Mind The Gap-It's Closer Than You Think!

Morning,all. As it’s my turn to right the article today,prepare for another full-on rant! On second thoughts,I’ll save it till Thursday-I’m never in a good mood on a Thursday anyway,so I’ll be right in the mood for one! Instead,here’s something to make you think from our Antipodean Correspondent…


Plentiful pish has been scrawled and scribbled about Celtic’s and Rangers’ respective squad strengths, signing policies generally and also signings from window to window.

The prevailing narrative is that TRFC simply sign oodles of old lags, while CFC only secures the signatures of promising young colts, like Patryck for example.

To the uninformed, The The Rangers have signed anybody and everybody which results in a bloated, unsustainable squad, while Celtic have managed their assets (no sniggering at the back) to a much more manageable figure, right?

It’s also claimed that Celtic’s average player age is far, far younger than their Ibrox counterparts, with the inference that CFC’s recruitment policies are better managed than their cross-town nemesis.

Well, even a cursory look at some online databases presents a few surprises:

  • The average age of the Rangers squad is 27. Here at Celtic it’s 25.3.
  • The teams both have equal numbers of ‘foreigners’ at 21.
  • Celtic has 12 international players
  • TRFC has 9 international players.
  • The value of Rangers squad is approx 48million euros
  • The value of Celtic’s squad is approx 90million euros
  • They have 29 in their squad,we have 33.

So while many of the squad metrics are actually a lot closer than might be believed, there is an equally interesting match-up off-the-field of play.

The The Rangers coaching team has an average age of 44

Here at Paradise, our coaching average is 41.

The much derided Gerrard and McAllister combo has experience of the very highest levels of the game; have played, between them, many more high level and varied opposition games that the ‘Tic’s coaching staff. More, their up-and-coming coach Mr Beale has been extensively travelled in his tutelage while our youngest JK has earned his stripes ‘within the company’.

Despite Celtic supporters feeling good that our club signs younger players who are ultimately worth more, the gap in player ages is evidently smaller than many think. While we seem better off by many measures, their coaching bench appears equally more seasoned in terms of big game exposure (and their in-game strategies seem wilier?)

Another weird statistical observation…in the last game of 2019, TRFC was more experienced (by age and games played) in 9 out of 11 positions on the playing pitch.

No coincidence that so many Hoops fans are instinctively craving more seasoned pro’s to beef up our playing contingent and add more game cunning to the Hoops line-up.

HH fholks.


Above article by LIBERO. Delighted as always to publish the observations of a contributor as Article of the Day. Anyone can try it-write it down,mail it to Mahe


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Twists n turns

The last 2 matches v them would support your assessment.
Equally worrying is the fact that the two signings we appear to be making wouldn’t be regarded as game changers in my opinion.
We have been out fought in the middle of the pitch over those aforementioned games, and if we were playing them again tomorrow I’d suggest the impending changes won’t make much difference.
Admittedly I’ve only got the online reports and videos to judge these players and I hope I’m wrong, but it’s worrying.
In fact, if we were playing them again in a couple weeks, would any of the two potential new signings be in the team? I doubt it. That’s extremely concerning.

Of course there may be more to come in the way of signings but history would suggest that to be pretty unlikely.

I posted immediately after the last league game that Lawwell would be worried. Not about the title perhaps being lost, but about the potential for his bonus to be hit if we fail to reach the CL qualifiers / tournament proper.

I said then that he’d be looking at the options to protect his wage packet, and that Eddie will be high up on the potential sales list. I stand by that. If he’s not gone in this window I’d give good long odds on him still being here in the summer. Simple math. Eddie being sold plus EL football = bonus protected.

I also said back then I’d await the “ unhappy player – wants a move” story breaking as justification for the sell. That’s around the corner.

I hope I’m proven wrong on all fronts. I strongly suspect I won’t be.

On what to do? We know from these pages and elsewhere Celtic fans won’t stop buying season tickets.
That is the right of every supporter. Most have Celtic in their DNA. For many it’s also part of their social scene.

