Celtic’s January Window Was Awful, But The Ibrox One Was Most Definitely Worse.

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Looking back at January, the picture seems clearer than it ever has been. I remember saying after that window closed that our board had jeopardised our title hopes, but I also thought that Ibrox’s strategic failure was of a much larger order of magnitude.

Let’s do ours first. The failure to strengthen the left side of the pitch has been damaging, and I would say it’s even been costly. But it has not been catastrophic. I thought we had also erred, majorly, in not bringing in a quality central midfielder.

We strengthened in one area where we had to and one where I thought we needed somebody but where a lot of others thought we didn’t. In the end, I was more right than I knew; we lost Liel Abada to a situation not of our making, and so the signing of Kuhn was a really good move. He’s nowhere near as good a player … yet. It remains to be seen if he will do in the long term.

There are good signs, but he’s not quite there yet.

The signing of Adam Idah is obviously a real positive. I am heartened to have been right that he ticked the Rodgers boxes of pace and power and that those were the things that were going to matter most. I am still aggrieved that we didn’t get an option to buy, something we might regret if there are other interested clubs and a big fee involved.

But in signing Kuhn we made sure that the loss of Abada was not as keenly felt as it might have been. Idah is a better player than Oh. He has been more than an able deputy for Kyogo.

He did the most important thing; he allowed us to bench our talisman for a while as we reorganised the tactics and got back into the race. He isn’t just a good backup. You would feel confident putting him in as a starter most weeks. That signing has been very, very good.

I do not believe that our board should get one iota of credit for the title win if it is secured. Not one. Not one shred. They massively under-delivered and that should be to their eternal shame. I cannot believe they have gotten away with it, and I don’t regard Lawwell Jnr’s departure to have made the least difference to how I feel about the rest of them.

The chairman himself should go, and go before there is a single season ticket renewal form sent out. He sows doubt. He engenders mistrust. He has failed. No matter what this team achieves in the weeks to come, his tenure has been shambolic.

And yet … at the end of this season, if Celtic are champions, there will be a strong argument that the greater mistakes have been made across the city. In fact, there will be no argument about it. Their January window will come into focus and look like a disaster.

This is the thing with Lawwell; he is living proof that sometimes it is better to be lucky than good, and nobody in football is as lucky as this guy in that he has never been judged against people of competence and ability.

At Ibrox, they needed to do two things to give themselves the best possible chance; to sign a proven goal-scorer and to bring in someone who could actually defend. Those things might have cost them money, and it might not have been money they could afford.

They spent virtually nothing. They brought in Silva, a bling signing if ever there was one, and a guy who has not contributed anything of note whatsoever. They signed Mohamed Diomandé on a deal where they won’t need to pay for him until the summer. They brought in Cortes, the winger, on a loan deal with an option to buy.

Silva is, arguably, also a wide player. Why in God’s name did they go and bring those two in when they didn’t need a player in that role? Why did they bring in a central midfielder when it wasn’t clear they required one of those either? A centre back and a proven striker, those were the two things they had to go out and get. And they absolutely failed to.

Their defensive performance yesterday was an absolute mess. A good centre back and they maybe don’t lose those goals. They created chances in the first half. Thankfully all of them fell to Cyriel Dessers. A number 9 – and we all know Shankland is the guy they should have gone for – might have buried those. We’ll never know for sure, of course, but they could certainly have flipped yesterday on its head had they possessed one or the other.

A lot had to happen to get us here.

But it’s looking likely that the January window disaster is going to be at their club and not at Celtic, which is remarkable considering the mess we made of ours.

It’s also remarkable because it was blindingly obvious to people like myself what they needed to do to have the best chance, and yet the miracle man inside their club failed to grasp it, and yes there were financial elements to this, but we keep on hearing how healthy their financial position is and about how much the Champions League bounty next season is worth.

They have screwed up massively, and they escaped scrutiny for it only because our January window performance appeared, on the surface of it, to have been much, much worse.

That Idah has been a success is part of why we’re here, for sure, and he has been a much better signing than any of their January players has been … but I worried that our season would come down to the players we failed to get and the positions we failed to fill … hey, it still might.

But their mistakes were enormous.

Their screw-up is so, so much larger. If Celtic are crowned champions, their fans are entitled to ask how the Hell that came about, and their board owes them honest answers.

They won’t get them, but they should be asking.

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  • JimBhoy says:

    spot on James.

    You hit the nail on the head in an earlier blog suggesting their pain is because they hit the top and had hope, adds to the pressure now big time.

    Hope we get the big Irishman and maybe 3 or 4 more first team ready players for the coming season.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    I think (and sincerely hope) that them not signing Shankland will prove to be the difference between them winning it and not winning it…

    I’d have probably took him to Parkhead if he’d come and money talks and he probably would’ve been tempted at least…

    But let’s hope that it definitely does come back to haunt Sevco !

  • sligo123456 says:

    I think they have gambled every last cent in the chance to reach the promised land of CL millions!
    Who knows how much dosh they have borrowed to achieve said promised land??
    I believe that there will be serious brown stuff hitting loads of fans if they f%/k it up. Up to us to get on with our work and ignore the Sevco noise etc. Could be the sweetest title win for us in yonks!

