Ewan Murray Is Talking His Usual Anti-Celtic Nonsense In The Guardian Today.

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Ewan Murray likes nothing better than having digs at Celtic.

I have read dozens of his columns over the years and even when he’s praising us – because he has no other choice – there’s an undercurrent of spite in there. Today he’s writing about the Scotland team, and is at great pains to point out that of our club only Callum McGregor was there representing our side. And I have lamented that, but not much.

Once again, Murray wants to push the nonsensical line that our buying of foreigners leaves young Scottish players – and in particular our own youth footballers – behind.

And it’s nonsense as this site has pointed out over and over and over again.

If there was a core of players in the youth academy who were good enough to step up and into the first team, we wouldn’t be spending so much money on players from abroad.

Which club would? Are we insane? Do we just spend money for the sake of it?

On top of that, most people at Celtic Park can count and do basic math. They know what the European registration issues are as well as I do, and I’ve written about them a dozen times. It is imperative that we either produce talent good enough to fill out those numbers or buy the best available talent in the league. But who is that right now?

Where are the players who would substantially make our team better, or even rise to its standard? I don’t see them, and he doesn’t see them either. In the same article, he admits that there are teams in this league which you would almost expect to be filled with Scottish talent and they aren’t … so the blame certainly does not lie with Celtic not signing the best. It’s because the term “the best” is a loose one when you look around at the talent produced here.

Today we published our Champions League squad, and no fewer than three of our summer signings have to sit it out because of the 25 man registration rule; is Murray honestly telling us that our club would rather do that than have a higher quota of Scottish born players?

We’d have had to leave people out either way, but this places an additional burden on us and one that we would happily do without if we could … still the question stands; who is out there who would enhance the squad?

We, at least, were able to name a 25 man squad because we do have eight players at the moment who meet the requirements. The Ibrox club could only name a 22 man team, but they weren’t the focus of the piece although a recent piece which I discussed – by Graeme McGarry – pointed out that they would have benefited from signing a slew of Scottish players over the last two or three years, including Lewis Ferguson, Lawrence Shankland and others.

I think their inability to even name eight Scottish born players in their squad is a damning indictment of that club. Murray as usual would rather write about us. “Celtic have a tried and tested transfer strategy that has made them the finest team in the country, without either the desire or the ability to coax a stable of Scots.”

I agree with him on the ability bit. In part, and I find it disheartening that we’ve not got more top youth talent coming through.

What neither he nor anyone can do is point to a recent, high-profile mistake we’ve made, a young player we allowed to leave thinking he didn’t have it, only for that to be utterly disproved. Ben Doak is the only youth player we tried to hang onto, and failed to, who looks anything like good enough to have been a first team player here.

Quite how anyone can question our desire, on the other hand, is ridiculous and the reason I find it incredibly hard to take anything in his article seriously. And if he wants to complain about contributions to the national team, he names several members of the squad which played the other night who do all have recent history playing at Celtic Park; Tierney, Armstrong, Hendry, Christie. We went for John McGinn. We also tried for Aaron Hickey.

What’s more – and this is the critical bit which casts doubt on the whole piece – almost every player he names in the article, including those above, Scott McKenna, Kevin Nisbet, Kenny McLean, Ryan Porteous, Lyndon Dykes and Nathan Patterson, have all played in the SPFL and had offers to stay there but didn’t because English clubs could offer more money.

And this isn’t a new phenomenon. English clubs with their ability to pay more than our clubs have been taking players from Scotland, Celtic’s best academy graduates included, for longer than I’ve been alive. In my lifetime some of the most sublime of all Celtic’s talents have been snapped up by English clubs. So his piece comes off as a bit cringey, a bit “Scotsman ashamed of his nation”.

But as usual the main theme is that Celtic could be doing more.

If he wants to name a team in Scotland which has given more players, throughout the game in this country, professional careers he can go right ahead and give me his pick.

He won’t because he can’t. Our academy might not graduate first team players for Celtic with the regularity we’d like – although Welsh, McGregor, Forrest, Ralston and Johnstone is a decent return as all are active in the squad right now.

