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Messages - illdecide

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1
General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: August 22, 2019, 12:26:58 PM »
Our summer signings are not getting anyone too excited...piss poor tbh

2
General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: August 20, 2019, 02:20:57 PM »
After you read that then blame it all on Neil Lennon...The Celtic Board have a lot to answer for TBH...On Neil Lennon and last week i agree 199% with you that his team selection was brutal and could well have been the reason we're out and he has to take full blame....and i believe i did say that a few days ago...but when you read what i've posted above it makes you think differently

3
General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: August 20, 2019, 02:16:53 PM »
Been a bad week for the hoops, have been really dejected. I know people are now saying we are not a CL club anymore but the frustrating thing is the teams that keep knocking us out are smaller clubs with smaller budgets and half the stadium so really there is no excuse. NL has certainly dented his popularity with the fans, quite a few didn't want him in the first place so now he's less on his side.
The Board have known about our problems for quite some time and they haven't been addressed, no matter who is in charge or who writes the cheques it's not good enough that we haven't replaced the vital players that have moved on. The depression levels moved on to the Dunfermline game at the weekend passed and it was pure dung too, there is a really big two weeks coming up which will show us where we're really at. Will we make into group stages of Europa League and will we survive Castle Greyskull (actually think we'll be beaten easily there), for the first time in a long long time i'm worried that this season could be a disaster unless we turn things around.

If we have a good two weeks and get the positive results then things will look to be on target but another few bad results and this could be the end of our dominance of Scottish football for a while...how the hell has it came to this when we had the chance to bury them once and for all but tried to do everything on the cheap as usual. I know we have to balance the books too but we sure have f**ked it up
Blaming the board for the abject defeat by Cluj at Celtic Park??   Of course they appointed Lennon and now everybody has to take the consequences, but it is inescapable that Lennon had a squad that should beat Cluj 99/100. He fcked up the challenge that faced Celtic and refuses to take responsibility. He has a lot of ground to make up in the EL, yet he has a squad good enough to get through a group to the knock out stage, the onus is on him to take Celtic that far.

CELTIC went to Ibrox on 29 December 2018 and lost 1-0. The scoreline flattered Celtic, Craig Gordon stood up to the hostile environment better than any of his teammates, and was then rewarded by being dropped.

The back four that played in front of Craig Gordon at Ibrox on 29 December was Lustig, Boyata, Benkovic and McGregor.

At the time Celtic were planning a bid for the Belgium right back Timothy Castagne, we later discovered that we had an £8million bid rejected for him as we reported on The Celtic Star – see HERE.

Celtic was at this managed by Rodgers but as Harry Brady reported this week, the Celtic Board knew that his departure was imminent.


Celtic’s midfield three at Ibrox that day was Brown, Ntcham and Christie, a mistake that would be repeated last Tuesday against Cluj by replacement manager Neil Lennon.

Up front the three players in the team were Scotty Sinclair and James Forrest on the wings and Mikey Johnston through the middle. There was no-one else available to play centre forward as Odsonne Edouard was out, Leigh Griffiths was off his work and Moussa Dembele had been sold for £20million on the last day of the transfer window which of course meant that there was no time to replace him. Conveniently.



Dembele was sold for £20million to Lyon

Another window has come and gone and Dembele’s still not been replaced. Yet we could bid £8million for Castagne in that window, but not for a striker.

Anyway, of the back four that day three players have left Celtic – the three defenders, as has Kieran Tierney who was on the bench as a sort of bluff aimed at the Rangers. He was unfit that day and has subsequently been sold to Arsenal for £25million with the Premier League club now saying that he’s be out until October.

Lustig was exposed that day and indeed in the next visit there in May, in the 2-0 ‘dead rubber’ defeat. It does count though as it gives them belief, it gives them momentum. The Swedish right back from the previous summer’s World Cup – where he was a stand-out – was let go in the summer. He signed for Belgium side Gent and his wife posted a lovely video about his last few medal winning days at Celtic. On 29 December Lustig was replaced at the interval by Anthony Ralston – who incidentally stood his ground better than Lustig.

Boyata also starred at the World Cup, for Belgium and actually came back with a bronze medal. Beside him in the centre of the Celtic defence was Filip Benkovic, who played despite carrying an injury and didn’t last too long before having to go off injured. He was replaced at the interval by Kris Ajer. Celtic were losing at the interval after Jack’s deflection off Scott Brown finally beat Gordon on 30 minutes.

