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Celtic Have The Big Club Swagger Again As We Make January Signing Number Five.

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This is how strong clubs act. In a close title race they bring their full resources and power to bear and go for gold.

This is the sort of winter window we’ve lacked for years, and I grant you that it’s possible one of the reasons is that we weren’t in a close race … but I’ve seen close races where we’ve failed at this stage, the Wilo Flood window the worst by far.

And of course, last season, with the board “reviewing” Lennon’s position they famously gave him not extra penny to spend after backing him in the summer only for his signings to fail to deliver.

That was as clear a sign as any that change was coming and that the club had an eye on the summer. Which of course saw us back the manager with twelve players.

This window has been brilliant, and let’s not even pretend otherwise.

I don’t imagine we’ll sign anyone else, although a loony ex-player is screaming for us to sign a central defender when we have five of them, if you include Bitton, competing for two spots at the moment.

If the window closed right now I think we’d all be more than happy with the business done. Four first team ready footballers have arrived along with a promising academy prospect. If there are more, that will obviously be amazing, but I think we’d all profess ourselves to be pretty pleased with what we’re seeing at the moment from Celtic.

As Anthony Dunn, of the Endless Celts podcast, said to me when the news broke about this latest deal being done, we have that “big club mentality and swagger” again, and he’s right.

Because this is what big clubs do when the crunch comes.

We will emerge from this window vastly better placed for the remainder of this title race than we went into it … and of course, we’re already two points better off than we were before the new players arrived.

The way we’ve gone about all this – with a speed, efficiency and a ruthlessness that the fans haven’t seen in a long, long time – is perhaps just as promising as the signings themselves and a sign that things at Parkhead are working better than they have in quite some time … and for that, credit must go not only to Ange, who is clearly at the centre of this whole process, but to all who are involved including Michael Nicholson, who appears to be doing just fine.

There are still major questions about him – he hasn’t said a word to us all to articulate his plans for a start, and being Celtic CEO does involve being a lot more front and centre – but he has answered some of the big ones in recent weeks, first with how the club handled the winter break issue and now with the players we’ve brought in and the manner we’ve gone about it.

Even the setback of losing the Aussie boy to Middlesbrough has been deftly put aside and Plan B put into action and the signing secured without fuss or any of the shilly-shallying which characterised far too much of the Lawwell era.

It does in fact seem like a new era at the club.

And if that’s true, then all of Scottish football had better watch out. Because Celtic has rediscovered its sense of purpose, and that is bad news for all who would call themselves our rivals.

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14 comments

  • Roonsa says:

    Yeah. You are spot on. In particular about missing out on McGree. The big Aussie handled that situation beautifully. We lost out on that one, we move on. Next. It was no drama whatsoever.

    I like Celtic’s approach to taking care of business this season. Having Lawwell out the way has been like ditching an albatross.

    Now it’s down to doing it on the pitch.

    The Hearts game is a massive one. If we can win that, and I don’t really see why not because those jambo bastards are a shower a shite, then I genuinely think we can do it.

    The huns will piss their pants and we’ll steam in. We play them 3 times in the league before the end of the season. 5 points minimum. 6 points only if we take the last 3 of the 9 available. 7 points brilliant. 8 points impossible. 9 then happy days are here again.

    Come on the Hoops. Let’s clatter intae these bastards.

  • Henry says:

    Really really strange signing in my view. Checked him out on Youtube (yes I know it only gives a glimpse) but apart from his ability to ping a long pass, I don’t see anything else. Hope I am proved wrong.

  • Seppington says:

    Even when we had that swagger before, it never felt completely real because in the back of our minds lay Lawwell and his pernicious interference in team matters. It felt like we were waiting for it to come crashing down at any moment because of one bad decision, and it did. Keeping Neil Lennon in situ when our world was crumbling was a massive error, and Lawwell deserved to be fired rather than slinking off with a golden handshake.
    Now though, it’s weird, even though we’re only halfway through the season and 4 points behind I am more sure than I have ever been in my life that we will be champions (beyond the Sequelhun’s years in the lower divisions, there was no real competition thus it wasn’t quite the same thing…not that they’ve provided much competition beyond last year’s debacle). Ange has us playing the best attacking football as a full team unit that I’ve seen at the club in my lifetime, and I see no reason why we couldn’t win the Europa Conference this season. It’s as if the big Aussie has instilled a fearlessness into the players and me too!

  • john clarke says:

    the traditional “quality player-quality person” policy has been alive with the Celtic fc management for a long time. what a terrific signing of matt. the club has been aware of this young man for a few years. an u16 and u18 england player. how impressive is that! 5 clubs were interested. this has been a team success. all thanks to the player management unit and the board. i cannot understand why an international clearance is needed? seems a possible restraint of trade. maybe an EU requirement? the fans will be beside themselves.

  • SSMPM says:

    Some say talk of winning the treble is mad but we could win the Europa Conf as well and when this season draws to a close we won’t be a EL team we’ll be a CL team again and scratch our head’s wondering how the hell did that man Ange do that? HH

    • Roonsa says:

      I suggest fans just focus on reclaiming the League title rather than banging on about trebes or quadruples. Leave that sort of blowhardery to the huns.

  • Solas sa Saoirse says:

    New era, same old Board. So yes, say we won the League and got into the UCL and build a team who can compete there. We are right back to where we were under Rogers, with a competent manager and a good team.. But we know Desmond won’t back the team or the Manager because he didn’t the last time we were here. Deja vu! It will be the same old cycle repeating all over again! As for the Board finally coming round and expressing themselves, do me a favour. More like a bunch of puppets, Desmonds puppets, with nothing to say of their own. Just wait for Desmond to tell them what’s next!

    • Seppington says:

      How can you say they won’t back the manager when he’s just brought in his what, 16th? 17th? player in less than a year???

      Agreed the board are a shower of clowns but you can’t seriously claim they haven’t backed Ange. I think they’ll keep backing him because;

      a) he’ll bring success to the club

      b) he’s the kind of character who will let the fans know exactly who is responsible for any lack of backing. We’ve taken the big man to our hearts so much that the board will know that if there’s any repeat of last season in any way the opprobrium they’ll face will be like last season x1,000,000,000.

  • Bob (original) says:

    This has been a different January window for sure.

    5 new faces and it’s unlikely that all 5 will deliver for the rest of the season. But that doesn’t really matter: it’s a very blatant statement of intent that we really, really want to win the League – and we are all buzzing.

    Whereas over the river…
    they only went and sold their brightest prospect because they needed the cash.
    Apart from recalling a loan, sevco has only one new face: a young player from America – and on a loan.

    A loan from the MSL is the best they can do ?!

    Lovely. 🙂

  • Mark B says:

    I am pleased with the window and the way we have gone about the business early. I really like Ange, I want him to succeed. I still think we are aerially weak in defence and at set pieces defence and attack. This is the one area I would have addressed. Yet I would have brought in a tall CH and tall LB. Why is this so important? Rangers* usually beat us with a set piece goal and losing in Feb is not an option for us. I want us to win, for Ange to be successful but believe he has to fix the aerial weakness to succeed. 4 points is doable only if we can figure out how to beat them.

  • Martin Honnor says:

    In the past, names were always leaked by our board, so as other clubs would sign them, and our so called leaders answer, we tried to sign them, John Mcginn an example, glad most of the gangster’s have left our club.

  • Solas sa Saoirse says:

    Try reading what I wrote again seppington.

  • John S says:

    Yes, credit to Michael Nicholson for the quiet and effective acquisitions.

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