Transfer Windows, don’t you just loathe them!
This mornings hot topic is about the three Treble Treble winners above. Will they stay or will they go. In true Trasfer Window fashion, you’ll be sure to note the plethora of ITK bloggers, of the Celtic persuasion and otherwise, who have nailed on sources that have sold these three bhoys already. Seriously, we need to vet the Lennoxtown cleaners more thoroughly!
Think about it like this. Your neighbour has got the best garden in the scheme. It’s packed with trinkets, gnomes, flowers, pristine grass, maybe even disco lights. What’d you do when you get fed up looking at that shit? You start a rumour. Of what, it doesn’t really matter, just so long as people think that; A) All is not well in the garden, B) The things in the garden would look better in another garden and C) Make sure A & B are repeated by enough people with a platform to make a rumble. Garden analogy aside, the media are attempting to carve up our team, one player at a time.
Putting those of mighty information aside for a second, let’s talk about the summer as a whole from our own perspective. Let’s take the power away from the spoon fed media hacks, shall we?
Since the champagne of the Treble Treble was put back on ice for another year, we’ve seen Tierney, Ntcham, Rogic and McGregor all being feverishly pushed for transfers away. Now, this isn’t the media just reporting interest and facts. There have been opinion pieces from the ghost writers of Nicholas, Boyd & Commons all claiming that one or another of these four should leave “to further their career”.
This has gathered the desired effect on some of out fan base. Some have rounded on the players. Dished out ultimatums with such venom that, lets be honest here, if you said it to their face they’d tell you to f*ck right off. I could have a look at each of them by numbers over the last 2 seasons, but all it’ll tell us is, the three of them are players. We don’t need numbers for that.
I’ve covered Kieran extensively in another blog; coupled with some ramblings about his treatment.
Head on over to: https://thecelticway.blog/2019/06/30/the-difference-one-day-can-make/ for a look.
Lets start with Rogic. If we do look at the numbers, it would explain why so many of our fans have become lukewarm on the Wizard of Oz. There is no denying that on his day, Tom is in the top 3 operators in the country. But his injury record reads about as well as the Ibrox accounts. Tom signed 7 years ago, but he’s only made 98 league appearances; 156 in all competitions. Roughly 22 games a season. Compared to McGregor, who broke into the team a full 2 years later; 227 in all competitions. 45 games a season give or take. Tom is trapped in a vicious cycle that I’m dubious he’ll will ever escape from.
He plays 10 games and performs > picks up an injury keeping him out for 2/3 weeks > Makes it back, but he’s off the pace his next 4/5 games > Finally hits full speed after game 10 then gets a 4/5 game run of being imperious > Picks up another injury that’s at least a month, likely more > Season doesn’t have enough games for him to catch up again. Rinse and Repeat. There is the comments Ronny Delia made to consider as well, when he took the reigns; commenting that the fitness was, essentially, dug meat. That was Lennon’s fitness plans. Unless he’s grown from then, these same plans may just kill Rogic.
He’s a fantastic player, but he just can’t stay healthy. A cast iron £9m offer is what the media is reporting. Is it true? Who knows, most likely not, because, well read the first paragraph again for that answer. But they are trying their utmost to break up this squad which just keeps steamrolling the league season after season. For arguments sake, assuming it is true, a £9m opening offer suggests we could land about £12m and as loathed as I am to say it, that’s a good deal in my opinion. I suspect I may be in the minority here, and I do see the value in keeping him as well, but with the emergence of Christie; a more energetic box to box 10, I think cashing in on Tom might be the right move. Put it this way, if Turnbull had panned out, I think this would be a more open and shut conversation for the board.
Oli, Oli, Oli. I have family members who think Ntcham is the best player in the country. They’re wildly wrong, but their family and you can’t put them in the bin.
Does he have talent? Yes, undoubtedly.
Does he turn in some great performances? Yes, undoubtedly.
Can you trust him away from home anywhere in the league? Absolutely fucking not.
Let’s start with the good first. At Celtic Park, when all the pressure is flowing one way, Ntcham can look every inch a superstar. He can ping passes, make late runs, boss proceedings and grab goals and assists. I’m thinking first Glasgow Derby and Anderlecht away. Generally, be what we need him to be. You crank the pressure up just a notch against the likes of Aberdeen, Hibs, Hearts, who press higher and give less time on the ball, then little cracks appear. Misplaced passes, poor decisions, slow laborious play letting the low defensive block plug gaps.
Away from home, and I take zero pleasure in this sort of critic, Ntcham is just too slow. A quality player turns into someone who gets caught in possession far to often, misplaces passes far to often, looks like he lacks the legs to get around the park and turns in some really, really poor performances. Of course there’s mitigating factors in his pairing with Brown, quality of the pitches, or everyones old favourite – he’s in a huff since Moussa left.
I don’t know if it’s an attitude thing or a temperament thing or just general bottle. My personal preference would be to keep him. There is a player in there, if his mind is right and if the mood comes over him. We’ve seen a few 9/10 performances from Oli. But we’ve also seen a few 3/10.
I reckon this’ll come down to; does he want to go? If he does, take the £10m and wish him well. If not, lets hope Lennon can reach him where Rodger’s couldn’t.
The issues we face is this. Who do we replace these guys with? Have the scouting team been doing their jobs well enough to replace a player that cost £4.5m just a few seasons ago?
We’ve got around 2 months to figure out who and what a Nick Hammond is, and what exactly he brings to the table.