I cant totally walk away but no other team will ever mean much to me . You cant just switch , we all know that . So its not getting passed on , my own wee revenge .
Hail Hail

Rebus67

AN,

Wow! Impressive stuff from Killie! Let me guess the coach used his limited resources well?

Congrats to Clarke. He will be offski this season, perhaps in January.

Rebus

Jimmynotpaul

Hopefully, I won’t come across pedantic because that’s not my intention.
Killie played two more games than Celtic and one more than Sevco, according to the stats, I seen.
Nevertheless S.C. has done a fabulous job, considering when he took over Killie were rock bottom.
Hail Hail

Rebus67

Majoc,

Great article with lots of truths in it. What would be really interesting is if we had the time to apply a similar analysis to all of the top teams in tge SPL. I think we would find lots of problem areas in each of these teams, including Sevco. So what? Well, if we were to do such comparisons it would provide better relative benchmarks for our situation. Certainly teams now believe they can beat us and some give it a good go. However, Aberdeen(twice), and Killie have been well beaten in recent weeks so it is possible for something to go the right way. The Well and Dundee were also dispatched with aplomb.

Why do I sound optimistic? Am I a happy clapper as is defined on another blog? Nope, I acknowledge that there are deep rooted problems and that the usual type of clapping that I experience is of the one handed type.

The real reasons for optimism are:

We have more depth in the playing squad than any compeitor. All of the others are one/two injuries away from a dip in form. We on the other hand discover hidden hems within the ranks…e.g Christie, Johnson and Ralston….we we are depleted.

We have a good coach, who admittedly, sometimes makes bad decisions. He is ambitious to leave his mark on the club. He already has in terms of trophies and added value to the club. The most important issue w.r.t. BR is what are his plans for the end of the season and does the club know them? This will condition the transfer window. If the rumours of some form of policy difference between the CEO and BR are in anyway true, then the latter will walk at season end. Get the 8th title and do not expose yourself to the white heat of expectations of a 9th and 10th title challenge with a squad that has not been adequately refreshed….that will be his thinking. Exit with head held high, rather than as the manager who failed to secure 10. Conditions would have to be absolutely right for him to expose himself to the future challenges of two more titles, plus European qualification. So the 8th title is probably BR’s watershed. He will really want to achieve it.

Rebus

Rebus67

ATOB,

My wife and I are still swept along by the Scottish sentiment of having no dust in the house as the New Year comes in, even after a good thirty odd years in Canada.

Talking about a different type of dust……..the dust of nostalgia! I remember certain managers in Scotland had developed the knack of shuffling their teams when they played the extant form of Rangers. Drop a CB; switch some defenders around to their weaker position; rest the striker and so on. This strange behaviour could be found perhaps in certain parts of Lanarkshire and Fife, but maybe not.

The rich vein of form that these teams were enjoying seemed to desert them against the might of Ibrox. Nobody could accuse these players of lack of effort but nothing seemed to work for them. An understanding seemed to have deserted them. Ah, the tinkerman at work again!

Just over the immediate horizon lies the transfer window…….. the last opportunity to strengthen the squad for the rest of the season and the qualifiers. A point was made at Ibrox on Saturday. But, was it the gods of football making it, or was it something else?

Time to read my Dan Dare Xmas present and deal with the evil Mekon!

Rebus

Awe Naw

I can confirm killie played two games more than Celtic and one more than Sevco

Margaret McGill

You can detail all you want about the current squad.
I will be surprised if Lawwell forks out for anything more than ONE striker, if any.
Anything else will be loans or Bosmans.
4000 Celtic ST holders are needed just to pay Lawwell’s bonus??
This is on the same level as the highest paid Arsenal executives who have the most expensive ST’s in the EPL at £1750 not £575. I smell shite.
So the team bus was attacked on Saturday and the Police corralled the Tims like sheep into the ground before kick off.
First I’ve heard and not a peep from anyone.
Aye take it up the arse bhoys.
Know your place Timmy.
Mugs.

A Thing of beauty

I think it’s a bit optimistic to suggest Ralston or Johnston are hidden gems. They are young players who have had a couple of games recently where they shone. I personally am very concerned at the prospect of ralston being anything more than back up. For me he is a poor defender and it is his enthusiasm that is his main attribute. I think we need better than that. Johnston is different in that he has bags of skill and should be given a couple of years to fill out. But neither of these players should even be factored in to what is needed in this window.

Pedro is the 5th or 6th highest paid director of a UK football club, I assume 6th as man City didn’t divulge how much they pay theirs, if you add on his bonus this season he is the 3rd highest, no bad for a CEO in a pub league

big packy

mags your so feckin right, all our lives it has been sit at the back of the bus bhoys, or move along timmy nothing to see hear, we are being shafted from both ends, cant wait for celtic to call them out aye right.hh.

Margaret McGill

Mahe/Majoc
So in the middle of BR’s 3rd season we are at a “Where do we go from here?” bottom of the barrel situation when we should be in orbit with BR with awe the money from the best run club in the world shite and the original squad he inherited.?? 10iar? I mean that was the buzz all around when PL gave BR a 5 year contract right? Something is rotten in the state of the car park.and its no just Leigh Griffiths.

If the manager had been given the money we might in orbit

Brilliant stuff,Jim.

Hail,hail,and well said.

Mahe

It’s in the blood. Wee Fionnuala might know eff all,about Celtic,but a few trips back to the oul’ sod,a few trips from pals for a visit,well,you heard of Google?

Just buy her a kiddy’s outfit and an Overseas Season Ticket,and be done with it. You know it makes sense!

Ouch,damned by faint praise! Yet difficult to argue with.

Michael is far from the finished article,and I hope that Saturday didn’t dent his confidence. Anthony was better than the experienced international that he replaced,which points to serious coaching,and improvement,in the last year or so.

Time will tell with them,but much as I love young lads coming through,neither are ready yet for the white heat of battle on a regular basis.

MAGS,

I totally agree with you,mate. And you know where I lay the blame.

Happy New Year to everyone on here. Time for my kip!

Rebus67

Jim,

Happy new year to you and yours!

Rebus

mahe

Happy New Year jimthetim53 and everyone else

Margaret McGill

Happy New year jimthetim53

Margaret McGill

Just been talking to one of the original res12’rs. plans are afoot.

Margaret McGill

Ye sons of Auld Killie, assembled by Willie,
To follow the noble vocation;
Your thrifty old mother has scarce such another
To sit in that honoured station.
I’ve little to say, but only to pray,
As praying’s the ton of your fashion;
A prayer from the muse you well may excuse,
`Tis seldom her favourite passion.

Ye powers who preside o’er the wind and the tide,
Who marked each element’s border,
Who formed this frame with beneficent aim
Whose sovereign statute is order,
Within this dear mansion may wayward contention,
Or withered Envy ne’er enter,
May secrecy round be the mystical bound
And brotherly love be the centre.

MAGS

Subtle,old son. By the way,I jumped into my van to go to work last night,first song on was The End,by your favourite band. I’m rather fond of it myself,ever since my teens. Never heard it before on the radio.

God bless Planet Rock,the radio station which nicked my record collection!

Have a wonderful 2019,and tell The Gallant Four to keep on keeping on.

HH.

Margaret McGill

Majoc
Was listening to it myself the other day and realized after 40 years when my son called me about getting on the blue bus in LA that he was talking about American public transport as rare as it is. Its still there.

The blue bus,is taking us…

We’ve got blue buses in Kilwinning,our main mode of transport since I was a nipper. Not so many now that Stagecoach livery has overtaken.

The green buses were from Ayr and Troon

mahe

New article posted!