Moving Forward

Morning,all.

As promised,my opinion on requirements for the attack and midfield for the coming season. I’ll start with the midfield for the sake of continuity. 

As it stands,we still haven’t completed the signing of Bernardo. I’m going to work on the assumption that the deal will be done,and that he is our player. That means that we will have four top players available for the three places. Those of us who think we should have four in midfield for the likes of Europe are likely to be disappointed. Of the four,Bernardo is the most likely to be omitted,but that is only when those other three are fit and available. As we saw too often last season,that is not always the case. 

Additionally,there are constant suggestions that Reo or Matt are likely to leave during the summer. Both are tied down to new long-term contracts but we all know that when an offer is acceptable to all parties,contracts are worthless. I genuinely think that O’Riley will think about his massive improvement since he joined in January 2022 and especially on the difference that BR has made to his game. For that reason,allied to his disappointment about being left out of the Denmark squad,I think he will only consider out of this world offers to move at the moment. 

That is unlikely,though we saw last season what can happen when Jota departed. That hasn’t worked out for him-yet-but he will only be 27yo when that contract ends,and he will be £30m richer. An offer of that magnitude is unlikely for Matt,and anyway,I think he is a player who is focused on the medium to long term,rather than the fast buck.

Reo is a different matter though. I doubt his heart is still in it at Celtic Park. And after last season’s constant injuries,I think a move will be welcomed by the club too-provided the money is right. That leaves us short of proven cover,and last summer’s influx of kids cannot be relied upon. For starters,none of them is the big hard scary monster destroyer that we have been desperately crying out for this last decade. 

A man constantly linked with us for that role is Ghanaian international Daniel Amartey. Familiar to and with our manager from their time at Leicester,he fits the bill. And since the bill for this 53-times capped piece of solid teak is only around £3m from Fenerbahce,it looks like a no-brainer. He wasn’t the first pick for that position at Leicester,btw-but since it was Wilfred Ndidi keeping him out,that is understandable. 

Signing Amartey solves two problems at once. The obvious one being the role that he plays,the other being that it allows CalMac to move into a more creative,forward position,the one in which he very much looks more comfortable. The position vacated by Reo,in fact. He can also play as a No 8 when required-for instance,when O’Riley is injured. 

With the signing of Amartey and Bernardo and the sale of Reo,we will have a core midfield of Amartey,O’Riley and CalMac. The main back-up will be Bernardo and Iwata. Of last summer’s signings,the only midfield option that I still hold out hope for is Holm. Add him to the mix plus Daniel Kelly and maybe Bosun Lawal,and I think we have a more balanced squad in that area as well as a more balanced first three on the team sheet. Since this has been achieved for an overall profit of c£15m,that leaves us more wiggle room for the new goalies,left back and our forward line. Which is next.

Quick question for you all. Given an infinite number of wingers and an infinite number of opportunities,why are all of our signings there in the last two seasons such utter dross? Some have been utterly dreadful,while others have shown flashes of ability. Just enough for us to think that we might have a player,and then they revert to type and we all shake our heads. Maeda is by a distance our best wide player,but he is not a genuine winger. For starters,any time he puts in a cross with any height on it,it is the last we see of it till it comes down with snow on it. And James Forrest,even at 32yo,is a clear best of the rest. 

Kuhn has shown ability,as I said. But he cannot cover back without pulling a jersey or mistiming a challenge. Either way,it’s a booking and a free kick in a dangerous area. Palma has an inflated opinion of himself,a view shared only by his doting mother. Terrific footwork but with little pace and even less game intelligence. Both will have to up their game considerably to feature,and even then,Jamesie has first dibs before them. Yang has more speed and ability than either of them,but he too needs serious coaching to make an impact. The jury is still out on the much-vaunted Rocco Vata,and while he might be chastened by his lack of suitors,he won’t be lacking in confidence. To date,we have seen little to back it up. 

I think we need a new presence who can play wide right,track back AND score goals. Someone like Abada,as an example! I don’t think the current bunch can hack it,and that means that we either sign yet another bliddy winger,or go with what we have. A wing and a prayer,indeed. 