I think one strategy that might work would be to start a campaign to encourage supporters to boycott EL matches. The lost revenue from that would hit Lawwell where it hurts him most. Fans might be more willing to take that option.

Of course the real target should be Desmond. Difficult to hit a moving target and even harder to hit an invisible one. Flush him out. The balance sheet declining at the same rate as the European achievement would be one way of doing that.

The board were not interested in protecting CelticFC’s footballing interest in the CL when they ignored the cheating by SFA re res 12 . It’s time supporters adopted the same attitude re European participation.



Like you,I think we need a helluva lot more in our next few games than in our last two. For NL to send out a similar line-up in the second game,and with the same tactics,was tactically inept.

We need to nullify their midfield and stop their wide men. And we need to stretch their defence. We didn’t do the first two at all in either game,and only achieved the latter fleetingly.

It would help if we had a left back who didn’t get caught upfield so often. In fact,so slow is he at getting back that he’s often still in an advanced role when we get a desperate clearance in. Had his chance and had his chips,as far as I’m concerned. Play Taylor instead. He might not be the best going forward,but that’s fine-don’t go forward,let the forward players do that!

Twists n turns

I agree I’d prefer to see Taylor. I still think we are missing a strong physical midfield player and another quality striker. I’m not sure the two being touted will bring that.
Hope I’m wrong.



Well,I think we can all agree with you on your first point. Problem is,those are the players we have signed.

And as they are both match fit,it would make sense to me at least to throw them in against Thistle on Saturday. No offence to them,and I’ve not forgotten us giving debuts to Roy Keane and Du Wei v Clyde,but I think it should be an easier baptism than any of the next few games.

Frimpong and Bayo made their debuts for us v Thistle in The League Cup,and I thought they both did very well. Though the biggest cheer of the night was for Scott Sinclair when he came on.


Agreed lhads – I think the X-factor or missing ingredient is experience and game-smarts – and their older pros are using every trick in the book (not that I want us to use the fugen book but…) their coaching and in-game tactics are undoing our younger, more naive players. Game time, grit, guile and a complicit officialdom – unless faced up to – could be our undoing even from this seeming ‘position of strength’ – is that strength real, tho…?

big packy

LIBERO, great article, thanks for putting down those stats food for thought, think the next game against thems, will tell us more.hh.


BP cheers; unless we get more streetwise and combative I fear the next game’s result will be depressingly familiar. But who do we sign to take the game by the scruff of the neck?


Just read Bill Leckies article on Moreles, jaw dropping to say the least.
Makes me wonder if there is a hidden agenda behind it?

Twists n turns

Not seen it, and I suspect I don’t want to?

Hmmm, I’ll have to look now eh!



I read it yesterday,mate. Very surprising indeed. And,like yourself,I thought-hmmm,what’s going down here?

If he feels all crusader-like,I hope he gets fired into the refs and the SFA next,but it wield be nice to see some others in his profession writing supporting articles.



You free for a few liveners next Tuesday? Meeting a couple of the troops early afternoon.

bada bing1

David Low saying, the share price has dropped sharply last 2 days…..

bada bing1

Well said.
The elephant in the room though is our coaches do not have the smarts to base selection on ability alone.
To many preconceptions on players and a refusal to actually see the field of play.
The last 2 games against them did not surprise.
They actually play as a team though limited in skill and flair.
We have a lot of individuals who seem to have no idea of their role in the side.
We talk of varying formations our coaches employ but in reality it would be hard to discern any real shape in this Celtic team.
And the late like for like subs in tough games has you wondering what game the coaches were watching.
The farcial introduction of Bitton against the huns who has no goals and no assists in his previous 32 games in the SPL was baffling considering we were a goal down.
The Brown /McGregor partnership is a liability and neither protects or creates.
Yet ever present.
JF has rarely turned up this season and is also an ever present.
It suggests they are all played on coaches preconceived notions and not performance.
The ridiculous interview where Neil raves about Shved’s ability is a testament to this.
On Shved’s last appearance he scores a great goal and is rewarded with banishment.
What the F has Neil being watching on the training field in last few months?
Young Robertson was one of the few pluses against Cluj and his reward was the same.
The squads at this time are not the issue.


