Celtic Has Always Signed The Best Scottish Talent. Graeme McGarry Is Talking Guff.

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I was astonished just then to read the following headline in The Herald; “Snobbery over Scottish talent has cost Celtic and Rangers a fortune.” I knew I had to read it to find out what his argument was, and I wasn’t surprised to find that there wasn’t one.

I have written about this subject many times, and so I know I am on absolutely solid ground. McGarry’s article barely mentions us except at the start. It is, in fact, a piece about how the Ibrox club would have been better off had they signed Scottish based players rather than spending millions on foreign dreck. Nobody can accuse us of doing the same.

I have lamented the absence of good Scottish talent in our team, but not our failure to go out and sign players. I have lamented the poverty of players available for us to sign. McGarry mentions some players in his piece who were not, and are not, remotely good enough to play for Celtic and that is not snobbery, it is a statement of fact.

Lawrence Shankland, Ryan Porteous, Lewis Ferguson and others were nowhere near the standard we required and no number of good games from Scotland will change that. One of the heroes of this campaign has been Jack Hendry; he was at Celtic, and it was not snobbery which saw him leave our club but the fact that he simply was not up to snuff.

Did we lose out on these guys? In my view, no. There were two we made bids for but didn’t get – John McGinn, a cataclysmic mistake on our part, but not one that had anything to do with intent, because the intent was there, and Aaron Hickey who chose Italy instead – and the rest, we measured up and decided not to bother with.

Who did we get wrong? Can the hacks even point to players we should have went for, didn’t get and then regretted not signing? Where are we significantly short where a Scottish player would change that? Would Josh Doig have been a better signing than Bolingoli, who the article mentions? Yes he would, but then so was Greg Taylor … who we did sign.

No forward in years – Leigh Griffiths was the last, and we bought him – would have gotten in a Celtic team in front of the players who were already there.

I would have taken Ryan Fraser during the last window, but he was years out of Scottish football and playing in the EPL. He grew as a player; when he left Scotland in the first place he was not remotely ready for Celtic … and some people in our support remain convinced that he wasn’t ready even this summer.

I defy him to name one footballer missed out on who would have made our squad better, short of the two we tried and failed to get. None of the others, including the likes of Scott McKenna, would have made Celtic better.

I’ve heard Ryan Porteous name thrown into conversations before, but not by anyone who has watched him and how reckless he can be. It’s hard enough being a Celtic player who doesn’t fly into tackles. He would spend plenty of time out with bans.

I honestly don’t know how McGarry thought this piece was going to go over.

The idea that a failure to sign Scottish players has cost Celtic a fortune is preposterous.

Ibrox is another matter entirely; Shankland would have been an excellent signing for them and almost certainly better than the current crop of strikers, and so would Lewis Ferguson who I have long argued is the one who got away for them because he would have marshalled their midfield for years.

Neither player would have gotten a game for us.

This is just a ridiculous idea, and I wonder if McGarry himself didn’t realise it whilst writing the piece, which is why he cannot name – other than John McGinn – a single name who would have improved our team. The headline reeks on a whole other level, and I suspect it’s one that even he wouldn’t have put on it.

I lamented how few of our players were in the Scotland squad.

But Armstrong, Tierney and Hendry were Celtic players. So was Ryan Christie. Greg Taylor has two world class footballers in front of him and the second of them is Andy Robertson, who was a youth player at Parkhead. Links to Celtic are visible in every part of the team … which makes McGarry’s piece even dafter.

I honestly don’t know what it is with some of these guys.

It is Ibrox’s signing policy which should be under the microscope, and if McGarry had chosen to focus on them that would have been a very worthwhile piece. But to drag Celtic into it … embarrassing.

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  • John Copeland says:

    I wouldn’t know who this McGarry scoop is , even if I tripped over him on my living room floor ….

  • Fun time frankie says:

    The Scottish totties we’ve signed in the last few years are all down to liewell Hendre,Morgan,turnbull and Taylor not one of them celtic class ,but hey poker Pedro knows best after all it ain’t his cash he’s flushing down the lavvy. GET THIS 5 WAY WANKER OUT OF PARADISE BEFORE HE DESTROYS THE CLUB.

  • Jimmy R says:

    Spot on James. Porteous is a decent player and as I went to school in Dalkeith, I have great empathy with him. He is a great CB in a team who spend a lot of time out of possession, ie not us. Playing for us, he would be like Ismael Soro, getting there just as soon as he could, just not quick enough to prevent the inevitable yellow and red cards. Sorro in a team deploying two sitting mid fielders was a decent performer. When asked to fill the role by himself, he was found lacking. Either he didn’t read the game correctly or he was too slow. Either way, he didn’t fit into our team. Ryan Porteous would be exactly the same. His enthusiasm / determination to get back into position and make the tackle would lead to numerous free kicks and pens as well as the accompanying cards which would inevitably occur as he was exposed trying to defend the high line Celtic adopt. Playing CB for Celtic is a much harder gig than many people think,

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    I still think Shankland would do a job for them and for us…

    Boyd wasn’t a great player (especially v Celtic) but my goodness he won Sevco ample points v other teams –

    I’d sign Shankland in January, if even as a stop gap while half our team are at The Asian Cup And goodness who’s gonna come back from that injured…

    Piss The Sevco Huns off – And get ourselves a proven goal scorer into the bargain… It’s a position that we may come to need a player like Shankland at the vital business end of the season !

