So how was the window for you?
The transfer window has closed and I thought I would look back at the piece I put up a few weeks ago – Jan 10th – ( you can read it here)
The piece at that time covered the signings of Martin Compper ( now injured), St Mirren winger Lewis Morgan and young Australian starlet Leo Mazis and concluded with the words
My gut feeling?
I hope we sign some peaches but the dark side inside of me fears I can see a few more wee “For the future really” players coming in with standard Peter promises of “But we are well ahead with our summer plans and all that” rhetoric.
Lets hope I’m so very wrong.
Well was I?
The vast majority of time between that post going up and the closing of the window was all rather dull for Celtic fans in all honesty. There weren’t that many rumours ( Ralph tried his “M” best) and there wasnt much of a buzz about the place as the Winter break completed and the side got back to domestic business.
Results were satisfactory enough but the performances werent overly inspiring and the team were looking in the need of a good lift. A lift that we all hoped would come as the calendar approached Months end and the close of the transfer window.
The fans seemed to be split between “In Brendan we trust” and “Lawwell get the finger oot” and in truth the window carried on without much for anyone to get overly concerned about. There was the odd rumbling here and there about a young centre half at Dundee but nothing exciting for the fans to celebrate or salivate over.
The shit however truly got real for Celtic, and that includes Management and fans, during the Hibs 1-0 victory on Saturday with bad injuries to Craig Gordon and Leigh Griffiths, which saw them joining the current crock\knackered list at Lennoxtown.
Suddenly all eyes were on Peter and the Biscuit Tin and the first cry that went out was for a keeper.
With Gordons knee injury and our kid keeper already out on loan, the hunt for another glove wearer began in earnest. We duly started off being linked with the Motherwell keeper, that went round the houses a bit with Celtic offering hundreds of thousands for Carson which Motherwell rebuked and asked for silly money. I like to imagine Celtic smiled and gently said “Thanks but fuck off”
Then after various links including the Liverpool 3rd choice keeper, we duly ended up with the Dundee unwanted keeper who was actually out on loan as a backup at Hibs and then as part of the merry-go-round, we then sent Scott Allan who had been on loan at Dundee down to Hibs and in turn Hibs then sent Simon Murray up to Dundee.
A true case of WTF or SPFL Camaraderie depending on your point of view?
Who knew getting a bench warmer could be so hard eh?
So keeper wise, Craig Gordon will be out for 12 weeks at least according to initial reports and it will be Dora the Explorer in goals from now on and new arrival Scott will be biding his time for that one big chance of grabbing some glory. In a nice twist Scott Bain was on the bench for Hibs last week and now he gets to move 20 yards to the left.
With our quality centre half signings taking a hit with Compper injured, Brendan pushed for Peter to push and push up at Dundee. Not content with taking their unwanted keeper, we gave them an undisclosed yet record fee ( This was a guy who cost Dundee hee-haw – so canny work there by the men in blue suits. ) for Jack Hendry. The thought of Neil McCall smiling smugly doesn’t sit well ( Paper talk of Rangers contacting McCann about signing him was classic Level 5 pR nonsense of course) but the deal was duly done before the midnight hour struck.
The lad is 22, has been at 5 clubs before Celtic yet he has only played 41 games in the last 3 years of his professional career. Fresh or fragile?..There’s a question mark for me there and anyone hoping for top quality centre half signings will be disappointed, it was always doubtful though as hinted at in my original piece, but Brendan to his credit ( or great Diplomacy skills) seemed happy enough with the acquisition.
With the Griff out, , the fans were wondering if we would see another striker but that was never likely to come to pass at such a late hour, nope, not even a link to Brendans buddy Rickie Lambert shocker, but there would be a slight twist to that tale.
Come the Hearts midweek game, Brendan surprised everyone by not deciding between Moussa or Odsonne as his lone striker. Instead he played them both, and how it paid off. Odsonne scored a cracker and a rejuvenated Dembele made 2 goals and scored the other in the 3-1 victory over greeting face Craig Leviens team. The futures bright, the futures 2 up front!
But wait…that Hearts game and 2 up front wasn’t the only thing that made people smile of course on a cold January Tuesday.
We had another new signing.
Taking up the Number 67 jersey and appearing midway through the second half, came the new darling of the Celtic crowd, step forward Charly Musonda.
The starlet arrived from Chelski the night afore ( with his Mother brilliantly usurping Celtic by announcing his signing before them) and immediately the fans saw the biggest smile in a Celtic jersey since Paul McStay smashed the ball into the net at Ibrox.
Trust us when we say that the young talented playmaker will really light up the Scottish game. Having watched his half time warm up, I reckon he has more flicks and tricks that Paddy Roberts and some poor opponent is gonna get tore to ribbons, that is of course if the hackers dont catch him first. One audacious lob pass to Kieran Tierney was just one example of the guys vision and skill and there will be plenty to come, especially with Brendans guidance.
Musonda’s arrival seemed to have everyone feeling a little better, even poor Morelos over at Ibrox who was sat waiting on his taxi to the airport and a flight to China didn’t mind sharing the back pages with our 18 month loan signing. Some folk, yours truly included, have questioned the clubs loan-in policy but when such heralded talents can arrive and we can see them over a sustained period, there isn’t too much to argue about really.
So all in all, where are we window in and outs wise –
In this January came a back up keeper to our back up keeper, 2 centre halves and an attacking midfielder, and also a young aussie winger for development.
Out this January went Lian Henderson to Bari, loan deals for a Conor Hazard and Kundai Benyu and a host of young Bhoys alongside exit style loan deals for Erik Sviatchenko and Nadir Ciftci. It seems that we may also have avoided losing Moussa to Crystal Palace as well as Leicester tried to grab Paddy Roberts in a Man City package deal for Mahrez that didn’t come to fruition.
In and Out came Lewis Morgan who will hopefully help bring St Mirren up this season to help develop his winning mentality.
So it was pretty much a mixed bag and folk will argue the highs and lows no doubt. The main thing is we have cover where needed, the team seems to have been given a lift at the right time of the season and we have more young talent to develop who can hopefully carry on this winning streak.
The long await for buying a proven top class act may still elude the dreamers amongst us but for now we can sit back and enjoy Charly Musonda running riot in the Hoops alongside Paddy Roberts who will soon return from injury.
Life aint to bad, even if it is just on loan!