Celtic Diary Thursday March 21: New Manager ?

Celtic Diary Thursday March 21: New Manager ?

Over at the ranch it appears that the international break is turning everyone into gossips. Sweetie wives would be closer.

The talk is of who might be the man to get the Celtic job on a permanent basis, and one name is being mentioned much more than any other.

Rafael Benítez Maudes (Spanish pronunciation: [rafaˈel ˈrafa βeˈniteθ ˈmauðes];[a] born 16 April 1960) is a Spanish professional football coach who is the manager of Premier League club Newcastle United. He is the only manager in history to have won the UEFA Europa LeagueUEFA Super CupUEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup.[3]

Benítez joined Real Madrid‘s coaching staff at the age of 26, going on to work as the under-19 and reserve team coach, and assistant manager for the senior team. Benítez moved away from Real Madrid in 1995, but management spells at Real Valladolid and Osasuna were short-lived and unsuccessful. Benítez guided Segunda División side Extremadura back to the Primera División in his first season in 1997, but the team was relegated the following season. He left the club, and coached Tenerife in 2000, winning promotion in his only season.

Benítez was appointed coach of Valencia and won La Liga in the 2001–02 season. In 2004, another La Liga league title and a UEFA Cup victory were added building on the foundation laid by Héctor Cúper who had taken Valencia to two consecutive Champions League finals; in 2000 against Real Madrid, and in 2001 against Bayern Munich. After leaving Valencia, Benitez moved to English club Liverpool of the Premier League, guiding the club to victory in the UEFA Champions League in 2005. For the second consecutive season, he was named UEFA Manager of the Year. He also won the FA Cup in 2006 and reached the 2007 Champions League Final, but was unable to win the Premier League, with Liverpool’s best league performance under Benítez a second-place finish in 2008–09.

After leaving Liverpool in June 2010, Benítez was appointed manager of treble winning side Inter Milan. His reign at the club was a short one and he was dismissed midway through the 2010–11 season despite guiding the team to the Supercoppa Italiana and FIFA Club World Cup titles. In November 2012, he was appointed interim manager of Chelsea for the remainder of the season and he won the 2013 Europa League. Benítez returned to Italy in 2013 to coach Napoli, where he won the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana. He then left Napoli and became coach of Real Madrid in June 2015 on an initial three-year contract. It was another short-lived appointment and on 4 January 2016, he was dismissed following a 2–2 draw against his old club, Valencia.

On 11 March 2016, Benítez was announced as the manager of Newcastle United in an attempt to save the club from relegation. Benítez was unable to avoid relegation, but earned promotion back to the Premier League the following year, winning the Championship

He’s been around a bit, and is out of contract in the summer.

As usual, I’ve heard something, and I’m telling you. Technically, I read something and wrote it down for you, but thats not as catchy a phrase.

Whatever comes of this, it means that there is a bid to bring someone else in for next season. A surprisingly mature way of doing things for Celtic , which also means that they have plans for Lennon, possibly as some sort of ambassador.

Benitez has European pedigree, and isn’t going to get European football with Newcastle any time soon. Maybe thats the carrot he’s biting at.

Or maybe its just bollocks.

But one things for sure, something is in the air.


Someone else with too much time on their hands during the break is Chris Jack, the football write at the Evening Times.

During what has come to be known as the Succulent Lamb years, a reference to the control held by David Murray, former owner of the former Rangers, the mainstream Scottish media was fed enough good news stories from Ibrox to discourage them from asking the real questions, questions which might have saved the club from extinction.

Failing to do that has meant they have decided to pretend it didn’t happen, and thus helping some rather unsavoury characters to fleece the confused Ibrox fan base of millions.

In order to perpetuate the myth we’ve seen some quite original and creative articles, but Jack surpassed all of them yesterday, as the need to save the second Ibrox club becomes urgent.

“rangers ” have taken out another secured loan recently, and the expensive and pointless acquisitions of one or two players in January have emptied the coffers, and they only have one or two saleable assets.

Jack did his bit to help sell him yesterday…

How Alfredo Morelos has gone from Medellin to Rangers’ multi-million pound man

Exclusive by Christopher Jack Group Senior Sports Writer 
I’d put a pair of corsets on if i was you while you read this. Or I’m afraid you risk your sides splitting.

HIS story is one of rags to riches, a journey of determination as much as talent. Alfredo Morelos has gone from Medellin to Rangers’ multi-million pound man. 

Not one single verified bid for him. Plenty of rumours, usually quashed within days.

He may always have believed it possible, but few of those that saw the striker in his formative years could have imagined his rise and rise. Now, he stands on the brink of further international honours and a transfer deal that could make him the most expensive player ever to leave Scottish football. 

