Silly Season

Morning,all.

Firstly,my apologies in advance. I know that you are subjected to my rants and raves three times a week,and I do my best to make those worthwhile reading. But our season is over until August,and I’m afraid that news items are going to be thin on the ground for a few weeks. There might well be a case for me starting my articles during this period with “Stop me if you’ve read this before!”

We are now entering what is known as the silly season,where club football survives largely on rumour,innuendo and hearsay. A phoney war,of sorts. There’s nothing happening so we have to make something up. 

The good news is that there are the Euros 24 during the summer,starting in little over two weeks with Scotland playing hosts Germany. That should provide us with some interest,though as you know,I am no great fan of international football. The main topics of interest will,I suspect,revolve around our transfer activity. 

For a club which has won seven from nine trophies since our disastrous covid year,you might be forgiven for thinking that not a lot of change is required. Obviously there is a degree of natural wastage involved in operating a football squad; players get older and are moved on,some are found wanting and moved on,while others whom we might be wishing would stay around so that we can actually build a team for a change decide that the grass is greener elsewhere. 

That last part hasn’t always worked too well for even our more highly rated players. One look at Starfelt and Jota since they left should sound a cautionary note. As should Edouard in his three years at Palace,though I have little sympathy for him. He phoned it in for his last season with us and simply couldn’t get back up to pace. Not as good as he thought he was,and possibly one of those players who thrives on confidence and on feeling the lurv,it will be interesting to see where he ends up next. That he is a lot better than that can be no comfort to his agent when he views any likely offers.  

I’ll be returning to the transfer window as it progresses,even as I try to avoid dealing in clickbait-style rumourmongering. We’ve always tried to avoid rumours on here as they have a tendency to come back and bite you on the arse. We’ve also tried to avoid repeating any kind of hype,the sort that only someone on serious drugs or a deadline deals in. A perfect example of that is the one about Scott McTominay from Man Utd last season. For £11m. Aye,right. Another one,while I’m on the subject,was Caomhin Kelleher from Liverpool at £5m. Sounds ok for a reserve keeper,just a youngster with very limited experience? Not when Man Utd and Man City were selling their reserve keepers for around £20m each,no!

I suspect Celtic too will be playing their cards close to their chest. We are used now to only learning about new signings when the deal is done. This is occasionally by those fiendish rumours about jetting in and Ross Hall being on standby for a medical. Even those are subject to considerable apprehension,take the example of the Panamanian defender who was all over bar the shouting a R2ngers player. And now it looks like he isn’t! That club had spent a good few weeks making no secret of their pursuit of him,displaying him in the stands against Kilmarnock,or being shown around the stadium annd training ground etc. Sure looked like a done deal to all concerned over Ibrox way,and that was how their lackeys in the press reported it. 

Indeed,they went a good bit further by telling us how he was a worldbeater,one of the best around. I mean,they really hyped this guy up as the great hope for the future. And then he got the call from Norwich City. I hope it works out for him,I really do. I know nothing about the player,so I can’t say what the Huns have missed out on. Neither can the press though,if truth be told. They knew nothing about him before R2ngers went all out on his arrival,and all that they’ve said about him since can be found in his Wikipedia entry. 

The Ibrox club though have let it be known that they won’t be missing out on anything. That indeed they had decided not to follow up their interest,and that was the reason for him looking to take the Norwich option. Now,I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I strongly disapprove of our board,and particularly their transfer dealings,but I’ve never once known us to lose out on a player and then declared that we took the decision. For all their faults,the board have more class than that-and more sense. They know fine well that such a statement wouldn’t bear scrutiny,and rather than make themselves look even more stupid,they simply shrug shoulders and move on. The denizens of the marble staircase should watch and learn. Maybe it’s true after all that their dignity went the way of R1ngers in 2012. Or maybe it was just a figment of their imagination. (Their dignity,that is. Not going bust,that really did happen!)

