Jefté, Bruno and Celtic’s blunderbuss in the curious Dens fixture affair


The frustration surrounding Celtic’s dereliction of duty in the left full-back position may coming to an end soon. Maybe! With all due respect to our outgoing star-finding incumbent, Mark Lawwell, this issue has been a damning dog’s dinner for more than one window and must be righted sooner rather than later.

Greg Taylor of Celtic

The likeable but susceptible Greg Taylor has been a stalwart in that position for some time now but has not exactly been challenged in his berth by anyone of note. Greg is a wonderful forward-thinking player who adds extra dimension to the attack, especially when we play backs-to-the-wall teams in the woeful Scottish Premiership. That would be…most weeks.

However, the ex-Killie man has oft been found wanting when under severe scrutiny, i.e. the last ten minutes of the match when the other team realise they have more than a decent chance of scoring against the Champions and gaining a valuable point, or three. Greg is not solely to blame for this, but has to shoulder some of the blame, responsibility or whatever.

Chuck the bladder at the back post and you are almost guaranteed a coupon buster. You know it’s coming but still swear at the telly (here in Oz) when the inevitable happens. When it happens at six in the morning (here in Oz) there is a particular sting in the tail; it sets you up for a less than sparkling morning and it normally takes a rosary or two to bring me to my senses. (Works for me!)

It will take more than a decade or two (of the rosary type) to sort out the sieve which is the root cause of our malignant anger growth, one which surfaces now and then, usually around six in the morning sending us scampering for the surf board.

However, fear not Paradisonians! It is mooted that there are two possible (mark my words, possible!) recruits who would not only test the mettle of Mr Taylor but consign him to the splinter deck until he learns to grow a couple of inches taller or buy a can of spinach.

Height is not an absolute in terms of success against the likes of the ‘cabers’ who fortify Greg’s previous employers, (exemplified by the tall Borna’s inglorious exit from Ibrox) but gives you a better than even chance of nutting away said leather in the final third!

The Tommy Gemmell CSC, Dunblane with their brilliant banner

If you can run, pass, tackle, cross and shoot, all the better, (example being the tall, successful, Tommy Gemmell).

So, who can we acquire to replicate big Tam and save the day in our modern era? Well, Hugo Bueno Lopez is being mooted. The Wolverhampton Wanderer is 21, fast, athletic and scored a wonderful goal in the recent FA Cup defeat to Coventry City, a match which captivated us all who were privileged to see it.

However, The Wolf recently signed a contract at Molineux which would take him to 2028, therefore, how much would he cost, could we afford him and…would he want to come? With the ongoing speculation about retaining Adam Idah, finding a top-class shot-stopper permanently and the outlay which that would incur, we wouldn’t want to be bitten in the West Midlands!

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Spanish defender #17 Hugo Bueno celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English FA Cup Quarter-final football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Coventry City at the Molineux on March 16, 2024. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The other speculated option to bolster that position is the Brazilian, Jefté Vital Da Silva Dias, or Jefté for short. (Don’t them Brazilians enjoy their fancy names?)The South American is currently on a loan from his home club, Fluminense to Cypriot giants, APOEL, Neil Lennon’s nemesis whilst the legend was engaged with Omonia Nicosia. Stealing him from under the noses of theRangers would be an added bonus.

Gent’s Matisse Samoise and Apoel’s Jefte pictured in action during a soccer game between Cypriot APOEL FC and Belgian KAA Gent, Thursday 31 August 2023 in Strovolos, Cyprus, the return leg of the play-off for the UEFA Europa Conference League competition. (Photo by GEORGE CHRISTOPHOROU/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

At six-foot tall and only 20 years of age, the highly rated youngster would be a solid addition to our unstable squad and would give us the stability, assurance and calm we desperately need on the left flank. With the resurrection of Cameron Carter-Vickers and hopefully Maik Nawrocki soon, this back line would be one to build our celebratory hopes upon.

There will be rumour upon speculation from now until the new window closes but should Celtic take the Title then we would clearly be a more attractive proposition for future incumbents such as these. They may not arrive, but it gives us some comfort that Mr Desmond is not bluffing when it comes to prizing open the tin. I’ve got 60,000 reasons why he should!

And so…The Dens Park saga continues to rumble on, and conspiracy theorist (like me) continue to speculate about perceived injustices, and we are right.

This is not the first game to be postponed because of the weather. It’s been going on for decades so why the chest-beating inquest? (Rhetorical question…) By the way, if Dundee can afford Ian Rush’s nephew on loan, can they not afford rain covers?

Yang Hyun-Jun of Celtic and Owen Beck of Dundee Celtic v Dundee, Cinch Scottish Premiership, Celtic Park on 28 February 2024. Photo Mark Runnacles/Shutterstock

theRangers are aggrieved that they were not given reasonable time to inform their fanbase about the call-off, thereby allowing multiples to travel unnecessarily. Really?

The timeline of their club’s official outage earlier in the day suggests otherwise so why run with that line?

theRangers had just jumped through hoops (see what I did there) to avoid defeat at home against Paulo Bernardo and Jota’s first love, Benfica. It didn’t work, leaving them with tired legs, injuries and a heavy heart having exited Europe. Who might have benefitted from the call-off then?

The normal procedure has been to reinstate said match at the first convenient time slot, i.e. the first free weekday. This would mean they should be playing the match on the Wednesday before the upcoming Glasgow Derby, as it is free. After all, they no longer have Europe to confiscate their schedule.

: Rafa of SL Benfica celebrates scoring his team’s winning goal with teammates during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between theRangers FC and SL Benfica at Ibrox Stadium on March 14, 2024  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

But, they decided instead to play it on the Wednesday AFTER the Derby. That’s reasonable. We wouldn’t want tired legs, injuries and the possibility of more point dropped just before a rejuvenated and full-strength Celtic came a-calling, would we? I’ll leave that with you.

With Celtic bringing out their legal blunderbuss in the upcoming farce regarding Beatongate, (he of the Crown Bar patronage,) should this oh-so-predictable decision be added to the Brendan Rodgers defence dossier, or are we all just paranoid?

See you in court!

Eddie Murray

ON CELTIC SHORTS…“Goodbye Celtic” – Popular Celtic TV presenter leaves club

MORE ON CELTIC SHORTS…Exclusive Photos: When the Old Board was forced to put seats in The Jungle

Help raise funds for Celtic Youth Academy by playing the Celtic Pools Weekly Lottery and you could win up to £25,000. The lottery is £1 per week and if you join today you will receive a Premium Boxed Celtic Pen & Pencil Set.

About Author

Eddie Murray – I Grew up with the Lions, coming from a Celtic-daft family. Played against Jinky once! Paradise was my second home and Dalglish was my hero. A long term Brisbane Bhoy for many years and have been blogging here for many years. Written a book on Ange/ Brisbane Roar/ Celtic which awaits publication. Writing on other genres as I speak. Top moments? Interviewing Cesar, Wispy, Cairney, The Maestro, Alan Thompson.

1 Comment