Friday, January 8, 2010
Celtic face critical January period
With transfer news filling the newspaper columns it is imperative that Celtic get this window absolutely right.
The decision to state that Aiden McGeady is not for sale at any price is obviously critical and perhaps the most important move that Peter Lawwell will make over the next few weeks. Celtic are more fortunate than their cross-town rivals in that they are in a strong financial position and are not being monitored closely by any financial institutions.
Gary Caldwell may well make a move to England, with Wigan Athletic keen on signing the centre-back. This move would be fine, as long as he replaced. Centre-back is Celtic's weakest position with no real quality to speak of. Caldwell, is perhaps, overall the best of the bunch but I wouldn't mind seeing him go as long as his replacement was swiftly acquired.
Gordan Strachan has been linked with Willo Flood, Chris Killen and Mark Wilson and could result in the best dealings at Parkhead in a while. While they all offer depth, none of them are even close to the starting eleven.
Scott McDonald is the other player that has several suitors. He is Celtic's only pure goal scorer, he is the only player that routinely contributes very little to the overall game but will make his mark with one or two goals. Samaras and Fortune both offer much much more in overall quality, but lack the finishing ability of McDonald. Similar to Caldwell, I would not be devastated if Scott left, but he would need to be replaced immediately. If that replacement was not out there, then it would certainly be a dangerous move. I cannot imagine Strachan making the move to sell McDonald as it is certainly goes against his conservative managerial nature, but perhaps big Tony sees things a little differently.
Overall Celtic are playing good football, dominating games (see last Old Firm game) but are conceding cheap goals and not finishing off created chances. A worrying trend indeed. Careful negotiation of the January transfer window is going to be essential for Celtic to reverse this trend and bring in a few players who may be able to make that important difference down the stretch.