So for the second half the Celtic back four was Ralston, Ajer, Boyata and McGregor.

Lessons from the game for The Celtic Board? Remember, Rodgers they knew was for the off.


Leicester City paid £9million in compensation for Rodgers

The whole Celtic family knew that Callum McGregor was NOT a left back, he did okay, even scored but was flagged offside (it was tight) but the loss of him. in midfield and the way it exposed Scott Brown was the problem. I know this, so do you but it seems Celtic didn’t.

Lustig needed replacing – roasted in that first half. Kieran Tierney was injured but was going to be sold anyway (Lawwell was always selling him), and Emilio Izaguirre was not trusted to play in this game. He had conceded a penalty at Aberdeen on Boxing Day (it was never a flaming penalty incidentally), and was substituted. Celtic won 4-3, Scotty Sinclair scored (remember him Neil?) scored a hat-trick.

Boyata was leaving, having been refused a move to Fulham in August which would have brought £10million into the club, and Benkovic was a Leicester City player, so would be going back (Lenny should call Rodgers today and see if he can get him sent back up the road for another loan period today!).


Arsenal paid £25million for Kieran Tierney

We needed to sign a first pick right back and left back (as KT was to be sold) and both our central defenders that day needed replacing. Kris Ajer filled one of those gaps but one quality central defender was needed.

None of these problems were sorted in that January window although Bayo was brought in on the recommendation of Kolo Toure who cleared out with Rodgers the next month. Bayo has had a few minutes playing time, against Kilmarnock in stoppage time at Rugby Park and against Cluj in the time added on against Cluj on Tuesday. Rumours from Lennoxtown have NOT been encouraging about the level he is at as a player.

So we moved on with Bayo and some loan players coming in – the unimpressive Toljan, the wide boy Weah and the work in progress Burke – but it worked and we pulled away from the Rangers, who drew level on points with us after that win on 29 December. We also retained the Scottish Cup, with Aberdeen taking care of the Rangers threat for the second cup competition that season. Lucky that eh?

Neil Lennon replaced Rodgers after he was in rather strange circumstances available to do so after falling out with the players at Hibs. Cynics might think this was more than fortuitous but we’ll never know. Perhaps it was some kind of pay-back for the John McGinn stand-off from the previous summer, who knows? Celtic also picked up £9million in compensation for Rodgers leaving from Leicester City.



Lennon took Celtic to Ibrox in May having already won the title, and he should be given immense credit for doing that in the circumstances.

He lost 2-0, it was a dead rubber as we’ve said, but it did give them oxygen. It also proved to Dave King that his fans were correct in forcing him into reducing the ticket allocation for Celtic fans. They had turned two home defeats against Celtic from the previous season into two home wins and there were certainly plenty of evidence that certain Celtic players didn’t fancy playing at Ibrox under these new more intimidating circumstances.

On 12 May at Ibrox Neil Lennon had Scott Bain in goal (Craig Gordon was injured incidentally so there wasn’t an alternative, other than ‘Dreadful’ Dorus de Vries), the back four was Lustig, Ajer, Simunovic and Hayes.

Boyata had done his hamstring in the 2-1 win over them at Celtic Park at the end of March, so his playing career at Celtic was finished. Benkovic was an unused sub – Lennon didn’t fancy playing loan players unless he had to, thinking ahead to the Champions League qualifiers (no laughing at the back).

Tierney was still unfit and his understudy Izaguirre still wasn’t trusted.

Lustig failed to make the second half again, being replaced by the disinterested Toljan, who looked like he’d rather be anywhere else other than in Govan.

Up top Oli Burke played and showed why Celtic would not be signing him, apparently his display was the subject of a conversation in the dressing room with the then caretaker manager after the game.

So the board by this time knew we needed two first pick full backs, at least one first pick central defender and a striker.

To be fair though they were busy planning. Planning The Celtic Festival, another excuse to take money from the support, this time during July, normally a financially. poor month for takings. Actually, that is also now a month when there’s money to be made from the huge gates, matched nowhere else in Europe, for these lucrative Champions League qualifiers.



Minutes after the Sottish Cup was won Peter Lawwell announced that Neil Lennon had been given the job. He also said that no-one else had been considered, far less interviewed.

