Celtic’s exit from the Champions League in the Third Qualifying Round raises more questions than answers. From this point forward the club need to have a look at their performance on and off the field of play because it is evident this isn’t purely down to the team and coaching staff.
Should entry into the group phase of the Europa League be achieved, the income will be substantially smaller. If Celtic were to buy any more players this summer then the only way to make that happen would be to sell.
Candidate number one is Dedryck Boyata. The recent stance taken by himself and his agent has caused a lot of turmoil to add to everything else that is going on right now.
As Chris Sutton stated last night in his role as summariser, “get rid of Boyata now!” If Celtic did knock back £9M for him then I have no idea why.
He is no Bobo Balde, Johan Mjallby of Joos Valgaaren. Brendan Rodgers has improved his performances over the last two seasons, but he is still a liability.
Before Jozo Simunovic went off the boil, I’d say the Croat turned Bosnian was a better player. Both have been subject to transfer rumours since Brendan came on board and he has yet to establish a central defensive partnership.
That is the back bone of your team and doing it on the cheap might save you money for midfielders and attackers. In the long run it will cost you in more in European competition.
I’d like to make a case for Kristoffer Ajer and Jack Hendry. Both of these guys are work in progress, yet taken a some flack since they each made their debuts.
Ajer has shown progress whilst Hendry is only just getting into his stride. Relying on young, inexperienced talent is a risky business though.
Whilst I welcome the opportunity that they are getting, it is a foolish game to play. The pressure on these guys has been massive.
The acquisition of Marvin Compper has not made the backroom staff look much better. His continual stream of injuries makes you question the ability of the scouting team or was he simply a panic buy?
We haven’t seen enough of the guy to judge what type of player he is. Chris Sutton compared him to Raphael Scheidt last night, but I think we saw more of him in the Hoops than Marvin!
The bottom line here is that what was once a overinflated squad has been reduced to a manageable size. However, it still requires fresh blood to rejuvenate the ranks for the season ahead especially with other players certain to depart.
Some of the current squad are out of contract next season. The £9M shelled out on Odsonne Edouard is beginning to look like the board have put all their eggs in one basket though.
Whether you were for or against the pursuit of John McGinn, Celtic didn’t get the deal done quick enough. As soon as interest from down south came, the player’s head was turned by better money.
The entire club is accountable for this summer’s woes. If there hasn’t been already, there needs to be a sit down to address these failings.
If the club admit to their failings and address them now, a run in the Europa League may just be possible. There is a lot of work to be done first.