In Deep Dudu
A week away from our opener in the Champions League,and we have been unable or unwilling to sign one single player to slot into our starting eleven. To think that we celebrated six months ago with the news that Lawwell was for the off.
“At last! No more going into the early games of the season unprepared,with signings put on the back burner!!”
Aye,right. Here we are again,and in an even worse state than normal this time. Not only was last season deeply disappointing,with so many of the team underperforming,but many of them are desperate to leave. Players like Ajer,Edouard,Christie are unlikely to be with us in seven weeks. Broonie has already gone-as have various loanees-the future of Griff is at best uncertain and Jullien is still months away from a return from injury.
Sure,we have actually signed a few players. All of them for free or for a development fee,none of them yet to celebrate his 21st birthday. More of our fabled projects,in other words. Alan Hansen may have famously got it wrong with his pronouncement that “You’ll win nothing with kids” but it would be a gross disservice to our four new signings to expect anything from them other than an occasional run out from the bench.
There are a couple of glimmers of hope on the horizon though. The first is that,as I’ve said before,Ntcham realises that he has one season with us to rescue his career. The only way that he is going to be offered a contract commensurate with his own lofty opinions of himself is to play out of his skin for us this season. Even at that,I reckon that he is on to plums,he is the architect of his own destruction here. While his early form might have attracted interest,those suitors will have scored his name firmly out of their scouting reports given his stinking attitude and performances in the last three years.
But it’s either Player of the Year or the scrapheap for him. If it’s the former,we will benefit. If it’s the latter then frankly I couldn’t give a damn.
The second is the encouraging comments from Karamoke Dembele,a terrifically gifted young player who seemed to have fallen out of love with football,particularly Celtic,under our previous manager. A run of games from him as he plays himself into the side,with the senior players ready to offer him the support and protection from the hammer throwers,could be enough for him to realise some of the enormous potential that a few of us were fortunate enough to witness five years ago in Dublin. He will have my support and encouragement,and I think I speak for the vast majority of the support on this one.
Which brings us to the subject of the title of the article. Another thing we thought we had seen the back of with the departure of Lawwell was the club hotline to Dudu Duhan. This man,who mainly represents players from a relative footballing backwater,has seen a disproportionate number of his charges joining us over the years. To date,I would say the only success was Kayal Beram,and even he went off the boil before too long. I have high hopes for Ismael Soro,but the list of failure and disappointment is a long one with him.
His latest is another youngster,one who plays primarily in the berth occupied for so long by James Forrest and coveted by wee Karamoko. Should we really be giving him a call-or even taking calls from him-to discuss players for this position when we have glaring deficiencies elsewhere? I have no idea how good the youngster is,but that is not the issue. We have a finite transfer pot and I think we should be prioritising those areas of greatest need. Let’s face it-there’s a good few of them!
And we should definitely be widening the gene pool when it comes to dealing with agents. This is an unhealthy relationship,one where the club and a particular agent have far too close a relationship. We need to move on from a reliance on his client book,and we need to give AP our full support-in a way that has been sadly lacking to date.
Above article by BMCUWP