We moved on, with the support getting behind the manager. The transfer window was about to open. There was going to be a clear-out, KT would be sold but new signings would come in as Celtic geared up for 9 and 10 in a row.

Rodgers had signed load of players who were frankly a waste of space. There were residue signings too, the Scott Allan for example, that were draining resource and contributing nothing. Lawwell actually in what looked like a cheap shot at Hibs refused to allow Allan to leave in January to join up with the Easter Road side after having signed a pre-contract with them.

The players out included Lustig, who was offered one year but wanted three and Kieran Tierney and £25million came in from that transfer.

Players signed are Bolingoli, Jullien, Elhamed and Connell and that adds up to around £12million in transfer fees, with only Elhamed being seen as a Neil Lennon signing.

Lennon did want to sign Nice left back Romain Perraud who was on loan at Paris FC in the French second tier last season. Lennon scouted him personally, he was in Paris in the day the sad news broke that we had lost Billy McNeill.


Celtic dropped their interest in Perraud who signed instead for Brest

Perraud made no secret of the fact that he wanted to join Celtic to play in the Champions League. After two bids were rejected he eventually signed for Brest, who were promoted to Ligue 1 in May so knew Perraud from their games against Paris last season. The fee was £2.5million.

Perraud after the move explained that Celtic had mysteriously dropped their interest in signing him so he went to Brest. Harry Brady in his second article last week revealed that this interest in Perraud was dropped due to the effect his signing would have on the Tierney fee from Arsenal – remember Arsenal had had two bids rejected as they had at that time not met the £25million price that Celtic had set (it wasn’t KT who set this was it?)

So the boardroom decided that Neil Lennon could not have his left back. They already brought in Bolingoli – apparently recommended by Shaun Maloney (Jullien seems to have come from a John Kennedy contact) – and he would have to do.

The Cluj disaster needs to be seem in the context of all of the above and it goes some way to explaining the crazy team selection that gifted the tie to the Romanians.

Lennon apparently did not trust either Jullien or Bolingoli to play in that game. Both played yesterday against Dunfermline and Jullien in particular looks well short of what is required at this stage. He may get better but he’ll not be selected at Ibrox unless injury forces Neil Lennon’s hand on that one.

And he didn’t fancy Bolingoli either. He’d also gone through the Hayes as a left back trial and didn’t fancy that either and the boy he wanted to sign had gone to Brest due to our boardroom’s negotiation tactics with the Gunners.


Bolingoli signed for £3m from Rapid Vienna and said he had not yet spoken to Neil Lennon

That’s why we got Callum McGregor in the side at left back against Cluj.

Now John Kennedy, very much Lawwell’s man incidentally, stood beside Rodgers at Ibrox and watch what happens when you move McGregor to left back and play a midfield three of Brown, Ntcham and Christie yet he let it happen.

We go to Ibrox in a fortnight. As things stand Craig Gordon is in goals, Bain’s injury saved Lennon the trouble dropping him. He was at fault for the opener at Fir Park and Lennon ignored the warning signs and played him against Cluj.

The back four?

At Right back we have Elhamed or Ralston (not fancied by Lennon but he did okay there previously).

In the central defence we have Ajer and Simunovic (if they are fit, Ajer was injured yesterday and Jozo is always an injury doubt) and Jullien, who gifted Dunfermline a great chance to score early in the game yesterday. No thanks! Then we have Jack Hendry.

At left back we have Bolingoli or Johnny Hayes (we have read the script on that one in the game in May).

So we need to do something about that and quickly. The game is two weeks away and the window remains open until the day after we play at Ibrox. We need a left back urgently and probably a right back too.

The Green Brigade’s banner yesterday pointed to Celtic’s down-sizing and say that the board were gambling with Ten in a Row. They are 100% correct in this.

The mood among the support should worry The Celtic board. They have two weeks to sort this mess out. A mess that THEY caused. The Champions League elimination is NOT down to Neil Lennon, or Callum McGregor, or Scott Brown or Scott Bain and thy all had terrible nights against the Romanians.

The blame lies fair and squarely with one man and that is you, Peter. Yet again your failed transfer strategy has cost Celtic tens of millions in lost revenue. You are an Accountant, a CEO you are not and never will be a Director of Football.

