Building a football team is an evolutionary process.
It is amazing to me that a lot of people still struggle to grasp that.
I have long lamented that Celtic’s ludicrous policy of selling players as soon as a major offer comes in stymies our team building plans and forces us to go back to square one again, but at the same time I realise that change is inevitable … even necessary.
I look at this Celtic team and I can see the clear evolution into our future, playing out right now in the way the team is filled with younger players. Our signing policy helps in that regard; the buy them young philosophy means that the average age of our team will always be low.
And as players transition into this side and play alongside players who already know how to win.
Sevco is not trying to evolve a team. They have actually gone out and signed several players who are past their best, in an effort to buy experience in the short term. This is a desperate attempt at rolling the dice to try and prevent nine and ten in a row.
When it fails, they will face an enormous rebuilding job which they may not have the resources to even begin.
Defoe has “signed on a permanent deal” and everyone at Ibrox is cock-a-hoop and the media is thrilled that he’s “taken a huge pay cut” to sign for them.
But what’s the truth?
In fact, Defoe has been given a bumper Ibrox one-year contract at a time when no other club would have offered him that kind of cash. It would only be a pay-cut if there was a realistic prospect of him getting EPL style money anywhere else when he’s almost 38.
In fact, Sevco has paid stupid money for a player at the fag end of his career, but not one single newspaper writer wants to point that out.
There are some who will point to the goals he has scored in this campaign as proof that he can still do it. I personally think it’s an indictment of some of the teams he’s come up against, and some of the defences who have backed off him or leave him with room to get shots on target.
Perversely, this does not help Sevco when it comes to enticing offers for Morelos; managers abroad look at the SPL, where Defoe has scored 12 in 17 games and dismiss the Colombian’s scoring record as a result.
Our situation is different; we have a reputation now, south of the border, as a club which makes good players better. That reputation is one of the reasons we can ask for – and get – the kind of money that nobody is going to offer Sevco for their dreck.
Defoe is not going to improve with age. That doesn’t happen to footballers once they hit 35.
He will become less valuable to them the longer he is there, but his wages are secure no matter how little or how much he does at the club.
It’s an act of charity for which I’m sure he’s grateful.
All his limitations were shown up at the weekend against Hearts; for all the talk, earlier in the campaign, about us being a one-man team, Morelos is more important to them than Edouard is to us, which is unusual as Eddie is the league’s best player by miles.
But we have a deeper bench, and we get goals from so many different areas of the team.
Defoe looked like a player nearing 40 at the weekend.
He is not going to get better, become faster, become abler to handle the rigours of a long campaign.
With this new deal for him, Sevco has said that he is their backup striker for next season … and with Morelos sure to leave in the summer for whatever the club can get for him, that means Defoe will be the guy they turn to when it all goes wrong, or there are injuries or loss of form.
That’s building a coffin, not a football team.
But this is Steven Gerrard, folks, a guy who thinks a reputation can cover a multitude of sins.
This is why they won’t win anything with this joker in charge.