The Absent Gardener



These are quiet days indeed on Timternet and in the wider Timosphere. Almost like a phony war,one where we have announced the departure of The Great Dictator-yet left him in place-while everything else carries on as before,falling to pieces before our eyes.


We have long been critical on here and elsewhere about the lack of young players coming through the ranks,and in the last eighteen months or so that particular situation has become even worse as our brightest prospects leave now by choice instead of waiting to be shown the door. The latest bright young thing to look at brighter pastures is actually the grandson of David Hay,and quite frankly,when the grandson of a legend is looking to leave then we have a problem.


Is there no-one looking at the contract situation of these youngsters,or monitoring their progress? Are we just looking at them the week before contracts are up and putting their names in a lucky bag to see who gets a renewal or who doesn’t? Are we giving these players a targeted career path,a reason to stay with us,even a decent salary? Or do we think that they should just be honoured to take their turn eventually in that lucky bag draw? There certainly doesn’t seem to be an incentive for our bright young things to realise their ambitions with us,and that should be concentrating minds wonderfully at Celtic Park.


Of course,I doubt Neil Lennon could even identify many of them in a line-up,and Peter Lawwell will probably tell you that he is too busy to worry about such things. He has had bigger things on his plate recently,such as scoring off his recruitment list yet more names of players who have tired of hanging around and being chiselled for the odd shilling or two as our pennywise and pound foolish CEO perfects his Smartest Guy In The Room persona. The mirror image,in fact,of “Chauncey Gardiner” but this time the joke is on us.


There are still five months until his overdue departure,folks. He has been accused of being a wage thief in the past,for sure,but there can be little doubt that his next five months will be his least productive-and probably most damaging-yet. I pointed out last week the importance of the next eighteen months,and we look likely to be in a state of paralysis for the first third of that. Indeed,it could be the longest close season ever-beginning as it did on the second of January! This is the first time this century that Celtic haven’t been in the title race,and our way of dealing with it is to stop dead.


When the music’s over,turn out the light…


Let’s have a wee look at some of the things that need to be dealt with,simply on the playing side. We will take as a given that loanees will return to parent clubs.


Is anyone happy with our goalkeeping options? So we probably need a replacement then.


Just sold two right backs,leaving us with the not-quite-up-to-it Anthony Ralston. Stephen Welsh has a fondness for the position,but we are gonna need him at centre back. And at centre back,our only other choices are Jullien and Bitton. Ajer will definitely leave in the summer,and even Bitton might leave. (I won’t miss him,btw. If anyone wants to defend him,they can give me ONE occasion in eight years when he has been MOTM,then I’ll still tell them to raise their standards of who they want donning our colours.) So that is probably two newbies there to provide cover,plus a right back. And the same problem exists at left back,where again we are woefully short of quality AND numbers.


Midfield,let’s say Christie,Ntcham and Rogic are offski and Broonie retires. I think that even allowing for Ewan Henderson coming through at last,we still need an experienced midfielder with a good bit of dig about him,someone who lets his opponents AND his colleagues know who’s boss! And we need either a goalscoring midfielder-a Billy Stark type-or a playmaker who can get that from CalMac and Turnbull.


Up front,we are losing Eddie,that is a formality. We lost Griff a long time ago. We have yet to find The Yeti-sorry,couldn’t resist!-and Klimala is yet to really be given a chance. You can see where I’m going here-where is the goal threat likely to come from? Bloody hell,we ALWAYS pride ourselves in our goalscorers but I genuinely fear for that position next season!


And yet,in this most important of months to come,we have a lame duck manager,a dead in the water CEO and nothing on the horizon. No planning for the imminent future-for how can there be under such circumstances?


I read yesterday on the site various comments from members of their concerns that the board-another bunch of lame ducks!-would use player sales to shore up the fabled balance sheet. Such a proposition would of course be self defeating,as it would only lead to further reductions in season ticket sales in following years-even though previous experience tells us that such is their default anyway. But in this particular case,I think the player sales will happen but that the replacements won’t be signed-not as some might think to shore up the balance sheet,but simply because we haven’t planned for the future.


Dominic McKay arrives as our new CEO on 1st July. As I don’t think it is fair to judge him by his predecessor,he arrives with a clean sheet. Sadly,the last thing that this club needs on 1st July is a new CEO with a clean sheet,given the rebuilding programme that I’ve just outlined above. What a poisoned chalice that man has chosen to accept,and I don’t envy him. I have been frequently accused of unfairly maligning Lawwell over the years and ignoring his achievements. I disagree,and think that his achievements have in fact been greatly magnified. So I’ll judge him by his legacy,by what he leaves behind.


