Re: Celtic Signings

My post was under the proviso Balde is going nowhere in January.

In any case with a 16 point lead we don’t need Pressley even if Bobo does go. McManus is now given a chance of playing on Sunday and with O’Dea and Cuthbert there we have ample cover for the SPL. Pressley is cup-tied for Europe so there is absolutely no point of signing him.

Like I said to a few of you before (some laughed) Celtic should aim to win every competition they enter including the Champions League. If Porto and Liverpool can win it and the likes of PSV can get to within a kick of the ball of getting to the final then there is no reason whatsoever to suggest that Celtic are incapable of going very far in the tournament this, and every other, season. We should be signing players with this goal in mind. Not a 33 year-old journeyman who’s no good now and was distinctly average in his prime.

Plus he’s a cooont.

My only hope is that Celtic are feigning interest in him so that Rangers will jump in and make him a ridiculously high offer which will bring them closer to bankruptcy.

As you acknowledge yourself you were saying much the same before we signed Naylor. Now I appreciate that Naylor is younger and was less well-known than Pressley but I think people are overreacting to a signing. It was the same with Dion Dublin last year - pointless in my opinion but I’m not going to get upset because we signed him. He cost us next to nothing and Strachan saw him as important cover.

Pressley is far better than Dublin was, he’s better than most defenders in the SPL at the moment. Balde, McManus, O’Dea and an injured Caldwell is not great cover considering Balde is accident-prone, McManus has been playing through injury, O’Dea has played one game and Caldwell will be out for a while yet.

I hope if it does happen that it doesn’t harm the progress of O’Dea and Cuthbert but Cuthbert has played only 1 or 2 reserve games this season and the pair of them are very young.

The difference with Naylor was that we urgently required a left back. We simply didn’t have one with either Wilson coming over from right back to play there or Ross Wallace a converted left winger slotting in there.

I still maintain that with a 16 point lead we don’t need him as SPL back up. We should be concentrating our efforts on players who can come in and improve us whether that be for the European campaign after Christmas or for the assault on the title and Europe in the coming years. He would be a short term, stop gap signing and one that we don’t need.

He’s a vile character too. And a hun.

Met a real life hun yesterday. I think it was the first time I’ve ever knowingly conversed with one. We were talking, obviously he’s from Scotland and I asked him who he supported. A Glasgow team he answered rather sheepishly.Turns out he’s a season ticket holder at Ibrox.

Was pretty well versed on last season’s Champion’s League exit, filled me in nicely as me recollection was quite sketchy. Nice chap though.

Could you not tell by the fact his eyes were so far back embedded into his head? Or the horns sticking out of his forehead? I bet he revelled in telling his mates he met a fenian bastard. Do you still have your wallet?

I didn’t post this yesterday cos I was too upset. Strachan was interviewed by David Tanner on Sky yesterday after the draw. Tanner asked him about Pressley and Strachan said he invited Pressley for a chat and he accepted. Then he said he told him there was a place at Celtic if he wanted it. Fair enough. Then Strachan said Pressley told him he’d take a week to think about and would then let him know!!!

Excuse me. You stupid hun piece of shit. How dare you try to dictate to Celtic. It’s an absolute disgrace our manager is even speaking to you. And now you have the cheek to tell us, one of the biggest teams in the world, that you need a week to decide whether you want to play for us or not. Get fooked. You useless, dirty, hun bastard.

Rocko, I might be too drunk for Frazer’s for the Celtic game. I just don’t know. Don’t hold any grudges.

Can’t be bothered starting a new thread for the derby today so keeping it in here because I’m also going to speculate on what signings we need. An excellent game of football again and all things considered I’m satisfied with a draw but a little bit disappointed with how we approached things in the second half.

They were really fired up as you’d expect when playing in front of that baying mob of monkeys who follow them. Also, they were bound to show some sort of fight if they had any bit of pride given the points difference between the teams. The pitch was an absolute disgrace and didn’t help Celtic’s short passing and movement style but they were in our faces early on and Ferguson missed a great chance. But we kept them at bay comfortably enough for the first half hour and then turned the screw from then until half time.