  • Patrick Cannon says:

    James your last comment hit the nail on the head, the media can’t make sevco relevant unless they’re hitched to us, any decent jurno could look into many worthwhile stories but don’t want to upset the gullybears so we get roped in


    We all know that the SMSM is an embarrassment to journalism and a National disgrace.

    Their problem is that the more literate and discerning readers and viewers have made their feelings known by boycotting the dross that they print and broadcast. That’s the reason for the downwards spiral of the Print media circulation and viewing figures for the BEEB. Add in the continual growth of people refusing to pay the Tv Tax.( currently 2.5 million by the BBC’s own figures which you can confidently bet as being grossly understated).

    As a result the Print and State Broadcasting media are now forced to concentrate on their remaining core customers. Even then they have been forced to double down on their appeal to the lowest strata in our society. Consequently whenever possible, no matter what topic they must shoehorn in a ‘ Celtic BAAAD’ narrative’ or ‘SNP BAAAD’ story.

    They ignore the real stories out there and force feed the herd biased bullshit.

  • John says:

    James, think we missed out on Fletcher at the . He would have won us the league that year.

    Also think Shankland was worth a punt.

    Not sure why Taylor still gets bad press. He has been a good servant. As has Turnbull.

    With them, its about perception. Foreign players are easier to sell to their fans. Plus its easier to hide the fee if its from abroad.

  • Jim says:

    Trying to gee up the Bears to sign Shankland, that’s all.

  • Devine says:

    I was never a huge fan of Scott Brown at Hibs, I thought he kind of ran around a lot snarling at people- yeah there was potential there in terms of energy and running, but I didn’t see anything else- and look how that turned out. I think the same would have applied to Ferguson if we had signed him. I think we could have made him into a fine defensive midfielder. He’s got bottle, grit, determination, is a good tackler and scores goals. Allowing Hickey to slip through our net was definitely a big mistake, as was Doig, who of course is doing very well in Serie A, alongside Ferguson. Nevertheless I agree with you James that in the majority of cases we’ve went out and signed the best Scottish players. McGarry is just plain wrong, and is lumping us in with the mob at Ibrox.
    Ange tried to sign Barron from Aberdeen last season and apparently we were also interested in Calvin Ramsay, but the transfers they demand are extortion. It was the same with Nesbit and Doig at Hibs- they were quoting Celtic 4 million and both went for significantly less than that elsewhere, with Nesbit going for half that amount. When we are interested in Scottish players other clubs try and extort as much as they can from us. Most of the time Scottish players are just not value for money. We would have wasted money on the likes of McKenna or Porteous or even Nesbit- none would have been an improvement on the players we already have- and those we have brought in such as Johnston, Maeda, Juranovic, Yang, Thiago-Holm, Hatate, O’Reiily, Lagerbielke cost us little over 10 million. There are more bargains to be had outside Scotland. I can’t see that changing soon.
    Personally I don’t think Hendry really got a fair crack of the whip- maybe it was just too early for him at that particular stage of his career/ I do think Shankland would score a LOT of goals for us in the SPL, he is also more than just a goalscorer and it would really piss off the huns. I think another player we should have signed was Ryan Gauld when he was available for free from Farense. His spell at Farense showed how much he’d improved and matured. Instead he went to Vancouver Whitecaps and has scored 25 goals for them/ten this season in 24 alone- with twice that in assists probably.
    Lastly, I think this daft story about signing Scottish talent emerged froim the wonky logic of Hun fan forums about how they need more good true blue Scottish Protestants in their ranks to beat us/ this is one of the recurring myths that erupts whenever we beat them…but if you look at the Scotland squad: Hickey, Hendry, Tierney, Robertson, all played for us at some time, even McKenna is apparently a tim. McGregor played. McTominey and McGinn are both tims. Christie and Armstrong also came on in the Cyprus came the other night. They are rapidly running out of players of that ilk & profile. They had Jack and Souttar on the bench. After Souttars stunt with Kyogo when he assualted him when he played for Hearts I never wanted him at Parkhead…he is suited to that mob!

  • Wee Gerry says:

    Those are incredible stats, that around three quarters of the Scotland squad has had some connection to Celtic.

    It really is all in an effort to get them to sign Shankland and even though he’s a weird looking fella whose face wouldn’t suit a Celtic shirt I’d still be tempted to buy him in January as his goal scoring record speaks for itself and the Huns would be having absolute niptions that they couldn’t afford him.

    Also be a great replacement for the players away at the Asian Cup and would obviously improve under BR so I agree with everyone who says we should buy him right from under their soggy blue noses.

  • Peter Kelly says:

    Mostly agree. I think Shankland, while he wouldn’t displace Kyogo, would make a decent contribution to Celtic, not just in terms of goals. Some others might improve with a good coach like Rodgers.

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