It has been quite a week for Celtic on and off the park. Enough talking points in fact to release a box set.
After the dust settled on Celtic reaching the Champions League play-offs, there was the draw. Out of the hat for Celtic came Swedish Champions Malmö FF.
I wasn’t the worst draw from the selection but it wasn’t the best either. I’d say of the five possibles Malmö lie somewhere in the middle of my preferences.
Just as we were digesting those two European ties, Celtic returned to domestic duties by dispatching Partick Thistle in the Glasgow derby.
Hot on the heels of that victory, John Collins became the focal point of Celtic Football Club. His comments around Scottish clubs and their inability to be clever enough to beat Celtic didn’t go down that will as I’m sure you can imagine.
On the one hand it is a bit arrogant and disrespectful toward other Scottish clubs. On the other, he was merely saying what most people already know and think.
As Mark Wilson said on Sportscene on Sunday “he was only saying what people are thinking, it’s just that nobody mentions it.”
And he isn’t wrong about that. Did he have to say it though?
Well the subject matter was actually on Celtic in Europe. Upon reflection of last season and this season the topic of how domestic football affected that.
This wasn’t a singular swipe at Scottish clubs. It was more of a case that this is the domestic situation Celtic are in and this is how it affects them in Europe.
Collins’ comment brought mixed reactions though. Players, managers and of course the media all came out either to back or blast the Celtic assistant manager.
It’s a storm in a tea-cup though. If on the opposing side to JC’s comments you would have taken great pleasure in the 2-2 draw at Kilmarnock midweek.
In a game where Celtic ran the Ayrshire side ragged it is hard to believe this one finished a stalemate. There were umpteen chances to put Killie to the sword but a late penalty saved them and shamed the Hoops.
James Forrest had an absolute blinder and Nir Bitton scored a peach of a goal. This game should have been a thrashing of Kilmarnock.
Karma for the Collins outburst? I’m sure many think so.
In the midst of that story came another. This time though on the transfer front.
Celtic are never far away from a transfer rumour be that one of their own players on the move, or bringing someone in. I’d love to see the statistics on these kind of stories because it would make interesting viewing but the one rumour that came from left field was the signing of Hibernian midfielder Scott Allan.
Up until Celtic’s rumoured interest in him, he was in the sports news almost daily about a move to Ibrox. This was on the back of handing in a transfer request and his supposed love of Rangers (though which version has yet to be determined).
This move has caused more of a stir than the John Collins story, ironically a former Hibernian midfielder himself. The pain emanating from the blue half of the divide has been quite palpable.
As you might expect from this kind of scenario, there have been the mandatory bigoted and sectarian chants across social media and beyond. This one must be quite painful for the Ibrox crew to take, particularly as Celtic have sent Liam Henderson in the other direction on loan.
The young midfielder has had a fantastic year under Ronny Deila getting a reasonable amount of game time. That was followed up with a short but productive loan spell at Rosenberg and all of this has been enough for the club to sign him on a new three-year deal.
Now he will have a full year under former Celtic defender Alan Stubbs at Hibs to bolster his experience. A two-way battle with the Ibrox club for the Championship should make these encounters worth a watch alone.
I didn’t take much of the Championship in last season at all. For that reason I can’t even give you my opinion of Scott Allan or what he could achieve potentially.
Like any new player he will get his chance to prove himself. I look forward to seeing what he can achieve.
With the current personnel vying for a place in the Celtic midfield he may find it difficult to obtain a place. I do wonder what Ronny Deila’s take on this signing is.
Are we expecting a departure, is this signing with a long-term view or was it purely just to get it right up the Ibrox crew. I must say one of the best response I saw on Twitter was from @SirBroxiBear “We need to strike back here and hit them where it really hurts and book the Thai Tims for our Christmas party”.
A perfectly weighted response from the blue half of the divide to diffuse any heated moment. I know that isn’t the opinions of all but this one made me grin so well done that man.
Continuing on the contract front, young Kieran Tierney signed a new contract with Celtic. He has impressed in his appearances for Celtic and a four-year deal will see him push Emilio Izaguirre for a place.
And so to today’s match against Inverness. After Wednesday’s slump against Killie, it’s time to get back on the horse and pump the Highlanders at Paradise.
Not sure if Allan will be available to play but at least he will be unveiled at the stadium today. A more clinical end product will be required against John Hughes’ side.
Inverness were more of a threat to Celtic than closest rivals Aberdeen so the warning signs are firmly in place. Let’s get this one ironed out with no mistakes because it’s Malmö on Wednesday.