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Opinion: The loan exit Celtic boss shut down in January is now likely

Ange Postecoglou refused Udinese in their attempts to take Stephen Welsh on loan in January, but the same outcome surely wouldn’t be the case this summer.

The Daily Record reported at the start of the year that Celtic turned down several offers from the Serie A side for Welsh. The idea being that Ange wanted him to remain and fight for the 2 centre-back positions held by Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers respectively.

But fast forward 4 months and Welsh was barely given an opportunity. The Scotland under-21 international made 24 appearances for the club this term, but he didn’t feature in a single league match outside of trophy day in 2022. Welsh started Scottish Cup games against Alloa and Raith Rovers respectively, but outside of cameos against Rangers and Motherwell, that’s been his whack this year [Transfermarkt].

Celtic FC v Heart of Midlothian - Cinch Scottish Premiership
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Postecoglou addressed Welsh’s lack of game-time along with Christopher Jullien’s just one week ago. He stated that he simply doesn’t like rotating often at centre-back and that it’s difficult to give players minutes [Celtic TV].

However, Welsh is at an age where he simply can’t be sitting on the bench due to potential stagnation in his development. He’s also well surpassed the idea of playing B team football too. Therefore, the only logical option heading into the summer is to send him out on loan.

Let’s be honest, even if Cameron Carter-Vickers signs permanently or not, we’ll still strengthen substantially at centre-back. Ange will either bring in 2 new players or he’ll simply add another as well as CCV. The Athletic has already reported that a new centre-back is on the agenda regardless of Carter-Vickers’ permanent destination.

Ange outlines early transfer intentions as YOU have your say on Celtic’s title win

Ange outlines early transfer intentions as YOU have your say on Celtic’s title win
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Stephen Welsh’s long-term Celtic future could blossom with one more loan spell

Let’s be blunt about Welsh’s position right now. Yes, he’s a talent who will hopefully become a first-choice Celtic centre-back one day. But that day isn’t now. He’s still well behind CCV and Carl Starfelt in terms of all-round quality. If anything happens to one of them next term, another central defensive option will likely come in as opposed to Stephen.

Welsh would still see minutes if he remained at Celtic Park, but they would be rare. He doesn’t want another 4-6 months like he experienced in the second half of the current campaign. Yes, he may be part of a winning Celtic squad involved in UCL football. But he would barely be playing. It would be a short-term rush over long-term gain.

Any loan would of course have to meet the required standard. A move to the English lower leagues does next to nothing for him. Similar alternatives to the Udinese option would be extremely ideal. It could effectively secure a prosperous long-term Celtic future if he manages to develop with more first-team minutes at a top league.

Celtic FC v Heart of Midlothian - Cinch Scottish Premiership
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Of course, much of this is down to the manager. Perhaps he sees Welsh as one of his big options for next season. But in reality, if we strengthen further, it would be in everyone’s best interests for him to get first-team minutes elsewhere.

You just can’t see Ange being so determined to turn down a potential summer departure in the manner he did back in January. The situation has changed now and Celtic have an entire transfer window to strengthen further in the position. Given the club are reportedly looking to do that, that tells a story about Welsh’s position within the squad.

Don’t be surprised if he’s one of the names making a temporary move before the new season begins.

In other news, Bristol City boss clarifies transfer stance on Celtic-linked Antoine Semenyo

The post Opinion: The loan exit Celtic boss shut down in January is now likely appeared first on 67 Hail Hail.

Source: 67 Hail Hail | 17 May 2022 | 8:10 pm UTC

English manager clarifies stance on 8-goal striker Celtic previously enquired about

Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson has stated that Celtic-linked Antoine Semenyo will be “expensive” this summer but admitted he wouldn’t stand in the way of an acceptable offer.

Semenyo has reportedly already been scouted by the Hoops this season [Bristol World]. The player’s agent then came out and stated that Gavin Strachan had enquired about him too [Football Scotland].

However, Semenyo’s contract is reportedly set to be extended until the summer of 2024 [Bristol World]. This would give the Championship side protection from lowball offers when the transfer window opens up this summer.

Reading v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

It’s been reported in the past that City could demand as much as £20m for the player [Bristol World]. And Pearson has addressed speculation surrounding his future in an interview with BBC Radio Bristol:

“I don’t spend too much time worrying about that. I think we will, in time, have decisions to make on him but hopefully, he’ll be here this year. Would I stand in his way of going to top a Premier League side? Absolutely not. But it would have to be the right deal for us, as a team.

