Pressing Business

Morning,all.

With the 2023 summer transfer window due to close on 1st September,there are now a little over three weeks to complete an unexpected rebuild. Three or four months ago,I’d have been thinking more at some tinkering at the edges,some routine tidying up. And that would mainly have been in terms of cutting the deadwood from the squad. 

Now,nine days into August,we have had to replace our manager plus one of our top performers from all three outfield areas of the pitch. Midfield,attack and defence have all lost an important player,and on top of that,there are increasing concerns about our first-choice goalkeeper for the last two seasons. 

Don’t get me wrong,I think that Joe Hart was amongst the best in the world in his heyday. He has the caps and the medals to prove it. The admiration of his peers,and also from the Press and the terraces. Sadly,the game changing was a game-changer for him!

We all remember how Pat Bonnar struggled to adjust to the new back pass rules all those years ago. He wasn’t very good with the ball at his feet at all,and in truth could really only kick it the way he was facing. In fairness,that weakness rarely cost us goals directly,but it cost us possession a lot. Joe’s problem,or to be more precise,Pep Guardiola’s problem with Joe,was that he was not very good with his feet either. 

Pep believes firmly in the concept of the sweeper-keeper,someone who is as comfortable on the ball as any of his outfield players. Joe’s career went backwards as a result,and we rescued him from sliding into obscurity two years ago. 

Now,let’s be honest. The season before Joe signed was hardly a fair one to judge any of our goalies. Our new £5m Greek international keeper,Vasiliy Barkas,inspired hope and confidence right from the start. Until he actually played. Our hope evaporated faster than his confidence. Scott Bain was brought back,but by then the team was in such disarray that he played far too often like a haddie. We tried our Irish youngster,Conor Hazard,but he too lost his confidence after a decent start. 

But with Joe,we had a solid performer,albeit one who was prone to bloody stupid mistakes. Passing the ball directly to the opposition became all too frequent,as did messing about when he should have been clearing his lines. But on Saturday,his failure to deal with a cross for their first goal had me tearing my bloody hair out!

We had been linked with the Croatian national goalie for about £10m,but it is becoming increasingly obvious that such sums are merely a pipe dream,a smokescreen which many of us fell for again. (Some were more sceptical from the start.) And BR told us yesterday in his Press Conference that he was happy with the three goalkeepers we have. He knows Bain from his first time here,though admits to knowing little about Siegrist. But with Hart,he praised his longevity and his determination to continue for as long as he can. But these words from him sent a chill right through me…

“We have got through to another three weeks and by the time that time comes, I would then hope I have everyone on board to go forward for a really exciting season.”

Well,that’s all right then. It seems from that one sentence that he intends to sign one or two others. But from his earlier ones,none of them will be a goalkeeper. Might I remind our manager that one of the main reasons that his Leicester side was relegated last season was because they had lost Schmeichel,and he wasn’t allowed to replace him? 

A goalkeeper making mistakes sends shock tremors through the rest of the side,front to back. One who doesn’t inspires so much confidence that they think they can beat anybody. Ask any Forest fan about Shilton,wonder why so many keepers are going for over £70m these days,and have been for years. 

I hope our manager is right to keep the faith. I genuinely hope that Joe Hart is a contender for our POTY this season,because I like the big fella-and I remember what came before him. But ask yourself this. Is it really worth holding off for another season a purchase that absolutely has to be made by next year anyway just to save a few quid? 

For me,the stakes are too high for such high-wire acts. Lose the league this year and it could be an £80m turnaround in our respective incomes between us and the huns. And it’s high time the board got bloody real about giving our manager the tools to avoid that. 

<><><><><>

Above article by BMCUWP

138 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
August 10, 2023 7:30 am

The Sentinel Celts Grand Annual Naps Competition commences soon,on 19 August. This time,it will run until the last day of Royal Ascot. A minor tweak to the rules will see the introduction of two Jokers,to be played on the Saturday of your choice.

Tho other three Naps competitions will also take place as usual. CHALMERSBHOY has very kindly offered to sponsor the ones at Cheltenham and Aintree,while the RA one will be my own.

