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Celtic’s Scottish Creative Midfielder Has No Reason To Worry About His Future.

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I sometimes wonder how the brain of Charlie Nicholas works. I freely admit it. I sit and watch the same Celtic team he does, and I often find his assertions to be absolutely mind-bending. I have another article on him to put up later today – and one in which I agree with most of what he has to say – but this one will not be so generous.

He spoke the other day about the impending signing of Japanese midfielder Tomoki Iwata. The footballer who was recently voted the J League’s MVP will arrive in January on an initial six month loan with an option to buy; it’s the same deal we had with Daizen Maeda. There is little doubt that he will be joining us on a permanent deal.

This, Nicholas has correctly identified, is a problem for some of the midfield players already at the club. The thing is, he has identified it as an issue for the wrong one.

In his view, it’s David Turnbull who will be looking over his shoulder, and I don’t know … I am quite amazed that he could have arrived at this bizarre conclusion.

For openers, Iwata is a defensive midfielder and Turnbull plays at the other side of the pitch. Turnbull is Scottish as well, and that means he’s crucial to our European registration situation. If that wasn’t enough, Nicholas seems absolutely oblivious to the steady drum-beat of stories about how we’d like to find a new home for James McCarthy and Ideguchi.

Today the press has suggested that we are cutting Abildgaard loose; he arrived with big promise but has contributed nothing of substance. We are clearing the decks for the new players to come in. The midfield area was over-stocked with players, many of whom weren’t going to make a meaningful contribution and Ange has acted speedily to fix that.

The idea that David Turnbull should have the least concern about a situation which actually cements his position within the squad is quite barmy. Even if the manager wants Tomoki Iwata in the team so that he can occasionally push Callum McGregor further forward, and create genuine competition for places in every part of the midfield, Turnbull is going nowhere.

Ange loves the guy and when he’s on form he is an outstanding asset to this club.

And so I wonder, sometimes, how the mind of Charlie Nicholas works. I wonder, sometimes, why the media bothers to ask for the opinions of this guy who apparently knows nothing whatsoever about Celtic or what goes on within our walls.

Wisdom does not come from having once played for our club; there are thousands of people working in football who can claim that and many of them would be vastly more qualified to speak intelligently on us than this guy is.

Turnbull will be at Celtic for a long time to come. His focus is where it belongs; on grabbing the opportunities when they come his way, and being patient enough to wait until they do. I have no fears about his future, and neither does he.

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  • Martin says:

    Yup, a weird conclusion to draw. Scottish players have the least to worry about when we buy new guys, as they at the very least contribute to the HGP UEFA squad rules. Folk like Turnbull who do that, but also actually contribute to the first team need worry even less.

  • Frankie says:

    Can’t understand all these so called pundits him McAvennie always trying to sell our players through negative talk they don’t know what Ange is thinking so just shut up.

  • Johnny Green says:

    As you say James, there are at least three midfielders in the “out door” queue before Turnbull, more if you count some of our loanees. What I would say about him though is, has he got too comfortable in his present back-up role, because to me he has lost his spark and does not create a great deal when he does come on as a substitute. I had high hopes for Turnbull in the last couple of seasons, but this season he has been fairly disappointing and he really does have to raise his game to earn a permanent place. He has levelled off and seems to have lost the hunger required to improve his overall game, I do hope he can get that back.

    • Iljasbaker says:

      You’re right JG. Has he concluded he’s unlikely to be a starter for Ange and got himself into a substitute’s rut? He doesn’t seem to have the energy levels Ange is looking for. Just compare him with Harare and McGregor or even Matt O’Riley. Can he correct that somehow?

  • SSMPM says:

    I too had hoped for further improvement this season and that is a disappointment. He had a great deal of swarth about him and developmental promise when we signed him. To some extent the shine and focus has come off Turnbull through his performances or lack of.
    S it may be more accurate to believe that the main reason we can be sure that he’s not going anywhere is that there’s no interest in him in current form.

  • Frank Connelly says:

    Lot of talk about players going out the door midfielders maybe a striker and a right wing back. We clearly need to move players on not for cost reasons but to streamline the squad. and leave us with people who enhance the squad and bring something to the table. Its cuts out malcontents too which I think is part of JJ’s issue that hes not getting game time. Hes coming on when matches are all but done and this is affecting his goal scoring chances as we tone down the presuure on the opposition

  • Roonsa says:

    He’s probably thought to himself after watching Turnbs getting red carded v St J that’s him out. Reactive thinking from a slow witted numbskull.

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