New Year,New Signings
As this is my final article before the close of the transfer window,and I very much doubt that we will be adding any more players to the squad this month,I thought I’d start today’s article by having a look at how our five signings have shaped up. Of course,it is far too early to pass a final judgement on them,but even with only a game or two under their belts,it is a fairly straightforward task to assess their potential.
I’ll start with Johnny Kenny. We have yet to see him play for us,but then,he wasn’t bought with an immediate plan for the first team. At the tender age of seventeen,last season he scored twelve goals for Sligo Rovers. That hints at the enormous potential of the young lad. As he continues to grow and strengthen,I suspect he will be knocking on the door of the first team in around a year’s time. On the other hand,don’t be surprised if we loan him out in order to get first team experience,and I’m actually looking forward to seeing the young fella.
Our Japanese trio have certainly caught the eye in their combined total of around 400 minutes! In Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi, and Reo Hatate,I feel as though we have nicked a Japanese tourist’s wallet while he was asking for directions to Edinburgh Castle! There is clearly a developing game in that country,well-funded and organised,and we are certainly no strangers to watching their national team perform well. Their co-host role with South Korea twenty years ago was,for me,the best tournament since Italia 90,and the team have carried that momentum through to the present day.
Maeda scored four minutes into his debut and is now away on international duty,while Reo has been Man of the Match in both of his games to date-although Matt O’Reilly shared the honours in that second match. Ideguchi was heading that way on Saturday until he got a right sore yin,aided and abetted by the ridiculous yet typical blind eye when it comes refereeing Celtic approach by the MIB. On first impressions,we have three winners who will hopefully continue for some time to impress us-just like Kyogo,in fact!
The fifth signing was the last one through the door,and his joint Man of the Match award,plus the assist for the goal and his all-round game on Wednesday tell me that Matt O’Reilly didn’t come up here for an easy life. Anyone who knocks back a three year deal from an EPL side at the age of 19 despite not having a club to go to strikes me as ambitious to progress-which he clearly felt wasn’t going to happen at Fulham. A year ago,he joined Franchise FC and played a whopping 54 games for them,scoring ten goals from midfield. Wednesday showed that schedule hasn’t blunted his stamina,and I think he will be a regular in the absence of the likes of CalMac,DT and Big Tam.
He will need that stamina in the next fifty days as we are scheduled for at least a dozen games in that period-more than that,depending on our progress in the cup. It’s a punishing schedule for anyone,but it has been that way all season. I know we all dread the international breaks,but it can be a real boon for the players as it gives them a break from the treadmill. International football has its own challenges of course. In my case,it is the challenge of drumming up an interest!
Our first game in February,less than a week away,is against the huns. I’ll be honest,I think we will need to take seven points from the three league matches left against them if we are to regain our trophy. The refs have clearly been watching FFM’s videos of the honest mistakes from over a decade ago,and they reckon that a repeat is just what is needed. We have all been complaining for years about them offering a licence for thuggery to players lining up against us,and to be honest,the standard of brutality is no worse than,say,five or ten years ago. No,it is the sheer frequency of the assaults,of a type which have no place whatsoever in football,that is appalling.
As of course is the response by the club to what even our board can see with their own eyes. Celtic are in the unfortunate position of seeing more opposition players retrospectively punished than any other club,and I refuse to believe that is simple coincidence. And for a team who spend so much time being kicked all over the shop by hammer-throwers,we get remarkably few penalties. Again,coincidence my arse. Yet who has been named as the referee for Wednesday night? Bobby Madden. Bloody hell…
This referee must by now be on first name terms with our team,and not just because he takes their name so often! No,it’s because he has been the ref in about a third of our domestic games so far this season already. I mean,come on. That is unhealthy,however you look at it. And particularly so when his record in games involving us does us no favours. I won’t go into the rumours about whether or not he is involved in placing bets on matches-which is against the rules even if the game is in another country!-as I think his appointment to so many games speaks for itself. Once again,this would not be tolerated in any other country. It should not be tolerated in ours.
Above article by BMCUWP