One of the great under-rated movies, one that sort of flew under the radar, is Election, from 1999, directed by Alexander Payne and starring Reece Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick. It’s bitter, angry and very, very funny.
In the movie Witherspoon plays an aspiring student politician.
Broderick plays the teacher who has to supervise the race to become student body president.
When he finds out that she’s not the prim little miss she pretends to be (she’s having an affair with his mate, also a teacher) he decides to mess with her plans the best way that he can. He convinces a popular jock with no interest in student politics to run against her. In a roundabout way, that inspires the jock’s anarchist sister to throw her own name into the hat.
It’s the sister, Tammy, played with glee and gusto by the late Jessica Campbell, who steals the whole movie.
She is responsible for an election speech which gets her suspended and it’s then that she muses about the logic of threatening someone with a punishment which might not always act as a deterrent. “Being suspended is like getting a paid vacation. Why do they think it’s a punishment? It’s like your dog pees on the carpet and you give him a treat.”
It is tempting to feel that the media’s tactic in trying to unsettle Celtic’s harmony by threatening the possible sale of Liel Abada is a weird form of that, of holding over us a threat which might not actually be the worst thing in the world.
Because Abada is a fantastic, brilliant footballer and would only grow at Celtic Park.
But he’s also one of the guys Ange mostly brings on from the subs bench.
In short, we’re already learning to live without Liel Abada in the starting line-up.
This scenario which is so beloved by the media is like threatening Tammy with her “paid vacation.”
To haunt us with stories about how some club from England will hand us a cheque worth eight figures for a player who doesn’t play every week, no matter how talented, feels like a peculiarly weak tactic.
But it might even have worked except for one obvious flaw.
Celtic fans have seen two top players leave the club in January and their replacements have slotted right in.
There is nothing to fear from losing another or another couple even, just so long as we’re well compensated and the boss can turn his attention to spending the money.
If he’s backed with the cash, we’ll move on and get stronger still.
This is supposed to unsettle us. Of course it is.
But you know what? It won’t, because we’re too strong for that.
If we’ve decided to sell Abada I am betting that the work on replacing him is already 99% of the way done.
We know who our targets are and what their club expects us to pay. There might even have been discussions with the players already.
As I wrote earlier, this is a team constantly in flux, this is an evolution and evolution doesn’t stop. If we’re losing quality that only scares us if we’re not replacing it with quality.
And Ange warned us – I prefer now to think of it as “promised us” – that this would happen, and he talked to the media about it quite openly in a way that for obvious reasons they never seem to quote.
He told the press what his philosophy was.
You buy a £3 million player so you can sell him for a profit. With that you buy a £5 million player. With the profits from that you move up the ladder to the next step. And on and on and on until you have a team which can make the kind of impact in Europe you want. So not just replacing people with quality, but making every deal a step forward.
In light of those comments that’s what these stories are today, the media equivalent of threatening the likes of Tammy Metzler with a nice suspension in which she can ride her bike, indulge in her daydreams and ponder how good it might be to get expelled instead.
If Celtic continues to be run the way it is now we’re practically scare-proof.
March 20, 2023 at 2:17 pm
Jim The Tim says:
March 20, 2023 at 2:40 pm
Scud Missile says:
March 20, 2023 at 3:10 pm
March 20, 2023 at 8:16 pm
John S says:
March 20, 2023 at 3:44 pm
March 20, 2023 at 7:15 pm
March 20, 2023 at 8:17 pm
March 20, 2023 at 4:25 pm
MArk B says:
March 20, 2023 at 5:26 pm
Johnny Green says:
March 20, 2023 at 7:12 pm
March 20, 2023 at 9:58 pm
March 22, 2023 at 12:23 pm
When the Scottish sports media write stories linking Celtic players with moves, how do you know that the motivation is different from when they write the same stories linking Rangers players with moves?
Why would those stories serve to unsettle the Celtic camp and not have the same impact on the Rangers camp?
Is a more likely explanation that both have precisely the same motivation: to fill column inches / get clicks by extrapolating from rumour and innuendo? Nothing terribly Scottish about this. It absolutely happens everywhere. Just like the stenography factor. Sports reporters, like political lobby journalists, tend to regurgitate what they’ve been told to write in order to maintain their access. I can’t see how we’re being uniquely picked on.
Why not look solely at the substance of the matter?
Celtic SHOULD be buying young players with potential and selling them two or three years later. That’s how it should work. If someone in the English Premier League buys Abada this summer, then that’s good.
Media (Scottish) will suss out soon that the alarm bells go nuclear when Celtic sell established players.
So far the Ange quote is in action and these
misinformed writers are blind.
Players that have left have been replaced by gems.
Let it continue till when Celtic sell these bastards shit themselves with fear.
Let’s look across the Clyde, there team is being decimated at the end of the season and no press related comments. Yes they are going to be fkd even with their referee and var bias.
It’s the rumour mill doing the rounds,Abada today maybe Mooy next week then Kyogo and so on until they have gone through our entire team hoping to upset it and our fans.
Lol you notice these people never go near sevco be that the DUFF beer manager or their players as they are never good enough for anyone to show an interest in.
Even the 2 so called high profile players previously with a combined transfer value of £80 million are now available on a buy one get one free basis and still no takers.
As for their manager his next managerial role will be Accrington Stanley or something around that neck of the woods.
