After The Pretenders, The True Heir To Larsson Wears The Crown At Celtic.

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Recently, I got into audiobooks and I’m currently listening to the first of Conn Iggulden’s series on The War Of The Roses.

So far I’ve enjoyed listening to it tremendously.

Iggulden wrote one of my favourite book series’ of all time, the Emperor series about Julius Caesar. He takes a few historical liberties, but they are magnificent, and tell an incredible tale.

The War of the Roses books promise to be full of intrigue and backstabbing.

Much of what will unfold actually has its roots in what happened in the eighty or so years before the story starts, when English kings were dropping like flies.

One would rise, rule for a time and then he would fall. Some died of natural causes. Others were deposed as courtiers and assorted ambitious men saw their chance.

Monarchs fall. Others rise. It’s the nature of the business.

Shakespeare is much misquoted, and “heavy lies the head that wears a crown” is not only not what he said, but not what he meant either. But it certainly does sum matters up.

That’s the thing with being a king; they never know from which direction the threat will come.

Our King of Kings departed a long time ago.

What happened in those eighty years before the War of the Roses is exactly what has happened to our club in the interim.

There have been periods of greatness and glory. The crown has sat on many heads. Some have worn it well, and won triumph and acclaim on the field of battle. Others were broken under the weight of it.

We have had pretenders.

There have been two in the last six years, and they looked as close as anyone has come in decades to wearing that crown like Henrik did.

Moussa Dembele was the Skelper.

His record was exceptional.

He certainly had a claim, and had he been here longer it might even have been a very good claim. That’s how good he was.

Odsonne Edouard had an even better shot at it.

A better technical footballer, big game player, goal-scorer in Europe and cup finals … I thought he was easily the best striker we’d seen at Parkhead since the King.

But in his last 18 months, we saw none of that.

From the moment Kyogo made his debut, and we saw those flicks and tricks and the awareness and the way he makes space for himself I knew we were watching someone special.

His early hat-trick convinced us we were watching someone significant.

The goals in Europe showed that he could do it when it mattered, in the big games, for high stakes.

But two goals in a final?

When he was double marked for most of the game, and half fit?

When the goals showed that positional sense, poise, alertness and keen eye for goal?

When the second is sheer class, the sort of goal only a Larsson can score?

Edouard and Dembele were great players.

A cut above anything in Scotland.

But neither of them was as good as this guy. We finally have a new King, a claimant to the throne who can measure up to the mighty standards of the Magnificent Seven.

The Magnificent Eight should be a seven by the way; as seven is a lucky number in our culture, so eight is the lucky number in Asia.

It is also a talismanic Celtic number, having been worn by some of the true greats of our history.

Never a finisher though, never his kind predator.

It has been a long wait for someone like this to assume the throne, someone who fights for the cause, loves the acclaim of the people, who thrives under pressure and who strikes fear into the hearts of the enemy.

The crown rests easy on his head.

And his glorious reign is just beginning.

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  • Roonsa says:

    Kyogo was magnificent yesterday and is now confirmed as more than a cult hero. However, I think it is way too early to be comparing him to Henrik.

    Henrik got better and better as the seasons progressed. Time after time, right up to his last competitive game for Celtic, he scored important goals for us. We were a bawhair away from winning the UEFA Cup thanks to his brilliance. We also regularly turned over the huns on their ain midden thanks to his brilliance. He was the 10 stopper (even though Harald Brattbakk is more remembered for his goal in that game for some weird reason).

    Kyogo has yet to achieve that. Can he? Yes. Will he? Remains to be seen. Only after a few seasons, not months, dare we compare him to the great man. Remember what happens to Celtic players who rise above all in the SPFL. They end up at Southampton or some other dismal EPL team.

  • Damian says:

    A bit early for that, I’d say.

    The criticism of Dembele is that he left?

