Still feeling gloomy?

Last nights victory over Cliftonville was exactly what Celtic needed. Nothing fancy, nothing cocky – just a simple win to take back to Paradise.

It was great to hear the fans having a ball as well. They were in good voice and had good weather to furnish the occasion with.

Of course, this will not deter the doom mongerers You know they’ll still be waiting to criticise any lack of signings, too many friendlies blah, blah, blah.

You would expect there to be some rustiness in the team but I thought on the whole Celtic were pretty comfortable. I don’t take anything away from Cliftonville though and they desrve some credit for their efforts.

With a home tie next and three goals to the good, Lennon will be thinking ahead. Hooper’s departure, any further exits or loans and possible replacents on his list.

Like previous campaigns, it is likely that business dealings will be on a progress by progress scenario. We cannot spend for competitions we may not make it to.

If Hooper does go we may have a “player in the making”, much like he like he is/was himself, on our shortlist. Should we make the Champions League, we may even see another Miku type deal.

Saviola’s name has been banded around (again). Whether we require a player of this sort is a debating point.

A balanced team with flexible players i.e. players that fill other positions in the team at short notice, can serve you just as well if not better. Fringe players such as Miku probably only had one good match but is that worth it?

Its up to Lennon how he shapes his team. We can only observe and make our own judgements.

For now, I’m looking forward to next weeks match. Being at home, it would be good to stroll through that game and add some more goals.

Lennon won’t want to work the players too hard at this stage. As the weeks role by, we’ll get some of the squad back from injury, fitness throughout will improve and we might see some new personnel.

I say to those supporters spouting negative vibes: open those curtains and let some light into your world. It’s a new season don’t you know?

Hail! Hail!

Stevie

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Just as Celtic bring the curtain down on their pre-season tour, they look ahead to their first competitive match since the Scottish Cup Final. The results in Germany sparked negative reactions amongst fans but it is the competitive games that matter.

Lets face it, played four, lost four doesn’t look good or feel good at any time. Can we really read onto this kind form though?

No because these are about fitness and preparation, not winning 11-0. We’ve had poor pre-seasons on countless occasions but they’ve only ever hurt us when we’ve ended up stateside or down under.

The real stuff begins on Wednesday against Cliftonville. That’s where Celtic’s season truly begins.

These qualifying rounds for the Champions League dominate the pre-season. They come too early so these other matches serve only as build up and preparation for what lies ahead.

The current topics are filling the roles of Wanyama and perhaps Hooper. Wanyama’s departure gives the club a healthy profit and if Hooper goes as well that will increase further.

Kayal is the automatic replacement in midfield, a role that was his before Victor stepped in. Lennon may look at other options within the squad so with or without the purchase of a new player we’re not going to suffer.

The situation with Hooper is somewhat different. His goal tally has been great for the club since he joined.

Though we are not short of strikers or goal scorers either you do want your 20 goals a season hit man. Tony Watt is too young and inexperienced whilst guys like Stokes and Samaras do their best work outside of the box.

New signing Amido Balde is doubtful to be given the responsibility. His role may even lie somewhere behind the frontline.

Lennon has made noises about Hooper’s on/off transfer as recent as yesterday when he suggested he may have played his last game for Celtic. If a transfer does go ahead soon we are certain to have a few players on the shortlist.

The main focus for now is Wednesday and starting the campaign with a win. These are the matches where results matter.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie