After Years Of Slumber, Is Celtic Finally Putting Forth Its Full Strength?

Image for After Years Of Slumber, Is Celtic Finally Putting Forth Its Full Strength?

Whenever I write a piece where I start with, or include, historical analogy, I have to be careful that I pick the right one.

The right one for this piece is difficult.

I keep wanting to use Evil Empire examples, from reality and from fiction.

One nags at me today, and so I’m going to use it but with a qualifier; I am not suggesting that we are the dark power of Mordor.

There is a moment in Tolkien’s magnificent Lord Of The Rings where the combined forces of Men have secured a stunning victory.

Their amazing accomplishment has shaken Mordor, and in particular the revelation that the battle was won, in part, by a leader who Sauron never expected to see arise.

A key city has been defended, and a vast force beaten back.

Yet one amongst their number knows (or thinks he knows) that it is a hollow win, and perhaps even a Pyric one.

“For a little space you may triumph on the field, for a day,” he tells the rest. “But against the Power that now arises there is no victory. To this city only the first finger of its hand has yet been stretched …”

One of the great criticisms that has been levelled at our club down through the years is that we’ve been content to do just enough to stay ahead. At some point, that was always likely to let our enemies catch up to us, at least for a while.

We have never put forth our full power, in order to simply crush them.

That is a huge strategic failing.

Yet there is a hard truth at the centre of that which Ibrox has never wanted to face.

Imagine what would happen if we did?

Celtic’s failure to do it is enshrined in our whole history; we never build from a position of strength, not even when Rodgers was the manager and the time for doing so was perfect.

Had we given him what he wanted in that third summer window, who knows where our team would be now?

The guys he had identified – Castagne, McGinn and Scharr – would have been guaranteed starters and we’d have reaped the rewards for years.

That was the last time our club was in the hands of someone with a complete vision for the team, something of his own.

I think Ange’s vision has even more clarity to it.

And incredibly, that vision is being backed – fully backed – by the board.

Think of the summer, and the twelve signings the manager made.

Already, this winter, we have completed three from Japan and the Irish kid Kenny.

Now, according to reports, the Australian international midfielder Riley McGee will join us for £3 million … and at the same time, negotiations are said to be underway for more players, as well as securing our two loanees, Jota and Carter Vickers.

This is incredible.

What Ibrox has always feared is a Celtic that is driven, purposeful and intent not only on victory but on crushing all opposition.

Is that where we are right now?

Certainly, I’ve never known a winter transfer window even remotely like this in terms of its grand sweep and ambition.

But what comes to mind most is that Tolkien idea of a power that, thus far, has only extended a single finger … and it’s that image that should haunt our foes way beyond the here and now.

Because in this weird season, and this strange window, you can see that perhaps the lessons of the past have been learned.

Instead of putting forth one finger, we are now extending a whole hand, making it into a fist.

The next step is to bring it down, repeatedly, until they are on their knees.

And from there, as another wonderful writer darkly put it – and I’m not comparing us to The Party of Orwell’s 1984 either, merely emphasising another point – putting our boot on their face.

Celtic looks, today, like a club transformed, one that has finally shaken off the sleepy, almost casual, manner in which we’ve long operated, to show Ibrox the full measure of its strength.

And the sight of us behaving in such a way is pretty awesome.

This looks like it could be the transfer window that changes everything.

Share this article


  • Ian says:


  • Frankie pearson says:

    Well we can’t complain about the board not backing the manager this time round now it is up to the players to go out now and crush all around.


    As I said my better half this morning, this is not just a winter transfer for us, this looks like a full blown build to be ready for the European challenges we will face next season.and boy is it exciting times ahead for us

  • jrm63 says:

    Desmond has clearly given the green light after the pressures of last year. I do wonder if the gap of last year can be filled in a single season. It might take two. We are 6 points behind and the first five games after the break will be absolutely vital obviously

  • Hans says:

    James, you always seem to get carried away when we sign new players! Our three additions from Japan cost a little over £2 mill for all three. That’s hardly pushing the boat out? I’m excited to see what they can do (especially given that it looks like we’ve won a watch – big time – with Kyogo). The end of February will be a good time to assess whether we really have flexed our muscle. Bring it on.

    • Seppington says:

      Not so long ago those three established players would have been one 6-month loan for a past-his-best EPL Celtic fan on the last day of the window.
      It’s not about the amount spent on fees (don’t forget there’ll be add-ons to that) but the number of players brought in and the quick, confident manner in which it is happening. Sure maybe James is getting a tad overexcited but can you blame him given how January windows have been in the past and the way Ange has us playing with the lads he’s already got?
      If you aren’t swept up by this excitement you must be dead inside!

  • Roonsa says:

    I don’t know ANYTHING about any of the new players we have signed so let’s see what they can do first before making bold claims.

    • Jake Hansen says:

      Just because you don’t, doesn’t mean Ange doesn’t. He’s been spot on so far without your help.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      You probably didn’t know anything about kyogo either ,so don’t worry about it ,as long as the manager knows about them that’s all that matters not your sparse knowledge.

  • Brian says:

    All very well and good and I am an Ange supporter but we are putting the cart before the horse. Its great to see more players coming but lets be honest we haven’t seen these guys play yet. Yes we are supposedly signing CCV and Jota but to date we still haven’t spent any real money. we are doing the same old budget buying. buy six players for a million who don’t improve the team and keep academy players from rising up, instead of one six million player who does make a difference. WE get one good player who goes on and flourishes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again. Stats is every thing in sports and we are a couple of points ahead of this time last year-fact, we are scraping by teams with with late winners or by one goal. We are one loss and a draw away from loosing the league. We have a suspect defense and have no plans for improving it. we are buying winger after winger yes we need depth but we also need a defense.
    I am optimistic and support Ange but everyone seems to be so quick to disregard the orcs writing them off as one hit wonders when actually recent performances have been much more convincing than ours goals wise. PLEASE PLEASE spend some serious money on our defense.

  • Francis McMenaman says:

    100%. The North Lanarkshire Referees Association are really going to have to earn their wages now. “How old is your Granny Brother Boyne?”.

  • Roonsa says:

    Is that so Jake? Well thanks for pointing that out but if we look at the facts, your assertion doesn’t ring 100% true.

    Kyogo. Yes. Jota Yes. Hart. Yes. Juranovic. Maybe / Probably. CCV: Probably but not at the price quoted by the MSM. Abada. Jury’s out. Starfelt: I like him but there are many who don’t. Giakoumakis. Who knows? Keep him off the pens for sure. McCarthy. Nope.

    So, as I said, let’s see what these new lads n do before we start churning out strange wartime analogies that have the huns running scared.

  • Ronnie downunder says:

    Hi, I am a fairly recent newbie to your site. Love it!!! Keep up the great work!

Comments are closed.