The transfer window runs from 14 June through to 30 August. That’s eleven weeks. BR has had a year to decide who he wants to keep,who is worth persevering with,and who he doesn’t think should be anywhere near the place. He has also had a year to decide what is lacking in the current squad,which positions need improvement and perhaps even some specific players that he wants. A properly run club will have had discussions about budgets and playing personnel over the last two months or so. I expect similar to have happened at Celtic. 

For starters,I think it is way past time for us to ditch the earlier requirements about being U-22,cheap and having room for possible improvement. We should not be buying players based on such rigid parameters,it is costing the club a fortune and in too many cases it has seen players going rapidly backwards. Look at the players we signed in Ange’s first window with us,youngsters whose signings were done before he arrived. Think of Kenny from Shamrock Rovers or Shaw and Uroghide from Sheffield Wednesday. Or Luca Connell. He was on the verge of an Ireland cap before he joined us in 2019. Not now,he isn’t. 

I’ve long said that if Celtic had come calling for me I would have jumped at the chance. Hell,we all would! Would any of us have been honest and say I think you’ve got the wrong bloke,I’m nowhere near good enough? Damn few. And teenagers at the likes of Rovers,Wednesday or Bolton are likely to have their head turned by the attention of a club like ours. That so few have progressed after signing as a teen tells you all you have to know-the club needs to spend more time on due diligence in these matters. And the agents have a lot to answer for too. 

We have nine signings from last season clogging up space,and with the exception of Nawrocki and possibly Odin,I can’t see any of them making it long-term with us. Palma might,if he listens and remembers it’s a team game. That’s six plus a fair few others from previous windows hanging around and stealing a wage. While watching their careers stagnate at best. It is not good for morale on the training pitch,it is not good for the unwanted players,and it is not good for the club’s finances or reputation. There has to be a reset. 

How about this,for a change? Manager and board discuss and agree budgets. Manager identifies targets,having worked alongside the scouting department. CEO decides if the fees and wages are feasible within that budget. At no time is the manager taken to task about the player’s potential sell-on value,or his age. Only two questions to consider once he has been identified are:-

Will he improve us in the way the manager wants?

Can we afford him?

I don’t want to know what an unknown youngster from the back of beyond can bring us in four years time,I want to know what a new signing can give us now and for the next four years. At Celtic,we have for too long focused on that catch-all word potential,a word too often used to disguise another punt on mediocrity. BR has been perfectly clear since he returned that he is looking above all for pace and power. And experience. He has been denied that for reasons known only to the club as they went about their usual business of stockpiling another lot of empty jerseys and long term contracts. It is time for that to stop. 

We have once again proven ourselves to be the best in Scotland,and that is despite shackling the manager with our outdated and useless transfer strategy. We have once again shown ourselves to be little more than whipping boys in Europe-and that is because of shackling the manager with our outdated and useless transfer policy. Yet we know-it’s bloody obvious!-that by building a side which can compete in Europe we will have a side which will steamroller the domestic competition. You tell me why our board has for so long been reluctant to do that,has for so long been more than happy to have our managers,players and fans humiliated time and again on our European forays. 

Horses for courses,square pegs in square holes,use whatever cliché you like. But let football people make football decisions,then the board can act on them. We won’t build a side overnight which is competitive in Europe,but we can make a start by getting one or two in this year. Who knows,it may catch on.

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Above article by BMCUWP

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BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
May 30, 2024 12:09 am

The Sentinel Celts Charity Drive has nominated Blood Cancer UK as the recipient for funds for the six months to 31/07/2024,and we are getting close to achieving our LATEST TARGET.
We have set up a GoFundMe page for those who have some spare cash to donate,even from a lucky windfall or finding a tenner in the street.
Click on the link for more details,including how to donate.
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Please give generously to a very deserving cause. Although our first targets have now been achieved-and many thanks for your generosity!-we can always hope to do more.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
May 30, 2024 12:10 am

VIVE LE RESOLUTION!!!!

You can read our article on a resolution for improving refereeing standards here.
https://sentinelcelts.com/2024/03/22/resolution-on-refereeing-standards/
Join the growing numbers of our readers who have had enough of referees In hun scarves.

petec
May 30, 2024 12:47 am

Where is Basil?