No he doesn’t, and no he won’t be. He will be the most expensive player to leave “rangers “, but not the most expensive to leave Ibrox.

It can be said with certainty that Morelos will move on from Rangers in the future, but little is known about his past. It is easy to see what makes the Colombian the player he is, yet harder to understand what has shaped Morelos the man. 


“The only reason we kind of knew about him here was because he was with the Under-20s and this must have been around 2015, 2016,” Carl Worswick, a British journalist based in Bogota, told SportTimes. “He was in the Under-20s team but he was awful, he looked really raw and a bit lost.

He’s coming on a bundle, isn’t he ?

Nobody really knew who he was. 

No one outside of Ibrox does now.

So when he went to Finland, he took everyone by surprise. When you go to Finland from Colombia, you are going for the money and the experience and you don’t expect to progress your career. When he left, he dropped off the radar completely.”

He rolled around on the ground for ages after doing that.

It was that move to HJK Helsinki that opened the doors to Europe for Morelos and the 22-year-old has certainly made the most of his opportunity. The rest, they say, is history. 

They ? Plural ?

Or just Jack ?

A handful of appearances in the Colombian Cup are his only real moments of note in South America. It was Hernan Dario Gomez, the man who led Panama to the World Cup last summer, that saw potential in Morelos, but what he perceived as a lack of opportunities resulted in his departure from Independiente Medellin. 

He couldn’t get a game for them.

On the park, Morelos hasn’t looked back, but he has never forgotten where he is from and has often spoken in his homeland about his desire to represent his country. 

At football ?

He returned to Cerete after the Old Firm win in December to take part in a game in his honour and was given a medal by the Mayor following the match against local side Aquel Atletico Cordoba. 

In his honour ? What for ?

Pictured alongside his mother, Martha, and his father, Alfredo Snr, a fruit seller from the town, the pride was clear to see. From hardship and humble beginnings, Morelos has become a hero at home and Ibrox. 

Nowhere else, to be fair. He’s got that right.

“They come from the Colombian coast up near Panama, which is a massive danger area,” Worswick said. “It is actually not too far away from where Juan Cuadrado grew up and his dad was murdered. It is a problem region and he didn’t have it easy at all.

“A lot of his coaches were saying that when he was a kid he didn’t have enough money to pay to go to school, didn’t have enough money for boots or shin pads.

“One of the coaches saw he had a bit of talent and offered to help him out with costs. He didn’t have an easy upbringing it seems, but he seems very driven.” 

This may be true, but it sounds rather cliched.

That determination, that will to win, has been evident in Morelos since he was brought to Rangers by Pedro Caixinha after a recommendation from Jonathan Johansson and each of his managers have faced the same test when it comes to controlling his in-built emotions. 

Will to win ? He hasn’t won anything.

The rough edges, the moments of madness, are still there but the positives have always outweighed the negatives for those that try to nurture Morelos.

“There was one moment where he was playing for his local youth side and without telling his manager he went for a trial at Medellin, one of the bigger teams in the country and where Jackson Martinez started out,” Worswick said. “The manager punished him and said he wasn’t playing again but all the players said he was so important for the team and they needed him. So the manager changed his mind and brought him back in. A year later, he got a move to Medellin.” 

He’s making this up as he goes along.

When Morelos decided to leave behind all that he had ever known and travel to Helsinki, he wasn’t just stepping out of his comfort zone on the pitch. Life would never be the same again, but from relative poverty he is now prospering.

His temperament and short fuse are too readily highlighted by his detractors, but he is mentally stronger than many give him credit for. He has had to be. 

“That takes some character to knuckle down when you leave home at such a young age,” Worswick said. “I think he struggled a bit when he first arrived in Finland, but now look at him. It is quite incredible. I didn’t see it coming, but it is very impressive.

“He sounds very streetwise. You can’t erase your past. In some ways, that probably helps him and a Colombian footballer dropping into the Scottish league, he could have disappeared into the shadows. That tough upbringing must have stood him in good stead.”

An unknown when he arrived at Rangers, Morelos’ name now reverberates around Ibrox as supporters serenade ‘El Bufalo’ to the music of Bob Marley.

His dream of playing in England or on the continent is shared by many of his countrymen but the success rate is small. Morelos has ability to realise his childhood ambitions, though.

“Whenever I speak to coaches, they pretty much always say the same thing and that Colombian players have all the technique and talent to do well in Europe,” Worswick said. “But so many of them, when they go out there, aren’t prepared mentally or psychologically and they often complain about missing their family, the food isn’t what they like and life isn’t what they are used to so they end up getting lost and depressed.

“When he did make a bit of a success of it in Finland, there were people tracking his progress and he got the move to Rangers. He is a player that has taken an unconventional route but he has become a massive success and taken everyone by surprise.”

