Everyone knows I think certain Scottish “journalists”, for all they look down their noses at the bloggers, are well below the level of the average Internet Bampot.
Some are writing for “newspapers” which are, themselves, one step above comic books, and I apologise to comic book fans if they feel offended by that.
Chris Jack has no excuse.
He works for The Evening Times, which has always been a better publication than the red-tops, although it does employ one of the worst writers ever to pick up a pen, in Derek Johnstone. It’s perhaps his presence on the “writing team” that has dragged down the standard and led to the employment of Jack, a writer who has me convinced that somewhere the Village of the Idiots is missing its stenographer.
Today the paper carries a piece so appalling that no semi-sentient person could fail to be amazed at it. It reeks of bitterness. Madness rings in it like the sound of a metal cup rapping off the bars of an asylum for the criminally insane. Jealousy bleeds out of the words.
The headline is coached as a compliment, but the piece itself is anything but.
The subject is Moussa Dembele.
Of course it is.
And according to Jack only “time will tell” if the player is still “pulling on the green and white shirt next term.”
Time will tell. Yeah.
Because we need to wait until the season starts to find out if Moussa is liar. If Peter Lawwell is a liar. If Brendan Rodgers is a liar.
Every one of them has said Moussa Dembele will be a Celtic player when this campaign begins.
So what Jack is actually saying is “we’ll wait to see if they are honest.”
The guy who sent out a truly sycophantic gloating tweet when Dave King took over at Ibrox is openly questioning the integrity of the only three people in this little saga who’s opinions matter, and who’s reputations are unimpeachable.
Jack would be better off, and so would the Sevco supporters, if he decided to focus on the confirmed, known, liar running his own club.
But that’s beyond his comprehension, as properly scrutinising that man is beyond is skills.
“The future of the Frenchman could become the saga of the summer …” he writes.
Well, yes, in the media anyway.
They seem determined to make it so, in spite of repeated denials and statements from Celtic Park.
There is no story to be had here; Celtic will not welcome any offers for Moussa Dembele.
This has been said over and over again.
Jack knows this, but choose to intepret it by saying no bids have actually been made, and that Celtic won’t truly be tested until one is.
The same applies to Tierney, presumably; writing in January, Jack thought Celtic might punt both of them, and he made big predictions about Dembele, in particular, being sold during this window at the time.
Jack’s piece here is self-contradictory.
He compares the dilemma Celtic face with the one Liverpool (and Brendan of course) faced with Suarez.
He then goes on to basically say Dembele isn’t worth the money we deem he’s worth and that Celtic would be “tempted” by an offer of around £20 million.
I know for a fact that Celtic would look upon such an offer as not only unacceptable but grossly offensive.
Brendan, in particular, has talked about how worth is judged. He and the board are determined not to sell the club, the player, or indeed Scottish football short if and when the moment for accepting an offer for Moussa comes.
“Dembele is a fine young talent and undoubtedly an exciting prospect but one very impressive campaign in Scottish football doesn’t make him a £40million player,” Jack writes, with envy seeping out of every single word. “Even in the over-inflated market in which Europe’s biggest spenders are operating in these days, that price tag is just too high and that valuation isn’t justified.”
Jack is clearly missing a few things, so let me clue him in.
Dembele was rated south of the border for an outstanding season with Fulham before Celtic swooped for him last summer. We didn’t need to advertise his talents to clubs down there; they were already well aware of him.
Jack and others talk about this guy as though we lucked into this deal.
In fact, it was an extraordinary piece of transfer business.
The manager knew exactly what we were getting here. It’s why he chose Moussa to lead the line instead of Griffiths who had been such a huge success the season before.
And that “very impressive campaign” didn’t just include games in Scotland.
Dembele showed his class where it counted, in the Champions League, and for a very good French Under 20’s team, where his contributions were outstanding. There is no doubt amongst the watching clubs that he is a huge talent who’s worth every penny of that money.
Dembele is a player of immense potential.
Those players regularly go for vast sums, in the £40 million range.
