Right back where we started?
The Celtic right back is an attacker and a defender ,, must have a great engine to get up and down all day ,, an outball and hopefully a goal threat either with the nugget or a hard shot.
Some height also helps when dealing with crosses.
Its a very important position due to the versatility the player in that slot can provide and is not an easy place to hold down at all.
We finally settled on Jackie Mac’s ( what a player ) full time replacement after going through a few wannabe’s like Cha and Matthews.
Mik had an uncertain start but soon found his rhythm and nailed that spot down as his own and gave us the best years of his career for which we should all be thankful.
He loves us and we love him.
However yesterdays news that Mik still has an offer from the club floored me bigtime .
This is zero to do with the big man’s popularity at all I must point out but purely his footballing ability or expected ability over the next couple years. I do have a degree of sympathy for the Swede on this one.
I remain amazed though that we continue to sit and wait on a player to have a look around and see what he is offered before giving us an answer.
A very bad precedent has been set here whether Peter likes it or not.
Can the next geezer offered a contract extension offer can just do a “ Lustig “ now ,,, hold onto offer and see how good the others are and the contract is still available even when in last days of old one ?
When does our team planning take precedence there?
Many professions insist the departing train the incoming as protocol to maintain consistency but we have no such luck here if indeed he’s away as hinted at.
Last season we rarely seen young Ralston with only 225 league minutes under his belt. He was clearly not being groomed to take over that wing back slot judging on those numbers.
We also have the young Yankee bhoy Perez who on paper is a right back but at such a lower standard of league that its hard to imagine the leap up being successful for him when one considers climate , physicality , culture change etc etc.
So we stand as of right now with one 32 years old about to be out of contract International who wanted the same deal as before and is now checking the market without committing , and two rookies one of whom many think isnt good enough and the other is just a hell of a punt tbh.
Our qualifiers are in 4 weeks and we dont have a starting right back.
I never thought I would type those words. Really should never have to again. I hope you would agree with that.
Neil himself gave us a few words via that worst of rags which wont be named and over my dead body will be linked but we did get a wee inkling of whats going on from the horses mouth although this is 11 days old as of now.
“ I have spoken to him, but not to his representatives. I had good feedback from Mika. I would like him to stay. I think he still has a year or two in him.He has been a fantastic player for the club. He has been pivotal on and off the field.”
I know its easy to read into things , and sometimes find things that arent there at all , but I would like to look at some wording Neil uses for a moment please.
“ I think he still has a year or two in him “
I will admit to cringing when I read that . Its hardly inspiring stuff and comes across as “ he’ll do “ or even worse “ he’s not that bad!”
Where I his media trainer I would get some extra lessons booked up.
“ Mikael is a fantastic professional and player that we would all love to have resigned and part of this special squad “ or words to that effect might just have massaged his ego and let the fella know that no matter what his boss has his back.
So that was almost two weeks ago , his agents had not been spoken to but Neil told Mik he would like him to stay.
Yesterday seen Mik emerge and respond in his own way with a video of his best bits in the strip although he did ruin it with Atomic Kitten’s “ Whole Again “ song that might just have been a cryptic message.
He admitted to a rag ( a classier one than his boss ) that it hasnt been easy , coulda been handled different , and those in the dressing room know the score , and he believes he can hold his head high.
To read between lines is easy when you never know if youre wrong or right and will never be corrected .
On this occasion it doesnt take Einstein to figure out he’s upset , that the bhoys are all behind him and on his side , and that he feels its not his fault.
Smells like he was told he would get the same wedge again and it hasnt happened.
This is a symptom of a footballing department that is dysfunctional .
If the difference between his old first choice wages and the new proposed slowing down a bit pay packet is 10k a week then we are losing an experienced international that both last seasons managers wished to keep on for around a half a million bucks per annum.
There is a very strong argument to pay him the money and keep him on , if we aren’t bringing in his replacement immediately that is.
Extra half million to cover that position for another year would be fine by me,,with a hard search going on alongside though.
It’s also a clear pointer that we need a Director of Football,, an actual qualified one with a plan to stop malarkey like this ever taking place again.
We must stop leaving everything to the viewpoints of different managers who may or may not be tempted away whether they like the working conditions or not.
Mik has essentially been caught in the middle here between 4 men , himself . Neil , Brendan and Peter.
We all know the wife and or girlfriend will want a huge say so there’s another voice in the mix.
Each will have their own opinion on what he’s worth for how long and each will have gave their thoughts.
In about a months time it will be me and you caught in the middle as the reality of this mishandling comes to our screens for the first time .
We do of course have the means to go out and fill that gap, and fill it well never forget.
Once again , with legacies at stake here never mind history , he who is controlling the purse strings will be front and centre for this blog as far as the right back slot goes.
We will look no further Peter. This ones on you.
The team needs one , and we can afford it.
Mik leaves you deliver a proper starting right back full stop and start to atone for this mess which must fall at your door.
God help you if you dont.
Get it all off your chest because Lord knows you need to following this team.