    I’m not sure why we’d assume anything different for Kyogo. If our club is to stand any chance of competing with the other middleweight European clubs in our peer group (Salzburg and beyond) we really must sell our best players at premium value. We’ve seen the dangers of not doing this (ZERO for Ntcham!)

    Kyogo isn’t young either, which means that two seasons at Celtic would be optimum. It would be incredible if he could make them as successful as the two years Dembele spent with us.

    • Roonsa says:

      Kyogo is the same age as Henrik was when he joined Celtic.

    • Roonsa says:

      Kyogo is the same age that Henrik was when he signed for us.

      • Damian says:

        Exactly. And Henrik left for nothing. Salzburg, Ajax, Benfica, Bruges even… spend £6m on 19 year olds and sell them as 22 year olds for £40m. They are the clubs we need to benchmark ourselves against. We need to sell our best players at their optimum value to reach our potential as a club. Keeping hold of them beyond that is clear evidence that we’re only even attempting to compete with Rangers.

        Kyogo will clearly wish to move on from Celtic at some point. If it’s the end of next season, that would likely be the best time for all parties, including Celtic. If we have a remotely good football structure by that time, we should have the plan to follow that in place (like all those competitor clubs always do). The fact that we don’t at this time, is Celtic’s problem, not Kyogo’s.

        My point in response to the article was that if the mark against Dembele is that he left after two seasons, then I see no reason to assume that won’t apply to Kyogo too. It would be daft if it doesn’t.

        If we were signing a 26 year old Larsson now, there’s no way he’d be staying for as long as he did back then. We were paying Larsson £30k per week at a time when very few English Premier League players were getting that.

        If Kyogo is to be the best Celtic striker since Larsson, he’s got two years to show it. It would be silly for the club and for him if he gets as long as the four years Edouard had (who was, admittedly, 19 when he first played for Celtic).

  • Droopy McCool says:

    I think it’s a fair comparison. When I looked at his goals when we signed him I immediately thought of Henke, but tried not to get carried away. My mates agreed. Henrik would’ve been more than delighted with those 2 goals yesterday.

    First time I’ve heard someone say that about Brattbakk, maybe the weird thing is that it virtually confirmed the title amid scenes of relief and unbridled joy!

    • Roonsa says:

      If you do a tour of CP, as I have done on a few occasions (not for a while though), you will see Brattbakk’s boots in a display cabinet – the ones he was wearing when he scored that goal. Size 5 as well – which is obviously small for a 6 foot tall man!

  • Matt McCallum says:

    I think you have it nailed. he wee man can only get better when we (I hope) get a few of his fellow countrymen in and around him.
    I read the Wars of the Roses last year and the books were brilliant. It lit up a period i had missed out on prior to the rise of the Tudors. Give the Ghengis Khan books a go. For me these are Igguldens best work

  • REBELLIOUS says:

    Hear hear, but we’ve gotta be careful of labelling him as the heir to Henrik because he is his own self, not trying to be anyone other than himself.
    Comparisons are inevitable though, we just need to let him do his own thing without expectations or labels.
    He WILL DEFINITELY produce the goods, just let him do it on his own terms…


  • Terence Nova says:

    Every time I see a reference to the Magnificent Seven…I think of a conversation I had with my mate Charlie…
    There were five of us sitting in the Pub having a pint before heading to Celtic Park…
    I had started whistling the theme tune to the Magnificent Seven…when Charlie said…
    ” Terry….why do they play that tune at Celtic Park when Henrik scores ?”
    “Why wouldn’t they play that tune Charlie ?” I replied…
    ” ‘Cos is that no the theme tune from The Big Country ?” he asked in all seriousness.
    “Eh…naw Charlie…It’s the theme tune from The Magnificent Seven ” I said.
    There was a silence…then he looked at me all sheepish like and said…
    “Aw fur f**** sake …Ah don’t believe it.”
    True story.

  • David Frame says:

    Above his ability is humility….???

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