And then there is the thorniest question of all,and I’ve saved it for last. Our central striker. The current incumbent,and for three seasons now,is Kyogo. Even though he had a disappointing last season,he is still head,shoulders and waist above our other current options. In actual fact,our only current option is Oh,and he is apparently the subject of a £4m bid from Genk. (I know-bite the hand off them!) BR will hopefully be aiming to play to Kyogo’s strengths,which is either to get on the end of a low cross deep into the box,or a defence splitting pass for him to use his pace. Those are the two examples of getting the maximum from his talent. The back-up for him has primarily been G-Mak and Idah. The former may be a much lamented miss,but he is long gone. Adam Idah is a recent memory,and an acquaintanceship which most of us would be happy to see renewed.

The big fella confounded the critics in some style in his few months with us,and I have to be honest and say that his signing didn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm. His only plus,as far as I could make out,is that he was the only option that BR considered remotely suitable from the threadbare list provided by wage thief Lawwell,Jr. Hands up,I was wrong! It wasn’t long before my only complaint about him was that we hadn’t demanded an option to buy him in the summer at a set price. Had we done so,I think it would have been agreed at around £3m,and even that looked overpriced based on his achievements at Norwich. They are now looking at as much as £8m for him,and his success with us and with Ireland has only made other clubs aware of him. I loathe the term bidding war-though not as much as our former CEO-but if the manager wants him,it looks as though we will have to put our money where our mouth is. 

What the club should be looking at here is a number of factors. Firstly,he is clearly a specific signing target for the manager. He likes what he has seen and wants him signed permanently. We know he won’t have any problem settling in,as he certainly hit the ground running when he arrived at the end of January. He is a completely different player to Kyogo and that means we have options to mix it up intra-game,even to the extent of a rare foray into two strikers. And then there is the cost. Let’s assume that the lowest we can knock Norwich down to is £6m. Even that’s a lot of cash for someone who has never been part of their plans down there,and seemed to be going nowhere at the turn of the year. Celtic then have to consider whether the player is worth that. 

Well,I reckon they need to look at that cost from another angle. £6m for a guy who is only worth that based on four months on loan with us looks like bad business,but it isn’t. His value was minimal while with Norwich for the simple reason that he wasn’t getting game time,his managers didn’t rate him. That they are the biggest winners from that loan spell is something we will just have to swallow. And besides,this is not an £6m transfer at all. We need to buy another striker regardless,even if Oh decides to stay. How much would that cost,and do we know that he will be a fit at the club? 

We know the big fella WILL be a fit. Seen it with our own eyes. And anyone even approaching that quality is unlikely to arrive at a lower cost. Plus,there is the £4m for Oh if Genk get their way,and frankly I’d written his value off as zilch,based on what we saw last season. The cost then is minimal,even the wage bill won’t be affected that much if Oh departs,or even if he doesn’t. Idah knows the wage structure and his demands will be realistic. 

Personally,I would like us to sign two strikers,and I’ll even allow for one to be more along the lines of a project. I am not happy at the thought of signing another winger,we will have to work with what we have and hope that proper coaching can knock them into shape. The sale of Reo (or heaven forbid,Matt) leaves our notoriously parsimonious board no excuse not to sanction some decent signings,even if we ignore the legendary pot of gold so closely guarded by our custodians. The above signings should cost us around half of the income from a Reo sale. Plus we will have the income from any deadwood that we get rid of-on top of a likely £6m from the sale of Michael Johnston! ( How many of us thought that possible at Christmas?) We will need more than that to shore up the deficiencies in the back line,which amount to two goalkeepers and a left back before we even consider matters elsewhere. 

Two goalies,a left back,Bernardo and Amartey in midfield plus Idah and possibly a project striker. Seven players,four of whom are unidentified as yet. The Rumour Mill has a long way to go before the window closes. But I’m confident of one thing at least. The signings this summer will be an upgrade on those we brought in a year ago. 

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Above article by BMCUWP

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BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
June 15, 2024 2:54 pm

MM

You know what happens to political comments.

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 2:55 pm

Liking the new Tennents lager Pint glasses 👍 🍺

Last edited 27 days ago by Gordon64
Gordon64
June 15, 2024 3:05 pm

Hungary looked almost as poor as us 🤔

Last edited 27 days ago by Gordon64
JimDom
June 15, 2024 3:06 pm

Up until 8pm last night it felt like Argentina 1978 all over again. And then the football started.

