It’s that time of the year when every Celtic fan has his or her own ideas about who we should be trying to sign.
It’s part of what makes the close season and the transfer window fun. There are so many outlandish suggestions, and a lot of people get very excited over some of them however unlikely they might seem to be.
There was a suggestion some weeks ago that we should go “head to head” with Ibrox over Gareth Bale. I permitted myself a quick laugh at the idea before I ignored the Celtic part of it and openly mocked the idea that Sevco might try it.
But a lot of clubs across the continent are about to cut loose footballers and scenarios just as unreal as the Bale one is will be mentioned, and mooted. I am confident in predicting that Celtic will not even entertain the idea.
We are a high-tempo fast attacking team. Signing some over-the-hill “legend” on account of a famous name will simply not work.
Jonathon Wilson of The Guardian has spent the better part of the last six months lashing, without mercy, Manchester United for the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo.
There are some who will point to the goals he’s scored and the points he’s won them, but Wilson – who is one the best writers on football in the country – maintains his view that it has actually been a costly mistake.
Ronaldo, he argues, is a player who forces an entire team to bend to his requirements.
He will not track back. He will play no defensive role. He will hog the ball. He makes the manager shift his priorities and tactics. He forces other players to work harder and do more just by virtue of his being on the pitch.
No matter his quality, Wilson argues that a player like that cannot be sustained in the modern team game … not if that team wants to win things.
I hear suggestions all the time about who Celtic should go for this summer.
Juan Mata is one of the names being discussed today, and with respect to those talking about it the idea is flawed because it would require us to change how we play.
Rogic worked harder these last 12 months than I’ve ever seen him work, so it’s not as much a like-for-like swap as might be suggested on the surface. Mata has barely played in the last two years … it’s an Aaron Ramsey signing.
Celtic has moved past such PR inspired transfer business. That’s really all these sort of moves are about. The signing of Joe Hart last summer was derided as headline chasing by some – I was actually worried that it might be. But it’s been a masterpiece. He’s a goalkeeper though, and those guys are capable of performing for years beyond outfield footballers.
The average age of our side is incredibly low. That’s how we want it.
We want this team to develop and grow. We have a great selection of players all fighting for places in the attacking midfield part of the team. Turnbull’s return to fitness is good news for a start, and so is the form – beyond our expectations – of Matt O’Riley … these two will be critical to our success next season, and so will Hatate in a similar role.
We’re onto something good here.
Outstanding young talent who can run around all day. That’s the model Ange is working to.
Bling signings are great only if they can fit into the system.
But all too often they require the kind of accommodation our manager will simply not countenance.