That Time Of The Year…

Morning,all.

This is the time of year when football fans get antsy about how to fill the long barren weeks until the new season begins,but it is hardly one where everyone in the game puts the boots away and gets on the sun lounger beside the pool. For many,it is a time of big decisions-and some very difficult ones. 

For a lot of players,there is the question of where they will be playing next year. Indeed,for many,it is a question of simply hoping that they will be playing somewhere,anywhere,at all next year,that someone will come in for them and offer them a contract. For managers,it is about who they want to be at the club next season,who should be let go or made available for transfer or a loan,and who should be signed to strengthen the squad. 

As this is a Celtic site,I will deal mainly with the issues facing Ange Postecoglu. I’ll leave our main rivals to swither over their own future,asking ridiculous fees for journeymen players while lowballing their regulars when negotiating contract extensions. AP has already allowed-or maybe advised?-two long-serving players to leave,with Nir Bitton and Tom Rogic bowing out on a high with another championship medal. He has also seen the exciting prospect Ben Doak leave for Liverpool at the tender age of 16yo. I wish them all well,but while of the three only Tom Rogic will be missed by me,I’m afraid I won’t be following their future careers with much interest. 

I see in the departures of TR and NB a recognition by Ange that,despite an incredibly successful first season,his task of rebuilding the club is still very much a work in progress. Indeed,Neil Lennon,fresh from leading his new club to a Cypriot Cup success,even offered some advice on the issue. Perhaps had Lennon been willing to listen to anyone two and three years ago,there wouldn’t have been such a mess left behind for Ange to deal with. But deal with it,he most certainly has. So far. 

Many of the players who are highly unlikely to feature under AP are in possession of lucrative contracts,on terms that they are unlikely to receive elsewhere. And that is a problem in anyone’s book. The board will need to offer these players a significant sum to induce them to seek employment elsewhere,but it is a sum worth paying to avoid having unhappy players occupying a dressing room and spreading discontent. 

And there’s a few contenders of that description in our current squad! All of them are decent enough players-after all,they have to be just that to play at any level at all. Many are even internationalists,and have had successful careers previously elsewhere. Few,if any,can complain at not being in the manager’s future plans,not if they are judged solely on their performances in The Hoops. So who do I think that the manager will be having painful discussions with shortly? Surprisingly,it might not be as many as you think. 

Let’s start from back to front. Vasiliy Barkas has been an unmitigated disaster in his time at Celtic Park,and I doubt anyone can say otherwise. A £5m signing and a regular in the Greek side,his displays have left his confidence and his reputation in pieces. His priority should be to rescue and rebuild his career at a different club,rather than hang around and become a forgotten man. Indeed,that last sentence probably applies across the board to all of the players mentioned here. And as with the rest of them,I doubt that Celtic will be difficult to deal with regarding a fee. The difficult part might be negotiating the severance terms. Players and upper management will have to be realistic,an alien concept so often in football these days. 

Bolingoli won’t even be offered a squad number when he returns,and if he is still at the club in September,it will be for foolish reasons career-wise,cutting off his own nose to spite his face. I can see him doing it too. The only difference between him and Jullien is that the latter will still have his squad number,but will have relatively similar chances of making a matchday squad. Personally,I would rather offer the chance of a return to Simunovic than play him. 

In midfield,the only player who can truly be termed surplus to requirements is Ismael Soro. Or The Sorrowful Mystery,as I’ve heard him termed. He hasn’t been a failure at Celtic,as such. But he has been horribly unlucky with injuries whenever he got the chance at a first-team place. The irony being that he would be booked for his first tackle,then stretchered off after a tackle by an opponent! Again,for the sake of his career he has to move on. I also think that applies to Michael Johnston,but I’m willing to give this highly skilled youngster another year to make the grade. He will have to do so,initially at least,from the bench,so the deck is stacked against him already. It will be no surprise to see him move this summer. A move next summer is a certainty if he again fails to impress. 

Up front,and the prime candidate is Albion Ajeti. Although his career at Celtic started well,that is as far as it got. I’ll say no more. Possibly a surprise addition to the list is Karamoko Dembele,a player for whom we had high hopes indeed. Especially if you were lucky enough to witness him at St Kevin’s in Dublin. That was an Under-16 tournament involving teams from the likes of Barcelona,Lyon and Anderlecht. Dembele won Player of the Tornament-as a 13yo! Truly,a star is born. Or so we thought. Yes,his lack of stature has not done him any favours,but Liel Abada-only a few months older,btw-is the same height but grabbed his chance with both hands! Karamoko is out of contract,and the club have offered him a new deal but he has not yet accepted it. Two years ago,I would have been distraught,but now? Not so much. 

