No Resting On Laurels
Six days and counting then before the “transfer window slams shut” until the summer. I’m very doubtful that we plan any more signings during these coming days,but we are still apparently open to the right offer for G-Mak.
The latter poses something of a question for us. MAHE yesterday asked us all about David Turnbull’s future with the club,and the reactions were at best mixed. At the moment,he isn’t making any noises about being unsettled,and the rumours to that effect all seem to stem from his casual nonchalance when he scores. Reminiscent to some of Christie when he was working his ticket,yes-but I watched Rashford score the opener for Man Utd last night in a semi-final,and he was hardly doing cartwheels either. DT’s nonchalance then is probably a red herring,even if I doubt he is best pleased about not being one of the 1st XI most weeks.
It is that last part which is causing the rift with G-Mak apparently. And in that,I sympathise. The big fella is deadly in the box with even the merest whiff of an opportunity. But yet… There is little doubt that Kyogo is in prime position for us due to bringing so much more to the team than merely goals. G-Mak ain’t the least bit happy with that,and at this stage in his career he has a difficult choice to make. It only remains to be seen if anyone wants him enough to meet his financial and professional demands-and ours.
Our other big departure of course is our World Cup medallist,Juranovic. The price,at $10m,might have been lower than many of us expected,but it has probably made us break-even for this window. We have brought in-and already bedded in-his replacement in Johnston for a fraction of the price,and already he looks a more disciplined defender. Plus,I wouldn’t like to spill his pint. With Ralston as back up,and Taylor and Bernabei competing on the other side,I think Ange can be happy with the full backs for the next couple of seasons or so.
Yesterday also saw the announcement of the departure of Jenz,back to his parent club in France. A shame for the big fella,as he had performed very well for us,and absolutely loved his time at the club. We had an option to buy the big German centre-back,but decided to cut short his stay with the arrival of Yuki. The latter is something many of us have been crying out for,a left sided CB,and it remains to be seen whether he can dislodge the long-time partnership of CCV and Starfelt. As the current POTY in his native Japan,and as mentioned being a left footer,I think we will see him develop a partnership with CCV,with Starfelt and Welsh the back-ups. Again,AP has his “two in a box” covered,and we can maybe settle down there for the next two seasons at least with that settled backline squadron.
Up front,of course,is Kyogo and our newbie,Oh,from Korea. The first we know all about,and time will tell with Oh. But Ange is pleased with his signing and has made no secret of it. On the left,we have Maeda and Jota,with the former also a very capable player through the middle. Jota,of course,is equally at ease on the right. And over there,we have Abada-who also fancies himself through the middle-and Jamesie,as well as Haksabanovic who can play as a 7,8,10 or 11. A good hand to have for the manager,and again we can expect to see some continuity in the side.
Midfield though,we have an embarrassment of riches-but that is perhaps only true if and when they are all in form. Our new guy there is also from Japan,bringing our contingent,I think,to six in total. Iwata seems nailed on for the role as midfield anchor-but I recall that being said last season too about Ideguchi. If this is true,it gives us four possibles in that role! Pick from CalMac,Mooy,Iwata and O’Riley who surprised us all when he stood in for CalMac when he was injured.
The possibles for the No 8 role are O’Riley,Mooy,CalMac,while the contenders on the left of midfield are CalMac,Reo,Turnbull. Not forgetting Haksabanovic who can play either,I reckon that Ange will stick with the players in form and rotate only when he feels it is necessary for reasons of form or freshness. This is going to leave a few players either having to up their game or be disappointed. And I’m not entirely sure that CalMac will be an automatic pick throughout it all either. Iwata hasn’t been signed to sit on the bench,Reo will take some shifting,and I think the No 8 role is his least preferred of the three. It still leaves Ange with a handy pool to choose from,with plenty of options available should he decided to move to a midfield four on occasion.
