Squad Evolution

Since confirmation was given that Kelvin Wilson was expected to complete his move home to Nottingham it’s been a large concern with a lot of Celtic supporters on Twitter that we have now sold our best players in each position – Wilson (Def) Wanyama (Mid) and Hooper (Att)

Although I would ask everyone to remain calm and continue to trust our scouting system to prevail and provide new good players to replace these I do hold some concern as to how we have worked this transfer window to date.

The main reason for my own concern is that the strategy we currently follow means that we will continue to seek young rough edged gems with a view of developing & smoothing them leading to profits in selling them on. This is a strategy used by many clubs in the past from Ajax, Porto and Lyon to name a few.

What I remember from especially Lyon is that whenever they had a team full of exciting young developing players, their chairman would always say year after year that they would only sell one of these ‘diamonds’ per year, Every player would get their opportunity however they couldn’t allow more than one ‘diamond’ to leave in the same football season.

I understand that with Hooper, we had a player eager to leave, within the last year on his contract and with Wilson, another player eager to leave for personal reason’s that the club have had to act in this way however I feel that this situation isn’t one which would’ve suddenly happened, it would have happened over the course of a few months and I feel the club could have been more prepared in bringing in suitable replacements.

Replacements I don’t mean players that will sit on the bench, replacements I mean in players coming in and staking a place in the first eleven automatically as if we want to continue the progress made last season, we need players who can hit the ground running and not as we currently see with Amido Balde.

I believe that it’s telling of a great football manager in how he goes and turns over a squad. Great managers recognize when a squad needs refreshed and there are only a few managers which i can think of which have this ability.

Even our own Martin O’Neill in my opinion wasn’t capable of successfully evolving a squad as when he arrived he had a good solid backbone of a side and included a few expensive players to add to this making a very successful side however when it came to turning the squad over with reduced funding, this then became difficult. If we look at his tenure’s at Aston Villa & Sunderland, again great starts then when funding was removed, this resulted in poorer performances & results.

The one manager I know that had that knack of knowing when was the right time for a change was Alex Ferguson. Time and time again Fergie would surprise everyone by making drastic changes such as selling Jaap Stam, Ruud Van Nistelrooy & David Beckham to name a few.

Fergie will make necessary changes and bring in younger, hungrier players looking to make an impact on a bigger scale however he wouldn’t have faced the task of selling 3 top influential players in the one season the way that Lenny faces this summer.

The task faced by Celtic of course is hugely different to Celtic in terms of finance and prestige (League & honours) however I do feel that should Lennon be successful in achieving similar success to last season, this will rank as his great achievement to date.

Hooper, Wanyama & Wilson were influential Celtic players who had a number of years involved with the club &the management team.

Bringing in new inexperienced players will be a big ask for them and the current side to reach the same levels of last season.

3 thoughts on “Squad Evolution

  1. I have a certain amount of confidence in Lenny’s ability at the moment, but what can he do if these players wish to move onto moves that are really a step down. Hooper will be very fortunate if he gets a sniff of a full English cap, Wilson doesn’t want to be at Park head, but he will never compete in Euro competition again and the situation with Wanyama was one we knew was going to happen. If they don’t want to play for the Hoops, then they are not good enough to pull on the jersey. What odds will I get for Hooper banging on the doors of Paradise in a three or four unsuccessful seasons time looking for a pay day as his career does not go in the directions he envisions. I personally will be overjoyed this season if we make it to the league section in Europe. The thing that should worry us is this rolling contract that Lenny is on. How can he build for the future when his own coat is on a perpetual slack nail. And if he emulates or betters last season’s managerial duties, we could very well lose him and who could blame him for moving on, under such circumstances. How many Macari’s, Barnes’, Mowberry’s and others of their ilk, will we have to put up with, before we find a quality/competent Celtic manager after Lenny moves on.

  2. I believe Neil Lennon has an infinity with Celtic and will succeed for many years to come.
    What he has previously suffered at the hands of the anti Celtic media in Scotland has shaped the man into a determined thoughtful intelegent young manager, who has had his sences finely honed just to survive in the west of Scotland.

    They the media would love to see Neil Lennon Fail which is the catalyst that they carry,
    because Neil is fully aware how fickle they are, but as each month goes by he becomes
    more astute as to the requirements of being a Celtic manager.
    He now has the skills required off the park to equal his passion on the park.

    I look forward to many great years under Neil’s Management. ‘ We are all Neil Lennon ‘

  3. hawkeyethegnu

    Sorry mate but you are the most negative guy I have not had the pleasure to meat.
    1, a certain amount of confidence on Lenny, Neil Lennon is a remarkable young man Hawkeye, with a record second to none for a rookie manager and nine years younger than McCoist.
    2, I do not worry about his contract situation because he is dyed in the wool Celt, and has put up with more shit than any other manager in football, come through the other side wiser stronger and determined to prove to the bigots/media that he will have the last laugh.
    3, would you move on Hawkeye if you were Neil Lennon or would you have a goal to accomplish first.
    Life is always better Hawkeye when your glass is half full, not half empty. We are all Neil Lennon
    one big happy family, and what a great time to be a Celt our time is now Hawkeye live it.

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