As always,the competition will be run on a separate page,details to follow-so watch this space!

St tams
August 10, 2023 9:09 am

Good article Bobby.
I’ve got to say, that I’ll be very dissapointed if we don’t bring in another keeper, as it is obvious we need one.
Brendan is obviously going with Joe Hart as his no1, as he started home on Saturday, when I thought Seiigrist might have been given a run, although he wasn’t even on the bench.

Hart isn’t just poor with the ball at his feet. He seems incapable of making a save nowadays.

Jimtim
August 10, 2023 9:17 am

Its looking like our suits or one suit is Having a gamble here , if we don’t get improvements in it can be catastrophic for our club . I said before if the same interference is resurfacing then Brendan won’t stick around long , presently we are not as strong a team as we were last year , reading through all the genuine Celtic blogs the same positions are talked about needing strengthened, if we play the midfield of Callum, Matt , and DT against newco we will get tanked , they are very physical in that area , not as skilful as our bhoys but our bhoys don’t like the rough stuff . Up front we look ok , but a couple of new big solid defenders to go with some physicality in midfield would do us . But it looks like we are back to the old ways .HH

McCaff
August 10, 2023 9:24 am

Morning all! JimTim…I’ve watched TRFC last night and Saturday, they’re not what you think they are. There’s no big strong guys running over teams. They have poor shape, they don’t appear to have a discernible system, there doesn’t appear to be any fluidity or understanding between players. They have a few players dropping in and out of the game. The fears expressed here and elsewhere over the last few weeks appear to be ill-founded based on what I’ve seen. It still seems to me that we are a better team with better players, a better structure, a better manager and better prepared for this season. None of which disagrees with the assessment that we need strengthening in the areas we’ve discussed but for me the reasons for strengthening are progress in Europe!

Frodshambhoy
August 10, 2023 9:26 am

I can’t work out why Siegrist hasn’t been given a decent chance since recovering from his long term injury.

Frodshambhoy
August 10, 2023 9:31 am

McCaff
You’re forgetting they have a genius manager.
We should be worried that he is fooling everyone by setting them up badly so that we don’t take them seriously enough to invest in improving our squad.
When the window closes he will have them playing like the world beaters they really are.🥴🥴

McCaff
August 10, 2023 9:42 am

Frodshambhoy…yip, I hadn’t factored that in to my thoughts, silly me! On the downside, they will improve but the signs from the last couple of games, and the chat I heard at the weekend from a couple of TRFC supporters is that the way they’ve been playing has been pretty turgid and uninspiring – kinda like the coupla games I’ve seen! Time will tell, I suppose but I feel we’re better prepared than them for whatever this season brings, whilst looking for a couple of big strong bhoys to help us out!

BOBBY MURDOCH'S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
August 10, 2023 9:45 am

JIMTIM

“It’s looking like our suits or one suit is Having a gamble here.”

It does,which is a major worry. There’s a big difference between evaluating the squad because the new manager is only just in the door and the window is just open anyway,and having three weeks to go with the big stuff still to be done.

Chairbhoy
August 10, 2023 10:07 am

BMCUWPS,

For me I did not think Brendan’s message was that he was happy with the keepers and wanted one or two in before the window close.

“But these words from him sent a chill right through me…

Well, the DR’S take, it was subtley different from what Brendan actually said…

…like I have said before, it is assessing everything. I always like to give players and the units within that time. We have got through, ’til I said, another three weeks and by the time, that time comes, I would then hope I have everyone on board to go forward for a really exciting season.”

If you put that it context with what he said before in the presser…

“…that’s just one of a number we are looking at”

“I want to add to the squad, if we can do I’ll be happy”

“I’d like to strengthen before the window shuts”

“everyone we will have here at the end of the window will want to be here”

Now keepers…

Bain, a modern style keeper who is a number 2 or 3

Siegrist, he hasn’t seen much of, yet he’s had as many opportunities to impress as anyone else and obviously hasn’t happened

Hart, speaks for himself, has had a great career, the critical word here is has.