Michael we MUST have a good window

If it disnae happen………………………………………………………………………….

Frodshambhoy
May 30, 2024 5:43 am

I think Scottish transfer window closes on Monday 2 September.

Just Sayin’
May 30, 2024 7:08 am

We each have our wish list for next season.
For me a Keeper, left centre back, left back, defensive/ combative mid, winger and centre forward are necessary.

Six players required in key positions.
Only four “new” additions considering we have to replace the Keeper and centre forward positions anyway.
In other words we have to spend a minimum of £10m on Bernardo/Idah (or their replacements) and possibly £5-10m on a keeper just to stand still. £15-20m off the bat.

That still leaves a significant spend on four players, unless a couple are secured via the loan market/ good Bosmans.

Is a c£30m spend this summer likely?

Potential sales may include Lagerbielke, Bernabei( after his loan?), Haksabanovic, Johnston, possibly Oh.
After that can’t see much value in our unwanted squad members.

Last edited 1 month ago by Just Sayin’
Big Audio Dynamite
May 30, 2024 7:14 am

We have needed a proper defensive midfielder for multiple windows now …I’m getting bored saying it! I’d love to see Brendan put young Kelly in and give him a run of games. If you look at 18-19yo Danny, he is certainly built for it.

Andy Pandy 2
May 30, 2024 8:44 am

Been a while since I’ve posted, but have lurked all season, and as ever have been entertained by the comments and articles. As ever life events have got in the way, and prevented me from contributing….added to a superstition that if I said anything at a crucial stage in the season I would jinx the whole thing!!!! You’d think that after just turning 60 I’d know better. But, at seasons end it’s easier to say I knew all along we would win the league…..err nope!! It was only by dipping in and reading everything on here and elsewhere that allowed me to keep my sanity…..hard to believe I know. So to Bobby and Mahe, thank for the articles, and to all those regular contributors, thank you for the insight and entertainment. Keep up the good work. One final thing, following on from an article during the season, get yourself checked….you never know, and despite all the worry it does make a difference. Hail Hail.
PS. Now that I have said something does that mean that we are in danger of losing the Pre-Season Cup again 😳

Just Sayin’
May 30, 2024 9:12 am

A P 2

The preseason Cup, Jettin’ In Transfer Trophy and Pundits Champion Choice, presented as a tin of dug meat.

San Luis
May 30, 2024 9:13 am

Palma is an interesting one for me. He’s had a year to settle into a different culture and language and to get to know the club. Emilio told him to relax a bit more and savour it as he was too eager to impress, to show the tricks.

BR seems to see something he can work with and, despite his Insta nonsense, he seems quite a decent young fella, willing to listen and learn.

If he’s still here come September, it means he’s in the matchday squad. If BR thinks he can add to the team then that’s a good thing imo.

Odin falls into the same category, but I’m not certain BR rates him as highly, so he may be let go. If that happens I expect DK to be given a bumper deal to hang around and become the next Academy player to make it.

Jobo Baldie
May 30, 2024 9:15 am

Good morning, friends.
Thanks for yet another lead article, Bobby. Its challenging enough for you and Mahe to come up with daily articles during the season but the close season must be even harder.
Not sure what anyone else on here thinks but I think you guys have definitely earned a well deserved break and shouldn’t feel obliged to write a new lead every single day. A leader on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday would be plenty to keep the site ticking over, as well as encouraging any guest articles too?
I wonder if I’m on my own on that thought?

Just Sayin’
May 30, 2024 9:19 am

J B

I agree. A Close season respite makes sense.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
May 30, 2024 9:32 am

JOBO

That’s certainly worth considering.

Hoop hoop hooray
May 30, 2024 9:47 am

Your Article got me thinking bobby. Or a specific part of it about the grass being greener. There’s no doubt players can leave us for higher wages in bigger leagues. Is that what they start playing football for or is it to win stuff. Look at Harry Kane. Never won a medal in his life and the jinx continued with all conquering bayern.

So here’s a question. Which footballers have left us for better wages and managed to pick up another winners medal either for a league or a cup with a new club.