So that’s a maximum of seven players from the squad whose future,I think,lies elsewhere. Testament,I’d say,to the work already done last summer by Ange and Dom. It was a good start,but it is time to finish the job and concentrate on the future. That future will consist of the players already at the club and judged by AP to be of the required quality and temperament. And it will surely also include some new signings to bolster the squad in some vital areas. Which will be a topic in the very near future. 

~~~~~~~~~

Above article by BMCUWP

Notify of
BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

From 16 ROADS last night…

https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11669/12623580/champions-league-final-chaos-witnesses-on-the-scary-scenes-and-aggressive-policing-outside-the-stade-de-france

Celtic supporters will be familiar with stories like this,with police blocking access routes,fans being crushed,people with valid tickets being turned away from the turnstiles,while those lucky enough to finally make it through the chaos end up missing a large chunk of the game anyway.

They will also be familiar with the police and authorities engaging in a cover up,blaming the victims themselves. That this was a showpiece final at a stadium well used to large crowds,and in a major European capital,somehow makes it so much worse. What should have been a routine policing operation has gone seriously wrong and there needs to be a major investigation into the reasons for it.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

When my Dad and I got off the plane at Düsseldorf in November,we had to show various documentation before we even made it as far as passport control. Including the relevant clearances for covid vaccinations etc. When we finally got to the passport control,we were directed towards a booth that no-one else had yet been directed to.

Two young fellas gave us the third degree for about twenty minutes. Nothing wrong with any of our documents,I hasten to add. Purpose of visit? Football supporters,Leverkusen v Celtic on Thursday. (This was the Tuesday evening). Nope,still not good enough. I felt like saying- Look,we didnae f…..g vote for Brexit,ya jumped up wee prick!

The rest of the trip was excellent,people couldn’t have been more welcoming or helpful. But if that passport control is anything to go by,my passport won’t be going anywhere near the EU in future. It would be interesting to find out if Real Madrid fans suffered similar difficulties at their end,or perhaps some events are just a coincidence.

Gordon64

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=GdWWWjMWXfI TOTAL CHAOS | SAINT ETIENNE RELEGATED | PITCH INVASION | Saint etienne vs auxerre

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

A minor social gathering planned tomorrow,about 12-5pm at The Tollbooth tomorrow for those who are interested and available. All welcome,as usual!

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

GORDON64

Blinking’ flip,that’s like George Square last May!

Cosy Corner Bhoy

Watching that clip from Gordon 64 bring to mind the phrase ‘Not a happy bunny’. What is it with French malcontents? Can’t have a disagreement without pyrotechnics! Even their ‘strikes’ are accompanied with piles of tyres burning away.

Cosy Corner Bhoy

Condolences to TLT on the loss of his father. It’s a sore one for all offspring.
Thoughts and prayers with you. KTF.

St tams

Lennon trying to tell Ange what he needs to do to improve the squad.

That’s like me trying to tell Michel Roux, how to cook

Prestonpans bhoys

From the other channel, vote for the Lions @9%

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/61311898

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

ST TAMS

Or Lucretia Borgia…

Mahe

Condolences to The Lurkin Tim.

Awe Naw

As I told you before at the EL final we had digital tickets. At the penultimate barrier I was being crushed Jungle Style ’73 far from pleasant. Women and children. At the final barrier. 90% moved away without tickets. It is fanaticism pure and simple. Nothing anyone can do about it. Don’t blame the police or the locals or UEFA. It is solely the fault of very selfish very simple people.

Awe Naw

The Lurkin Tim

Sorry to hear your bad news fella

St tams

The Lurkin Tim
Condolences on your loss.

The Star Above The Crest

The Lurkin Tim

I’m sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you & your loved ones.

SeS

TLT

Sorry to hear of your sad loss buddy.

Keep all those happy memories warm – they come in very handy.

YNWA

SeS

Paddy’s Maw – just hearing about your 21st last week. Well done and hope you had a fantastic day and spoiled by your all your bhoys.

SeS

Craig76

That was an excellent link to the Primary Source on our first ever match. Dan talking about his Dad and Brother and circumstances around attendance etc.

