Well with the Champions League final and the playoffs now behind us, we’re in the Crazy Season all over again, with transfer rumours dominating the airwaves and the forums.
Some of them are just plain stupid – like the one about Celtic trying to sign Joe Allan, a player in a position we don’t need to fill, and who would cost us a fortune which could be better spent – whilst some are just plain scary, like the one yesterday linking us with Steven Fletcher.
First let’s understand that any player who’s out of contract or on the transfer list at Liverpool is going to be given some kind of link to us. There was even one flight of fancy piece of nonsense about Christian Benteke last week, and it occasioned a laugh rather than any excitement.
It’s one of those stories that was impossible to take even remotely seriously.
I don’t expect any player who Rodgers had at Anfield to wind up in a Celtic top.
There are obvious obstacles, the most notable of which are finance related, and anyway … I don’t want us to fill our team with rejects and failures unless those guys are hungry, unless they are players with a point to prove and if those kinds of players are at Liverpool right now they’ll have offers apart from Celtic, and the lure of playing Inverness four times a season.
We are doomed to a summer of this though, and with it will come head in the hands moments aplenty like the continuing saga of Danny Graham, a player we might well have an interest in as he was with Rodgers at Swansea and is available on a free, but that one becomes ludicrous when the papers try to allege that we’re in a transfer tussle with Sevco over the signing.
That, too, is something we’re probably going to have to get used to, as a tiresome as it will be.
There are obvious areas where we need to improve and obvious ones where we don’t.
If we’re linked with a striker I’ll give that greater credence than I would to a report saying we’re eyeing up a move for someone who plays in midfield.
Yesterday’s report that we were looking at Chelsea’s youth right back was one I could believe as that’s a position we need cover in, but some of the other stories – such as the Allan one – are just flights of fancy.
A lot of this is the media’s desire to fill up all those slow news days, but even amidst the guff there’s an occasional moment of insight.
We are definitely on the lookout for a front man, and already we’ve been linked with more than half a dozen of them.
The question is, what sort are we looking for? It seems pretty clear that the best thing we could do is sign that target man type player who, you could argue, has eluded us since Big Bad John Hartson left.
But is he out there? Do the names being thrown around, like Fletcher and Graham, fit the bill? I’ll confess that I haven’t seen Graham enough to know if I like him or not, but Fletcher I’ve seen enough of to know I would spend the money elsewhere.
Neither has what you would call a great goal scoring record, but if you’re looking for a target man you don’t need that particularly attribute anyway, and those guys are creators of goals as well.
Both Graham and Fletcher average an eerily similar goal every four games; they are sitting on 414/118 and 410/114 respectively.
Chris Sutton’s career average was about the same. Hartson’s career ratio was about 2 in 5.
It’s clear that we also need at least one wing player; few believe Forrest will remain at the club and there are doubts about Gary Mackay Steven.
Roberts will be here for next season, but having him stay beyond that looks impossible.
There are some positions on the pitch where we’re desperately short.
It will be interesting to see who we choose to fill them.
In the meantime the madness goes on.
It’s that time of year again.