If you listen to his analysis of the game at the start of the presser it is insightful.

Middle to front we were good, good build up play, attacking intent etc

He said we needed to improve things both defensively and structurally…

“…we will get better and that’s just time”

So the players who don’t want to be here

Starfelt, Reo, Siegrist etc

The defense, including the keepers imo

The structure of the team, that’s obviously everyone but I’d say crucially midfield and specifically, midfield – defence.

We will have an overhaul, by the time we play our UCL opener, this includes the players we will bring in before the window closes.

Hail Hail

óglach
August 10, 2023 10:08 am

Complacency about the Hun team already? I’m sure they looked at our performance on Saturday and thought ‘Not too much to worry about there’. Surprised the GB haven’t been blamed for the lack of oven-ready players arriving. Every other excuse seems to have been used. I see the term ‘the plan’ has now replaced last season’s ‘replace departing players with better players’ strategy. That didn’t last long, did it?

SteveNaive
August 10, 2023 10:28 am

Agree Bobby.
Need better now than Hart.
Taylor identified Shilton and they signed him from Stoke.
Forest go up to the First ( not as winners of the Second ) win the First, win the European Cup, draw Liverpool, the League Winners in the first round the season after, beat them, ( Souness tried to hurt Tony Woodcock but Kenny Burns sorted that ) win away in Europe and win the big cup again against Hamburg.
Shilton huge in all of that.

McCaff
August 10, 2023 10:31 am

Oglach…no complacency from me, mate! But we’ve heard a lot about the size of the units they’ve brought in and how they’re gonna bully us into submission on the 3rd of September or whenever! Having watched them there’s no evidence that’s gonna happen for the reasons I gave last night this morning. But again I agree, we need to strengthen But not because of what they might become but because of what we should want to be!

Frodshambhoy
August 10, 2023 10:48 am

No complacency from me either.
My fears have dropped a bit but I do know web need to improve.
At some stage Hearts, Aberdeen and possibly Hibs will sustain some sort of challenge as well.
Still good fun to have a bit of a laugh whilst remembering – he who laughs last ……….

Big Audio Dynamite
August 10, 2023 11:09 am

Is that Micky finally took the handbrake off? 😁

Chairbhoy
August 10, 2023 11:11 am

Another one bites the dust..

“Carl Starfelt has today joined RC Celta on a permanent transfer.

Everyone at #CelticFC thanks Carl for his contribution to the Club over the last two seasons, and wishes him good luck in his future career! ”

https://twitter.com/CelticFC/status/1689578098050670592?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

Hail Hail

Jimtim
August 10, 2023 11:52 am

McCaff , bmcuwp. I hear you , I only hope you both are correct as this year is the big league to win and as yet I don’t see much desire to strengthen the team apart from some really good young lads .

Bada Bing
August 10, 2023 11:54 am

Transparent background, can’t see posts

Prestonpans bhoys
August 10, 2023 12:38 pm

If you scroll against the black bits of the background you can read the posts. Don’t think it will catch on though 🙃

Leftclicktic
August 10, 2023 12:44 pm

Frodshambhoy
What’s the chances of the cheating, incompetent var officials in Scotland getting it right like that clip.

Auldbhoy67
August 10, 2023 12:45 pm

I can’t read any posts as no background colour only the photo of the team.

Frodshambhoy
August 10, 2023 12:57 pm

Leftclicktic

Frodshambhoy
What’s the chances of the cheating, incompetent var officials in Scotland getting it right like that clip.
————
It just shows how VAR can (and should) work. Nothing to stop it being used in Scotland. When I say nothing to stop it I’m not including the SFA, SPFL and MINS. Apart from that there’s nothing to stop it.

I have a normal view of the article, white poster’s names and black everywhere else. Can make out the posts.

Leggy
August 10, 2023 1:30 pm

Is it me or has someone spiked my drink as I can see nothing !!!!!!!