Given that the big fella only walked through the door (after quarantining) about eighteen months ago,and was handed a train crash with no instruction manual,I think we can all look back on his handiwork after four windows with some pleasure. Indeed,I can’t remember having four good windows in a row. Ever. He isn’t buying piecemeal,he is buying to a plan,purchasing players that he believes suit our system. He can now sit back for the next five months and concentrate on the day job-that of bedding all these players in,keeping them all happy,and winning trophies. Michael Nicholson,the quiet man doing his work behind the scenes,can continue his good work by tidying up and extending a few contracts.
And the fans can look forward with some optimism,I believe,for some good times to come. And with a relatively settled squad too. I can think of some clubs and fans who would give their eye teeth for that!
Above article by BMCUWP
Good morning sir.
I this getting your business done early is a new one to us.hh
Top of the morning to your good self,sir! Aye,I could get used to this relaxed feeling,even if it will only last till kick-off on Sunday. Mind you,I was having kittens at the thought of losing G-Mak without a replacement.
In this window we have signed a right back, a central defender, a midfielder and a striker. We have sold (or returned from loan) a right back and a central defender. If this was a “what happened next” question could the answer be Turnbull and Gio leaving? And all departures happening AFTER replacements are secured – perhaps a good indicator that Michael Nicholson, rather than the Devil Incarnate, is still. Pulling the strings?
Good Morning, and very prescient article. I had it in mind that Jenz was left-footed, but may be wrong. Regardless, I wish him well. A classy farewell message.
I do hope GG stays at least until the summer. If money is his motivation, however… See Samaras for further details.
Dissapointed to see Jenz move on . Thought he was an excellent footballing centre half and young enough to improve.
Would have preferred to move on Starfelt or Welsh.
As for the fullback positions, we need better than Bernabei and Ralston to compete with Taylor and Johnston.
Chelski spend 450m on talent in one calendar year that’s roughly the price of Everton FC. ESL will definitely happen. Tick tock tick tock……
BRRB: If you are still in Dublin have a pint of Guinness in THE FLOWING TIDE
It’s where I first tasted Guinness, my Dad bought it, and I did the same for BMCUWP when we were there in 2016 for the Centenary of the Easter Rebellion
Great wee pub
Celtic v St Mirren February 11th
BMCUW — interesting angle on how the season is progressing.
The natural born worriers are coming to the fore — seeing the club managing to do the basics right ony heightens fears that we will make a bigger clutz of it further down the road.
One point — J-League player of the year was the 25 year old TI @ DM not the 22 year old YK @ CB.
Given his age and his reputation I think that TI will start getting games as our Pivot / DM.
Which would mean that change was on the way for the rest of the MF.
And given that RH is — to my mind anyway — our signature player that could mean big changes for the whole team.
Not fully engaged with the happiness many are feeling regarding our FB’s.
RB — AR seems to be the type that regresses if he is not playing so not sure of the player that would turn up if AJ is injured?
LB — AB is struggling to settle and no matter his talent makes quite a lot of basic mistakes plus you have GT who still has work to do regarding his recovery positioning / defensive side of his game. Making progress going forward as he now has a step but he does at times look like a MF’er filling in.
Might be looking at the B Team or elsewhere for improvements come the summer.
More comfortable — than most seemingly — with the situation at CF
KF is the man in motion who is getting back up to top form.
If he is indisposed then we can go same again — fast / mobile –with DM his NT CF starter no less.
Then if we want a change and a more physical approach we have new bloke OHg to call on as GG’s replacement plus JD from the B Team who needs to be challenged / pushed on to get the most out of him.
Plus LA and RV if things get desperate.
GG will be missed but not that much.
Hopefully a few loose ends will be tidied up over the next couple of days .
Big challenges ahead to make sure we are comfortably ahead of our friends in Govan.
Still having nightmares over the quick loss of a couple of goals to them recently.
A bit unsettled until we beat them again.
The summer would appear to be the same again but with bigger price tags.
AP is setting the agenda for the club at the moment — a growth agenda no less — and long may it continue.
