Celtic’s Scouting Team Seems To Care About Quantity Over Quality, And That’s A Problem.

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Someone pointed out to me today that Celtic has spent £17 million on six players when a better idea might have been to spend that money on three. This is at the heart of our problem, I think. It gets right to the heart of the matter for me.

We do this project signing thing repeatedly, grabbing a bunch of them at low cost, and hoping the manager can use them.

Only rarely do we go out and bring in the right guy, without all this messing about.

I look back at the money we’ve squandered just on trying to solve the defensive midfield problem over the years and the conclusion I readily draw is that if we’d just identified one guy, a player who might have cost us a few quid but would have been easily capable of the job, we would not have floundered and spent so much money on waste.

Take Ismaili Soro. He cost us £2 million and delivered nothing. The guy we signed in the first January window under Rodgers, Koussi Eboue, was signed for roughly the same. We signed Soro in part to replace Eboue. That’s £4 million. We could have had John McGinn, and anchored this midfield properly, for years. That’s just bad strategic thinking.

It took us four or five attempts at signing a right-back to get one in because we refused to take the pursuit seriously enough to spend proper money on it. Kieran Tierney left, and how many left back options have we gone through? Plenty, all of them cheap, and all of them unable to get the job done for us. The same is true in every part of the pitch.

We’ve had a goalkeeping problem for the past few years. We’ve plugged that hole with freebies and cheap options; no wonder we’ve got no answer to it yet. Look at our goalkeeping situation in recent years. De Vries, Bain, Hart, Gordon and now Siegrist.

Three of them are on the books right now, they cost us barely £2 million between them … so of course this issue persists. This window will probably close without us seriously addressing that glaring problem with the squad.

We have, at the moment, in Abada, Forrest, Yang and Tillio, four players at right wing. Because we signed two of them in this window. We added yet another cheap defensive midfielder.

I said previous to this that the signing policy appears scattershot … we seem more interested in stockpiling potential than with buying footballers capable of progressing us.

And this board is convinced that stockpiling potential is the way to go. But after Soro, Eboue, McCarthy, Abilgaard, Iwata and Kwon one of the most glaring holes in this team remains unfilled because we insist on taking punts rather than on simply finding someone who can do the job for us right now, which results on us having to spend ever more money on the problem when we could have solved it years ago simply by finding that single excellent footballer.

Still people at Parkhead kid themselves that this isn’t a more costly way to do it.

Be honest; do you see Iwata or Kwon having any more future here than Soro or McCarthy? How can we have four players still at the club, in one position, and that position remains in desperate need of the right player to come in and do the job? A schizophrenic signing policy based on accumulating numbers rather than with doing it right.

Nobody will tell me that buying one decent footballer would have cost us more than buying half a dozen projects … and especially not when needs-must and you have to go out and buy the quality player in the end anyway.

All this club needed in this window were three or four signings in the right price bracket to meet Brendan Rodgers’ needs.

It’s now apparent how absolutely crazy it was to persist with the deals we had already agreed under Ange; that didn’t serve the needs of our club or our manager one iota, this is somebody playing Football Manager for real with our money … and in the process much of the incoming boss’s transfer budget was squandered.

So many elements of this have come into clear focus since Brendan Rodgers spoke last Friday and it must be clear to even those who defend this board that their transfer policy is nonsensical in the cold light of day.

Are we a club that seeks to win things or one that seeks to develop players for a profit and sell them on? The board’s defenders will tell you we’ve been doing both, but actually we’ve ridden our luck to a certain extent and got away with it here in Scotland because the opposition is piss poor and our biggest rivals are a shambles.

What awaits us in the Champions League is going to be seared into our memories. Rodgers must know this; he is not an idiot. He talks about “competing” at that level; the only thing this current squad will be competing for is the Ibrox’s clubs record as the worst side ever to play in the competition. That’s the level we’re at right now.

That is the level this nonsense keeps us at.

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  • Anthony says:

    Keep the faith, knee jerk reactions are your speciality….

  • Henry says:

    Probably the best article you have written

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    It looks bloated and these are very good points James – but they’re probably shit scared of Lennon blowing the best part of £20 million on utter junk in the Covid season on Barkas, Ajeti, Duffy (Loan) et all…

    Lawwell sanctioned plenty for Lennon that season but he blew it and the ten (which I’m still bloody well distraught about and probably always will be) –

    But it was Lawwell that appointed him – and doesn’t mean Brendan (and ultimately the Celtic supporters) that have to suffer due to the current model…

    A model which is not a model ‘model’ !

  • Scott Campbell says:

    You’ve nailed it here James. Signing young players, developing them and selling them on a few year down the line for big profit is great, but it can’t be the be all and end all. There has to be balance. Starfelt, Mooy and Jota, 3 experienced, trophy winning players out the door and replaced with young boys. Iwata is a frustrating one for me, he was the current J-League player of the year when we signed him so i’m inclined to think he must have something about him. But whenever we do see him, he’s played out of position or reduced to a cameo role. Still, he can’t exactly be lighting up in training or i guess we’d be seeing a lot more of him.

  • king murdy says:

    watched the hibs game last night….fear they won’t be the last scottish side to be horsed at home in europe this season…
    it is an absolute scandal that we have regressed in such a short space of time…
    your article is bang on james….most who have posted a reply to it agree – i just don’t understand the handful who accuse you of jumping the gun…it’s simple arithmetic..
    2 words explain the regression…lawwell and..lawwell….
    why is there no-one at these press conferences who will ask rodgers why he came back to this shit show…ask hard hitting, obvious questions…
    the huns competed well against psv the other night…i can’t see them winning the tie – please jesus ! – but they will beat us at their midden….
    ffs !!!! scandalous !!
    fuck the celtic fc board to hell….

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