Hitting the ceiling

I felt it coming, honestly. The scent of victory was hanging in the air all week,, some players returning, main striker available after doubts, very strong demand for tickets suggesting a crowd anticipating entertainment, and the upcoming Final suggesting those selected on Saturday must show up in order to play their part at Hampden.
It happened to be an Aberdeen side very much in transition but it could have been anybody, only one team was walking away with all three points and so it proved.
A feel good performance to set the tone, and some fine individual performances, was just what the doctor ordered.
Although league leaders and clear title favourites this particular set of players haven’t hit their ceiling yet, which could be attributed to individual players or familiarity with the teams structure.
This lead me to contemplating which players exactly could hit new heights and find a new ceiling.
There’s some clear stand-outs in Jota, Abada, and Johnson but two names in particular jump out,,Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley.
Reo is the best midfielder in Scotland, the POTY for the Champions, he walked into foreign climes and enhanced our midfield immediately, making himself undroppable. Doing the same in a bigger, better league wouldn’t surprise me at all.
At 25 he is entering his prime, and to be honest if I were scouting the club for potential signings he would top my list. I believe he has the ability to move up another level, but that could be underestimating the comfort of having Ange and his compatriots in the dressing room.
Matt has youth on his side, and many of the raw ingredients that could be polished into a diamond. Height, left footed, naturally thin, an eye for goal,,
it’s undeniable he hasn’t reached his ceiling as a player, that’s years away, but the potential is there. At this point in his career he’s at probably the best place he could be, getting used to the gdemands of winning every game and having to truly perform in order to play, however he probably won’t spend his peak years in the Hoops, let’s be honest. His ceiling isn’t apparent yet, and that fact alone is exciting for the Tims who shall watch him grow into a proper player, and will prove enticing to others, but at such a tender age he could, nay should, have a very good career in the game ahead of him. The PLC should certainly be happy in the long run, he’s an increasingly valuable asset who shall fetch a pretty penny.
Some of the squad have previously hit their ceiling, some are hitting it now, quite a few could raise their ceiling, some definitely will.
I find the uncertainty exciting, watching who emerges as a true star over the course of seasons shall never get old.
By Mahe

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
February 20, 2023 8:19 am


Good evening, friends.
What an opening quarter, maybe one of our best of the season. Here’s a summary!
> Aberdeen kicked off and we won back possession on 31 seconds, scoring our 1st goal on 1m55s.
> 4m25s – Jota fires a cross but Maeda can’t quite control his header
> 6m30s – Jota fires in a great low cross but neither Oh nore Maeda can connect
> 12m20s – Hatate’s dancing feet and placed shot put us 2 up
> 15m – O’Riley’s perfect cross from the left but no takers
18m30s – Maeada hits the left hand bye line and fires across but the keeper intercepst a certain tap in from Jota or Hatate
22m20s – A Taylor cross just evades Maeda
Yes, it was certainly entertaining stuff.
As for the disallowed penalty that was never a foul in the first place I rewatched the action on Celtic TV. Collum blew for the penalty at 37m20s. Celtic TV’s first reply just 20 seconds later had the commentator and Tom Boyd both realising that Jota was well offside. The decision in the stadium didn’t happen until 39m13s!!! What were the VAR team doing for the intervening 90 seconds (rhetorical, please don’t answer!!)
Domestically we have now played 30, winning 28, drawing 1 and losing 1, scoring 102 and conceding 20.
A huge thank you to the 73 who emailed me with their 3 nominations. But with 22 of those emails arriving in the last 3 hours it does challenge me! The total votes cast for each player with my own choices asterisked are as follows –

Hart: 0
Johnston: 15
Carter-Vickers: 24
Starfelt: 5
Taylor: 12
McGregor*: 56
Hatate*: 71
O’Riley: 3
Jota*: 20
Oh: 0
Maeda: 11
Haksabanovic: 0
Iwata: 1
Abada: 1
Kyogo: 0
Forrest: 0

And so the players receiving POINTS for the game against Aberdeen are –
Hatate – 5 pts
McGregor – 4 pts
Carter-Vickers – 3 pts
Jota – 2 pts
Johnston – 1 pt

And after 37 games the overall standings are as shown below –
82 points – Hatate
58 points – Carter-Vickers
47 points – Jota
43 points – Taylor
42 points – Mooy
39 points – McGregor
33 points – Kyogo
28 points – O’Riley
26 points – Abada and Maeda
22 points – Jenz
15 points – Haksabanovic and Starfelt
13 points – Giakoumakis and Juranovic
11 points – Johnston
10 points – Ralston
9 points – Bernabei and Welsh
8 points – Forrest
7 points – Hart
5 points – Turnbull
4 points – Kobayashi
0 points – Abildgaard, Iwata, Lawal, McCarthy, Oh, Siegrist and Vata

Our next game sees is attempt to retain the League Cup and to win it for the 21st time. It’s a 3.00pm kick off at Hampden and the 3rd Glasgow Derby of the season. I’m looking forward to it already!
Hail Hail!