Where’s that BRRB fella 🤔🤔🤔

InthedarkCSC 🍀🍀🍀

Frodshambhoy
August 10, 2023 1:35 pm

MINS = MIBs
Autocorrect 😡

Rebus67
August 10, 2023 2:07 pm

I hope the contrast between the background and the text improves. It is difficult to read posts as it is.

I did not see the Sevco game but I have read the comments wherein a consensus seems to be emerging. We have nothing to worry about. I urge caution here. Firstly, Sevco won ugly in Europe. That is not easy, ugly or otherwise. Secondly, there appeared to be a period in the game when they clicked and scored two goals. Thirdly, as with AP’s remodelling of our team, it took a while to gel.

They will improve as players become familiar with each other.

My main fear is that Celtic think they are strong enough as is. That may be true domestically but it is certainly not the case for Europe. I am trusting my original thinking that BR will reinforce and not just replace.

I suspect the Zagreb keeper is the target but they will not let him go until their European future is clearer. Starfelt will be replaced by the weekend. Targets have been identified to replace Hatate. We are just waiting for a suitable offer for him.

Very good news, IQ. What is this Paramount service that you use to access games?

Rebus

Dubaibhoy
August 10, 2023 2:23 pm

Arry Kane signs for Bayern. Lets see if that impacts our team???

Mahe
August 10, 2023 2:29 pm

Sorted

Harlem Celts
August 10, 2023 2:57 pm

That hairband wearing Cantwell makes Barbie look butch

Just Sayin’
August 10, 2023 3:18 pm

What I saw last night – Servette were rotten, guy sent off gave away a stupidly needless pen. He will be no loss to them.
The Huns cut open the Swiss defence at times and could have scored another couple but for two brilliant saves. Doesn’t necessarily make them good but doesn’t make them dug meat either.
Having said that they look less dangerous than when Morelos Kent Tillman and Colak were the front four. However, the new recruits may come good. Complacency should not be our default setting.
The defence and midfield is much the same and will concede plenty. Particularly against pace in wide and central areas.

Doesn’t hide fact we need to sign 4/5 fit for the first 16 and not excursions into the Lowland League.
Particularly now that CS has gone and the likelihood is Reo will be away too.

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 3:34 pm

From the wee, wee hours last night.

If you have 9 minutes to spare, take a peek at the highlights of this Champions League qualifier first leg between Ljubljana and Galatasaray. It was played at an incredible pace for 90 minutes. The Turks won
0-3 and had 2 chalked off, but their keeper saved them on occasion.
This is the type of lightning fast game where our present defense and especially midfield would really struggle. And remember, the winner of this tie has one more round to play just to become a Pot 4 team!

https://youtu.be/cx6HZC5jsSU

REBUS67. Paramount Plus is an American subscription streaming app that has sports as a strong component ( it also shows movies and TV shows ). It has ties to, and may be owned by Amazon. It shows fitba from all over the world, with the general exception of Central and South America where it is outcompeted by other streaming apps like BeinSports and FuBo. At this time of year, it’s selections seem very random ( it showed games from Kazakhstan and Arbroath last week! ). The subscription is cheap ($7- $10 month). Frustratingly, it often shows multiple games with overlapping kickoffs.

Later in the season, when the European competitions are under way, it has a Golazo show, where you can select an option to see the highlights of every game as it happens, as they flit from game to game. This is a great option when you don’t have an overpowering interest in one game.

When you combine it with other streaming services like ESPN+ and Peacock, you can be fitba’ed out!
All of these are cheaper than CelticTV, which is in the technological dark ages. When Nicholson’s predecessor became CEO, I really hoped CelticTV would issue an app, but it was not to be.

Just Sayin’
August 10, 2023 3:41 pm

Dubaibhoy

Hard to see AP spending any of the potential £100m windfall with us.
Much better alternatives exist in the marketplace he will be shopping in.

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 3:44 pm

The 12 teams eliminated from the last Champions League round are in action today in 6 Europa League qualifiers. Genk, losers to Servette, are away to last weeks friendly victors over Sevco, Olympiakos.

Derry City are playing in Kazakhstan against Tobol Kostonay, who eliminated last year’s semi finalists Basle in the last round of the Euro Conference. It is 0-0 after 42 minutes. Respectable showing by the Irish.

