The Korean Episode Is Behind Us, Celtic Now Needs To Move Swiftly To Plan B.

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And so it seems that the Korean saga is over.

We are never going to know what happened with Cho Gue-Sung.

We know our club was interested, and we know that there were talks.

We’d have made him a life-changing offer. It would have been good business for us and for him.

It seems logical that he was our target, but after the World Cup it was always going to be a difficult deal to pull off. If you believe reports in Asia, he had his heart set on Germany, Mainz had been in for him long before the Finals and he wanted to go there and play.

I’d say that it will be interesting to see where he ends up.

But only if I actually cared, beyond his arriving at Parkhead.

Since he won’t, I don’t think I’m under any obligation to bother what happens to him next or whether or not this is a choice he’ll regret.

I do know that we can’t waste a single moment more on it. We have two strikers at Celtic, and one of them has a foot out the door. If we’re licking our wounds we’re not purposefully heading towards the next objective; replacing Giakoumakis.

For the record, I don’t believe that Giakoumakis will go before we’ve got someone else in. It would be an act of utter folly to allow that, even if for a short time.

Even if Giakoumakis is behaving like a sulking child behind the scenes, he’s on a long term deal here and there is no real imperative for us to sell him at this time.

So doing so before his replacement is here, thus weakening our squad without cause, would raise questions about why our strategy has shifted from one where we prepare in advance to suddenly being on reactive mode again.

Because let’s be honest, unless we’re far down the line with negotiations for an alternative – and I mean to the point where the deal is all the way done, agreed in principle and with some pretty strong assurances that it’s settled – this is a risk without much upside to it. There are two weeks to go in the notorious January window, a tough time to do business in many ways, and our need would be advertised to all and sundry.

I have to believe we’re making progress elsewhere, because it would be entirely out of character for Ange to agree to anything which subjected us to this kind of risk. I think there’s at least one positive sign that this is the case.

Crucially, one of the claims to emerge this morning is that Cho Gue-Sung didn’t feel sufficiently wanted by Celtic; apparently we weren’t guaranteeing that he’d start.

Well boo-hoo.

No-one gets that guarantee at Celtic Park and if that’s a deal breaker then so be it. But another part of the claim was that he and his club were miffed that we had contacted other agents and other clubs about other players there and beyond.

In my view it would have been a very stupid club which didn’t do that, a very stupid club not to have contingency plans in place and more than one target on their list, so I really can’t understand why that’s either a surprise to them or something to put them off, especially as we were also taking a big risk in going for a player from such a backwater … and it is a backwater, we’re not talking the J League here.

Almost every club over there is run by the government, and most are made up of soldiers doing two year terms … that’s a fact.

So too is this; one door has closed. As I said in the piece about Ange this morning, he has a Stoic’s outlook, which means he will reflect on the opportunity that is afforded by the closing of that door. It means that another one opens somewhere and when we moved for Riley McGree last January and that didn’t turn on we went for Matt O’Riley instead.

You could argue that it was one of the reasons we won the title. So we have to think of this the same way. By his decision to stay at his current club Cho Gue-Sung has already demonstrated his unsuitability for Celtic.

Our own forward motion is now all that matters.

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  • Tony B says:

    Not sufficiently wanted eh?

    Drop this guy like a hot potato Celtic.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Kevin Nisbett would be my choice now. as long as Hibs don’t get too greedy.

  • SSMPM says:

    Trouble with todays football players is that dishonestly rules the game, I wonder what the advice was from his representative/agent from the off. Let’s face it, players are dishonest or cheat regularly and are encouraged to do so by managers, clubs, agents, etc.
    Imo this guy never ever intended to come here and simply tried to use us to elevate himself. I’d have more respect if he said no at the beginning, I want to go to one of the big leagues.

  • JimBhoy says:

    It didn’t feel right from the beginning. I suspect his agency was seeing if a big EPL team were interested.

    Couple of mill for Nisbet with young Vata getting a half season loan with Hibs would be my call. Nisbet is a massive Celtic fan too and could further develop under good coaching and better players around him.

    Ange would only take players tripping over themselves to join his Celtic adventure and that’s good enough for me.

  • JimBhoy says:

    Got to remember also folks the Rangers have also missed out on this player…. What? Hey no sniggering at the back.

    The rangers also are interested in a player that his club want him out… Deal of the season coming folks.

  • Mickybhoy71 says:

    Since Ange has come in, players were bought with the media having zero knowledge of the lead up to the purchase…. Now the elephant is in the room again… Yes liewell…this player has been all over the media, getting dragged on and on even for sevco to put their halfpenny in. Strange that

  • SSMPM says:

    I hope we will keep Vata into the future. So Nesbit in, Vata on loan for experience sounds like a good development idea for both players atm though doesn’t resolve our need for a CL forward. C’mon a Hoops

  • Peter cassidy says:

    You win some you lose some I think Ange has a few players he has looked at let’s see if we get someone in to replace the Greek lad I don’t think he will sold till we sign his replacement.

  • Seppington says:

    “…would raise questions about why our strategy has shifted from one where we prepare in advance to suddenly being on reactive mode again.”

    It would raise questions but I suspect we all will suspect the same answer. As Micky says above the only thing that’s changed is the re-emergence of arrogant arsehole Peter Lawwell and if his interference does indeed cause Ange to bolt then he better watch his back because its possible one of our…let’s say “less restrained” fans may not take such an event well after all the shit he’s pulled before. I’m in no way condoning such an act but well, it’s not only the scum that get violent when they’re angry…they just require a million times less provocation than our fans do to see the red mist. Or red white and blue mist as the case may be….

  • Martin says:

    Move to the next target on the list a quote from “I am the secret footballer” well worth a read !!!

  • Neil Smith says:

    Folks this pish is totally out of order. Made up pish about PL. Following made up press nonsense, has any of our signings from Ange ever been in the media like this previously?. Suggestion of violence against PL is beyond disgusting (think an arson attack not enough??,) . That James Forrest is allowing such comments is beyond me. Blooming awful stuff.

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