The goal was smashing; an excellent pass from Aiden and then a great delivery from Naylor and what an emphatic finish from Tommy G. After that we created a few great chances before half time with cracking play primarily by Aiden and also involving Naka. Lenny was then denied the most clear cut, stonewall penalty you will ever see. I can’t think of any other reason why it wasn’t given other than the fact it was a foul on a Celtic player and that Celtic player was Neil Lennon.

I was very happy at half time. I expected we had seen off the best they had to offer and would be able to exploit them on the break given they were likely to be a bit gung ho in chasing the game. Our approach to the second half was why I was disappointed at the end. We came out well and their keeper made a great save from Aiden and then Naka nearly scored after a cracking move but then after about 55 minutes we just went back into our shell, retreated to the edge of our box and seemingly tried to settle for a 1-0 when there was really no need whatsoever to do so.

What followed was, in a nutshell, the reason why we’re so poor in Europe. Without ever carving us open we allowed them to create 3, 4 or 5 excellent opportunites and only for Boruc they would have equalised sooner. We dropped off far too deep, our ball retention wasn’t up to scratch at all resulting in a build up of pressure, we committed several needless fouls inside our own half that invited further pressure in our box and we didn’t get enough support to the front men.

Naylor’s injury didn’t help and he didn’t seem to be very mobile for the last half hour. I thought we should have brought either O’Dea or Telfer on. The centre of midfield is an issue for us. I don’t think a 4-4-2 with Lennon and Gravesen is the answer in Europe. Lenny was off the pace today although it was one of Tommy G’s better games. I still think we need to get a third player in there for away games in Europe and Jarosik is not the solution either - he was careless in possession far too often again today. He’s simply not good enough. Magic put in an excellent shift up front on his own and Aiden was excellent given the state of the pitch and how it limited flair players, he also got no protection from the ref but he has come to expect that now. Naylor was having a super game up to his injury but they got in a few times on his side after that. Mick had a big game at the back too but biggest kudos today to Artur for his second half display. I suppose you can’t quibble too much when you get a draw away from home in the derby but the regret is there that we missed a chance to really strangle the life out of their season and humiliate them on their own patch.

As discussed before on these pages the priorities for Celtic remain a centre back and a centre midfielder. Today showed up the need for a midfielder more so than the Copenhagen shambles which confirmed we need a defender. It’s always difficult to pick up players in January due to players being cup-tied, coaches being unwilling to break up their team mid-season etc but it would be great to see these problems being addressed. Steven Pressley should not form any part of the solution.

We have still to really fire this season bar patches of the home derby, the second half against Benfica and a 30 minute spell against Dundee United where we were awesome. We are strolling to the league nonetheless and are in the last 16 of Europe though so you have to give team and manager credit. That said we also expect and demand improvement in the second half of the season because we are Celtic.

Forgot to say there was another big furore after Artur blessed himself in front of the huns again. Setanta said that the police are taking no further action following all the complaints they received from the huns as they regard it as a religious act rather than incitement! That’s only because of the slating Scotland took around the world after they tried to criminalise him for doing similar last year. For Setanta to be even discussing and debating whether Artur was within his rights to bless himself is ridiculous to begin with.

Pretty much agree with your match analysis Bandage. To me we lost control of the second half because we surrendered control of midfield. This was despite the fact that their great hope in Clemen was positively shite today.

I think Lennon is being found out time and again both as a captain and as a defensive midfielder. His role doesn’t mean he should be standing alongside the back 4 when they have the ball. He needs to press them in possession and he simply doesn’t do that anymore. Compared to the pressure Gravesen put their ball players under Lennon stood out as doing precious little.

Other than that the biggest factors in us not winning the game were:

  1. inexplicable refereeing in the penalty decision and in general all over the park
  2. Naylor’s injury disrupted our defending badly
  3. it was extrememly difficult to counter-attack on that surface

3 things:

  1. Boruc was first class today.
  2. Here’s the clip of his actions

  1. Setanta showed the clip implying that Rangers fans had a reason to be outraged. What is actually the case is they are proven to be pure bigots. The irony of yer man in this clip shouting “fucking bigot” at a guy for blessing himself is just too much. Dangerous fools.