“As a football club, the financial offset for losing someone like Antoine is going to be considerable and people need to be aware of that.

“We don’t want to be a selling club, we want to keep our best player, of course we do, but the reality of where we are is there are times when that stance will be stretched and it will be questioned, and what we have to do is make the right decision for us as a football club. We’ll have a better chance of succeeding next year if Antoine is here. But if he goes somewhere he’s going to be expensive for somebody.”

Ange outlines early transfer intentions as YOU have your say on Celtic’s title win

Ange outlines early transfer intentions as YOU have your say on Celtic’s title win
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Antoine Semenyo figure would need to be lower than £20m for Celtic move

Semenyo has plenty of positive attributes that he’s shown throughout his 8-goal campaign this season [Transfermarkt]. He can hold the ball up, has good aerial threat, and appears to have crisp movement in and around the penalty box.

The problem here is the transfer fee being bandied around. If Bristol do indeed want as much as £20m then it rules us out. Even with UCL qualification in the bank, we wouldn’t be open to going near that figure. We would have to hope that a sum of that size is just wild speculation.

We also know for certain that we’re going to have 2 extremely talented strikers at the club next season. Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis will be rotated throughout the campaign. And even though it’s vital Celtic improve their third option – Semenyo would be too pricey for that role as things stand.

Stoke City v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

It’s not unlikely that Celtic go hunting for another frontman this summer. Semenyo is the kind of player you can see fitting the bill here too. But Pearson labelling him “expensive” sounds a touch ominous, especially for the kind of fees Championship players are now going for.

A player is, at the end of the day, only worth what a club is willing to pay for them. It remains to be seen if the striker himself will be pushing for a move – something that could help drive down any potential fee.

But at the moment, Bristol City hold the cards with this one. We’ll see how this pans out as the summer rolls along.

In other news, Report: Schalke now struggling to afford Ko Itakura after claiming Celtic wanted him

The post English manager clarifies stance on 8-goal striker Celtic previously enquired about appeared first on 67 Hail Hail.

Source: 67 Hail Hail | 17 May 2022 | 7:10 pm UTC

Opinion: Celtic colossus may have one regret over season 2021/22

Celtic centre-back Carl Starfelt has had a terrific first season for the Hoops, especially when you consider that he had a indifferent start to the season.

His partnership with Cameron Carter-Vickers transformed the Hoops, with the duo helping Celtic to the best defensive record in the league, and the Premiership and Premier Sports Cup trophies.

Starfelt should be looking forward to the Hoops defending the Premiership, and making an impact in the Champions League, which will be a test for the Swedish international, but it is one that he could pass if he maintains the form he showed for the Bhoys in season 2021/22.

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images Sport

However, there could be one regret that the player has and that he is yet to score a goal for Celtic. He played 49 games for the Bhoys, and didn’t manage to find the back of the net once, which is a surprise when you consider that he was up for free-kicks and corners on a regular basis.

Interestingly enough, his central defensive partner Carter-Vickers scored four times for the Bhoys, including a winning goal at Ibrox. 

Obviously Starfelt’s main job is to defend, and for the most part he has done an admirable job for the Hoops, but it is puzzling that as yet he has not scored a goal for the Bhoys.

He did play a part in an important goal though, as his header against Livingston was saved, and Daizen Maeda headed home the rebound to give the Hoops the lead in a vital away win, which would have given Celtic fans the belief that the team can go on and win the title.

Mark Runnacles/Getty Images Sport

Will Starfelt be annoyed that he didn’t score for the Hoops this season? Probably not, as has already been stated, his job is to stop the Bhoys from conceding goals, and Celtic have been excellent at doing that this season. 

Only time will tell who is playing alongside Starfelt in the Celtic backline next season, most fans will be hoping that it will be Cameron Carter-Vickers, but it remains to be seen if he will return to Celtic as his loan deal from Tottenham has come to an end.

No matter what happens with Carter-Vickers, Starfelt will be a mainstay of the Celtic side going forward as long as he stays fit. Perhaps he will be playing alongside Stephen Welsh, or a new centre-back that the club sign in the summer.

When Starfelt starts next season, he will be looking to help the Hoops keep up their excellent defensive record, and who knows, perhaps he will finally score his first Celtic goal in the first game of the season.

