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For God Sake, Celtic, Ignore Cheap Headlines And Just Bring In Quality Players.

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I never cease to be amazed by how many of our fans get overly concerned over “headline signings” at Ibrox.

I remember sitting, incredulously, with two media guys from London two years ago when they had their big January when they brought in Aaron Ramsey and Amado Diallo listening to them talk about what an exciting window it was for them.

Ramsey had barely kicked a ball for years. Diallo had signed for Manchester Utd for an almost obscene sum as a “coming player” and had flopped spectacularly.

But they were signings that generated a lot of headlines, and that seemed to be the important thing.

In contrast, we had gone out and signed three players most people in Scotland had never heard of; Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Matt O’Riley. None of them was a “name”, none had the reputation Diallo had arrived in England with or the rep Ramsey had carried throughout his career.

The media was jubilant. We had been upstaged in a big way.

Hatate, who was to prove himself the most exciting midfield player in the country, was the object of scorn on Radio Clyde when an ex-Ibrox player openly mocked him as a “utility player”, and as everyone knows they are useless. (In the same program he lavished praise on James Sands, who he said was quality in several different positions, which is what every club is looking for.) O’Riley was a second choice after our first option went elsewhere. Maeda was coming on a six-month loan with an option to buy. We certainly didn’t get major headlines.

Yet these were the three players who were to win us the title. All of them hit the ground running. They were magnificent against the Ibrox club, with Hatate and O’Riley running their midfield ragged at Celtic Park on that magical night we went top of the league.

Ibrox does like its bling. It does like to make a splash. But if we go about our business right, bring in what we need and support the manager’s vision rather than the pitiful needs of the bean-counters and the salving of Mark Lawwell’s ego, we will win this title.

They have their headlines. That’s all they got last time. Diallo was a massive waste of time and money and Ramsey … haha we all know what he’s famous for.

Not since Joey Barton arrived to great fanfare and talk that he would be player of the year was there such a sterling example of the media not knowing what the Hell it is talking about when it slurps over Ibrox business.

Don’t let any of it bother you. I am not in the least bit concerned that the media is reporting that their new boy turned us down.

I would be more concerned if I actually believed them – which I don’t – as I wrote last week when I looked at his dire scoring record, or lack thereof.

If we were interested, consider this a lucky escape and a blessing in disguise and hope that we make better decisions going forward. But don’t worry about it. Just think about the game at the weekend and then trust that Brendan Rodgers will get his men.

They might not make immediate headlines or earn us worthless “bragging rights” but if Rodgers is backed their impact over the second half of the season will be what matters.

Then we’ll get the headlines and a lot more besides.

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  • Michael M says:

    Don’t be surprised, James, we all know what Ibrox will do for a piece of Silva.

  • Michael M says:

    And lest not forget the horrified look on Ramsey’s face as he sat stunned in the Celtic stand that great night as wee Reo Hatate tore them apart within the first 45 minutes.

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    All I want to see is bring in good players and one that is a proven goal scorer. The lad Silva from wolves who is signing for them might hit it off for them but costing quite a few pounds for his services scored I think 5 goals in a couple of years not played much this season to date a bit of a risk

  • Matt says:

    Not confident Brendan’s men will help. So far he has neutralised Kyogo, Taylor not functioning after a great season, Alastair Johnston looks mediocre if I was being kind after looking decent last year. I keep hearing about players not suiting Brendans style. Well his style seems to be to play very slow, side to side and backwards, just like his previous last year in the job. He seems to be taking a stand against the board with Lagerbielke and Nawrocki, while we shake every time a ball goes into our box with his picks and setup.
    Cannot see a good immediate future until Rodgers is found out and is gone. I don’t think he has the answers to our problems. He has been unlucky with injuries but he has taken the rest backwards. Only positive for me is O’Riley who has improved, however, O’Riley is not blessed with pace, is he flourishing because we are playing much slower

  • Johnno says:

    Difference that time James was Ange knew the type of players he was looking for, to fit nicely into the team.
    The January window could well come down to the decision making and judgement calls from Rodgers?
    The signing of Philips has Rodgers fingerprints all over it imo?
    So personally I wouldn’t currently have as much confidence within Rodgers as yourself James, upon the decision making process regarding new players during January, at the moment anyway?

    • Iljas Baker says:

      I think it was unfortunate that Phillips got injured and hadn’t much game time. He is probably a decent player but we needed someone to perform immediately and fortune doesn’t always allow this.

    • Damian says:

      The real difference is that Ange not only knew what kinds of players he wanted, he had specific first hand knowledge of markets where Celtic could shop freely. Rodgers will obviously have no such knowledge at all – with only first hand knowledge of markets there is virtually no point in Celtic shopping in. There were managerial targets we could have gone for which would have been more likely to deliver continuity, but we went for the ‘best’ manager the largest shareholder had the phone number for. Such a move meant that a sophisticated football and recruitment operation was vital. The manager wouldn’t know the best targets in our price range, so someone else would have to. Clearly, we don’t have a mature football operation, and so here we are.