Bada Bing1 @12-27
The dropping share price will be far more effective in forcing the board into decisive action than fan discontentment.
Their priorities have always been clear.
Another few days of decline could see some more action in the transfer market than previously planned in this window.
Still expect Ntcham will be sold and another transfer window will see us spend a lot less than we make.


On this day in 2005 Real Madrid signed Thomas Graveson. Somehow, a year later he ended up with us and even in the SPL he managed to look like a headless chicken. He now lives in Las Vegas with his porn star wife and is worth 100m usd.

I dont think he shuffled away from Parkhead with 100m on a wheelbarrow.

Funny old game, innit?


We have the nucleus of good young team, some now in their midtwenties should be reaching the peak of their powers. to me they are in a hamster wheel running nowhere. The team needs a different type of Coaching, it seems rather stale. New impetus someone to give everyone a new perspective on how to play the game.

I think new manager and coaching staff required. But who would come to Scotland, someone under the radar ala Wim/Ronny. Another thing would they be allowed to put into practice their ideas without players throwing toys out of prams.

If not willing to change, Bye nice knowing ya, and I do not care who they are. It cannot possibly be any worse than at present. Too much faffing about, nobody indispensable for charge towards 9IAR.

We had better not lose the next two trophies to thems. Millions of pounds will descend on them. Know where you sit now on the bus for a very long long time.

Margaret McGill

Peter Lawwell took £3.5m out of Celtic in 2019.
where to begin?


Food for thought Libero, thanks for your article. A little unclear as to what “big-game” coaching experience Gerard and McAllister have? And, what big-game playing experience the latter has?

bada bing1

Bada Bing 1, great read, shows humility and thought and no Billy big baws. hope his manaerial career is successful.


Off topic but has Moreorless or KENT had their punishment from SFA announced yet?


Thanks for article an enjoyable read.
Thanks for Jim Goodwin link, a good read too.
He used to get on my train most days, with his bike, anyone that knows Croy station, will tell you Croy to Cumbernauld is a big hill.
Jim used to cycle up it quicker than the cars.

big packy

who mentioned croy station, used to cycle there from glenboig, go to duffys shop round the corner, get a can of strike cola and a marathon bar, and start trainspotting, till a member of my dads family would come along, shouting get up here what are you doing down there, and march me up to my grandmothers house,.ffs I was only watching the trains?

big packy

them click bait sites feckin annoy me, being linked with denis law ffs, im 40 next month, and denis is at least 10 years older than me, plus he supports Aberdeen ,?


Bada Bing 1
Great article about Jim Goodwin, very enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing.

bada bing1

Rumour Bagwash says we are after 4 players…


#stoppedthe10❤️❤️❤️ luv Simon Donnelly’s twitter post. A picture of him and Harold (how the feck did he miss that!) Brattbakk enjoying a night out.

Great catch up with this guy #stoppedthe10

Stopped the ten indeed Simon.

Got me thinking !! Will we be seeing a picture of Pistol Pete and DD in a few years enjoying a night out. ?

Great to catch up with this guy #soldthe10

🙂 🙂 🙂 Sold the ten Pete!!! – just make sure it doesn’t come to pass.

Hell is other people. No Exit CSC

Twists n turns

Any chance of us signing a player who can go straight into the side and make a difference?

Where’s ATOB these days?? Missing her straight talking opinions.


Twists nTurns.
Don’t be silly.Projects are diamonds in the rough.
Unfortunately most of ours turn out to be cubic zirconium.
I think ATOB did not agree with the tone of a lead article and decided to quit the blog.
Shame as her contribution was excellent.


Twists. 7.34.
I hope ATOB returns, too.
I didn’t always agree with her, I mostly did though.
ATOBs points were always well made and delivered with a passion that our board lacks.

Twists n turns

Fan / Jimmy NP

Ach that’s a shame re ATOB. Her match reports were excellent. Hope she drops in again, even if only occasionally.