Pundits en masse predicting a draw or even a narrow Scotland win. A gazillion Scots taking over the Bavarian capital. We’re on the march with Stevie’s army. The Germans are there for the taking.

Neuer, Rudiger and Kroos didn’t appear to be shaking with fear in the tunnel before the game. Seeing that the opposition had a guy who plays for Watford may just have calmed the Deutschland nerves.

As Celtic fans we can be every bit as deluded. The Champions League draw gets made and the we-can-get-out-this-group patter starts up almost right away. And then the football starts.

Celtic need to sign good players but the PLC are hugely risk averse. Why spent £20m on two players if all that does is turn a 6-0 drubbing in Madrid into a 4-0 one. The marginal score line gain is not worth the cost. Just stay ahead of R2ngers is the mantra under Desmond and Lawwell.

The Swiss Hungary match is an entertaining open game. Good players on both sides, and some not so good. The journeymen tend to get found out when faced with genuine talent.

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 3:10 pm

Ndoye is Swiss danger man on the wing

Last edited 27 days ago by Gordon64
Madmitch
June 15, 2024 3:13 pm

BMCUW

Two standards in play …

One for Douglas Ross and his Tories.
Another for the Nats and their 17 years of shame.

Not a good look.

Rebus67
June 15, 2024 3:16 pm

The title of this article, “Moving Forward” is ironic after the display of the NT last night. Did anyone really expect Scotland to cause an upset, given the results since qualification? It is not the result that matters here, it is the nature of the performance. The knee jerk reaction, including from Calmac, is to blame the players on the park. Unfortunately, they are merely a symptom not the cause. It is the players OFF the park that should be blamed. Sacking one or two from the squad and, perhaps, the coach will not fix Scotland’s problems. Think of it this way. How many of that Scotland team are world class players, or, let’s be less demanding, how many are European class? It is the lack of talent that is killing Scotland at both the club and national levels. Take the top two Scottish clubs, OK, the top one and a half clubs😀, between them, do they have an international level goalkeeper, CB, or striker who is Scottish? Why is this? Why do we have to buy in players for these positions? You are ahead of me, it is because our game no longer develops players of sufficient quality and has not done so for decades.

Yes, there are two games left, and I expect to see better performances, but I do not expect these to be good enough to ensure progression.

Just suppose the result had been the other way round…Germany 1, Scotland 5. What do you think the reaction would be by a) the German football fan, b) the German FA? Would it be “we have seen better teams than this lose”, or would a process be started to determine the causes of the defeat, and a plan developed to address those causes.

Perhaps a starting point is asking why the top one and a half Scottish clubs have to buy so many foreign players? Here is a clue…the answer involves radically changing the structure of the Scottish football pyramid. By the way, which dusty committee is dealing with the SFSA’s fan led report? When you bang your head against a stone pillar, only you feel better when you stop.

Have a great weekend, everyone. The situation is impossible, but not serious!

Rebus

Madmitch
June 15, 2024 3:19 pm

Swiss — very physical.
Compare and contrast with us last night — huge gulf in belief.

Season gone by — our MF was outplayed on a regular basis.
It could be numbers / it could be set up / it could be appetite and attitude.
But we were out played by SPL journeymen on a regular basis.

RH was a shadow of his former self.
MOR played in fits and starts and then became career focused.
CMcG was a square peg in a round hole unless it was Govan FC.

SCF — thank heavens they bottled it.
We were worse than we had been in the SF vs the Sheep.

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 3:23 pm

Hungary vastly improved team in second half

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 3:24 pm

2-1 game on

JimDom
June 15, 2024 3:28 pm

Attila Hun booked

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 3:38 pm

Hungary bring on a Viking looking sub

Last edited 27 days ago by Gordon64
Gordon64
June 15, 2024 3:50 pm

3-1 Swiss on a roll 😜

SFTB
June 15, 2024 3:52 pm

3:1 for the Swiss- BRRB gets the exact score bonus. The 9 of us who had 2:1 lose out

petec
June 15, 2024 3:53 pm

I have not ever seen anything like that goal. Boot flys aff before putting the ba’ in the Jorge Cadette.

ernie lynch
June 15, 2024 3:55 pm

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS

 June 15, 2024 2:54 pm
MM
You know what happens to political comments.