That video is unbelievable.

One of the craziest things I have ever seen.

They are all out with their video phones literally waiting for him to approach the goal. ‘Come on Boruc - over here’ the guy is shouting. Then the outrage when he blesses himself, the roars and the ‘fucking bigot’ screams. A pack of absolute mentalists.

The irony, of course, is that these crazies who reported Artur to the police are themselves the ones committing a crime by trying to prevent somebody from displaying their religious faith. Dickheads.

To coincide with the Bank of Scotland’s 9 year sponsorship of the SPL ending in the summer Setanta and one of the Sunday papers ran a competition to pick a best of ‘Old Firm’ team from 1998 to present. It was announced before the game yesterday:


De Boer





There’s a few dodgy ones in there. What did Frank De Boer ever do at Rangers? He picked up his pension there. I know a few of you bhoys would definitely have Lambert in there ahead of Lennon but at least it’s 7 Celtic and 4 Rangers in line with Celtic’s domination over the time period.

Burley and McCoist also picked their teams in the studio. I think McCoist had 7 Rangers players! He had a midfield of Petrov, Ferguson, Ronald De Boer and Albertz. No Moravcik!!!

Lambert would definitely get the nod ahead of Lennon. Lennon was a good player but not the same standard as Lambert. And how on earth did Ferguson get on the bench??? What ever happended to Albertz?

On the game yesterday, it is blatantly obvious that we need a central defender in the january window if we are going to progress in Europe. That rangers team was piss poor, they must have had 3-4 one on one chances and if it wasn’t for the legend Arthur Bourc we could easily have lost that game. First half we were the better team, but still didn’t create that many chances. Jarosik was rubbish, I still don’t understand how Strachan keeps picking him. He was a liability for us, he seems happy enough to just walk through the match without must interest. Surely Miller must be starting these matches. What is the story with Vinegar? Second half we went to sleep, which led to some really good chances for Rangers. Mick and Balde were all over the place and they seemed to be second to every ball. If that was Milan we were playing, we would have lost it. Strachan has to sort it out in January. Really disappointed in the Celtic’s performance over the past 5-6 matches.

Albertz went back to Germany afaik. To some team like Nuremburg or Hannover - not one of the top 3 or 4 anyway. Vinegar has a different injury this time. He was out with each ankle for the first two of his 2-3 weeks out. This time it’s groin or hammer I believe. There’s no need to rush him back as we need him fit for the business end of the season. We’re a far better team when he’s in it though.

Think Albertz went to Hamburg. Shouldn’t be near this board as I’ve a pile of work to get done in the next 20 minutes but couldn’t resist one last post.

Hibs have turned down a 3m offer from Charlton for both Thomson and Brown. Interesting to see where these 2 end up. It doesn’t seem likely that they’ll remain at Hibs but if they’re rejecting 3m offers will that rule the Huns out of the chase for Brown?

Read somewhere the other day (can’t remember where) that the huns are confident of getting Brown for 2m but that they’re not in for Thomson.

Q&A with Jan Vinegar Hill of Nitelink from the Celtic site:

Celtics Dutch striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink answers questions set directly from Bhoys supporters from all over the world

How is the SPL and Celtic in particular viewed in Holland?
Martin Devlin
Dutch people always say that its just about Celtic and Rangers here. But I say to the people who say that, come on over to Scotland, stay for a couple of weeks and see how the games are played and then well talk about the game. After that you usually find that their opinion has changed. But they do see Celtic and Rangers as the big teams and you have to remember that in Holland its a little bit different because there are 18 teams in the top league, while there are only 12 in Scotland and in Holland, teams only play each other twice a season.

How is life in Eindhoven different from that in Glasgow?
Clements, Saltcoats
Glasgow is a much bigger city and its a little different, because they look on football differently here, compared to how they look at it in Eindhoven. There are positives in both cities and I liked living in Eindhoven, but I really like it here also. There are great shops and restaurants in Glasgow and like I said, the people are very friendly.