Absolutely – Golden moments!

That was a real joy and wee seeds of an idea that we could all contribute similar from a game we attended ( not necessarily first game )

maybe more to follow.

HH

SeS

Bobby

Apologies we can’t get to the pub tomorrow- absolutely locked with tasks atm.

Hope to catch up soon.

Best to everyone for forthcoming trip to Belfast and remember to leave it the way you found it .. just kiddin’ 😂😂

jimthetim53

Prestonpans bhoys, good link, cheers!

VOTE CELTIC.

jimthetim53

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/61311898

Here it is again. Celtic now at 14% 3rd.

Sol Kitts

The Lurkin Tim
Sad to hear of your loss. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family.

Leggy

Afternoon all,

Bobby sorry I can’t make the Tolbooth tomorrow as I’m still in sunny Zante with Mrs L.

Hope you have a great time and also enjoy your subsequent visit to Belfast.

HH 🍀🍀🍀

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

LEGGY

Spoil the missus,you know it makes sense! Hope you are both having a ball.

JimmynotPaul

T.L.T.
Sending you love at this sad and difficult time. 💚💚

JimmynotPaul

An incredible record.
In last 21 years, La Liga teams have played 17 Champions League and Europa League finals against non-Spanish teams. And won all 17.

JimmynotPaul

The Scottish Cup Final yesterday.
Womens final and references, on Alba, to “10 Men” , “Extra man” and “Man of the Match” award. The only thing missing was, it’s a man’s game!!
The cup final attendance record in Scottish women’s football was broken yesterday.
4,345 people were at Tynecastle to see Celtic lift the trophy.

Jobo Baldie

JimmynotPaul – it was a very good game to watch but no surprise that the refereeing was poor. A harsh red card and I didn’t think either penalties should have been awarded.

JimmynotPaul

Jobo.
Agreed, ref was awful.
The red card was a joke, even if he thought it was a pen, ( I didn’t think it was ) it would only be because of a coming together, not a deliberate act, so should have been pen and yellow.
East Kilbride must have a good chance in Lowland League, next season.
With Darvel missing out, ( they would have thrown mega bucks at it ) it’s up for grabs.

Bigrailroadblues

BMCUWP, I have arranged a finger buffet for the Tolbooth tomorrow. A packet of hula hoops. You’re welcome.

SeS

Leggy

Have a superb Anniversary buddy.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

BIGRAILROADBLUES

Put me down for ten,please.

Twisty

Catching up:

The Lurkin Tim
So sorry to hear of your loss. Thoughts with you and yours.

Bigrailroadblues

BMCUWP, greedy git.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

BIGRAILROADBLUES

Rings on my fingers and bells on my toes…

Yep,I’ve spilt my whisky again.

Bigrailroadblues

BMCUWP, you spilt whisky? Ffs I hope that was a joke. Infamy!!

big packy

MAGUA, if your lurking,have not seen you on lately, hope you are well,.HAIL HAIL..

jimthetim53

Packy, you must have missed it, Magua won the Lottery! He’s probably away buying a new laptop. 🙂

Bigrailroadblues

BP, Magua is saving his energy for the Tolbooth tomorrow. We shall be exchanging Celtic history stories and pints. Well, pints anyway. Or maybe that’s me and BelmontBrian and The Drummer? 🤔

jimthetim53

Brrb, Should get ‘The Drummer’ and his group to come along too! That would be good! 🙂

big packy

JIM hope he goes halves with me😎 .BRRB, ill be there in spirit or spirits😎have a great time buddy👍

big packy

JIM, talking of drummers ,had a pupil the other week wanted to play a drum roll, nothing else, gave him a lesson, 5 stroke roll seven stroke roll and 9 stroke roll ,all the things you need to play a proper drum roll, he came back this morning arms all over the place, listen I said you are playing a 5 stroke roll with 5 arm movements ,you only need 3 wrist movements to play a 5 stroke roll ,RR LL R ,until he gets that its money for old rope, id just be taking money off him for nothing, and as im a lanarkshire bhoy born and bred ,it aint gonna happen,another true story.👍

Bigrailroadblues

Jtt53, BP, I’m sure we’ll have fun and raise a glass to friends no longer with us. Garry Duncan put that joint down, it’s your round! 💚

big packy

BRRB, yes garry postecoglou, he knew he was the right man for the job,,god bless him👍

jimthetim53

Packy, as you’ve probably guessed drumming is all double dutch to me. But I love listening to them!

emusanorpan
big packy

JIM, cant believe that, thought you played timpani with the shotts and dykehead pipe band👍 another true story😎

jimthetim53

Packy, LOL 🙂 One thing I do know is there are no timps in a pipe band drum corps.

Craig76
Anders

Just wanted to say thank you all for your kind words of support and comfort, they were very much welcomed and appreciated.

Permission granted…see you tomoz BMCUWP

H.H.