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The McCarthy Rumours, If True, Would Be A Sad End To A Celtic Fairytale Which Went Bad.

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James McCarthy was born to be a Celtic player.

He should have been a Celtic player when he was in his prime, when he left Hamilton for England.

The utter stupidity and short-sightedness of us not making that bid and getting that done is a stunning indictment on our upper management of that time. It was Tony Mowbray and those above him who blanked the very idea of it.

He would have cost us a mere £1.2 million.

Wigan was where he ended up. I knew we wouldn’t get near to signing him for years, in much the same way as I accept that John McGinn is probably out of reach for the foreseeable future. McCarthy left Wigan for Everton for ten times what they signed him for. Letting him go was an act of unbelievable stupidity. He was an obvious star.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then.

McCarthy had injury issues.

He drifted in and out of the team at Everton, and finally moved to Palace.

For such a long time rumours stalked us every transfer window. When the moment finally came I know that he and his family were elated and I could not see any way it would not be a good deal.

Man oh man, how disappointing that it has gone the way it has.

But you cannot argue with the way the team is playing and you cannot argue with the manager’s decision making.

If tonight’s rumours, and I haven’t heard them by the way, turn out to be true and the guy wants to move then he’s basically admitted defeat on his professional dream.

That cannot be easy.

That cannot be a decision that has brought him any satisfaction. It cannot be something Celtic welcomes, after he was given a long term deal … a move that even I thought was inexplicable considering his various injury issues.

I would hate to think that this story is true, but I have a nagging suspicion that it is.

If James is not going to play he will be frustrated and unhappy, and he’s earning an awful lot to be sitting in the stand every week … I would understand, completely, if both parties wanted to cut this deal short and move him on.

But I will be sad about it, because I know how long he waited for this and how long many of us waited to see him in our colours. It would be a bitter ending to what I once thought was one of football’s genuine fairytales.

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20 comments

  • Lanarkbhoy says:

    Absolutely spot on. The bhoy should have been signed from Hamilton. I remember well Mowbray’s comment at the time, “we don’t sign potential” how disgraceful and shortsighted was that from all those who were culpable. I’m sure he would have gone on to have a Celtic career akin to Broony’s

  • Bhoy4life says:

    Regardless of the player he once was, he has offered very little to the team when he has featured.
    Injury and time on the bench certainly wouldn’t aid him but he is a shadow of his former self.
    Forgive me for not going all glassy eyed cos he may be moving on but it’s Celtic first every time, we all love the club and dream of playing for them, but only if your up to it in the first place, no room for sentiment.

  • Seppington says:

    Well in terms of his “career dream” as you put it I’d say “mission accomplished”. He can say he played for and won a double with his beloved Celtic…who among us wouldn’t love to be able to say that?
    He knows he won’t get much game time and is at the erse-end of his career so will want a move to get minutes on the pitch. Good luck to him if he goes.

  • jrm63 says:

    His chances of breaking into a 3 man midfield are zero. All three need to be able to do a bit of everything with two players wide. Not sure any DM would work at Parkhead

    • Damian says:

      Completely agree. Unless Ange moves to a 4231 variation, as he has done at previous clubs. But even then, the particular style Ange would insist on would still need more movement that I think McCarthy could offer.

  • kingmurdy says:

    why,oh why,did celtic ever bring him here..? he never, ever, looked like he was gonna fit in…i wonder who authorised it?
    the last vetran that i can think of that was well worth his wages – and more…was the brilliant lubo….and of course big joe hart….as regards out-field players,i never agreed with the likes of keane’s…wrights…and various other has beens…
    i know it was NEVER, EVER gonna happen, but i shuddered seeing headlines suggesting a move for ronaldo….god forbid.
    fair play to him not being content to sit on the bench and pick up the the cheque…unlike ajeti…(tho obviously am not privy to his circumstances)

  • Paul Sweeney says:

    Bhoy was he another that slipped through our fingers

  • Johnny Green says:

    I agree, no room for sentiment, thanks James but it is time to go, you got your dream but you were not good enough to fulfil it. Good luck.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Hee Hee, how bad were the Huns, did they do Scotland proud?
    Don’t you just hate these wee teams fkn up our co-efficient.

  • Damian says:

    There is no such thing as ‘born to be a Celtic player’, there’s only good enough or not good enough; fits into the system or doesn’t fit into the system.

    At this stage of his largely excellent career, it is possible that he’s simply not good enough.

    It is certain though that there is no real (regular) place for a player of his particular skill-set in the system our manager deploys.

    He seems a lovely bloke, he has been (again) an excellent footballer, but being a Celtic fan from Castlemilk with an Irish grandparent doesn’t mean anything.

  • Bob (original) says:

    Was a huge fan of McCarthy. His leg break at Everton stalled his progress – understandably. I honestly thought he would blossom at Celtic but it was not to be. If we want our club to over achieve, then there is no time for sentimentality. If you’re, you’re gone. That’s professional sport.

    • Bob (original) says:

      Was a huge fan of McCarthy. His leg break at Everton stalled his progress – understandably. I honestly thought he would blossom at Celtic but it was not to be. If we want our club to over achieve, then there is no time for sentimentality. If you’re not delivering, you’re gone. That’s professional sport.

  • Cheezydee says:

    I don’t know why loads of folk get all teary eyed at Celtic bhoys not making it. If they are such big fans why not give your prime to the club?? I was surprised when he (and hart) got the contract he did. It’s unfortunate, and a bad decision I guess based on emotion, but for a plsyer of that age out so much with the injury problems he had it was a crazy gamble.given his performances the past 12+ months he’d be lucky to start for Hamilton. I have zero sympathy for a Celtic fan player than joins us when their best years are behind them. Keane I was ok with given the level he was, but it turned out he was also injured.

    No I’ll feelings to McCarthy himself, he’s a Tim after all, but a bad signing for sure.

  • Jim says:

    Union Bears humped by Union Saint-Gilloise.

    That’s a shame.

  • Paul Mac says:

    So question is it better for us to register 24 players instead of 25 as him leaving and the possibility of Mikey going on loan would mean that making 8 home grown would be almost impossible! So is it better having 25 with McCarthy making up the numbers or 24 given that he probably wouldnt play anyway ??

  • Tony B says:

    McGinn? No thanks. Well over rated and not as good as any of our existing midfield players.

    Running about a lot is not enough.

  • Mark B says:

    We have missed a few good players over the years. Fletcher McGinn. But McCarthy clearly had injury issues before we signed him. I wish him well but we should not be signing Keane, Freddie Lujnberg, Ian Wright, Dion Dublin. Richards. Now McCarthy all players way past their best. It’s a very poor strategy. It was clear McCargty was never going to work and we gave him a four year contract…. Who sanctioned that anyone could see that was foolish. We need to spend our money more wisely if we are to have a chance of building a squad to get anywhere in Europe

  • Johnny Green says:

    That photo does James Chubby Chops McCarthy no favours whatsoever.

  • john clarke says:

    A very kind and empathetic report, James. Thanks. I do not like the use of Dud, Flop or Failure, because these words can be hurtful to players who have tried their best.
    Surplus, excess, superfluous or nonessential to Club requirements is better. Someone may call me a Wuss. Anyway, no concerns. Players do not read blog sites.

  • John S says:

    When he signed he signed for the team. Surely a seasoned professional wouldn’t quit after a couple of months ? What kind of example would that be to a younger player ?

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