Last night, just as I was shutting down the computer for the evening, I saw the latest desperate headline in The Scotsman, and because this is part of the job I clicked on the link and read it.
It’s written by Andrew Smith, he who once worked at The Celtic View.
This is more like something you’d find on a desperate Ibrox forum.
“Host of Celtic players face question marks over futures – state of play for Jota, Carter-Vickers, Forrest and eight others” is what it says, and if you hear the distant boom of the Drums of Doom reading that don’t worry because it’s second rate garbage.
It is the definition of “clickbait shite”, a sensationalist headline which, when you read the piece, doesn’t stack up to anything more than the proverbial hill of beans.
The first, and most important, thing you need to know is that most of the players in question are on the far fringes of the squad. We all know that Carter Vickers and Jota might not be at Celtic next season; if the guy thinks this is some incredible revelation it’s not.
James Forrest isn’t out of contract for a year. He will almost certainly sign an extension if the club offers him one. He has said he wants to finish his career at Celtic, and so getting a deal over the line will not be incredibly difficult for either party.
And who are the other eight we should be losing sleep over?
The first is Barkas. Honestly, does anyone even care anymore? The guy has been a waste of money and is now a waste of space at Lennoxtown. If he’s willing to cut short his deal and go and play somewhere else, I’m sure most people at Celtic would swallow the cost of the original transfer and allow him to go without an issue.
The second is Osaze Urhoghide. He’s already had talks with the manager to say that if he wants to come back, he only has to do well and there will be a place for him. If he doesn’t want to come back the club he’s on loan at has an agreed fee if they want him. He has played one game for the first team squad. One game. We will not miss his contribution.
The third is big Jullien. He’s been so long out injured that a lot of people forgot he was on the wage bill at all. He can offer us something, if he wants to stay, as part of the squad. His deal is up at the end of next season so there might be some debate over what to do with him, but the consensus amongst fans I’ve spoken to is that he should stay for the last year as a squad player, particularly as we’re unlikely to get a fee which justifies letting him go.
Fourth is Bolingoli. This shows how desperate the article is. Nothing further need be said.
Fifth is Liam Shaw. Out on loan in the SPFL and he will either come back or he won’t, and the truth is that the midfield is the strongest part of our team and he will face a major fight to get into it. If he goes, then what of it? If he’s good enough to fight for a place then he will … there’s no clamour to get him out the door, and he’s not banging his head against the wall to do so. Another desperate inclusion in a truly wretched piece.
Six is Ismaili Soro. I bet some of you forgot that he was in the squad, didn’t you? He too will go in the summer with the club’s good wishes. Few will regard him as a loss.
Seven is Karamoko Dembele, and I’ve covered that subject exhaustively. He’s not sure he wants to sign a new deal and the club is not sure it wants to offer him one. My feeling is that he’ll go or he’ll stay on a contract worth a fraction of what he’d once have got. If he goes, it’s “see you around” as he’s made no major contribution to the cause worth writing about and if he stays then he’ll have to knuckle down and seriously up his game.
Eight is Albian Ajeti, now fourth choice striker and only because young Johnny Kenny is out injured and Owen Moffat isn’t ready for first team football on a regular basis yet. Rocco Vata could be challenging for his place in a year’s time.
All in all, none of this is news. Not one of the players likely to move on will be missed in the slightest; the only players of that lot there is some debate over are Forrest (certain to stay) and Jullien. The others are a bunch of blah blah blah.
Carter Vickers and Jota would cost us a combined £12 million … we can certainly afford it, as we’re sitting pretty with some money in the bank and the manager’s dealings still have us in surplus … but if neither stays then that I am certain that Ange Postecoglou will have a good use for the cash and players in mind to replace the pair of them.
Overall, the idea that any of us should be concerning ourselves with this is frankly nonsensical.
This is a clickbait job from a rag that will do anything for readers.