Kyogo’s probably too old for this kind of rumour mill, Mooy definitely is. That’s good for us. We stand to get the last bit of football Mooy has to give, and Kyogo’s peak years. I actually have a feeling we could hang on to Jota for a good few years. He’s very skilful but not terribly fast; elite players in that position are rapid these days, without exception. Abada fits the bill for moving on.
The only people selling Abada are ‘Govanites’.
As I’ve said before, I think Abada is an impact player, always better from the bench, unfortunately he is playing in a great team and is not always guaranteed a game from the start. We are lucky we have every position covered, and if we get good money, then we move on.
Maybe this will not appear so wholly supportive of your view but I would like us to hold onto Abada for a further season or two yet but only if he puts his signature on a new contract. It can include a ‘sincere willingness to listen to offers that suits both him and the club’ clause but with no fixed minimum fee attached. This bhoy can get considerably better yet.
Oh has yet to provide the evidence thus far, after this one important and well taken goal, though it was a very good indicator of his potential going forward. I know he’s scored a couple of other goals but he’s still in the early days of ‘a work in progress’ project. He’s just in the door really, young and learning a whole new culture so far too early to be jumping for joy and shouting ‘eureka’. Also you’re a bit premature and a bit too early and unfair on GG comparison at this stage.
I feel that we’re in a consolidation period at the moment. Are we better than we were in the early to mid season or the CL group stage? Is this squad better and will they do better? I really don’t think I can answer either with a resounding yes to be honest. We don’t appear so dynamic but that’s just my perspective and it has, for the players, been a long season’s effort with a lot of games. I’m not sure if the squad rotation is being fully implemented to it’s optimum and see no evidence of replacing £2/£3 million players with £6/7 million players yet. Kyogo, CCV and Jota will have been here nearly two years so can’t include them. Starfelt is a good player but gives me the jitters sometimes and I can’t help but feel we let a good prospect go in Jenz and we’ve yet to see how the two young recruits from Japan do but they look good prospects from the short glimpse we’ve had of them though not impressed so far with the RB that cost a few bob. We’ll see, I hope, if there’s further progress in the summer. Still we’re top of the league with a treble prospect still alive and well but then consolidation of what Ange achieved in the first 18 months is no bad place to be.
Genuinely i would take the money for Abada. Yes he has been great for us , but I think he is wasteful of chances and does not have the composure or pace to beat people. I think if we got 10m I would sell in a flash. I prefer Jota, Maeda, Forrest and Haksabanovic.
Well said Damian, a sensible answer to all this nonsense and speculation about the press’s intentions. The press do not have a vendetta against Celtic in their transfer stories, they are not trying to unsettle Celtic players and anyone believing that are not giving our players credit for knowing the difference between mischief making and speculation, and are totally underestimating them. If that is their game then it won’t work. Publicity is also good for a player’s profile and enhances their standing in the market, it shouldn’t be knocked as it’s all part of the footballing process. We should all wind our necks in as we are tending to seek fault in every published word, get a grip, it’s the way of the football world and it’s not about to change by us continually bumping our gums about it.
Don’t forget Abada has just turned 21. He’s still a young boy with a lot of developing still to do. But he’s got a LOT of potential. I’d love to see him stay and develop that potential. Sometimes its worth turning down the money and watch the fruits of the clubs efforts.
I think if he gains a bit more composure he will truly be one of the best wingers we’ve had in year’s. I think he’s worthy of a good run in the team say 4 or 5 games then rest him again. Young players will only develop by playing not watching from the bench and being bored stupid by tactics boards all week!
As for the consensus of ” ach let him go, we’ll find another one” it doesn’t always work like that. And to use Johnston and Oh as evidence that we will always upgrade is wrong. The two haven’t been tested yet at all. Oh for me hasn’t shown that selfish streak that Gio had that gave him that poachers instinct and although Johnston is a better athlete than Juranovic the Croat had a better football brain. Of course early days, but calling it as I see it.
If you don’t keep making money from player sales, the club just shrinks in significance year on year. Why would we not aim to keep up with Salzburg and Bruges and the other equivalent/middleweight European sides who out-perform us year on year? That’s how they do it. Buy talented 19/20 year olds, sell them two or three years later. Then up the amount you have to reinvest.
Abada is excellent at certain things: movement off the ball, positional sense in the box, instinctive finishing. Most importantly, he’s FAST.
These are things that lower end Premier League teams need. That is the type of club Celtic is most likely to make the most money from directly. So Abada SHOULD be sold if the club is to grow and compete.
Abada is poor at other things. His passing is erratic, his decision making in deeper positions is quite poor, he’s a poor dribbler (he beats his man far less often than almost all wingers IN THE LEAGUE). Those things are unlikely to get so much better, ever, that he will play for a major club in a major league. So Southampton, if that’s true, is about right.
He’s the polar opposite of Jota, say, who is very skilful and technically able, but not so great off the ball and, most importantly, not particularly fast. His style needs to be wedded to a dominant team. But he’s not quick enough to play for one of the absolute elites. So, no use to Southampton, no use to Man City, say. He may be of use to a good mid-table La Liga side – but that’s never a cash cow. The good news there is, we could have Jota for quite some time.
But, you have to sell good players or you become absolutely insignificant. Basically, the opposite of what we like to think is the case is actually true.
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