A lot has happened at Celtic Park in the last year or so, and today we take a look at 10 things that Celtic have learnt throughout the period.
10. At the turn of 2010 Celtic were very active in the transfer market and added the likes of Ki Sung Yeung, Thomas Rogne, Jos Hooiveld and Morten Rasmussen. Although it was then manager Tony Mowbray who was responsible for these signings I think the Celtic board has a lot to learn in terms of these signings. The fact that only one of these players plays regularly, I cant help but feel the club have squandered some of their already tight budget.
9. Celtic welcomed Neil Lennon as their new manager on a temporary basis after Tony Mowbrays Celtic side lost 4-0 against St Mirren in March. Lennon enjoyed a very successful time as temporary boss and proved that he could be the man to lead such a club albeit he had little experience in managing.
8. After Celtic’s poor form during Tony Mowbray’s tenure as manager the Celtic faithful’s patience started to wane. Attendance numbers dropped and for the first time I could remember I saw empty seat at Celtic Park. However, with results soon becoming more positive the Celtic fans started to come back just showing their dedication to the club.
7. Uncertainty still surrounds the Celtic defence. With the acquisition of Cha Du-Ri and Emilio Izaguirre, the full back positions seem sound as they both add an attacking dimension yet not forgetting their primary duty, defending. It’s not possible to speak with the same confidence about the two men that make up the centre back pairing. It would seem the nervy partnership of Daniel Majstorovic and Glenn Loovens still needs some work on
6. Last summer saw the coming and goings of many personnel especially for the green half of Glasgow. The summer’s transfers proved that both sides of the Old Firm could still attract reasonably big names from south of the border and Europe. Rangers acquired Nicola Jelavic from Rapid Vienna and Celtic signed Joe Ledley, Emilio Izaguirre and Efrain Juarez all who had been hotly tipped to join teams in the premier league. Scottish football maybe down but it certainly is not out.
5. I still do not believe that Celtic have a forward that could test the strongest of defences. In Gary Hooper the team definitely have someone who can score goals and hassle Scottish Premier League defences. It is yet to be seen if he can do it in Europe. I guess time will only tell, but with Celtic drawing so many games recently do they have a capable match winner in their ranks?
4. With so many faces coming and going in the last year I have learnt that Celtic have a revolving door. This was something that I was unaware of a year ago. With the likes of Diomansy Kamara, Edson Braafheid and Robbie Keane all coming and going such quick succession there seems to be little stability within the club. However, we must remember Celtic are in a transitional period.
3. Celtic are still keen to promote themselves on the world stage. With the signing of Efrain Juarez, Ki Sung Yeung, Gustavo Ruellas and the relationship struck up with Mexican Club Santos Laguna it is evident Celtic are willing to enter into new markets in the hope of securing a more lucrative future.
2. ‘Lenny’ as he is affectionately known, has surprised many in his managerial style. Once the fiery bleach blonde haired defensive midfielder, the Northern Irish man has proven himself to be a calm and calculated individual. In press interviews ‘Lenny’ comes across softly spoken and someone that exudes thought and passion. Much different from the man that used to rile up the rangers fans during every Old Firm derby and every appearance for the Northern Irish national team. ‘Lenny’s’ support for the club is widely known but his composed style during press conferences and enthusiastic touchline manner is very reminiscent of another Northern Irish man that once stood at the helm of this very fine club.
1. One thing we haven’t learnt though is whether ‘Lenny’ can establish Celtic as Scotland’s premier team. With Rangers enjoying a great start to the season we will soon find out whether Celtic can match them and take massive strides towards lifting the league trophy at the end of the season. If ‘Lenny’ can mastermind a victory on Sunday, it would also mentally stand Celtic in great stead for the rest of the season. If the result isn’t the right then serious questions have to be asked whether Celtic have moved forward since the reign of Mowbray.
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