Been a hectic week for me,even if it all looks a little laid back at Celtic Park. Yes,we are back in training.and even off on a trip to Austria for the first of some pre-season friendlies. But at the moment,the promised continuation of last season’s magnificent rebuild has yet to materialise.
We have lost the peerless talents of Tom Rogic since last season,as well as Nir Bitton. Granted,I found it difficult to take to the big Israeli,who in nearly a decade at the club failed to tie down a regular starting place-or position,even!-but his loss deprives us of a capable utility stand-in.
Granted too that we have signed up CCV,but then,he was with us last season. So too was Jota,and even if the vibes are still positive,I want to see his signature on that contract! (Ask MIKEINTORONTO what the alternative offer is.) So as it stands,we actually have a weaker squad now than even two months ago.
It seems we have definitely signed Alexandro Bernabei,a 21yo Argentinian left back. Certainly according to the clubs anyway. He was even introduced to the public in the time-honoured jersey and scarf. But is there likely to be a further hold-up here to do with work permit problems? We have seen them before,after all. The fall-out as a result of Brexit has upended the whole work permit system,and that applies to non-EU nationals too.
Apart from that-having never seen him play-my main concern remains his height. At 5’7” he is smaller than Greg Taylor,who we all agree is hampered defensively by his own lack of stature. But then,it seems he possesses a decent head butt,and I can think of a few deserving targets for him to practice on. As ever when I lack enthusiasm over a signing,I hope he rams my words down my throat!
There are constant rumours,as there always are at this time of the year. And we should remember that the window is still open for over eight weeks. But AP has always said that he prefers his new signings to be available for the off,ready for pre-season and adapting to new surroundings and new colleagues.
The board should listen,rather than be booking their summer holidays.
There are another couple of rumoured departures,which brings me back to my opening paragraph. First night of the week was a Jolly Boys Outing to Margate-and a few other parts of northern Kent-via an initial drop at Heathrow. The rest of the week has seen me skirting the Suffolk/Norfolk border after an improving visit to Cambridge. Each night sees me in bliddy Lowestoft,as well as driving a few yards away from Carrow Road. And this,it seems,is where one of the brightest hopes in years from our academy seems destined to sign up.
Everything that we heard from those inside Celtic,whether that be the senior players or the various coaches,had us all believing that we had the next big thing on our books. Yet he has barely figured for us since his debut over five years ago. There is no doubt that EVERYONE at the club wanted this lad to succeed,and that especially included the fans. We love our heroes at Celtic,and especially our home-grown ones. But it seems that to achieve his ambitions,he will have to start again elsewhere.
The thing is,I reckon,that none of us wanted Michael Johnston to succeed as much as he himself did. He was living the dream-the dream we’ve ALL had-and the world was his lobster,it seemed. The lad didn’t make the breakthrough he wanted,maybe,because he wanted it so much. It meant everything to him! You could see it every time he played in the last two seasons especially,a look that said-this time,surely,ffs!
Yes,the injuries also held him back,but maybe it was the weight of expectations that held him back. Ours and his own. I hope now,new club,new country,that he can dispense with that dead weight and get back to enjoying his football. I think it’s been a while since that happened for him. Make us wonder what we missed out on,young fella. You deserve that,and I wish you all the best.
Karamoko Dembele has a new club,Brest in Ligue 1. How a talent like his failed to make it at Celtic really is beyond me. Perhaps we need to look at our development process. Same goes for Luca Connell,so highly rated by his international side. Needless to say,we hope they flourish elsewhere.
The other impending departure from the fringes of the squad is Jullien. Though even at 29yo and in danger of seeing his career fizzle out,he still has too high an opinion of himself for Schalke’s liking. After a promising start,etc,you know the rest. Just like you know the rest when I mentioned Heathrow earlier in the article.
And back once again to the main point of the article? Don’t piss off Ange. Lovely humourous Australian fellas,from my own experience,don’t take kindly to being pissed off. Just saying,like…
Above article by BMCUWP