Last night, The Record posted an article that was so clearly designed to cause trouble that I was astonished that anyone have confused it for anything else. The piece was on Steven Fletcher, and it said that Celtic were about to close a deal to sign him.
Everything about that article reeked, from the headline to the closing line.
Entitled, “Steven Fletcher set for Celtic move as Scotland star ready to answer Neil Lennon’s striker SOS” and penned by Michael Gannon, it was typically rank.
For starters, there was no “SOS” from Celtic Park.
What kind of thing is that to suggest?
Were we seriously asking him to come in and save our season? Are we in crisis? We have four strikers at the club at the moment, and all of them would walk into any team in the country. Yet the closing line said he was being sought because he “fills a gap in Neil Lennon’s attack.”
What gap is this? I must have missed that. We’re looking for a striker to add extra competition and cover, not because of some theoretical gap.
I have no doubt that we have made Fletcher an offer.
I would rather we hadn’t.
In my view he would bring nothing to the table at all that we don’t already have, and I would actually much prefer we found out whether our £2 million signing Bayo had something more to give us before cutting him loose at a loss and paying a 33-year-old a pension pot top up.
I personally think that signing Fletcher would have been a poor decision, and one that would simply have wasted resources we could be deploying elsewhere.
To be honest, it scares the Hell out of me that we’ve spent weeks chasing a striker when we have options at the club already but haven’t yet made a move to bring in a centre back, although that’s a critical area needing reinforcements.
If we pick up an injury to either Jullien or Ajer we’re playing with fire.
Elhamed can play at central defence, and so can Bitton, but neither is a natural in that area and I don’t want to be entrusting ten in a row or European group stage football to them.
I thought we needed a central defender before Simunovic left; we had three natural players at that position when he was here, when we need a minimum of two at the same time as we had four strikers and a tendency to play one up front.
We sure as Hell we central defensive back up now.
Fletcher “offers us something” is a line of reasoning I’ve heard a lot of.
Nobody can tell me yet what that something is.
He has a lot of pals in the press who are banging his drum loudly, but most Celtic fans I know aren’t in the least bit impressed by any of it.
This afternoon almost every outlet has said that the “talks have broken down” and if that’s the case I’m glad they have. Fletcher, at 33, wanted a two-year deal … it would have been laughable to have given that to him.
Even as a short term, one year, option I can’t see any sense in a deal like this, especially when we’ve got other business to be getting done.
A lot of folk will say this is “a blow.”
At best we’re talking a backup footballer here, someone there for an emergency only.
This is not Ajeti, who would have been competing for a place, or Toney who would certainly have been staking a claim alongside Eddie.
We’d have been signing a fourth choice player.
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