###

UEFA impose a fine.

Peter Lawwell gets annoyed.

Bedwetters bump their gums.

Bada Bing
June 15, 2024 3:57 pm

A 16 year old starts for Spain

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
June 15, 2024 4:02 pm

MM

My politics have nothing to do with it. The rule is there simply to keep politics off this site. You have seen what has happened to other sites because of that subject.

maccargo
June 15, 2024 4:05 pm

Afternoon all,

If you’re looking for something to watch between matches the official site has just posted the season review which runs to about forty minutes…

(2) Double Winners! | Celtic TV’s 2023/24 Season Review – YouTube

petec
June 15, 2024 4:06 pm

Gordon64

June 15, 2024 3:05 pm
Hungary looked almost as poor as us.
…………………………………………………………

The Wooden Spoon incoming. I don’t know whit has happened, as Scotland were doing very well, lately we huv been very poor.

You need to go into a tourney, unless you are a Super Power, with wins for the confidence.

Switzerland on Wednesday – go for it.

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 4:16 pm

The brilliant Luka Modric has an incredible 175 Caps for Croatia

INIQUITOUS IV
June 15, 2024 4:22 pm

Still seething this morning about that predictable humiliation yesterday, and our total lack of preparedness for it. None of our players could trap a bag of cement, and their first touch was uniformly a disaster.

The time is fast approaching when we will be in qualifying groups with Andorra, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg and Northern Ireland, although the latter 2 would probably beat us.

We are not going to score against the likes of Sommer, Schar, Akanji and Xhaka.

Which will mean Clarke trotting out “All we need is 4 points against Hungary.”

Last edited 27 days ago by INIQUITOUS IV
San Luis
June 15, 2024 4:23 pm

Switzerland a step above Hungary, Scotland probably heading ‘home’ on Wednesday if they don’t improve ten fold.

As long as no Celts get injured, I’ll be happy.

I’m enjoying the wall to wall football, despite Scotland being paupers at the banquet. As others have said, if Jinky,Baxter, Bremner,Dalglish and Souness never done it at this level , then the current crop certainly won’t.

Last edited 27 days ago by San Luis
BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
June 15, 2024 4:30 pm

SANLUIS

I was 10yo when Billy Bremner hit the post from a foot out against Brazil in 1974. That was probably as good as it got,certainly as close as we ever got to qualifying from a group.

Sol Kitts
June 15, 2024 4:42 pm

Big Packy
True story…I fostered a dog yesterday 😂😂

IMG_2792
Rebus67
June 15, 2024 4:45 pm

Irrespective of progression in tournaments, there is a vast difference from Scotland teams of the sixties and up to mid seventies, compared to now. The latter teams contained world class players that most elite clubs would covet. Law, Baxter(part 1), St John, McNeil, Johnstone, even Henderson(part 1) would walk into any elite European club.

I do not understand the logic here. Can someone explain? Because better Scotland teams failed, we should expect the current lot to fail? Somehow this excuses the status quo?

IMHO the reason that Scotland teams of the peak era failed in tournaments was too many prima donnas and not enough heavy lifters in the team. Even with Crerand and MacKay in these teams, there were too many players playing for themselves. Needed a strong manager. Was Ormond that man?

Rebus

Last edited 27 days ago by Rebus67
big packy
June 15, 2024 4:49 pm

SOL hope it likes fosters lager,another true story.LOL 😂

INIQUITOUS IV
June 15, 2024 4:49 pm

Sol Kitts

 June 15, 2024 4:42 pm
Big Packy
True story…I fostered a dog yesterday 😂😂
https://i0.wp.com/sentinelcelts.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/IMG_2792-1718466115.4212.jpeg?fit=300%2C196&ssl=1
———————————-
Sol,
Coffee spluttered over keyboard. Very funny.🤣
HH
Iniquitous IV😊

big packy
June 15, 2024 4:56 pm

went to a pub in ardrossan today called the delta bar, apparently someone broke in and decorated it ,another true story.LOL 😂

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
June 15, 2024 5:02 pm

BIGPACKY

The Delta is in Irvine. But it is exactly as you describe. What with it,The Eglinton and The Crown all within about 100 yards of each other,we were spoiled for choice in Irvine for really shithole pubs. Naturally,they closed the only decent one,The Eglinton,which is now The Carrick-and nowhere near as good.

