I wrote yesterday about Ange’s comments about how he doesn’t “fall in love” with players because he knows that they will sometimes put themselves first. It’s the modern game, and he’s a thoroughly modern manager although he’s seen everything.
If he won’t fall in love with the guys he already has in his charge though he’s hardly likely to get deeply committed to footballers who aren’t in the door, which is why I don’t believe he, nor anyone else inside Celtic, will panic if Cho Gue-sung goes somewhere else.
Even if that “somewhere else” is Ibrox. He’s a good player. He is not the only player on our list. I find today’s reports interesting for any number of reasons, not least of which is that it reeks of people somewhere playing games.
But mostly it reeks of Ibrox’s obsession with aping everything our club does.
We’re now scouting for them as well. If there’s even the slightest kernel of truth in the story that they are suddenly interested in him there can be no doubt where that interest springs from.
They’ve looked at our success rate in closing deals and are now shamelessly copying it.
In a fight where it comes down to pure money, we will win of course because as The Mooch has admitted recently we have more of it than they do. But if it comes down to stupid money – as opposed to going up to what the player is worth – then what we’ll do is walk away and let someone else take their chances.
This reeks of somebody’s PR exercise.
If it’s theirs then let them have their moment.
If they want to scrap it out we have to remember, as all good poker players do (which rules Lawwell out and I don’t want him near this) that when you’re being goaded that’s someone trying to make it about ego instead of money. But it’s all about money and this guy, as good as he looks, has two World Cup goals and a season or two in the Korean League.
So we will have a valuation and we will not go higher than that valuation.
If someone wants to top it to win some phony war, then we’ll see what comes of that.
What we will not do is panic, or hang around waiting for an answer, and I don’t believe for a minute that anyone at Celtic will worry about what the “bad PR” of “losing” a transfer deal to them would look like.
All that matters is that we continue making progress.
It’s possible that this all just smoke and mirrors.
Indeed, on the other side of the city they reckon this is actually a Lawwell leak so that we can say we beat them to do the deal.
I would think that a pathetic act which Ange won’t be remotely interested in going along with, which is why I wonder if this isn’t agents or someone else playing games instead.
I know this; the longer this deal is dragged out the more ridiculous these stories are going to come, so either it will be done quickly or we’ll walk.
To the next target, to the next name on the list, to the next deal we can get done and if nothing can be resolved in this window then we’ll wait for the summer to come when it can.
In the meantime, Giakoumakis will stay and continue to score goals for us.
There is no need to hit any panic button here, not that Ange would anyway.
We think a couple of steps ahead now.
That’s one of the biggest changes that has taken place at Celtic Park on the manager’s watch.