ATOB , if you’re lurking, hope all is well with you and yours and you had a blast in Oz.

big packy

listen ghuys, A THING OF BEAUTY has a relative on here, who will be keeping her informed, im sure she will be back when the time comes ?


Great read Libero and its closer than we think indeed. Cheers for the help. Note the new fella is 21. A great age indeed and not too young at all to command a place. Whether the Polish 2nd division had a diamond, or we overpaid remains to be seen. This time last year it was the Slovakian league for a bit cheaper and look how that turned out.
So does the extra million add more guarantee?
Is it because he is leaning more towards finished article?
I hope so.
Has a great name, Paddy Climax. Or thereabouts. Born to be something with that title, let’s hope its a footballer 😉

Hail Hail


Friesdorfer thanks; I didnt say Steeevie and McAllister had big game coaching experience; I was referring to the huge amount of high profile playing time in the EPL and Europe. And McAllister’s highlights were – honestly – amazing when majorly influencing
a UEFA Cup semi-final victory over Barcelona, plus the FA Cup and a peerless performance in the UEFA Cup finals v Alaves.
In fact, he’s prob the profile of player we’re crying out for in this current CFC team. That’s if 9 and 10 mean anything to the powers that be. HH


Been busy but on ATOB exile,
I also wish she would return.


Al Mor who is sometimes around had a pint an selfie with Sid couple weeks ago there in his and Jackies bar. I’d be curious for a review of the bar. I also assume the lads have moved over there for a while. Hope Brexit doesn’t hurt them bad. Good idea is that bar in a popular Tim spot and it might give others ideas if it works.

I cant believe oul Tommy Graveson is out in Vegas!
Fairhill,, what say ye we hit him up while there?
Be some banter hey.

Hail Hail

big packy

MAHE ,hi pal hope you are good ,my best mate has not spoken to me for 2 nights now, im getting worried??

bada bing1

Soro,Soro,Soro.?…will we nick Sunshine on Leith?


Cheers Mahe; was wondering as you point out and, as a 2nd divi player, if Patryck was Poland’s Lawrence Shankland?


Jagelloinia who we signed Patryck from are in the Polish top flight and mid table.
No reason to believe that Sir Peter of Frugal would sanction a 3 and a half million spend on a 2nd division player.


Good article Libero, rather bizarre how some got caught up the euphoria that the road to ten would be a canter.
No matter how good your squad are, it’s much harder than some think, going to nine or ten.

All thems have to do is win one. They had serious 3 bites at the cherry, at first attempt they screwed it up after the break, but still have 2 more.

No walk in the park, this fitbaw lark.


Thanks for the clarification.


Ta for clarification Fan; glad he’s more a Hibs or Livvy player than a Dundee Utd one ;)) Seriously wish the kid every success with the hoops.


My memory might be wrong but I’m sure in Lennys first stint as manager he wanted to sign a non league player from Fleetwood Town by the name of Vardy but Pistol Pete baulked at the £1m asking price. Not paying that for a non leaguer, even IF the league is on a par with our championship


31003 That could be right, as i recall Leicester and Southampton had upwards of £1m offers for him refused by the Trawlermen in 2011, then he eventually went for a non league record of £1m to the foxes

Margaret McGill

ok lets see if I can instigate something……
Considering that Celtic and Peter Lawwell in-particular refuse to pay anywhere near Premier League prices or even Championship fees for any onfield talent – it’s incredible to think his own wage eclipses that of the highest-paid chief executive down south.


No – PL’s salary is around £1.6M p.a. Woodward of MU earns around £3.1M p.a. The additional amount this last period was accrued bonus over 2 years (whether that is considered justified is another issue).


He is the personification of ego.
In his mind he is priceless and infallible.
So the opinion of plebs is for ignoring.
His failings are masked by a tilted landscape.
When he finally gets to look in the mirror his reflection will not be there.
True disaster for the footballing side of Celtic.

Margaret McGill


Peter Lawwell took £3.5m out of Celtic in 2019.
I find it irrelevant how executive lying filth compartmentalize their tax avoidance annual income labels.