THE performances of the two sides in the Europa League match on Thursday night provides an interesting opportunity to consider the two styles of play, the two methods in which the clubs are run and the chance to review the two conflicting camps in the internal struggles that have developed at Celtic since that day back in May when the historic Double Treble was secured.
The two camps – let’s call them Peter’s Pals and Brendan’s Buddies – were in agreement that Thursday night’s result and performance was well short of what’s required.
Brendan’s Buddies say that Lawwell has failed to back a manager who has delivered 6 trophies from 6 and an Invincible season. His reluctance to bring in players in the summer has resulted in a starting eleven that is generally weaker than Celtic sides of the past few seasons.
They note that the CEO pocketed the £27million from the sale of Armstrong and Dembele and allowed Paddy Roberts to leave without a renewed attempt to sign him up – as happened the previous year.
Rodgers on Friday pointed out the significance of the loss of these three players and this was perfectly summarised on Twitter by Focus on Celtic….
In Brendan Rodgers’ first season Dembele, Armstrong and Roberts either assisted or scored in 63.3% of Celtic’s goals (95 of 150). pic.twitter.com/Npip1mD8sl
— Focus on Celtic (@FocusOnCeltic) October 5, 2018
They also claim that the Virgil van Dijk sell-on windfall was not re-invested in the squad with regard to any new signings. They have a point in all of this.
Peter’s Pals point to the poor value that the club has had from a series of Brendan’s signings that have added little in terms of quality to the side – most cannot get anywhere near the side and signings like Compper and De Vries have been major disappointments among others.
They argue that the manager prefers to shop in expensive markets where player are more expensive and that Peter’s Best Value philosophy is a better approach especially when compared to the results that Rodgers has delivered so far in the transfer market.
Here’s a flavour of this argument…
This was the transfer fees Red Bull Salzurg paid for their starting XI last night
All of their midfield 4 were sent to FC Liefering ( Lower league in Austria ) as teenagers. Liefering are a feeder club to Salzburg
We were beaten by a club who recruit better than us pic.twitter.com/Qorq9fGJ45
— Barcabhoy (@Barcabhoy1) October 5, 2018
Barcabhoy is of course close to Peter Lawwell. He continued by saying this…
“When John Park headed recruitment and Peter decided on value to us, we did far better than this current plan.
“We shop in expensive markets and pay too much now.
“We have the right strategy, we just need to get back to implementing it through the people who made it successful.”
That sums up the problems at Celtic perfectly.
The manager reckons he has delivered – look at the trophies and the increase in turnover at the club – effectively doubling since his arrival.
The CEO reckons that the manager has been backed but has delivered poor results in his transfer dealings and generally prefers to shop in expensive markets where the chances of getting good value deals are reduced.
Going back to Salzburg – they have a coach who plays a set style of football – and a Director of Football – who brings in the players to play this style. The former doesn’t pick the players and the latter doesn’t interfere in the style of football played – that’s been pre-determined.
Brendan insisted on the new pitch at Celtic Park to make the game faster for us but there has been little evidence of that happening so far. Other than scoring 3 goals against Livingston on the opening day we have had to settle for a single goal, if we are lucky, in the other league games.
Most fans would probably prefer to play the Salzburg style of football and batter the rivals in the SPFL – something we’ve only really done to Rangers this season, and even then that only brought the one goal.
Lawwell’s aspirations to determine the transfer policy and often the specific decisions on players coming in is unlikely to sit well with Rodgers. The CEO needs to factor in the plenty of dodgy signings that happened under his watch before Brendan Rodgers arrived – often the cheap option was cheap for a reason and even some of the more expensive buys like Derk Boerrigter who cost £2.5million are eve more spectacular flops that the likes of Marvin Compper.
But just imagine Celtic adopted the Salzburg model – Brendan as the coach and Lawwell (essentially aided on the side by his son) as the Director of Football.
At least we’d be clear on matters as the current situation is untenable and the transfer policy is currently broken and we are going to have to sign some quality soon.
What do you think? Have you say on the new fans forum Celtic Noise…