The guidance of Steven Gerrard this season has helped Morelos take his game to a new level and his performances and potential have been rewarded as he gets set to join a rare group of players to break through the 30-goal barrier in Light Blue. A new contract signed earlier this month, the second he has penned this season, has benefitted the player and the club as Rangers brace themselves for interest come the end of the season.

Further international experience would only increase Morelos’ value and he will be given a chance to add to his solitary cap against Japan and South Korea in the coming days after being called-up by new boss Carlos Quieroz.

“The Copa America is this year and the manager said this week that he is just having a look at him,” Worswick said. “He is part of this renewal process and if he impresses he could be in the squad.

“That is an area where Colombia aren’t very strong. Carlos Bacca is on the wane, Falcao is still scoring but everyone realises that his best years are behind him, especially with all the injuries.

“Nobody has sort of emerged and Alfredo Morelos is the key candidate, really, to be banging in goals in Europe to say I am the next one to be given a go.

“A few years ago, Colombia were quite blessed with strikers, but these days not so much. He has got his foot in the door and he could be one of the strikers for the Copa America.” 

Carl Worswick is the sort of go to guy for the mainstream media when it comes to Colombia. Hailing from Chorley, he’s been over there for a few years now, so you might think he will offer valuable insight..

Which he does for the international outlets, such as the BBC, ESPN etc.

But for regional newspapers…

See if you can see a pattern..

On Englands chances against Colombia ahead of the 2018 World cup game… (Leyland guardian, 2018 )

“This is a really progressive and exciting team. Can they go all the way? There’s been so many shocks this tournament, so why not!”

On the England manager…

I like Gareth Southgate as a manager.”  

He’s quite diplomatic.

What he appears to be saying is that he’d never heard of him, but if he’s doing well in Europe, given that Jack will have told him he is, then he’s obviously going to get an international call up, a big move and voted in as president when he retires home..

Then again, they’re all at it.



 With the internet meaning that anyone can write anything about anything, the media have increased their ratio of opinion pieces over news items.

Often interpreted by the reader as news, it allows an undue influence on an audience that is perceived as fact, and those the articles are aimed at feel better when their views, however ludicrous, are highlighted in print..a tactic which has lead to the car crash that is Brexit…and when an article becomes the talk of the steamie, the writer feels he has done his job.

The truth, or indeed any kind of credibility is completely absent, but that doesn’t matter.

A notable exception came from michael Stewart, speaking on BBC Sportsound, when he talked about the gap between “rangers ” and Celtic..

What are the structures behind the scenes at Rangers that are going to enable him to close the gap on Celtic?

“I don’t think there is a structure in place.

“Have they got the financial clout to mount a serious challenge? No they’ve not.

“Clearly they’ve not because they’re losing money at an alarming rate

“So when you look at are they capable of closing the gap on Celtic, it’s not just simply money that needs to be chucked at it, but that’s a big factor.

“And Steven Gerrard’s got to do better in the transfer window.

“But my point I was making at the start is we’re now at a position that I think was fairly inevitable. 

His words have been widely reported, but no one has followed up with a story about how or why they are losing money at an alarming rate.

Remember, the media reported their high interest secured loan as an overdraft…and the people believed them..

Newspapers stopped reporting news some time ago.

They can bring pressure to bear in almost any walk of life to get what they..or most likely their shareholders and owners…want.

So it was quite refreshing to see Valencia, the side who beat Celtic earlier this year, make a stand at the beginning of what may well prove to be an interesting exchange of views..

Shay Logan, everyones favourite Aberdeen player, is a secret admirer of Celtic after all, which explains his odd obsession with the club and occasional attacks on social media.

However, we hear our summer transfer policy will look for more in a players CV than “Can bring own work clothes.”

After all, Celtic can more than afford to kit the staff out..

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Keiran Tierney confirmed what we were saying about his hip, and how rest was crucial.. and not surgery, which could have been career ending…

“There was nothing I could do for the problem but rest. The pubis was over-used and there is no operation that would have been helpful in any way.


Celtic supporters Liason Officer John Paul Taylor heard about the flag incident at Dens Park last week, and he’s been on the case..

Update on issue from Sunday regarding the flag removal, the Club and have met with the two fans involved, Dundee FC are currently carrying out a full investigation 

While he’s on one case, there’s another he might like to look at…

It never fails to surprise me what you can buy online, though worrying when you consider what whoever found this may have been looking for…

Caption competition, from Tuesday..

Bognorbhoy March 19, 2019 at 11:29 am · Edit · Reply →

Caption too.

As a passenger ( who can it be now?) passes time waiting for the tarrier carrier to celtic park he thinks ,must remember to bring a brush and some white paint to finish this bench.