Jimbo67
May 30, 2024 9:56 am

Morning

Petec @ 12.47. Spot on. I know many of us say it every year but this feels like a massively important summer- we need players in who are ready to play at a high level. A repeat of last summer whilst assuming Rangers will continue to sign dummies means we almost deserve to fail.

I agree with those who suggest Mahe and BMCUWP deserve to take it easier as what is now ‘last season’ was an angst-ridden and at times unpleasant one for all of us and a 10 month white knuckle ride for the leader writers.

But we have Euros coming up, Olympic games and the annual sporting classics in horseracing, golf, cricket and tennis too. Others should contribute articles- I know I have previously but other than reminisces about Celtic games played between May 1967 and Jan 1989 ( when my dad died) my repertoire is limited but surely others have tales to tell.

Jimbo

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
May 30, 2024 9:58 am

H3

Off the top of my head,there’s VVD at Liverpool via Southampton. Maloney at Wigan. Henrik at Barca. I think that’s it for this century. Before that are Dalglish,McClair and Macari. Struggling to think of anyone else in my lifetime. There is one,but I’m not even gonna name him here.

St tams
May 30, 2024 9:59 am

Excellent article Bobby.
For what you are suggesting to happen, Brendan needs full control, let’s hope that happens.

Well done to Mahe and Bobby for keeping this fantastic site running , it can’t be easy producing 6 articles a week. Also a mention to Jobo, for the time and effort he puts into producing the POTY figures.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
May 30, 2024 10:01 am

Oh aye. And McInally won the Bundesliga at Bayern. More than Kane has.

McCaff
May 30, 2024 10:01 am

HHH…the obvious answer has to be Henke! Barca and Man U! Then Virgil. There’s not really any who come to mind though!

Big Audio Dynamite
May 30, 2024 10:03 am

The jettin’ in transfer trophy 😂

Very good, JS!

Jimbo67
May 30, 2024 10:05 am

Pat Crerand was a pretty successful ex-Celt too. Or maybe he’s the one we don’t mention! ( I doubt it though)

Jimbo

Hoop hoop hooray
May 30, 2024 10:07 am

Bobby
forgot about maloney.
I think Wigan and Celtic are the only clubs Pep has played as a manager and not beat them.

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
May 30, 2024 10:07 am

JIMBO67

Crerand is a great shout. I didn’t include him as he left before I arrived!

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
May 30, 2024 10:14 am

H3

The day Wigan beat City in the final is one I won’t forget in a hurry. Celtic were awarded the trophy earlier in the day,with the Wembley match not kicking off till 530pm. I was in Bristol with young Rieperman formerly of CQN. We made quite a day of it.

He called me the next day to thank me for dropping him off on my way to the station-not that I remembered much about that! And to let me know he was “on the naughty step” according to his girlfriend.

Great lad,and a great day too.

Just Sayin’
May 30, 2024 10:18 am

H H H

Frimpong

Murdo at Dortmund

Hoop hoop hooray
May 30, 2024 10:41 am

JS

Of course frimpong.

KT has an fa cup winners medal

Bada Bing
May 30, 2024 10:42 am

Shay Given

Prestonpans bhoys
May 30, 2024 10:51 am

Jobo

My thoughts were on the article frequency this morning too, great minds….

I thought twice a week, at the most, out of season, was more than enough.

Doesn’t stop the rest of us talking nonsense in between 😅🤣😂🙃

Big Audio Dynamite
May 30, 2024 11:00 am

Triple H,

Brian McClair

Edit: for the second time! 😁

Last edited 1 month ago by Big Audio Dynamite
Big Audio Dynamite
May 30, 2024 11:07 am

Davie Hay

Last edited 1 month ago by Big Audio Dynamite
Big Audio Dynamite
May 30, 2024 11:10 am

Wanyama won the title in Canada 😕

Big Audio Dynamite
May 30, 2024 11:12 am

Boruc won the championship

Jimbo67
May 30, 2024 11:22 am

From longer ago :

Jimmy Delaney won the FA Cup with Man U.