February 20, 2023 9:01 am


Interesting stuff.

RH is where we want to be — incredible talent / bit of a late developer after only 4 years in top rank football.
We need to build our MF around him to get the most out of his ability.
Still got a bit to go to fit into a Big 5 / sorry Big 4 / sorry Big 3 title winning team.
Hopefully next season he really runs the show in Europe.

MO’R — still got a long way to go.
I think he has been feeling the weight of expectation a bit heavy of late.
Huge ability / superb at all the individual skills but a bit to go regarding putting it all together.

Biggest issue for next season is getting JPNF and LA up to speed for Europe.
Both looked a bit off in the CL games — played like tourists — big drop from their SPL performances.
Hopefully they are fired up for what next season brings.

Not sure what the summer will bring — experience suggests that we will lose one top talent for good money.
Not sure who but LA seems to rank highest in the interweb guessing game.

Given our financial position we should be able to invest £20mill net in new players during the summer.
That is without selling any of our front rank talent.

Not sure the board will agree but hopefully AP is keeping them honest.

Jobo Baldie
February 20, 2023 9:01 am

Good morning, friends.
I agree about the 2 you’ve mentioned. O’Riley had really gone off the boil from about October but sometimes it just takes an individual moment to reignite the engine. Maybe his goal against St Mirren did that because he was certainly a lot better against Aberdeen but on a day where others played to an even higher standard.
McGregor and Hatate surely start next Sunday. It’s the debate over who should be the 3rd midfielder that is interesting.

February 20, 2023 9:22 am

We have burgeoning talent in every area of the team except goalkeeper.

Nothing against Joe apart from his age, and his tendency to create occasional mayhem.
If we have a fair wedge to spend a goalkeeper upgrade for Europe would top my list. Fraught with difficulty as a £5m spend on Barkas demonstrates.
But keep Joe around – a very positive influence and father figure.

We have also yet to see Haksa in full flow, along with Iwata and Kobayashi. All potentially exciting talents. Oh, one for the future too.

Re Sunday, whichever third midfielder is chosen will complement the team, and will no doubt be prepared to give it everything for 60 mins knowing he’s likely to be subbed. Same goes for our front three.
The beauty of having serious contenders in key positions.

February 20, 2023 10:05 am


Lorus Karius is available for free in the summer. Just a thought.

February 20, 2023 10:30 am

Cheers Mahe for your article.
We have the strongest squad in my living memory. And there’s three new recruits we’ve only seen glimpses of.
I think Mooy could be our 3rd midfielder, but Ange sees them every day so he’s well better able to judge. He knows what the Huns will try to do, but he has faith that our ballers will beat their brawlers.
That said, I’d love to have David Hay for this game.

February 20, 2023 10:33 am

I think there’s really only one selection up for debate for the cup final starting eleven and it’s O’Riley or Mooy. Think the other ten are stick ons for the gaffer…Hart, Taylor, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Johnston, McGregor, Hatate, Jota, Maeda, Kyogo. That leaves a talent laden bench to run with fresh legs after an hour or so.

February 20, 2023 10:34 am

Loris Karius earns a reported £30,000-per-week according to Football Manager 2023.Oct 28, 2022

Hope he’s good

February 20, 2023 10:39 am

Ger57…TavPen v Maeda, Barisic v Abada, Kyogo v Goldson/Davis, Calmac v Major Arfield, O’Riley v Kamara, Reo v Hatate…can’t see much of a need for a Davie Hay in those match ups.
Celtic’s record overall since last January, when we brought in our Japanese early first footers, has been phenomenal. Our domestic season to date has been virtually flawless in terms of results. We have nothing to fear if we approach this game in the professional manner we have so far.
…except of course the VAR…

February 20, 2023 10:49 am

They’ll try to make it a tousy game to nullify our superiority in the match ups you outlined above. David Hay nullified their nullifiers. Just an opinion and a bit of nostalgia.

I thought we had a young goalie in the development squad who was an exciting prospect? Is he out on loan?

February 20, 2023 10:53 am

Abada must be considered given his scoring.record against them. Barasic never knows where he is.