I was lucky enough to be at the game when you scored your first goal for Celtic. How did it feel to run onto the pitch as a sub and score on you debut? Its a day I will remember.
Stephen Sutton, Helsinki, Finland
The goal was great, but the feeling when I first came on the pitch, with the fans singing my name, was fantastic. It may have been a normal league game to most people, but to me it was a big day. I was new at the club and to score the winning goal was a great feeling for me. I have a nice photograph of the goal at home and I am going to cherish that memory.

Hi Jan, welcome to Celtic. It’s been great to read all the good things you have said about your move here. Can I ask how you think the SPL compares to the Dutch League and to the other leagues in Europe this season? All the best to you and your family for Christmas and New Year.
Maura Browne
Thank you very much! And a happy Christmas and New Year to all the Celtic supporters. Hail Hail! Many people ask me that question Maura, because I am very positive about Celtic and we are in the next round of the Champions League and not every team does that. A lot of people said in the beginning that we were in Europe just for the experience, but we have come through a difficult group which included Copenhagen, who put out Ajax and we are in the next round. I think that a lot of teams from Holland would struggle to beat teams in Scotland, because here the game is 150 miles-per-hour and the game just goes, goes, goes. Its difficult to compare though, because there are different styles and different players. The Premiership and La Liga are recognised as two of the best leagues in Europe, but we can make things difficult for their top teams, as you seen against Manchester United. The SPL might not be the biggest competition in Europe, but a lot of players would find it difficult to play here.

My name is Bryan Naylor and I am a huge Hoops fan from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I wanted to know what’s been the hardest thing to adapt to in Scotland and what has been the easiest?
Canada! Ive always wanted to go there. Id say that the easiest thing about moving here is that the people are very friendly. People want to help you and thats a nice thing. It makes you feel at home wherever you go and thats a good sign. Its hard to think of something thats been difficult to adapt to, but sometimes when the Scottish boys make jokes and talk very quickly they are a little difficult to understand. But thats a minor thing and I am getting there with the language now and I am able to throw in a couple of jokes myself. Its getting there, so come back to me in half a year and I will be fine.

It must have been frustrating for you to have been injured in recent weeks. How is your injury and is it an on-going injury that could trouble you over the rest of the season?
Christopher Conlan
When I played at PSV and at Twente I was very lucky with injuries and did not suffer anything too serious. Its the same now, but although I havent had a big injury, there have been lots of little injuries that have kept me out for a few weeks and thats a little bit of a problem. Its my hamstring at the moment, but when I am fit again that hopefully wont cause me problems in the future. I just hope that I get fit quickly because I want to play. I am a new signing at the club and I want to show who I am and that I can score goals and be important for the team. Its been a little frustrating, because I have been up the gym and you can burn your energy away there, but its nothing like playing games. But I am just looking forward to getting out on the pitch again to play and play every game up until the 26th of May because that will be the Scottish Cup final and I hope we are in that.

How far do you think Celtic will get in the UEFA Champions League? I think they will get to the last eight.
Martyn Robertson (age 14), Rosehearty
The last eight? Martyn, I hope you are right! Anything can happen if you look at the teams who are now in the last 16. Every opponent is difficult, but they have to come here, to Celtic Park and thats also difficult, no matter who they you are. We have to take advantage of that and hopefully, with a bit of luck and some goals we can go further. It will be difficult, but we have to aim for the last eight and who knows, maybe the last four? You can but dream.

Great stuff from big Jan. I was watching the Daily Huddle yesterday and they had an interview with Aiden McGeady with one cracking bit in it.

Ally Begg: Aiden with 3 games in quick succession coming up what are your hopes and aspirations for the festive period?
Aiden: A Nintendo Wii


Good stuff out of McGeady.

Just watched a quality video on of the last day of the 1986 season when Celtic had to beat St. Mirren away by 3 goals and hope Hearts lost at Dundee to win the league. The 3rd goal is absolutely superb (I won’t say who scored it!) and McStay gets a cracker too. Some scenes on the terrace when news come through late on that Hearts have gone one down.