Bobby Collins won a 2nd Div with Leeds but also won POTY in 1965 when Leeds were runner up in both First Div and FA Cup

Jimbo

JimDom
May 30, 2024 11:34 am

Top quality lead BMCUWP

BR more or less relied on the Ange window 1&2 recruits to get us over the line. Then the tanned charlatan returned. And he is still in the building, that’s the greatest concern of all.

AP2 & Just Sayin……above…………..brilliant .

Add the Beat-Celtic-To-His-Signature list of trophies that we will lose this summer.

McCaff
May 30, 2024 11:40 am

I’d have thought that pre mid-80s, or more likely pre-Bosman, or even more likely pre SDM, Scottish fitba was a producer and exporter. Since then, however, our tendency to speculate in young foreigners has killed our ability to develop young, excellent footballers. There are many ex-Celtic players as well as players of other Scottish clubs who’ve had success outside of Scotland. The numbers have fallen dramatically since the 80s/90s though and is probably symptomatic of where we are currently in world fitba!
What I’d give for a team of young homegrown Celts, or even just all Scottish, playing in Europe!!

Big Audio Dynamite
May 30, 2024 11:44 am

Amartey is the kind of signing I’ve been asking for since Broony retired.

With him being 29, I’ll be surprised if our board want to do it!

Oh Danny bhoy ….🎶

Auldheid
May 30, 2024 12:05 pm

BMCUW

I’d cut down on quantity of articles to maintain quality.

On transfers I posted in CQN about impact of FSR on transfers and wages but cannot copy over at present. Will do later.

INIQUITOUS IV
May 30, 2024 1:22 pm

Article on CQN about Brendan looking for a ‘back up’ to Greg Taylor.

Eh!? “Whit!?”

Much as I like the wee man’s personality, attitude and engine, whoever wrote that just doesn’t get what is required to improve our disastrous Champions League record and shore up a defensive weakness targeted by every team in the league.

Hoop hoop hooray
May 30, 2024 1:44 pm

Gary Caldwell won the same FA cup as Maloney

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
May 30, 2024 1:50 pm

H3

He didn’t play that day,though as captain he lifted the trophy.

SteveNaive
May 30, 2024 1:51 pm

IIV

Get what you’re saying re Taylor and Europe.
Regulary quoted in the need an upgrade stakes.
I think he has improved again this season.
Started 46 of 50 games.
Some of them with Palma on front of him !

Craig 76
May 30, 2024 2:17 pm

Assuming nobody leaves this is how the squad looks

Screenshot_20240530-141019
JimDom
May 30, 2024 2:46 pm

INIQ re Taylor

I would interpret back up to Greg Taylor in the same way that AJ came in as back up to Tony Ralston.

CQN is just the online version of The Celtic (PLC) View. Operated by the Lawwell Laptop Loyal. Never offers even a hint of criticism of the way Celtic operate.

Bada Bing
May 30, 2024 2:56 pm

Seigrist
 
Kwon
 
Kobayashi
 
Yang
 
Welsh
 
Nawrocki
 
Lagerbielke
 
Oh
 
Palma
 
Tilio
 
Johnston
 
 
There’s a B Team 11…..take as much money as you can get for them,Johnston in a deal for Idah maybe,McCarthy will do as he’s done for the previous 3 seasons, turn up for training and get 16k a week….

Bada Bing
May 30, 2024 3:00 pm

O’Riley doesn’t make Denmark Euros Squad

Just Sayin’
May 30, 2024 3:21 pm

B B

Harsh on Nawrocki and Palma but it’s all about opinions.
I reckon we need a new left centre back and would have Nawrocki and Scales as back up, particularly Nawrocki as cover for CCV.

As for Palma we might be able to get more out of him with a full pre season under his belt. Substitute Haksabanovic for Palma.

I’m with you on the rest.

Bada Bing
May 30, 2024 3:31 pm

Forgot about Haksbanovic…bye

Drew67
May 30, 2024 3:36 pm

John Collins ligue 1 Monaco?

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
May 30, 2024 3:38 pm

DREW67

Good one!