The post Opinion: Celtic colossus may have one regret over season 2021/22 appeared first on Read Celtic.

Source: Read Celtic | 17 May 2022 | 7:00 pm UTC

Quiz: How well do you remember Nir Bitton's Celtic career?

It was an emotional day for Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton at the weekend, as he played his last ever game for the Hoops, coming on to play the last five minutes of the game against Motherwell.

Bitton was handed the captain’s armband by Callum McGregor, and he also had the privilege of walking out with the Premiership trophy with Tom Rogic, who is also leaving Celtic after a very successful spell at the club.

Bitton featured in many big Celtic moments over the years, and his versatility will be hard to replace, as he was able to play in a number of positions for the Bhoys.

It will be interesting to see what Bitton does next in his career, as yet it hasn’t been announced where we will be playing after leaving the Hoops.

For now though, it is time to celebrate his career at Celtic by taking this quiz which will take a look at the many memorable moments of his time at Celtic Park and the many memories he has left the club.

The post Quiz: How well do you remember Nir Bitton’s Celtic career? appeared first on Read Celtic.

Source: Read Celtic | 17 May 2022 | 4:00 pm UTC

Celtic Diary Tuesday May 17: Silver Lining

There’s not a single one of us who wouldn’t swap places with “rangers ” right now and be heading into Seville for a Europa League…

Source: eTims | 17 May 2022 | 8:54 am UTC


NIR BITTON’S last act as a Celtic player was to congratulate Giorgos Giakoumakis after the Greek had netted the final goal in the 6-0 mauling of Motherwell at Parkhead at the weekend. Poignantly, the Israel international was wearing the captain’s armband after coming on for Callum McGregor a few minutes earlier. The ball was re-centred [...]

Source: Celtic – Scotzine | 16 May 2022 | 9:47 am UTC

Celtic Diary Monday May 16: Papers, Hacks and Writers

Celtic supporters went on the rampage in Glasgow on Saturday night, according to some, er, reports, that emerged yesterday.   It was that bad that…

Source: eTims | 16 May 2022 | 3:41 am UTC


ANGE POSTECOGLOU didn’t have to think too much about his chosen words when he was asked to address the 60,000 celebrating Celtic fans. The supporters had just witnessed their favourites romp to a 6-0 mauling of Motherwell at Parkhead to bring down the curtain on a remarkable campaign that saw the Hoops overturn a 25-point [...]

Source: Celtic – Scotzine | 15 May 2022 | 10:37 am UTC

End of an era - duo to leave Celtic

Livingston v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

We’ll start off with the good news at least before you get emotional I suppose.

GIGPOD 114 - CHAMPIONS EDITION is out now, and you can catch it below.

So yes, it was indeed confirmed by the club that Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton will be departing Celtic at the end of the season, with snippets of interviews posted shortly afterwards.

Two big characters who have played a huge part in us becoming champions of Scotland, and we wish them nothing but further success elsewhere.

In fact, GIGPOD will have a Tom Rogic special podcast out after the Motherwell game, and we’ll give you more information on our Instagram page.

The team held a meeting before training today, the last session of the season.

Tomorrow is almost certain to be an emotional, but joyous one, at Celtic Park.

Remember to catch the latest 67HailHail video and subscribe to the channel for reaction to the party outside the stadium if you can’t be there for news and information on how the match and more importantly, the celebrations went!

Source: The Jersey Doesn't Shrink - All Posts | 13 May 2022 | 1:08 pm UTC

Celtic - Champions again

cinch Premiership - Dundee United FC v Celtic FC
Photo by Ewan Bootman/SNS Group via Getty Images

We’ve known it since early April, and it’s felt like an eternity to be able to say it, but we can now officially state that Celtic are the CHAMPIONS of Scotland once again!

Ange Postecoglou’s men only required a point in Dundee to seal the title and it was professionally done with a much changed attacking three with Maeda, Jota and Kyogo all rested from the weekend.

Here’s how much it meant to the manager

I won’t even bother posting the goals, instead, here’s all the best reactions from last night and yes I’ll use my photo from outside the stadium to kick things off as it seems to have went down well!

There was a live 67HH reaction last night as well. We’ll be back today for a special one outside the stadium but check out Hamish and Asim below immediately after the match at Tannadice;

Source: The Jersey Doesn't Shrink - All Posts | 12 May 2022 | 10:54 am UTC


So, it’s all over bar the shouting. One more point at Tannadice on Wednesday will give Celtic the league title. Something which looked a far off possibility back in early autumn when the team struggled to get results and fit into Ange Postecoglou’s new system.