But there is no question that we give a dozen or so new recruits a career every single season … and that’s more than any other club in this land can claim for itself.

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  • Tony B says:

    The Scotland squad is well represented with ex Celtic players and currently with Callum and Greg Taylor, so the club has more than done its bit for the country.

    Hearts? Not so much.

    But then Murray has selective memory and a huge chip on his wee diddy team supporting shoulders about the injustice of it all; a rancid sore that will never heal and just keeps eating away at him for the rest of his days.

    Add to that the knowledge that he only got where he is because of daddy and you can see the source of his unhappiness.

    A wee shame so it is.

    BTW. You can cheer him up by wearing the Hoops at the next golf event he is covering.

    I believe that starts his motor. ; )

  • Magua says:

    Albert Kidd really left his mark on eejits like Murray. To this day, they have never forgiven us.

    Hail Hail.

    • Stesano says:

      ‘ forgiven” mhate we never need anything from these clowns it’s not even about the diet huns! It’s just anti Celtic but I like it! As they can’t handle out great club or hide their bitter twisted poisonous perma rage ! Bhoy need a hug ! He jelous of our great club and fanbase like they all are but they never understand the love we have for this great club of ours! And I like that , we will just keep on winning!!

  • brian cavanagh says:

    Oh the usual stick from Ewan Murray. I am old enough to remember when Celtic players were booed when playing for Scotland -went once with my Dad -we never went back. Oh and despite winning everything in sight from 66 -75 notice how few Celtic players were picked for Scotland?

    Give me a break Murray, your country is doing well in the Euros why not just enjoy it whilst you find another cliched story to write

    • Stesano says:

      Spot on Brian, I stop caring about any national team long ago like primary 5! Its all about Celtic!! We are the club and they are us as the man said! All encompassing!! Other clubs fans won’t understand and that’s ok as there is no fanbase or club like our Great one!! Fact tho you won’t hear that said in Brigadoon Scotland as can’t be annoying the poison tho it matters not we are a special club of community solidarity charity and love and the World loves our great club and no wonder! Club like no other! Nothing else comes even close to how we feel about this great club seen it all over the this planet! Unique special Club and support

    • Stesano says:

      On this Murray character I seem to recall he was perma raging seeing our beautiful hoops at many an 18th hole at big tournaments few years ago. pathetic creature can’t help himself with his anti Celtic Perna rage any other club colours in Brigadoon Scotland he be no doubt all patriotic not ours tho eh but again this is because we are everywhere!! Love hearing Alan Davies say this in his radio show few years back when one of his contributions spoke of Celtic fans half filling Highbury in 1979 for Sammy Nelson’s testimonial and travelling down he said and I quote” yeah amazing support tho they don’t need to travel down there are thousands of them here in London”! And that’s a fact all through cities in England way way more than the sychopant dead clubs fans to try court the English fans of clubs we don’t need to we are down there real Tims! In Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Notingham, Northampton, Luton,sherperds bush all over London and further down Seen it over the years amazing really but like I said earlier Club like no other!!

  • John Copeland says:

    Don’t stimulate Murray with your disdain … it will only encourage him ! How many readers has the Scottish Guardian newspaper got? 68 , 96 . 104 …. whatever , that’s his standard ! Don’t forget that most of those readers shall turn the page after about 4 of his print paragraphs as the yarn is so damned boring and tedious…. as Mick Beale would say …fink abat it Guv’nor !

  • S Thomas says:

    Go on the Bruce’s 11 tonight.. big game for the boys tonight against a terrific side with outstanding footballers. We on some run just now.. Steve Clarke doing a great job hope we do ourselves justice. Cal Mac go on son ????????????????????????????

    • Stesano says:

      Who cares or even did care all about The Celtic!! For us real Celts anyway all encompassing no room for no other team or club nothing but Celtic! Eat it, breathe it , sleep it I live in a country called Celtic! As Tony Roper Aptly put it! Spot on!