4
General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: August 19, 2019, 10:47:47 PM »
Been a bad week for the hoops, have been really dejected. I know people are now saying we are not a CL club anymore but the frustrating thing is the teams that keep knocking us out are smaller clubs with smaller budgets and half the stadium so really there is no excuse. NL has certainly dented his popularity with the fans, quite a few didn't want him in the first place so now he's less on his side.
The Board have known about our problems for quite some time and they haven't been addressed, no matter who is in charge or who writes the cheques it's not good enough that we haven't replaced the vital players that have moved on. The depression levels moved on to the Dunfermline game at the weekend passed and it was pure dung too, there is a really big two weeks coming up which will show us where we're really at. Will we make into group stages of Europa League and will we survive Castle Greyskull (actually think we'll be beaten easily there), for the first time in a long long time i'm worried that this season could be a disaster unless we turn things around.

If we have a good two weeks and get the positive results then things will look to be on target but another few bad results and this could be the end of our dominance of Scottish football for a while...how the hell has it came to this when we had the chance to bury them once and for all but tried to do everything on the cheap as usual. I know we have to balance the books too but we sure have f**ked it up

5
General discussion / Re: building a house
« on: August 15, 2019, 03:55:22 PM »
Clarshack - just going through this process at the minute. Bought a site last year, and plans passed back in March, and currently have plans with a number of builders for pricing.
Material prices have increased significantly (even in the last year) - insulation certainly impacted by raw material shortage. GBP rate not helping the material prices, as raw material souring from outside UK. Added to that is the demand for good tradespeople in Greater Dublin, leading to a relative shortage in NI.
Our design isnt the traditional square build (less than 2,500sq ft though), but the architect was estimating a "live-in" price of somewhere between £90 - £100 per sq ft for a good finish, albeit that rate is dependent on what you spend on kitchens, bathrooms, landscaping etc.
To be honest I'm expecting builders prices + a slight uplift on some of their PC sums, to come in around  £110 per sq ft.

Architect and associated Fees, Electricity connection etc could easily add another £5 - £8 per sq ft to that, depending on how rural & complex the site is. We got an NIE quote of £10k for connection, but have spoken to people in more rural locations paying £15k - £18k.

For years it was always priced around £50 - £60 sq foot but as you say things changed a lot over the last decade...Not sure about them rates but you're probably not for away in fairness. Trades men are (good ones) are getting harder to get. there are so many gobshites out there it's not even funny calling themselves tradesmen

6
General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: August 15, 2019, 02:19:35 PM »
A massive question remains - how much influence did / does Lennon have over signings?

If he had nothing to do with a 10m CH and a 3m LB being bought and just doesn't rate them to the extent he felt he needed to play our best CM at LB to secure CL passage, then it was a ballsy move to drop both but (almost) understandable.

If he was a key sign off in thier recruitment then it's unfathomable how both didn't start (other than injury)

Was going to post something similar...think the posters on here have to get real and see who really is calling the shots at CP. Lennon no doubt had a mare the other night and no one can defend that but there's more to this than meets the eye...Is he not playing Lawell's players/signings? Does he really not know what he's doing? Rogers didn't know about some of the signings if you remember back...

I dunno myself TBH but what i do know is Tue night was unacceptable, we are not a big club in Europe anymore but we are still miles ahead of the teams that are beating us every year to qualification in both revenue and club size/fan base...So WTF

7
General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: August 03, 2019, 09:16:09 PM »
Ryan Christie hit a hat-trick as Celtic crushed St Johnstone in a stunning start to their bid to make it nine titles in a row.

The league flag was raised before kick-off and Mikey Johnston kept the celebrations going with a fine finish.

Christie added a double before the break, his first a beauty and his second thanks to a Zander Clark error. He made it 4-0 with a cracking strike before Olivier Ntcham, Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths added goals of their own in a thumping victory.

The result ensures Celtic sit top of the table on day one and is a clear sign of intent from Neil Lennon's side, but St Johnstone were miles off the pace as their miserable start to the season continues.

Lennon thrilled with three-goal Christie
Christie hits treble in Celtic romp
Predict the Premiership table
High-class Celtic way too much
Given their awful League Cup campaign, with losses to Montrose and Forfar, the last place in Scotland that St Johnstone would have wanted to come on opening day was Celtic Park. If those cup defeats were painful for manager Tommy Wright, then this only added to the misery.

