Barkas was first to go. Bolingoli has followed him.
Of the three names the hacks constantly try to taunt us with, two have departed and only one remains. The guy who’s left has played more games than the others, and is taking a full part in the pre-season.
But Albian Ajeti will very soon be gone just like the others.
He cannot survive the next phase of the Ange Revolution. There is no sign that he is considered a starter, and if we’re really looking for a new striker then the writing is surely on the wall.
The clear-out is in full tilt now, with Bitton, Rogic, Soro, Barkas, Scales and now this guy gone. We may yet see Jullien follow them. But Ajeti certainly will. If we get money for him, it will be a minor miracle. But we long ago understood that.
I haven’t seen any Celtic manager squander cash the way Lennon did on these three.
Add up the total spending on them and you get what Ange was able to assemble a title winning team for.
That is an incredible statistic.
I recall reading that Lennon had been hired “because he knows how to spend (our) money” … no wonder people want to forget that now.
Barkas, I feel a little sorry for. Because he was signed at a dreadful time, just as Ajeti was, and shoved into a team he didn’t know and had no chance to associate with. He was brutalised by the media and a section of our support, and I don’t believe he ever got a proper opportunity in that first campaign, free of the pressure and scrutiny.
Ajeti had a chance. He was given opportunities. He never looked remotely like the player we had all hoped to see, and that might have been in part because of the same issues as Barkas; being thrown into a team of strangers at a seriously screwed up time. But nine goals in 47 games is atrocious for a striker who arrived at Celtic at such a cost.
Bolingoli, I did feel dreadful for.
One of the reasons I was so vocal in my defence of Carl Starfelt is that you could see the game the media was playing. They had destroyed Bolingoli on the basis of a couple of games, then the following year they helped to destroy Barkas. They were determined to make it three for three, and a lot of our fans were going along with it. That was just wrong.
Thankfully Ange was never going to bow to that kind of nonsense, and he defended the player and kept the faith with him.
Bolingoli, I always thought could play a bit. He never got time to get his feet under him before the press was sniping at him, and a section of our support seemed to hold it against him that he wasn’t Kieran Tierney.
But talk about being the architect of your own demise. At a time when the tide was already flowing against him he had his crucial moment of stupidity and broke COVID regulations, getting banned and bringing trouble on the club.
That was it for him. Everyone turned against him at that point.
Even if he’d been a far better player, and even more consistent, the writing was on the wall. He never looked like he had a future from that point on, and nobody will be sad to see him go.
The last phase of Part One of the Ange Revolution is almost done.
This is his squad now, forged in his image. Once these guys are gone there will be very little left of the previous regimes, not just under Lennon but that which Rodgers briefly forged as well.
We are definitely better off for it.