    Brilliant even!

  • Michael Rooney says:

    Transfers over the past 3 seasons have mostly been poor with most of the players coming in contributing nothing

  • Roonsa says:

    Lawwell should absolutely be told to GTF. He is no longer a divisive figure at the club. He is a figure of disdain if not out and out hate.

    Dessers. Lolz. The words coo’s arse and banjo spring to mind.

  • William Melvin says:

    As Tavpen,the hun Hall of famer would say…….I’m disappointed .
    Yes,disappointed that you have written this article because if we do win the league this season it plants the seed in the minds of the happy clappers in our midst to promote the ridiculous counter point to.the thrust of your argument that our bunch of 5th columnists in the Celtic boardroom were in complete control of the situation we found ourselves in before,during and after the winter transfer window ,which is absolutely NOT the case !
    Which in turn could find Pete the Parasite clinging on to his job by refining and embellishing his case that he has actually done a sterling job and saved the club money.
    This is what our shitty PR people do to assuage the fears of the hard of thinking in our support !
    My fear is two pronged…….The 1st is that the huns actually have enough in their armoury, coupled with VAR,dishonest mistakes, downright cheating,call it what you like !
    The 2nd is that it will take this,the losing of this season’s League Championship to light the fire under the arses of the Celtic family to actually do something to get these parasites out of our club,once and for all !
    I originally said l was disappointed, on reflection I’m not…..I’m fucking raging !!!

    • Dennis Begley says:

      Sounds lime you are wanting celtic to lose this league,I think and hope celtic learn from this and abandon the prospect policy and spend some decent money on established players who can go straight into the team and give us a chance to go further in europe which has been an embarrassment to us in recent years,we had this league won in october leading to Beale being sacked but opened the door for them,hopefully we”ll see it through and can enjoy the achievement as well as ttheir hurt, hail hail.

      • William Melvin says:

        I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say perhaps English is not your first language !
        How you,or anyone else for that matter,with a half decent command of the dialect could come to that conclusion is beyond rational thought.
        The only other reason l can come up with for your illogical and ill conceived post is that you have spent too much time in the company of huns,or even worse,you are one yourself.
        Do yourself a favour and get your mum,dad,teacher,ie someone who understands the meaning of words to explain what l posted and also stick in at school as it’s a big bad world out there if you are so easily misinformed as to come out with the ridiculous comment you replied with.

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    P lawell never left Celtic he was in the back ground pulling the strings our CEO is just a yes man has no say lawell and Desmond run Celtic nothing going to change will Rodgers get a big transfer budget come the new season only if we win the league and that’s not guaranteed let’s all hope it turns out for us but still a big if.

  • Big Wolf says:

    Sevco had the re-assurance of knowing that if their Winter transfer window was poor, they could always fall back on their stalwarts to carry them through. Namely, Beaton, Walsh, Robertson, Muir, McLean, Dallas, Allan and the SFA in general.

    We have Don Robertson again on Saturday in the Cup Semi-final.
    So, since Brendan Rodgers questioned the competence of Robertson and Beaton, they have been appointed to referee 3 of our last 4 matches.

    Willie Collum has not refereed a sevco match since the 6 December 2023, just over 4 months.

    Sevco know Collum will not be appointed to referee any of their remaining matches.

    It is a certainty that Sevco’s 5 remaining matches in the top six will be refereed by Walsh, Beaton, Dickinson, McLean and McDermid. These refs are jointly responsible for awarding 11 of the 14 penalties (78 %) that Sevco have been awarded in league games this season.
    Watch this space!!

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      That is bloody wild that Collum hasn’t been given a Sevco league game since 6th December 2023…

      Is there no one that can raise this with The SFA as to why they have bowed to Sevco’s demands –

      Wow indeed – You must try this stint with Beaton then Brendan !

  • John mcghee says:

    See if celtic won this league it will be brilliant because beaton.walsh.mclean.robertson.muir.dickinson.will all be raging because they never got Crawford Allan his going away prezzie the cheating title eh.surely someone is watching all this cheating and a investigation will get carried out if not some other cheat will get allan jobs thats what they masonic fuckpigs do keep there own cheats in jobs.

  • Fun time frankie says:

    Next a thought james,WHY are the sfa delaying the split fixtures until Thursday when it’s a computer that allegedly does the draw, just goes to show how honest these blatant cheats are it’s a fcukin farse.

  • Jim m says:

    Agree totally regarding lawwell snr , if he thinks the sacrificial lamb , his son would be enough to appease the fans he’s seriously underestimated the feelings towards him ! , the damage had already been done by the time junior left.

    And again agree that lawwell snr has been an extremely lucky man that ibrokes has been an utter basket case or he’d been gone already if anyone with competence had been in charge over there.

    He can keep a low profile if he wants , but this seasons has his DNA all over every mistake at the club , his times up , he can fall on his sword voluntarily of he has got to be pushed, thinks he’s a big river boat gambler but again pure luck that sevco has been a shambles.

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