The third Monday of the January is supposed to be the most depressing of the year. In the green half of Glasgow though, it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Whilst Zombie FC continue to feed upon one another across the city, Celtic have returned from the Canary Islands with a spring in their step. Two wonderful goals from Adam Matthews and Liam Henderson gave Celtic a 0-2 win over Hamilton on Saturday and once more put pressure on Aberdeen in the league.
The Dons are two points ahead of Celtic but with the Hoops having two games at hand, it promises to be an exciting finish to a season in Scottish footballs top flight. Dundee United lag behind Celtic by four points but remain a threat at this stage in the season.
On the subject of United, the pre-contract signing of Gary Mackay-Steven has been seen as a decent acquisition in the Celtic community. The question remains though on whether Celtic will go a little further and bring him in now.
Of all the Dundee United players that have furnished their ranks in recent years, Gary would not have been top of my list. His signing raises more questions about current players futures and where Ronny Deila plans to fit him in to the squad
Is he bolstering the ranks or will he have a defined role in the team? I welcome the player with open arms but there are a large batch of Celtic players in midfield positions which need to be addressed.
Berget has gone but Celtic still employ Wakaso, Forrest, McGregor, Boerrigter in the wide areas, not to mention loanee Tonev. Add to that the question marks over Kayal and Commons and you begin to wonder how Celtic plan to shape up for the remainder of the season.
Kayal looked like he may get a chance under Deila but it looks more likely that he will go. His early Celtic career has never been recaptured and like many at the club, it is money for nothing by keeping him on.
Commons on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. Question marks remain over whether Deila fancies him or not.
Given his omission from starting elevens, we’ve all assumed Deila was planning ahead without him. Recent starts would suggest otherwise particularly when Deila has been singing his praises and desire for him to stay.
The rumours are that Celtic are willing to offer Commons a one year deal but that he wants a two year deal. Whatever the case, I will be happy as long as he sees out the rest of this season in the Hoops.
Among the other transfer rumours is of course Virgil Van Dijk. Once more he’s been linked with a move south and whilst I have conceded that he is a player we will not be able to hang on to, I don’t see him departing before June unless it is a substantial fee.
John Guidetti is another Celtic player with a question mark over his future. Although on loan to Celtic, the club have shown a willingness to sign him on a permanent deal.
The only thing that remains a stumbling block is of course the player himself. If he is holding out for a better offer elsewhere, then I would suggest Celtic waste no more time on him.
Guidetti had a blistering start to his Celtic career this season and looked every bit a quality forward with all the characteristics on show to be a fans favourite. Recently though he has lost his form and faded into the background but that may be a result of his future at the club.
Whatever happens, he will be at the club until the end of the season on loan. That will mean being included in Celtic’s European squad for the first time as well.
Without a regular front man this season, Guidetti will be vying for a place against Inter Milan next month. What Ronny Deila will be hoping for though will be a stronger challenge from Stefan Scepovic and Leigh Griffiths.
Scepovic is settling down but still not hitting the kind of form Guidetti enjoyed last year. Griffiths on the other hand is beginning to make an impact, he just needs to be given more chances by Deila.
The game that is getting everyone’s attention is of course the cup match against Scottish footballs newest club. Press reports of an “Old F***m” revival only goes to show just how poor a media we have in the UK, especially the sporting media of Scotland.
The phrase has never been one adopted by Celtic fans (not all of us anyway) when playing the liquidated club yet the media continue to use it for the purpose of the phoenix club. The only thing that remains of their dead entity are the “fans” and the stadium – the “history” is just that.
The match itself is one I would have preferred to avoid. Whilst a challenge may have been missing for the last few years, the toxicity that comes with this group of supporters fans has been a welcome break for everyone.
What is going on over across the city is an embarrassment to Scottish society. They used to sing about being “up to their knees in fenian blood”, but now they are up to there necks in their own plasma and faeces.
I wish that this was a fixture Celtic didn’t have to play but play it they will. However it is only one of four competitions Ronny Deila’s players side remain in.
The last two seasons have given Celtic fans little to get excited about post Christmas. The second half of this season could be the best we’ve seen for some time.
With the visit of Motherwell on midweek, Celtic could find themselves back on top of the Scottish Premiership once more. After all, its where we belong.