I’ve got a feeling that being known as The Man Who Cost Us The Ten is going to be the least of his worries.


Above article by BMCUWP

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February 10, 2021 2:17 am

Great band from Trash can town, Irvine Ayrshire.
Enjoy the 90s Mike. 👍💚

February 10, 2021 2:18 am

Games on tonight so here is the predictor link

Mike in Toronto
February 10, 2021 2:32 am


Every Celtic fan should be made to read The Brothers Karamazov before season ticket renewal time….

February 10, 2021 4:19 am

I agree Mike.

Bedtime here.
Hail Hail

February 10, 2021 8:02 am


Not quite reaching for the razor blades but agree that the ongoing situation of having an outgoing CEO still micro managing and a barely credible incumbent coaching staff bumbling along has the club in a state of paralysis.
I read Kozinzki’s book and enjoyed the movie.
Sellers was excellent as “Chance, the gardener”

However I’d say PL is no naive character, innocently offering simplistic advice and credited with unique insight.

He is quite the opposite- a scheming puppet master, principally of weaker colleagues. The dugout stooges being the most obvious.

That’s by the by now, but the legacy hangs over the club until he’s gone.

The exodus from the youth set up is disturbing.
The immediate culling of the first team squad is a necessity and inevitable, as a result of retiral, loan return and sales.
Up to 10/11 positions possibly having to be replaced.
I include goalkeeper, three fullbacks needed( 2 right backs, 1 left) , a couple of centre halves,
Couple of hard bastard mids( we are too soft centred) , a couple of wide men and a CF.

Money in from sales- anyone’s guess. Mine is decent money for Ajer,Eddy – Frimpong money for Christie and poss Ntcham and recoup a little from the rest who leave.

Serious issue is who will get to spend money on replacements , when will he arrive and how little will the budget be?

A sorry state of affairs.
DMcK needs to hit the ground running – fast.

Jobo Baldie
February 10, 2021 8:17 am

Happy Matchday (I hope!) A chance to cut the chasm to 18 points. With a game in hand 😉

February 10, 2021 8:30 am

Great lead ,the lateness of the new guy taking over probably makes next season a wash
I had to go to yesterday’s last post to log in to today’s posts, same happened the day before any tips? How to log in

A thing of beauty
February 10, 2021 8:59 am

I agree with everything you said there, especially the bit about PL being the puppet master but only of the incompetents he likes to control.
Bmcuwp states that being known as the man that cost us the ten will be the least of his worries. That’s bad enough but how about being so incompetent that Dave King, the mendacious liar was able to see right through your flimsy plan and is now trolling you in plain sight. He’s in the papers again today saying he knew we’d collapse like a pack of cards. That is a shocking indictment of the Lawwell years and I’m quite sure thesis’ will be written in years to come using Celtic as the prime example of how NOT to operate in business, never mind football.
Outdone by a castlemilk conman Peter, yet you’re the smartest guy in the room. As Kevin bridges would say is that right?!!

A thing of beauty
February 10, 2021 9:00 am

Morning Jobo,
How’s the weather in EK?

February 10, 2021 9:25 am

Great lead ,the lateness of the new guy taking over probably makes next season a wash
I had to go to yesterday’s last post to log in to today’s posts, same happened the day before any tips? How to log in

Morning all.
I’ve been unable to find new posts as well for a week or two. Either wait until they are at least 12 hours old or try to find the link on the previous post like Thetic. That’s hi got here today. Problem with that is that I often can’t access the comments, can only see the post. For example the post header will state something like 70 comments. When I open the post there are no comments or, if I’m lucky, about 10 that I can see.

I’m using an iPhone Xr on safari. Have tried the old CQN trick of switching JavaScript off but this doesn’t help.
Also if I try to log in I only have the option to be notified of all new comments.

Any IT wizards out there with a solution. Thanks.

February 10, 2021 10:20 am

GB Banner- ‘Jan Review: Parasites Liars Charlatans’

February 10, 2021 10:29 am

Excellent lead .
For me you have not maligned the liar enough.
An overinflated ego who returned us to the back of the bus.
Wonder if he enjoys playing his fiddle?

I feel that the next few seasons will be awash unless there is actually a cunning football plan going on behind the scenes.
That scenario is unlikely as we have been a reactionary club throughout DD/PL’s tenure.
In their time we have reacted with a too little too late philosophy so no reason to think next season will be any different.

Bobby Murdochs
February 10, 2021 10:37 am


“He is quite the opposite- a scheming puppet master, principally of weaker colleagues. The dugout stooges being the most obvious.”
That’s why I described him as his mirror image.

Bobby Murdochs
February 10, 2021 10:40 am


Just checked access on my iPhone. Not a problem! Went into ADMIN,and had a look around,but nothing that I can see which might be causing anyone access problems.

I’ll let MAHE know,maybe he can figure it out.

February 10, 2021 10:51 am


Not wishing to turn this into a mutual appreciation society but you are right on the money !!
I’m avoiding smsm and can only imagine the glee of the glib and shameless one we mercilessly lampooned for very good reason. At least he is glorified by his Hun hordes.
Fair do’s to the charlatan, his prescience is duly noted.
Even he must be astounded at the speed of the downfall perpetrated by his counterpart, who will not only be lampooned by them but ostracised and despised by us.

Not so smart as to escape the tangled weave he created.

February 10, 2021 10:54 am

Very sobering read.
There is only one song that can accompany it.
Ironically from the album Strange Days.

February 10, 2021 10:55 am


👍🏻, mis read that line.

We are singing off the same hymn sheet.

Bobby Murdochs
February 10, 2021 11:17 am

MIKEINTORONTO 1156 last night.

Thanks for that,mate. I’ll be tracking the fella down on YouTube etc for most of today.


Bobby Murdochs
February 10, 2021 11:18 am

Oooooops,forgot to reset my moniker after looking into ADMIN.

Bobby Murdochs
February 10, 2021 11:19 am


February 10, 2021 11:20 am

Next season is already looking like a write off.
Most new managers we’ve appointed arrived in May / June to plan for the season ahead.
If we’re waiting for DMcK to get his feet under the table we’ll be toiling.
Can we assume with this incompetent Board collective that they are discussing options with the new man in down time from his SRU role?

His mind must already be on the challenges ahead. He cannot be unaware of the supporters angst , being one himself.

February 10, 2021 11:21 am


February 10, 2021 11:22 am

reasons I seldom post here….
When typing a plastic, if someone else posts my screen disappears and I have to search for it to continue to type.
While reading other posts, if a new post comes on the screen jumps to that then I have to scroll to find the post I was already reading.
If reading previous pages and a new post comes on the screen jumps to the latest post on the last page.
Old posts are at the bottom and new posts come in on top

The site jumps all over the place and is very difficult to pin down

February 10, 2021 11:23 am


February 10, 2021 11:24 am


ATHINGOFBEAUTY is suddenly surrounded by DOBbers who want to talk about football. She has a standard reply for them though. Tells them to start from ten years ago and take it from there!

February 10, 2021 11:28 am


Very strange,and bloody annoying that it happens-especially for the people it’s happening to! The problem is that unless it happens to one of us who has admin access,we can’t fix it. That would be like trying to fix your roof by working on my own,if you see what I mean.

Doesn’t mean we won’t try though-so bear with LudditesCSC while we bugger about in the background…

February 10, 2021 11:35 am


I call them Bandwagon Huns, one or two recently surfaced in my orbit.
I don’t call them Gloryhunters, one trophy ( soon to be) gained in 27 attempts makes them no better than
Ross Co, ST J , Killie etc

Tell them to enjoy it whilst it lasts( keeping your fingers crossed behind your back😀)

February 10, 2021 11:41 am


Cheers sir

Angel Gabriel
February 10, 2021 12:49 pm

Can’t argue with much of the article.
Where we are now is a worry.
With whom Celtic give the task of the rebuild, has their work cut out .
Train crash CSC

February 10, 2021 1:08 pm

Today’s latest odds, Steve Clarke now joint favourite.
John Kennedy
Steve Clarke
Rafael Benitez
Frank Lampard
Eddie Howe
Enzo Maresca
Roy Keane
Alex Neil
Mark Hughes
Andriy Shevchenko
Damien Duff
Jack Ross
Andre Villas-Boas
Dan Petrescu
Gordon Strachan
Henrik Larsson
Jindřich Trpišovský
Martin O’Neill
Paul Lambert
Marco Silva
Shaun Maloney
Jim Goodwin
Malky Mackay
Michael O’Neill
Pellegrino Matarazzo
Roberto Martinez
Steven Reid
Veljko Paunovic

February 10, 2021 1:17 pm

It is only a hunch, but I had a thought of Steve Clarke Director of Football with Frank Lampard Head Coach. The Chelsea connection.