The place was electrified before a ball was kicked, the title flag raised by Liz McNeill and Sadie Chalmers, widows of the great and lamented Billy and Stevie. And Celtic were a blur of movement, imagination and goal threat from the start. When Christie wasn't causing them bother, it was Johnston. When it wasn't Johnston, it was James Forrest or Edouard or, later still, Griffiths. It was a high-class victory.

There was a debut for right-back Hatem Abd Elhamed and he was impressive, too, before he limped off early in the second half. By then, it had become a rout. The only saving grace for the visitors was that the three they had conceded hadn't become five or six. That pain would come later. Celtic's speed of thought and hunger for goals was way too much for the Perth side to cope with.

The champions were ahead after nine minutes when Christie's cross-field ball was gathered by Johnston, the winger then turning his unfortunate marker, Wallace Duffy, outside, inside and then outside again before slamming his shot past Clark.

Celtic's goals total in the league was only 77 last season, a sizeable fall from their average over the course of their first seven titles in their run of eight. Johnston only played in 36% of those games. Christie played in only 60%. Those two alone should ensure their ruthlessness in front of goal rockets skywards. Griffiths scored only twice in the last league campaign. In a better place now with his health, he's already halfway towards matching what he did a season ago.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates
Leigh Griffiths completed the rout after coming on as a substitute
Christie once again hammered home the point about Celtic being a far different attacking proposition when taking Forrest's pass on the right-hand side of the D and then smashing an unstoppable shot high past Clark. A peach to go with the pearler he got against Nomme Kalju in Europe.

His second, and Celtic's third, came just before the half-hour when Christie drilled a shot straight at Clark only for the keeper to let it go by him and into his net. They could have had more before the break, too, with Forrest (twice) and Edouard all creating trouble.

Just when you thought that the visitors might be spared any more punishment, Christie popped up again. St Johnstone once again gave him space outside the box, Christie once again measured his shot and this outstanding footballer once again lashed a left-footer past Clark via the underside of his crossbar for his hat-trick.

The thing about it was that it looked effortless. It looked like the type of goal he might fire home in training. It was his sixth in a matter of weeks. Already he's almost halfway towards his goals total from all of last season.

More goals followed, Edouard putting Ntcham away just seconds after the Frenchman had come on for the serenaded Christie. Ntcham, with his first touch, thumped home the fifth.

St Johnstone needed their bus to appear at the side of the pitch to take them away at that point. What they got was Griffiths coming on and putting Edouard away for the sixth, the striker going around Clark before scoring.

Then, Griffiths rifled in a goal of his own. A seventh and a gorgeous strike on a day of gorgeous strikes. A fitting end to a performance that started really well and only got better after that.

Man of the match - Ryan Christie
Ryan Christie showed his excellence last season, but he looks to have upped it in a very significant way. Christie is a happy amalgam of Callum McGregor and Stuart Armstrong - all the high energy and passing range of the former and all the cleverness and goal threat of the latter, at his 2016-17 season best.

This was a day when every Celtic player did their stuff, but Christie's hat-trick stood out. His strikes for his first and third goals were as sweet as you'll find. Not just that, his influence was constant. Mikey Johnston, Christie and James Forrest are going to cause some amount of mayhem on this evidence.

Christie's stunning start - stats
Christie graphic
'We're in a good place' - reaction
Celtic manager Neil Lennon: "It's just been a great day. I'm not getting carried away, but it was an outstanding team performance.

"Ryan Christie is playing really well right now. His first and third goals were sublime finishes. We are in a good place at the minute. It is a really good marker to put down for the rest of the season."

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "There were two teams on the pitch - one was absolutely brilliant and the other was poor. We conceded early and did not have enough belief when we had the ball.

"At least four of the goals are outside of the box with people not doing their jobs. This afternoon shows there is a huge gulf in class of the squads but it's one we dust ourselves down from."

8
General discussion / Re: Things that make you go What the F**k?
« on: July 31, 2019, 11:48:02 PM »
Plumes of midges on the M1 at Lurgan this evening. Windscreen  is the scene of a massacre.

Lough Neagh fly's...we bastids, ya wanna try cycling into them...brutal

9
General discussion / Re: Cycling
« on: July 30, 2019, 11:38:20 PM »
Doing the Majorca 312 next April, booked the trip for a week already. Torn between taking my own bike & bike hire, I'm mainly afraid of a bike hire place double booking the bike and leaving me in the lurch (as 9,000 do the 312 sportive). Looking at Bimont bike hire in Port Alcudia, looks vg. Anyone done the event or used Bimont? If I'm hiring I'm booking shortly.