  • Johnno says:

    The main issue I believe James, is the only development path available for promising youngsters is through lowland league?
    How ridiculous and just how long are diddy clubs, who provide nothing to Scottish football, going to be allowed to strangle the life out of a development process that Scottish football remains desperate for?
    Currently get to 20 and a young player has to hope for the best, and before that if other European club come knocking, then a far better career development process is in place for them with better money also available.
    Because the national team only potentially benifit from such a process in play, all SPFL clubs are left to struggle with getting a quota of 8 required for European competition.
    The whole process is set up for the SPFL team to fail in European competition, while rejoicing a national team at the same time?
    We have failed miserably because of the obstacles that have been placed in front of ourselves.
    Young players need to be trained and playing within a system of play that suits how the 1st team is set up, to really gain there value to ourselves in the longer run.
    We are currently having to use a loan system just to get game time into them as such, yet there loan club could have a totally different ideas to how a youngster will be used, to how his 1st team manager wants him to develop.
    Enough players with plenty of experience within them have failed to make such adjustments, so little chance of the youngsters only trying to gain the experience and still making the adjustments to there game that’s required.
    You see, the top teams within European football having a development program that follows that of what a 1st team are doing.
    Doesn’t exist within Scotland and very little chance of ever being put in place either.
    Think we are potentially going to have to be looking for players at the back end of there careers to start filling our 8 Scottish players required quota, which is a sad and quite depressing prospect to be looking at.
    Just as a potential example, believe turnbull and Stuart Armstrong are both out of contract come the end of the season?
    Yet who would be a better option to offering a potential contact to, with CL in mind?
    Yet where is a better younger option available?
    This is already in play this season, yet a solution has to be sought for next season, and many more after by the looks of things.
    Huge problems remains, yet to hear of any satisfactory solutions to the problems that exist, which actually effects other Scottish club’s to a far higher degree than ourselves currently.

  • Henry says:

    The problem is the SFA. They are the custodians of the game and boy have they let standards slip. Failure to qualify after 1998 for a major tournament should have seen a lot of soul searching, a complete overhaul and a blueprint for improvement. Japan has a blueprint to be world champions by 2032 and are well on the way.

    What have we got? One footed players, long hopeful punts up the park, hammer throwers, bus parkers. Its a miracle we have any young players. I guess people like our captain Callum come through not because of the system but in spite of it.

    Still, I guess the SFA chiefs are on good salaries with warm handshakes down the Lodge. Time to take an axe to that organistion.

  • Paul Mac says:

    Would Lyndon Dykes actually be included in this argument ? Was he brought up through the Scottish system being Australian? Think if this is to be believed (and I have counted correctly) he joined QOTS when he was 20?
    Guys a windup merchant and not a great one at that to be honest!

  • John L says:

    As usual James, you do not and never will let utter tosser,s like him take a pot shot at our club, I love it.


    Murray only gets a gig on the Guardian so they can ‘larff at the Jock’. They hate Scotland, The Scots and the The SNP because, by and large we’re not ar@e licking Unionists or Monarchists.
    It’s a pity because most of their REAL Journalists ( not the Churnalistic copy n’ paste bigots we have up here ) are pretty good at what they do.

    • Damian says:

      I’m not sure it’s credible to argue that the Guardian specifically is motivated by its overwhelming unionism or monarchism.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    A Hearts fan then is this guy…

    And he hates Celtic surprise, surprise Not –

    Some of The Hearts mob hate The Hoops more than some bloody Sevco fans do !

  • Damian says:

    Agreed. Nonsense as usual from Murray. I seem to remember him criticising the over-use of Celtic players (Gordon, Tierney, Brown, Armstrong, Forest, Griffiths…) at the tail end of the Strachan era as Scotland manager.

    It’s also not even a particularly bad thing from the national team’s point of view. How many of the relatively more successful Croatian and Belgian national teams play in their home leagues?

    Nonsense argument. And to suggest that Celtic are deliberately engineering this is bizarre, for the reason laid out here.

    Indeed, we very arguably have a handful of Scottish players on the books (including one who declared for Ireland after being unable to get a Scotland cap for four years) for the UEFA coefficient alone, and no other reason. They are blatantly not good enough (if they were, they’d have more Scotland caps).

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