Celtic v St Mirren February 11th
Guaranteed my bus will leave at the normal time, extra 2 1/2 hours in the pub.
God help us 🙏🤦
That’s an interesting take on where we are Bobby.
I would be much happier if we kept GG until the summer. While I’m certain that we’ll retain the title – it would be the biggest collapse since 9/11 otherwise – it could become a bit uncomfortable if we were to lose Kyogo for 3 or 4 months again. On that note, I do wish he would stop flying into unnecessary challenges! It gives me the fear every time.
I agree that we are very well off in midfield. I’m not so sure we are as comfortable in the FB positions as you seem to be. And my jury is certainly out as to if we have the required quality there for a CL campaign. In fact, as I type this I’m pretty certain that we don’t! TBH I’m not sure we have the quality to improve on our two point haul from this seasons CL group stage.
Still, domestically we should be fine. I see Barry Ferguson is bemused that his old club isn’t trying to muscle in on the race to sign £2.5m rated Kevin Nisbet. He can’t think of a single reason why they aren’t trying to sign him. Funny that, I can think of two and a half million reasons! 😂
Is the solution to having 6 midfielders to give them at least half an hour game time per match.
Best performers last game start next game. Get tore in over 45 minutes to start next match if comfortable lead established.
Fresh 3 second half to get tore in to usurp 3 taken off?
It does not have to be done 3 at a time but if everyone knows they will play regularly at an intensity that increases their value what’s not to like? 🙂
Big match this weekend.
“ El Sackito”. Hibs v Aberdeen 😜😜😜
Good point but ‘most involved’ table from CBN ( with Turnbull at the top) acknowledges it c as n be easier to do so in the last thirty rather than the first.
Good points also yesterday about moving it quickly although I see ( good) teams regularly bring player’s onto them to break either the press or low blocks. This can be high risk, players and supporters get anxious and the safe option can be preferred. Often said of subs to get their first touch and pass correct.
I also a apologize for an impetuous outburst yesterday.
My underlying point is Ange knows what is needed to make his style of play to work and supporters are still in old think mode.
Gordon Strachan said the team that runs fastest, jumps highest, tackles hardest wins.
A team now consists of 18 players per match.
Take out the Goalie and 2 CBs as mainstays who do not have to expend same energy as the rest and a game per player need only last 45 mins.
As long as both 45 halfs reach an acceptable standard in winning and entertaining terms over 90 mins who cares?
If it works it dont need fixing.
Cheltenham trials at Musselburgh on 4th and 5th Feb. They have an emoji quiz on their Twitter page to win tickets.
1. I’ll be away
2. I don’t do Twitter
3. If I was here, I’d get free entry anyway
If anyone is attending and fancies a shot of winning the tickets (2) the answers to previous Cheltenham trials winners are
1. Smart lass
2. Five and twenty
3. Fire away
4. Bareback Jack
5. Three down through five
You need to reply to the addy they give on their Twitter page.
Good summary, BMCUWP of where we are at. The biggest take away is the tremendous progress of the club since we settled for a “second choice” manager.
Apart from the depth of the squad, we now have:
1. A definite system of play;
2. A better recruitment strategy;
3. Seemingly, mostly a happy group of players;
4.Harmony between the Board and the football department.
As it stands, and even factoring in the strange arrival of Cantwell, we are enjoying a widening gap in both quality and numbers over our main domestic rival. Anyone know what has happened to Cantwell?
Until yesterday, I had two concerns…..at LB and striker. GG will go either this window or next. Might be better to get him out sooner rather than later. However, Oh has arrived so the issue has been addressed. We shall see how effectively as the season rolls on. I assume he has a work permit?
Bernabei is a quandary. He has qualities but is he really a FB? However, he gets lost up the park; is weak in the tackle and on the ball, and gives the ball away to set up dangerous counter attacks. Who scouted him at 3.5 million smackeroos? Would Jenz have been an option at LB? Anyway, that boat has slipped out of the harbour. It is a brutal business!