February 20, 2023 10:58 am

Ger57…aye, I didn’t mean it to read like like a dig! But you’re bang on, if we had a Davie Hay in their I wouldn’t complain. It might give the VARs a bit extra work though!!

February 20, 2023 11:02 am


Yes, Oluwayeni ? On loan at Cork City.
Hopefully a breakthrough player and one for the future.

AJ and CCV aren’t afraid of a challenge.
Davie would probably last 5 mins with Walsh whistling!

Not much to choose between Mooy and Matt.
Both will get game time I suspect.
I’d also go for Liel for the reason mentioned. “Shitebag”, c Calmac, would definitely be unnerved. Maeda on left never giving them a moment’s peace.


Karius is a decent shout. At 29/30 a good age.

February 20, 2023 11:22 am

Superbru Update

Round 27 was a reasonably high scoring week with predictable winners for most but the top 3 scorers were:-

Bognorbhoy- 12.5 pts
Bada Bing- 12

A few found the results less predictable or were expecting shocks so the wooden spoon went to one of those Big Archie on 1.5 points, saving the blushes of Friesdorfer who I’d guess thought Martindale’s Livi might do us a turn.

Overall, we have another week where 2nd and 3rd swapped places back again but, more importantly, we have a string of people looking to crash the top 3. Celticrollercoaster is now only 2 points away from 3rd spot, with Greenpinata, Tirconnel and last year’s performers, Call me Gerry and Bognorbhoy making progress. I even managed to break into the top 20 this week after a long spell in mid-table. 58 of our 68 entrants have now broken the 100 point barrier and it is only the irregular punters or those who have given up who remain below that mark. The wooden spoon prize will be awarded to the poorest predictor, rather than two one who has stopped predicting (Your involvement was still very much appreciated from the fundraising point of view, however).

Our current leader has a healthy lead but there are a lot making forward progress behind our top 3 of

A thing of beauty- 160 points
Leggy- 148.5
Ayrshire Tim- 146

BTW- I have sent Leggy a Brumail on the Superbru site with a query- check your notifications, please and reply.

Despite the LC Final next Sunday. There will still be 4 SPFL fixtures on Saturday 25th. We are unlikely to beat the best weekly total of 15.5 from last week then but there’s a good chance to get a podium mention.

All games are at 3 pm. Thanks again for your support.

February 20, 2023 11:44 am


I’d agree, personally I’d start with Jota, Kyogo and Abada up top but the gaffer seems to prefer the work rate, pace and cover that Maeda provides.

Jobo Baldie
February 20, 2023 11:57 am

I know I’m a bit of a broken record on this but barring injuries to any of our back 5, only 1 of the remaining 6 starters are likely to play the whole game. So, my 16 for Sunday would be –
WHOLE GAMERS: Hart, Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Kubayashi (but I know it’ll be Starfelt), Taylor, McGregor
MIDFIELD: Hatate, Mooy, O’Riley, Iwata
FORWARDS: Abada, Maeda, Jota, Kyogo, Haksabanovic, Forrest
IN RESERVE: Ralston, Bernabei, Siegrist, Turnbull

February 20, 2023 12:00 pm


No Oh?

Jobo Baldie
February 20, 2023 12:01 pm

CFC – Ha, ha, completely forgot about Oh! Yes, he will definitely feature so strike Wee Jamesie from my list and move him to the back up options 😉

February 20, 2023 12:05 pm


St tams
February 20, 2023 1:52 pm

I agree that we have a huge talent in Hatate.
Hopefully he will want to stay next season and play in CL.
As fior next Sunday. Its got to be Mooy if fit.
MOR , too lightweight for me , needs to bulk up and learn to tackle

big packy
February 20, 2023 2:18 pm

JOBO BALDiE@ 11-57 what no jim craig no john clark no wullie wallace and no bobby lennox in that squad, im reporting you to the lisbon lions appreciation society,,another true story😎😎

February 20, 2023 2:18 pm

St Tams. 1.52.
I agree, about Mooy.
I think if these 11 are fit, then this is the team that starts, on Sunday.
Johnston CCV Starfelt Taylor
Mooy, McGregor, Hatate.
Jota, Kyogo, Maeda.
I really can’t see it being anything else.

February 20, 2023 2:47 pm

Just ordered some food and drinks in spoons in Killie, total of £16.89 Phew that was close 😀🤣

Big Audio Dynamite
February 20, 2023 2:49 pm

McCaff 10.39 – Well said, buddy! Just crush them underfoot 👍

St tams
February 20, 2023 3:13 pm

Hope you are well.
Big Meli was at game with me on Saturday

February 20, 2023 3:20 pm


Always a worry,but I throw in a bag of crisps in such emergencies.