      On top of this, I get the impression that the clubs made moves for higher price bracket players in the summer and the targets weren’t interested (presumably the Saudi effect created new opportunities for £7-9m type players). This seems MUCH more likely than the speculated scenario of Celtic recruiting their top priority manager, paying him more than they’d ever paid any predecessor, and then REFUSING to spend in that same price range where they have spent multiple times in recent seasons.

      But, for all that, Rodgers is an excellent manager and I give him, personally, the main credit for a lot of the points we built up in the first ten games or so of the campaign (where we were outperforming XG and XPts). I also think his approach in European games is a promising one with lots of potential.

      It’s always been clear though that this is probably the most important league campaign we’ve had for many years, and tomorrow is an essential game in that context. An excellent manager is exactly what we need.

  • Tony B says:

    What “new boy”?

  • Bob (original) says:

    Unsurprisingly, sevco gets it positive headline 2 days before the derby game.

    £30M EPL player on laon to sevco…

    except Fabio is non-firing striker, and EXACTLY the sort of player Beale signed!

    So, tomorrow we can expect the negative CFC headlines?

    Something dreamed up about BR, about the dressing room – or about the Board?

    However, what should also happen tomorrow/Friday is the unveiling of our

    first new signing of the window.

    Ineligible to play Saturday, but a PR coup to upstage sevco,

    – and to cancel the negative SMSM nonsense they churn out before the game.

    We’ve all known since the last window shut on September 1st that the

    transfer business had been inadequate.

    The Board has had ample time to prepare a new signing to be

    presented to the support – and the SMSM – the day before the derby game.

    I’ll be extremely disappointed if we don’t see a new player on Friday.

    Unveiling 2 new players would be even better… 🙂

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      If we signed Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappe, Halland And Salah in this window Bob (original) I’m sure that I’d find myself reading on The Celtic Blog about how The SMSM found negatives to write about even these transfers…

      They hate Celtic and I hate them even more –

      I’m salavating at the thought of their death and demise…

      And it’s a thought that I’m gonna be the winner in and not them (The Scottish Football Media) !

  • Mick says:

    Silva has signed for that lot and we can be glad it wasn’t for Celtic, his stats are terrible and we definitely should All be sighing in relief.

    Bullet dodged.

    • Biffo67 says:

      We said the same about their goalie!

      • woodyiom says:

        I didn’t. Butland was always a good piece of business. An Ex England No. 1 on a freebie. Even if he didn’t turn out to be as good as he has it was a risk free gamble worth taking.

  • Pat says:

    Totally agree, however, they are not afraid to invest in players and at least look to bring in players that should hit the ground. Silva isn’t top level but had enough pedigree to be an improvement on what they already have.

    Our board needs to sanction 3 quality players that have been scouted and have the right experience. A proven goalscorer, a creative or defensive midfielder, with experience and a left back as cover for Taylor.

  • Eamonn Little says:

    I don’t believe it for one minute anyway.Portuguese guy turns down the champions for a bunch of supremacist bigots.Where would you feel most comfortable if you were Portuguese ?.Paradise or the bigot drome.We were never in for him or he would have chosen us,end of.

  • Dando says:

    Celtic refused to pay his £60k a week wages…

    Amoura (USG) & Garcia (YB) to start the window off please Brendan….

    HH

  • Michel McCartney says:

    The Scottish media never learn, it’s the same every year, talk up every Ibrox signing as a superstar and of course it sells papers and by God they need every help they can get to keep themselves in a job.
    Surely the Celtic fans should have learned by now, but no, a minority of our fans are panic merchants and kak their pants when “The Rangers” roll out their latest bit of bling.
    I’m not worried about signings, what worries me was the displays against Motherwell, Kilmarnock and Hearts, 3 teams that we should be able to take care of any day of the week.
    The Past 2 games have seen an improvement tomorrow is the big one, Celtic have got to be up for it big time, it will take guts and determination, the weather forecast for tomorrow means that the game is going to be played in terrible conditions. The players, coaching staff and support have got to be on their top game, and if they are we can go into the New Year with our confidence restored.

  • Fun time frankie says:

    Why are there always comments about cover for Taylor it’s a good LB we need with some height,strength and speed Taylor has none of these qualities.

  • Poor Old Davie says:

    So what are you doing today James?

    • James Forrest says:

      Me? I’m off for lunch and a beer in a nice restaurant and I’m gonna relax before tomorrow 🙂

  • Frank Connelly says:

    and who is getting shown the door over there to accommodate this guys wages. january sale anyone

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