I’m not one of these Celtic supporters who gets upset when our better players get linked with moves away. I’ve stated this a few times since the summer.
I’m not one to get enraged at the media that they report on interest in our players from bigger leagues, unless I genuinely believe it to be made up in order to unsettle our players or manager, that I have a problem with.
But let’s be honest, most of the stories linking our players with moves away originate from other countries or from journalists and ‘transfer gurus’ who don’t give a jot about Scottish football, who are just doing their job and reporting on the information they have and the press in this country then bring these stories to light over here.
The only thing that upsets me is when we actually losing our better players, or if I genuinely believe myself they are going to be off.
I must admit though, I am starting to have a change of heart now that our Champions League campaign has concluded.
No, it is not a knee jerk reaction to losing 5-1 to Real Madrid, I wasn’t actually upset about that as it was a dead rubber for us and in my opinion Real are the best on the planet, It’s something I’ve been thinking about over the past few weeks and I’m judging it on our Champions League campaign this year and our Europa League campaign last season.
People will have different opinions of individual players and I of course have my own, without rhyming off a list of players I would keep or sell, I think it’s quite obvious that we have overrated some of our key players and they are not as good as we thought they were. Their performances over two seperete European campaigns proves that and we have to be honest with ourselves.
I voiced my opinion on Twitter last night that in order for us to progress, we need to move a few of those players on within the next year, guys who are now around the 27 years old mark, who most likely aren’t going to get a whole lot better or become a lot more valuable.
If we get fair offers for these players, we need to move them on and try to bring in better. Sure, it is a risk, but it is one we have to take if we want to progress in Europe.
That doesn’t mean a huge overhaul of players, it means we now need to start looking at bringing in quality over quantity or a mix of both.
Selling one or two current first team players and bringing in better replacements for those one or two positions.
And I was very pleased to hear Age echo those exact same thoughts today. This is what he told Football Scotland:
“If you look at clubs who do well at Champions League level that are our size, what do they do? They develop players, sell them on and replace them with better versions, hopefully.”
“That is where our growth lies. It is part of the process. I don’t fear that. That has to happen for us to grow. We need to be bringing money in to be able to keep bringing better players to our football club.”
And he’s absolutely right.
It is hard for some Celtic supporters to accept this though, and I think that is down to us selling our better players in recent history and bringing in replacements who are just not on their level, never mind bringing in better.
I can totally understand the fear that the same thing will happen again, but we need to have faith in Ange and trust that he knows what he is doing, and if he is intending to bring in better quality players to help us progress in Europe, then that is exactly what he is going to do.