His playing in Scotland is neither here nor there. If a talent the likes of Messi emerged here clubs would fall all over themselves to sign him, and none would care whether he was at Celtic Park or Firhill. The queue would be round the block.
What bothers Jack is that there is no comparable talent at Ibrox.
Their own “box office” player, the vastly over-hyped Barrie McKay is available, for sale, right now, at little over £1 million.
Remember when they talked about Sevco “resisting” offers of up to £6 million?
That was only six months ago.
The money clubs are already talking about for Moussa could, quite literally, buy the whole of the Sevco squad eight times over, and there would still be enough left in the kitty to let Brendan outspend Caixinha and every other Scottish club combined.
“Dembele’s future will remain the source of speculation until he eventually heads for the exit door and Celtic could surely do without a ‘will he or won’t he?’ drama being played out for months at a time,” Jack writes, and that occasions a laugh.
Yeah, we could do without it but we’re not getting a chance to escape it because of these stories.
And it’s clear he’s saying that the media is fully prepared to keep this up, trying to unsettle the club and the player both, until we do finally sell.
We’ve said we’re not interested in entertaining offers in this window; with a certain other club that would be the end of the story and the media would move on to something else.
The article ends on a particularly snide note, pointing out that Liverpool sold Suarez when it became clear he wanted a move, gave Brendan money to spend and that within a year he had been sacked. Jack seems to be saying that not only did he waste the money but that the season before, when his team had almost won the title, was wholly due to Suarez performances in the team.
It takes no account of the facts, such as that it was Brendan who found that extra level in Suarez and made him a world class player, and that he did the same with a host of others at Anfield. It mentions certain players he signed with the cash, as though suggesting they were flops.
But let’s look at the players Jack mentions in the piece.
Adam Lallana is a star at Anfield right now, and plays for England. Emre Can has cracked the Germany international team and is such a fine player Barcelona want him. Lazar Markovi? is 23; he’s struggled, as any kid from Eastern Europe might with such a weight on his shoulders, but he is rated highly and will almost certainly be a huge star. Dejan Lovern played 32 games for the club last year and got an extended contract in April, and Richie Lambert arrived for a mere £4 million, a full England international, and had scored 117 goals in 235 games for Southampton. That move didn’t work out, but it was a low-risk option, and a cheap deal.
Hardly a transfer record to be ashamed of.
And check this out for wild, Sevconite optimism;
“The loss of Suarez proved too great and having been stung once Rodgers may not wish to take the risk a second time as he looks to hold on to Dembele.”
What’s he trying to say? That Dembele is Celtic’s Suarez?
No, he’s saying Brendan is worried that our success in going unbeaten was built on one player. That Brendan is worried that if Moussa leaves the club will collapse, that his own management will falter, that a year later he’ll be on the dole.
Is this guy on glue, or what?
So let me get this right;
Moussa is being compared with Suarez in that the success of the team has hinged on him. But although a huge talent with so many admirers the press never stops writing about it – as I am finishing this up, Everton are the latest club said to be readying a £30 million bid –he’s not actually worth it. Brendan could use the money, but is scared to let the player go in case his team collapses like a house of cards … and he, Moussa and Peter Lawwell are probably lying about the player starting the season at Parkhead and that an offer of half what we believe he’s worth, and £10 million less than the move being touted in the papers right now, would seal the deal?
Have I got all that straight?
You know what? I’m going out on a limb here and saying I believe Brendan, Peter and Moussa.
I’ll take their word for it, over the ludicrous ramblings of a bitter hack, a cheerleader for Sevco’s tax crook chairman, one of the last men to realise Craig Whyte was a charlatan, Warburton wasn’t up to the job and who’s blue tinted outlook was such that he thought his plucky team would snatch a draw at Celtic Park in the first Sevco game last season.
(He predicted a 2-2 draw, trotting out the old guff about how form doesn’t matter and ridiculously suggesting that “both managers would take a draw.” Idiot. He was the only member of their sports-writer team, including Derek Johnstone, who didn’t tip Celtic to win.)
Such is the “standards” he sets for that paper now.