Oh how simple the world looks from inside the Sevco prism.
Andy Halliday is making the papers tonight as the latest person to look at Celtic’s transfer market success and conclude that it’s easy to do this stuff. Just “cut and paste” as the Daily Record puts it, and you too can have it all. Wow.
This might sound like a sophomoric point, but if I put on a Superman costume (perish the thought; you do not want to see the pictures, believe me) I would neither be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound nor fly through the air with my cape flapping behind me.
I mean, I am sure that in some professions and walks of life there really is a winning strategy to be had in getting hold of someone, pointing at his or her colleague and saying “just do what they’re doing” but you cannot build a transfer market policy out of it.
The key to this is actually pretty simple, which is the strangest thing about it. Identify good players and sign them! There it is!
And it does sound easy, in the way that throwing darts at a board to see who can get the highest score does, or pocketing the most balls on a snooker or pool table does. I have tried those. I am possibly the worst player in Scotland.
But still, the most moronic argument in the world is, once again, being deployed to give Ibrox a bit of a boost; just copy Celtic. Without understanding the mechanics of it. Without understand what it is that we actually do. Without understanding the money it has cost to get us here, and the money we have to spend year on year to keep us in this spot.
I joke, but I shouldn’t. This works because we have good players, and we don’t market them in a stupid way. Ibrox’s stratagem seems predicated on “Celtic got X for a player in this position and so we, likewise, will ‘hold out’ until we get X as well.”
The idea that perhaps they just have an inferior footballer in said position appears never to dawn on them at all, and the shock that their players didn’t come out of the Seville final sought after and wanted by every club in Europe had to be profound; except, I did some digging into that at the time and most Europa League winners don’t sell their players for huge sums on the back of it … and they didn’t even get the victory on the night.
Our scouting system is far from fool-proof but something about it is working at the moment better than it ever has, and it helps too that we have a manager here who sees each specific player as a cog in the wheel and not just as someone there to make up the numbers.
If you grabbed a bunch of parts for an engine off the shelf without necessarily having a plan or an order to put them in it wouldn’t matter how good those parts were … and that’s one of the things Ange does quite brilliantly. But it would be impossible if he didn’t know how to spot a player or if the options the scouts present to him aren’t up to par.
Honestly, the media runs this garbage almost as much as it misuses the word “investment” when it talks about their club, which simply means, of course, that someone should come in and be willing to spend their own money on catering to the Peepul’s fantasies.
Andy Halliday knows so much. He should be working at Ibrox.
Let him share these pearls of wisdom with Ross Wilson and the board over there. They’ve been trying to “copy and paste” Celtic’s transfer strategy for years. How’s it working out for them?