San Luis
June 15, 2024 5:03 pm

Rebus

In simple terms, forget about winning, but if you can’t progress in Tournaments, with a clutch of world class players, then the likelihood of doing it with vastly inferior ones is zero.

Yes, the game has changed. Our competitors have gotten better whilst Scotland stands still or goes in reverse.

Not just at international level, see Celtic in Europe. Be a long time before we witness A Murdoch or McNeill , or even a Sutton or Larsson running amok abroad.

All we can do is hope for the best but plan for the worst, certainly at this moment in History. Of course, things can change , but both the SFA and Celtic PLC would need revolutionary change to do so….

INIQUITOUS IV
June 15, 2024 5:07 pm

Juranovic on bench for Croatia.

big packy
June 15, 2024 5:11 pm

BOBBY went to irvine once it was closed, another true story.LOL 😂

Madmitch
June 15, 2024 5:20 pm

R67 @ 4.45

Back in the day / 60’s and 70’s / probably even now — the NT was treated by many as a beer game away from the humdrum of family life.

How many escapades involved nightclubs / punch-ups / rowing boats …
Fair enough if you are an amateur egg chaser from the “Juniors”.
Not quite what is required from the NT of our national sport.

No use having talent if you can’t be ersed using it.
Football is just another way of expressing our national persona.

INIQUITOUS IV
June 15, 2024 5:30 pm

Spain 1-0

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 5:30 pm

Spain slice Croatia apart 1-0

BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
June 15, 2024 5:32 pm

Great pass,but poor defending from Croatia.

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 5:32 pm

Brilliant goal 2-0

INIQUITOUS IV
June 15, 2024 5:33 pm

Morata is a real striker.
Watching Shankland waddling about like a fat arsed duck when he came on yesterday was depressing. He couldn’t even be bothered chasing or pressing.
2-0 Spain.

Last edited 27 days ago by INIQUITOUS IV
Pitymevin
June 15, 2024 5:36 pm

Bobby, what is the subject and what happened to the other sites? I really am interested.

You can tell who your real enemy is, if they don’t let you speak out against them.

And I’m not pointing any fingers at this site, just the people that have done something to the other sites.

Pitymevin
June 15, 2024 5:42 pm

Looks like the Denmark manager might of had a point

Auldbhoy67
June 15, 2024 5:44 pm

Brilliant from Spain. The boy Yamal at 16 is ripping the shit out of Gvardiol of Man City fame. He isnt 17 until July. They are without Gavi (20) and Fati (17) but perform like this with guys like Williams (21) Pedri (21) .
Where are Scotland going wrong and furthermore WHY cant we develop our younger guys like this.
Mindblowing.

INIQUITOUS IV
June 15, 2024 5:46 pm

Pity Mevin
I must have missed that.
What was the Denmark manager’s point?
HH😊

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 5:48 pm

Game over 3-0 Brilliant football by Spain

Last edited 27 days ago by Gordon64
BOBBY MURDOCH’S CURLED-UP WINKLEPICKERS
June 15, 2024 5:48 pm

PITYMEVIN

Im not the enemy of MM nor of anyone else. The decision to avoid politics was made when we started the site,and has generally been adhered to since.

INIQUITOUS IV
June 15, 2024 5:49 pm

3-0

INIQUITOUS IV
June 15, 2024 5:57 pm

Of the 6 teams I have watched so far, Scotland is the only team whose players do not look comfortable on the ball. Croatia down 3-0, but with a little luck, they could have scored 3 themselves. Carvajal – what a fullback! Defensively solid, but scores in Champions League Final and Euro Championship.
Meanwhile, we have a reserve player at right back who tries hard, but has started 6 games this season. The gulf in class is like the Grand Canyon.

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 6:14 pm

Brilliant save denies the Spanish Pele from scoring

INIQUITOUS IV
June 15, 2024 6:17 pm

Spain put their bodies on the line to stop Croatia scoring.

Gordon64
June 15, 2024 6:20 pm

Iniq IV Just be thankful Scotland has one of the easiest groups 🙏 😂

Last edited 27 days ago by Gordon64