Hope you all had a great Burns Day yesterday.
Oh(exclamation, not our striker), on the memory jog of former posters on CQN, I cannot let it go without mentioning the Evil Rum Baba. What a perceptive choice of name. Love those babies but they are hard to find over here.
I don’t know what happened to Cantwell. However, its one almighty fall from grace to go from being a “£40m rated player” three seasons ago to being a “regularly unused sub being released at the end of his contract”.
The latter is not a headline we’re going to see in the SMSM.
According to the huns, Beale will soon have him restored to his former glories – like what he’s now doing with Kent. Apparently!🤔
Maybe two-in-a-row is not going to be the shoo-in we think it is! 😂
Auldheid, I think you mean that most games now sees 16 rather than 18 players performing. So, yes, barring injury the goalkeeper and 2 centre backs rarely get subbed. Of the remaining 8 starters, 3 usually play 60 minutes, 2 others get 75 and 3 play the whole 90.
I have a feeling that Ange may well lay out his game plan to the squad in advance so that 2 or 3 know they only need to go full pelt for an hour and the replacements know that they are going to get 30-35 minutes to contribute against tired opponents. Only if unexpected events happen will that plan change.
I suspect it is known, at least in English football, what happened to him. It must be something dramatic for such a fall. Perhaps, he deserves our sympathy, but I shall not speculate further.
Did I mention I like your posts. I do not agree with all of your thinking but I like the issues you challenge.
Stay with us.
Just in from clearing 2.5 feet of snow from my driveway. This is the worst so far this winter with a lot more to come.
Got the snow blower out only to discover that it cut out when I engaged the blower mechanism. Feelings of dread descended on my old bones. The rotor was frozen in place by several inches of ice. Guess who did not clean the machine after the last use! Cleaned it this time. It is a race between me and the blower to see who pegs out first! Hopefully it’s a draw.
We now seem o have a squad of high calibre players.
While i don’t think Johnston is worthy of level of praise received so far i think he will be an upgrade on JJ who lacked the concentration required of a full back.
GG and his robust style will be missed in the rough and tumble of SPL though refs did a very good job of reducing his effectiveness.
We now have a plethora of midfielders so perhaps we can finally bring cohesiveness and balance to that area?
I liked what little i saw of Iwata in his brief appearance simply because his positioning was deliberate and on receiving ball he played with awareness and delivered pass without taking too many touches.
On Oh he looks direct and strong which is needed.
Jota needs to receive ball earlier to be more effective, too often our slow cross field movement allows opposition to get tight leaving him option to pass square or back.
With the speed of our front three we need to give them more chances to use their pace by getting ball forward quicker.
As only positive of VAR so far is to award goals to our forwards that cheats with flags previously denied with no recourse for justice..
The Hatate second goal when we beat StJohnstone 4-1 was clearly cheating by linesman who raised flag as he was at least a yard on.
AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, twisty.@ 2-47, wish you had not mentioned the 5th of February ill be seventy on that day, and i might be tempted to put 70 quid on a favourite and hope for the best.hh 🤩🤩
HI SOL, was not at the game was only four years old, but my dad and uncle packy were there, and never stopped telling me about it cheers pal👍
More time for us boozing. And your gnt. Dearie me. 🤣
That’s probably a 1pm start, will sound like Bill & Ben before kick off 🤷🤦
just noticed celtic have signed that henryclarson guy, did you see those long dreadlocks, jimmy mcgrory will be spinning in his grave🤩 if he scores a barrowload of goals for us ill be at confession tomorrow 🤩 live update, bless me father for i have sinned🤩another true story👍
Big Packy @ 629
Henry Clarson, 😂😂
Team mate of Boab O’Balde?
SOL, thought you would get that one👍😎
Tonight’s wee trio of tunes are from the ‘best decade ever’ the 60’s.
New article published.