The hacks have gotten Matt O’Riley to comment on their own story. Amazing.
He has told the press that he is “aware” of Leicester’s interest, but that he is committed to Celtic. Obviously, it’s good to hear the second part. But the first part is interesting too.
Because it’s entirely possible – probable even – that the “interest” doesn’t actually exist outside of the media invention. This story emerged out of a regional newspaper in England.
There was nothing to back it up either at the time or since.
I actually laugh at the story. Rodger’s great eye for a player has already lost him one to Ibrox, who went on to Ajax for a momentous sum. O’Riley wasn’t playing in an invisible football shirt these past few years, he was down south playing, right under the noses of Rodgers and his scouts. So what did they miss that we went on to see? Everything.
If he were to go to his board, fresh from the Bassey embarrassment, and ask them for the eight figure sum it would take to even get Celtic on the phone, for a player who was down in England and who we bought from there for £1.5 million not even eight months ago, I’d be asking him some hard questions about why teams in the SPL have gazumped him twice now.
In point of fact, I think this is just the laziest of lazy journalism myself.
Rodgers has been linked with every good player at Celtic since he slunk south of the border. Not once has he made a concrete offer for any of them. It is the easiest thing to generate headlines on the back of.
It is great, obviously, to hear the player say he’s aware of this (the stories) but that he’s focussed on us. It will not kill this story – as it should – but it means that the media can’t get the mileage out of it that they would have wanted.
The big guy is going to be a star for us this season, one of the many in this team of them which Ange has assembled. I cannot wait for tomorrow to come, and the start of this epic title defence.