February 10, 2021 1:32 pm


A dream team?
our ambition has never stretched to that potential annual cost.
Can’t see it but it would shake things up, that’s for sure.

Bada Bing
February 10, 2021 1:37 pm

Livingston v Hamilton- off

February 10, 2021 1:38 pm

They had about 5 years together at Stamford Bridge in early to late 2000s.
SC as Assistant manager. Just a thought I had that could work.

February 10, 2021 1:39 pm

Our game in Paisley is definitely on. 👍

February 10, 2021 1:47 pm

Livingston game called off tonight. Third time this season? Fourth? Fifth? Not sure,but one thing seems certain.

All-weather football surfaces are not fit for purpose. Neither as all-weather surfaces nor as football surfaces. Time to get rid-this nonsense has gone on too long,and to the detriment of the game.

Jobo Baldie
February 10, 2021 1:50 pm

A Thing Of Beauty @ 9.00am – sorry for not replying but been out all morning. There was more snow overnight here so still loads of thick snow on the ground. But anything that makes even more of us “stay at home” at the moment can’t be a bad thing (even though I did have to go out for spouse related medical reasons!). An 8pm kick off tonight. Can’t see too many changes in line up to the last 2 games. Looking at Saturday’s starting team I’d say the only possible changes might be Laxalt/Taylor, Brown/Soro and Rogic/Elyounoussi. I think the other 8 (Bain, Kenny, Welsh, Ajer, Turnbull, McGregor, Ajeti, Edouard) will start again.

February 10, 2021 1:59 pm


Totally get what you say.
Would welcome those appointments.

My point being the parsimony of the Board.

February 10, 2021 2:02 pm


Swindon has avoided the snow,as usual. It sits in a valley,so the worst usually skirts round us. Bliddy Baltic though!

Had a look at the St Mirren pitch tonight,and while it looks in decent shape I expect it to be frozen by match time. That could be a leveller,so we might be in with a chance of a result(!)

February 10, 2021 2:05 pm


On board parsimony,they worked a flanker on the support by withdrawing the refund facility this season for unplayed games that was in place beforehand. Seems The CST have persuaded them to have a rethink on that subject.

I think we can guess why that might be-like,the price of abject failure.

February 10, 2021 2:08 pm

I like the changes you suggest.
I would bring in Barkas for Bain too.

February 10, 2021 2:10 pm

Forecast of temperature of -5 tonight in Paisley at 8pm, kick off time.

Jobo Baldie
February 10, 2021 2:14 pm

Garry, I was actually just 2nd guessing which players Neil might change. If it was me then I too would have Barkas and I’d stick with Laxalt, just changing the other 2 I mentioned.
Right, away to give myself a Baldie. Literally.

February 10, 2021 2:16 pm


Taps aff weather,then?

February 10, 2021 2:19 pm


I need to buy some clippers anaw-or a lawn mower. And since the chances of a proper haircut before April/May look minimal,I’m looking at hedge clippers too.

February 10, 2021 2:19 pm

A partnership made in hell.
From Official Hamburg Twitter.
A long-term friendship becomes official 🔵⚪⚫

Built on the close ties between the two sets of fans which have existed since the 1970s, HSV and @RangersFC have now entered into an official club partnership 🔷


February 10, 2021 2:25 pm

Afternoon all from a picturesque snow-covered wee Hun toon on the South Bank of the Clyde! I hope this finds everyone well and warm.
Re tonight’s game…I think it’s unlikely Lennon will change the keeper and will stick with Bain. Not a bad thing as the last thing we need is another defensive change, we should be trying to build confidence at the back through continuity! The only change I can see to the starting 11 will be Christie back for Rogic. Christie would have started on Saturday but for injury.
And if St Mirren keep the heating on the pitch will be grand, the pics looked like it was in superb condition considering the amount of snaw we’ve had!
Jobo…I restarted the Home Haircuts at the weekend, coincidentally SuperBowl Weekend!! 😉 I’ll no be leaving the hoose for a while!! 😁

February 10, 2021 2:27 pm

Aye. 😂🤣
I find a Gillette razor on my napper every few days, works for me.
Mon the Baldies! 😁💪

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