JimDom
August 10, 2023 4:14 pm

Very good lead BM, especially the point you make about Kasper Schmeichel. A great talent with the character and personality to match. Leicester with him : mid EPL, without him : Championship.

Joe Hart was the right guy at the right time. But now, maybe not . If we concede two at home to Ross County, we will just score four ourselves. But, concede two at home to Bayern Munich, and we won’t be scoring four ourselves. During this current window it’s probably the toughest jersey to fill. Maybe Kasper’s bored with an idyllic life in France ?

Watched the game at Ibrox last night and thought the standard and quality, of both teams, was quite poor. Livingston would give Servette a good game. It would be arrogant to write-off our main rival this early, but if Brendan can get our game organisation sorted quickly, then we should be fine for this title. We have the right manager and the money to back him.

Health is the only wealth that really counts. Delighted that the best poster in the Timosphere, INIQUITOUS IV, is receiving positive news.

timhorton
August 10, 2023 4:15 pm

IQ4
Great highlights.

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 4:27 pm

Derry City 1-0 down after 65 minutes

big packy
August 10, 2023 4:32 pm

SO celtic are waiting to spend some of the 60 million we have in reserve, I remember as a teenager, rangers buying colin stein from hibs for 100/000 pounds, a scottish record at the time, while our budget was 30,000 ,dont think there were any EBTs then, although it pains me to say it celtic, have always been a penny pinching club nothing changes.HAIL HAIL

big packy
August 10, 2023 4:48 pm

on a different note went to gibsons in kingsley near frodsham they have a big outdoor shop selling dog food, as we left going towards frodsham, there was a white van in front of us ,suddenly the van stops no brake lights, good job my car is only a month old stopped on a sixpence,,reminded me of my airbrakes’ on my truck .LOL. wee joan was terrified she hates driving on country roads,another true story.LOL 😂

Harlem Celts
August 10, 2023 4:50 pm

The last place Kasper will be playing is Celtic park. Him and BR hated each other big time

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 4:53 pm

In overtime in Kazakhstan. Derry City hanging on, down 1-0. Kazakhs with 5 cards, Irish 3.

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 4:58 pm

Just remembered that this Forum is entitled “Cockups and Conspiracies.” If Celtic fail to act satisfactorily on BMCUWP’s excellent “ Pressing Business” leader, will it be a Cockup or will it be a Conspiracy, or a bit of both?

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 5:03 pm

Final whistle in Kazakhstan. Derry City with respectable 1-0 loss, and a chance to overcome it back home.

Harlem Celts
August 10, 2023 5:04 pm

What’s happening in the Candystripes game

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 5:10 pm

The total incompetents who run the BBC Sports online football fixtures page do not even have the Hibs- Luzerne or Fenerbache- Maribor games listed for today. They have nothing listed that kicks off after 7:00 UK time. Unbefrigginlievable!!

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 5:16 pm

Now it’s up. Someone must have noticed.

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 5:17 pm

Bodo/Glimt 1-0 up in 6 minutes against Armenians.

Bada Bing
August 10, 2023 5:25 pm

3,971 tickets for Killie Cup tie

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 5:52 pm

BK Hacken of Sweden are 0-1 up in Lithuania. Winner will be Sheep opponents next round.
Bodo/Glimt 2-0 up at HT.

Bada Bing
August 10, 2023 6:16 pm

Hearts 1 down👍

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 6:49 pm

EUROPA
Qarabag 1 Heksinki 0
Zakgiris 0 BK Hacken 3. ( Sheep next opponent )
Sheriff 2 BATE 0
Slavia Prague 2 Dnipro 0

CONFERENCE
Bodo/Glimt 3 Pyunik 0
Legia 0. Austria Vienna 1
Omonia 1. Midtjylland 0
Rosenborg 2 Hertz 0
Ferencvaros 1-0 up.

INIQUITOUS IV
August 10, 2023 6:52 pm

Switching to Fenerbache game, then Hibbees at 2:30.