February 20, 2023 3:31 pm

I try to be precise when I’m working, deal in mm not inches but I’ve never cut anything at 1690mm in my life and never will. Caulk was invented for a reason!! 😁

February 20, 2023 3:31 pm

St Tams. 3.13.
That would have been a good day out.
Good performance and good company.

February 20, 2023 3:39 pm

The morning I had I’m surprised it wasn’t the extra 1p, who would of thought a feckin thorn could puncture a bike tyre, not me but turns out I was wrong 🤬

February 20, 2023 3:41 pm

Craig…what, were you just trying it to see if you could burst the tyre? 🤣🤣🤣

February 20, 2023 3:42 pm

I hope it was yer ain bike!! 🤣🤣🤣

big packy
February 20, 2023 3:44 pm

IMO hatate should be put on a long term deal, in fact a very long term deal.👍 another true story.LOL

February 20, 2023 3:45 pm

Aye it was my tyre this morning 2miles form Irvine, had to walk the feckin thing to cycle shop to get it repaired

big packy
February 20, 2023 3:46 pm

MCAFF hows trix, and how is the wee dug👍

February 20, 2023 3:50 pm


I think I’d have gone back to bed.

February 20, 2023 3:52 pm

Remember Efrain Juarez? Assistant manager now at Standard Liege. Alongside Ronny Deila.

February 20, 2023 3:55 pm

Ended up in the pub so not to bad in the end

February 20, 2023 4:04 pm


Good lad. Got to be done,given the circumstances.

big packy
February 20, 2023 4:07 pm

talking of league cup finals, one i went to and want to forget december 1972, celtic 1 hibs 2, jimmy o rourke and pat stanton scored for hibs, and kenny Dalglish scored for us, but to be honest pat stanton was outstanding,

GK 1 Evan Williams
DF 2 Danny McGrain
DF 3 Jim Brogan
DF 4 Pat McCluskey
DF 5 Billy McNeill
MF 6 David Hay
MF 7 Jimmy Johnstone
MF 8 George Connelly
FW 9 Kenny Dalglish
MF 10 Harry Hood
FW 11 Lou Macari
MF ? Tommy Callaghan
Jock Stein

Prestonpans bhoys
February 20, 2023 4:16 pm


I recall working in FineFare at Killie about 500 years ago (well demolished now) and one of my mates pay slip was £16:90

Only stopped laughing last year 🤣🤣

February 20, 2023 4:32 pm

Prestonpans Bhoys
Did he get a free orange with each pay slip 🤣

February 20, 2023 5:02 pm

Kate Forbes announces her bid to become the leader of the SNP and Scotland’s first minister. This could get interesting with Katie being a member of the Free Church of Scotland as well as being a fluent speaker of Gaelic. Just what is ‘The Wee Frees’ take on Tims these days 🤔.

PS this just in Katie has confirmed that she does indeed follow the doctrines of the Free Church, that is apart from not aligning herself with the politically divisive doctrines that may prove a tad embarrassing explaining to an educated 21st cent electorate, such as attitudes toward Roman Catholics and LGBT+ rights.

February 20, 2023 5:22 pm

Aye, Oglach, an interesting battle…Yousaf and Forbes from seemingly completely different ends of the demographic spectrum, how different remains to be seen though. I think if they were my only choices I’d go for Yousaf!

February 20, 2023 5:26 pm


My thoughts on Katie announcing her bid for the leadership was ‘ it could only happen in Scotland or the North of Ireland’. As an interesting aside one does wonder how old she thinks dinosaurs’ fossils are and will the SNP / Sinn Fein love fest continue with Ms Forbes in charge. 🙄🤔

February 20, 2023 5:27 pm

We really did win a watch didn’t we

bada Bing 1
February 20, 2023 5:30 pm

Ach well, that will ne the price of booze rattled up again….

bada Bing 1
February 20, 2023 5:36 pm

Another earthquake hits Turkey/Syria

February 20, 2023 5:44 pm


It sounds more if you say ¥200m

February 20, 2023 5:54 pm

In today’s exchange rate it’s
210,019,859.14 Japanese Yen

David M
February 20, 2023 6:16 pm

A curious fact about dinosaur fossils is they’re only ever been found by palaeontologists and that the skeletons we see in museums are never the actual bones but plaster cast copies, with all museums claiming that the real bones are downstairs in a vault and can only ever rarely be viewed by the public and even this is doubtful which members of the public they allow in fro such a rare sight.

I know this as I’ve asked numerous museums when I can view them and been continually brushed off with lame excuses, leading me to wonder who does get to see the real bones, if anyone does, and why must they hide them?