Someone messaged me this morning with a simple question; although I’m not in favour of the club spending money on a centre back just because we have injuries, would I welcome the signing of some veteran player who is out of contract, has kept himself fit and could come in until January and do a job for us in the short term?
I said it would be a sticking plaster solution.
And he said something to me. “So, if you cut yourself, you’re against sticking plasters?”
I laughed, but then I thought about it, and I’m damned if he isn’t right. The thing is, is there such a player out there? Because that criterion is actually narrower than it sounds. Experienced, match fit and available for free?
And even if that guy is out there, we’re not asking him to sign a deal which gives him a final bit of stability. We’re asking him to come in and do a fourth month cameo. I have to be honest, I have my doubts here still, but there is an undeniable logic to this which makes me wonder if it’s not something we’ll pursue as a club.
Ibrox fans will snigger at the prospect, ignoring that their own defence has been “shored up” by the signing of the 35 year old Balogun.
It’s just the sort of thing they’ve done over the years, and as loathe as I am to see us go down that road, even as a short-term option, if we lost another central defender and were facing all those tough away games, we might have no choice but to consider drastic measures … although I still think that would be inexcusable with Iwata and Johnston at the club, a B team to possibly dip into and no fewer than six centre backs on the books.
I didn’t want to ask the guy if he had anyone specific in mind – just in case he said someone like Charlie Mulgrew, shattering the glimmer of merit entirely (I have nothing against him, and think he turns it on every time he plays against Ibrox … but, yeah, obviously not).
Still, I am nagged by the idea that maybe we should be looking for one, a stopgap, a guy we don’t need to spend any money on, a guy who ticks those boxes Brendan Rodgers talked about at the pre-match press conference about how this young side needs a few experienced boys around.
The last time he was here, he signed Kolo Toure.
We hardly saw him play, and so a lot of people thought that was a waste of a wage.
But was it really? There’s no doubt that if there was a Kolo Toure out there right now that he would get into our starting eleven with all this going on … and maybe that’s the only thing that matters at the moment.
Because no, I’m not against sticking a plaster on this if that’s what we end up doing.
But when there are already signs that the manager isn’t going to get nearly all the players he wants and needs – if I had to guess I’d say we’ll be lucky to get two, and we need left sided players, a keeper, a ball winning midfielder and a striker just to be getting started – I just don’t want to see us spend money on an area where we’re well stocked, injuries aside.
I said this morning that this season is shaping up to be a war.
So we maybe we do need some scarred old warrior to come in and give everyone some confidence and give the whole place a shake. I cannot for the life of me imagine who that might be … but then I’m not the one paid handsomely to make these decisions at Celtic, or to have lists of those sorts of targets.