Take your own bike definitely!

I've done two cycling holidays where i hired a bike and the other one where i brought my own bike...It is a lot less hassle hiring a bike TBH and yes a bit more expensive but it's the better option if i'm honest. I brought my bike to France 3-4 weeks ago and it was great having my own set up but see trailing that around with you and having to assemble it when you get there not to mention getting a 32 cassette fitted and then the same thing all over again for coming home...Hire if you can...BTW one of our guys had their bike frame squashed on return journey home (£3.5k bike)

10
General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: July 24, 2019, 09:07:08 AM »
On whar basis would Sevco collapse financially again? Hardly busting the bank signing superstars?

Key Figures:

Turnover £32.6m (2017 – £29.2m)
Earnings before Interest Tax and Depreciation (EBITDA) (£4.2m) (2017 – (£0.1m))
Loss for the year £14.3m (2017 – £6.7m)
Operating expenses £38.9m (2017 – £31.3m)
Average SPFL Home Attendance 49,173 (2017 – 48,893)
Season Tickets 44,658 (2017 – 43,253)

Sevco have continued to have a loss every year from the formed in 2012...this can't keep happening and now losing their latest court case with Ashley/Sports Direct they are walking a tight rope and i've said this many times they're close to becoming dead (again)

11
General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: July 23, 2019, 10:36:26 AM »
Good Post I'll Decide think it sums up how a lot of us are feeling, we seem to like to gamble the money that we would get in the Champs League rather than gamble before hand on a few players that would increase our chances.

Reports that Arsenal are dropping interest in Tierney cause we wouldn't budge on their shite offer. Perhaps this was the plan get the Tierney money in and then spend, but in theory we should still have Dembele cash to reinvest in the squad, or maybe I'm a bit deluded that we will spend big again after the Julian buy.

Well to be fair it's the first time that i'm happy that Celtic didn't bow down and take the money offered, I agree every player has their price and KT has his and Arsenal didn't meet Celtic's valuation so they knocked it back and rightly so. If Arsenal want KT that bad they have to pay up or move on and it looks that way. However, I do expect Arsenal to some back with what Celtic are looking as they're clearly testing the waters and have known Celtic usually take the money but this time they've grew a set and stood firm...Bravo

12
General discussion / Re: Cycling
« on: July 23, 2019, 09:39:23 AM »
Thibaut Pinot done the Tourmalet in 51.13...i done it 2 weeks previous to that and my time was 1:59:53...Unreal. Them guys are machines

13
General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: July 23, 2019, 09:37:00 AM »
Glass half empty but I am really worried for 9 in a row. Rangers are getting their act together and Gerrard seems to have a buzz about Castle Greyskull. Lots of negativity from Parkhead and uninspiring signings. But at least the club will be fine financially  ::)

Well that's the thing...and i've been saying this for a year or two but i think they'll go tits up again. They're throwing all their eggs into stop the 9iar or 10inar campaign and it is a very high possibility that it can backfire and they'll blow up for a second time.
My biggest concern is why Celtic can't see this and invest heavily for this year and next and we'll finally see them fold for good...just don't give them a sniff and slippy G will be off to the first guy to lose his job in Premiership after Christmas when he realises he'll be trophyless (is that a word)

14
General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: July 23, 2019, 08:45:04 AM »
Twelve months ago I was moved to write the following article on this very website.

http://celticunderground.net/complacency-is-the-fear/

As the title suggests I was concerned over Celtic’s lack of activity in the transfer market and the frustrating thing is that, one year on, the exact same concerns are still relevant now.

It’s not that Celtic haven’t made signings. Christopher Jullien, Boli Mbombo and the impending arrival Hatem Abd Elhamed, mean that the club have been active in the market. However these guys are effectively the respective replacements for Dedryck Boyata, Mikael Lustig and Kieran Tierney (should Arsenal come up with the required £25m fee). So we are not really any better off than we were last season. Arguably, we will be worse off, especially if Tierney departs the scene.

There is growing disenchantment amongst the supporters regarding the ambition of the Celtic board. Each year when we take part in the CL qualifiers we are totally unprepared for these games. For the first two years of Brendan Rodgers’ reign we qualified narrowly. In 2016 we relied on Eoghan O’Connell and Mikael Lustig in centre defence. In 2017, in Astana, we relied on the raw centre back partnership of Kris Ajer and Nir Biton and in 2018 we finally ran out of luck with the untried pairing of Ajer and Jack Hendry, who floundered against AEK Athens.

Rather than learn the required lessons from previous experiences, Celtic have not invested in improving the defence. We are now faced with the prospect of playing Biton at centre half yet again, a position he isn’t remotely suited for. This is the fourth year in a row that a Celtic manager has gone into the CL qualifiers with the backside hanging out of his pants. It doesn’t have to be like this. The unseeded sides should be fearing playing us in the qualifiers but you can just imagine them before the draws saying ‘give us Celtic’ as they realise they have a better chance against us. A reasonable amount of investment would almost guarantee qualification and access to the financial riches that await. One would have thought the board would have speculated a little to accumulate a lot. But this Celtic board is highly conservative and will never do that. I see from the draw today that Rumania or Israel awaits us. There can be no great confidence going into these games and there is still another round after that tie, yet to come.

Investment in the team is also desirable for the domestic campaign. There will come a time when Rangers will provide a stern challenge and we must be ready for it. There is a tendency amongst Celtic supporters to believe that Rangers have not improved much and that there is not a great deal to worry about. That is to miss the point. They don’t have to come up to our level, we could easily descend to their level, particularly, if like last season with Dembele, we sell players and don’t replace them with those of a similar quality. Anyone who overlooks Rangers after the two defeats at Ibrox last season clearly hasn’t been paying attention.

As usual the board seem keen to spend the bare minimum to stay ahead of the rest. They would rather risk a bad season than spend a considerable amount (money that we have already banked) in order to win the magical 9th and 10th championships. We can all laugh at newco Rangers current financial predicament and the fact that the old Rangers are currently in the process of liquidation. However, one thing should be borne in mind and that is the difference in psyche between the Celtic board and their Ibrox counterparts. They would do anything in order to better us. If the shoe were on the other foot they would spend millions to get 9 and 10. I am certainly not advocating breaking the bank and going into debt but I do expect the Celtic board to spend every penny available to us and that is something which has not happened for some time now. Boasting of a great balance sheet and a big bank balance will ring hollow if Celtic don’t win the next two league titles.

It was good to see Lennon trim the squad during the summer as it was excessively high in quantity and not so great on quality. But it would have been good to see him go further. One lesson has to be learned – no more mediocre signings from Scottish clubs. Jonny Hayes, Jack Hendry and Lewis Morgan are not of the calibre that we require. Moving them on and bringing in better quality should be a priority. It seems crazy to criticise Celtic given the fact that we have won a treble treble. However, if you compare the squad of 2017 to the current squad of 2019, then there has been a considerable drop in class. This has to be acknowledged and the aim should be to get back to that 2017 levels.

I hate to end on a negative note but I have no faith in the Celtic board to spend the required sums to bring in a better class of player. I also appreciate that it’s highly difficult to persuade quality players to come to this country to a league which is not regarded as one of Europe’s major competitions. Bit as the old adage goes you get what you pay for and it is possible to attract good players if you pay the market rate.

Let me finish with the following quote from last year’s article.

I hope that complacency will not be allowed to creep in at Parkhead. The only thing we have to fear is ourselves by not doing things right. I know from talking to fellow Celts that there is an attitude out there amongst the fans that no matter who leaves, we will still be good enough to beat Rangers. That’s a dangerous mindset to have. Nothing should ever be taken for granted.

The exact same thing still applies at this moment in time.

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General discussion / Re: The Offical Glasgow Celtic thread
« on: July 22, 2019, 02:10:33 PM »
I'd be very worried about 9iar, never mind 10iar at this stage.

Bar Julilen, there has been no-one of any proven quality bought who will make others look over thier shoulder - and he is near nailed on to start anyway.

Mbombo has zero competition for LB, whoever comes in (eventually) at RB will have no real competition either.

The MF has had no additions bar a decent youth project and up front we are same as before.

All in all there is nothing to create a sense of urgency or competition for places.

If things end they way there right now then yes we'll be disappointed...I disagree with your upfront options...Griff is back and Bayo is an option too (i know he untried but i've a good feeling about this lad).
I do agree with you regarding LB & RB though and we def need reinforcement as it's not if tierney goes but when and RB has been a problem for a few seasons now and is worse now

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