In my 50 years of watching the Celts, this one has been one of the most remarkable seasons ever. Probably comparable with Billy McNeill’s unlikely 1979 league title win when, similar to this season, not much was expected of the team with a new manager taking over in hugely difficult circumstances after a highly painful season, when they probably over achieved in the process.

Bear with me for a couple of minutes and read some personal memories of a very highly emotional season.

29 August Rangers 1-0 Celtic

In the days preceding the game I contracted Covid. Had it pretty bad too. Splitting sore head (something I never get), fever symptoms and suffering from general fatigue. I isolated myself in the living room to protect the rest of the family. It didn’t work. The night before this game I passed out in the bathroom and woke up on the floor. All was not well. This game didn’t make me feel any better. Edouard went through the motions with his head (and heart) now clearly elsewhere and although Celtic mounted a late flurry, it was all in vain with a 1-0 defeat for their new manager, Ange Postecoglou. After the game, lying in miserable darkness, it was clear that new faces were required. The phone began to beep with rumours which eventually were found to be true. Jota on loan from Benfica. Never heard of him. Cameron Carter-Vickers, another loan, from Tottenham. Uninspiring, although his links with Catholic United proved to be highly amusing on social media. Georgios Giakoumakis, from a second tier side in Holland. All very unexciting. Clearly, this was going to be a long and arduous season.

2 December Celtic 1-0 Hearts

Things began to improve by early winter. But more Covid unpleasantness for me. Given the booster jag on the morning of the game, together with the flu jag, I felt unwell on the way to Parkhead that night. Really bad, so much so that I just couldn’t get a heat in me despite having several layers of warm clothes. Kyogo gave Celtic the lead. A second goal would clinch the points and allow me to happily leave early. However, that goal wouldn’t come. It became something of an endurance test. The Celts were out there giving their all so I should be able to stick it out and play my part for the Celtic cause. Fans are always concerned with superstitions. I had it in my head that if I left, Hearts would equalise. They didn’t. I stuck it out and Celtic prevailed.

15 December Ross County 1-2 Celtic

Kyogo and Jota, fast becoming the talismen of Ange’s new side were missing. Yet it all started so well with Abada giving the Celts a 1-0 half time lead. County equalised, then a clearly rattled Starfelt was ordered off with 12 minutes to go. The ten men drive on but a winning goal looks a forlorn hope during injury time. Then, in the 97th minute, with all looking lost, the most unlikely of heroes comes to the fore. Anthony Ralston rises gloriously at the back post to score the important winning goal in the most dramatic of circumstances. Celtic fans invade the pitch in gleeful celebration, as carnage is witnessed in living rooms across the country. That feeling of disbelief as the ball hit the net, one of those games you just know you will tell the grandkids about in years to come. Where were you when Tony Ralston scored in Dingwall?  The good ship Ange remained on course. But only just.

19 December Celtic 2-1 Hibernian

The first major final of the season and Hibs score first. Just before despair could set in, through the thick man-made pyro-mist, McGregor feeds Kyogo with the most delightful of passes, and it’s one each. Then, with inspiration desperately needed, Kyogo scores the winner with the most delightful of lobs you will ever see, the ball seeming to hang in the air for an eternity before dropping into the net. A class finish, worthy of winning any cup final from a player who is fast approaching Henrik-like adulation from the supporters. Perhaps Celtic, and big Ange, are on to something special after all.

3 February Celtic 3-0 Rangers

THE crunch game of the season. The recent poor record against our city rivals is one which was fast approaching the psychological as well as the physical. New recruits had been added from the land of the rising sun. New names to contend with – Hatate, Maeda, Ideguchi. The game was arguably won before a ball was kicked. The ‘disco lights’, often maligned, never looked better. With no away fans the noise inside the stadium was even more deafening than usual. As the huddle took place, the Celtic players looked glorious, bathed in the bright glow of green lights as the opposition stood in total darkness listening to the banshee cries of 60,000 Celtic fans. Send them back to hell Bhoys! Be in no doubt, it fazed them. By half time the Celts had a 3-0 advantage. The second half was uneventful and irrelevant. What really counted was that Celtic went top of the table for the first time. Question is; could they stay there?

11 May Dundee United v Celtic

The Celts stayed on top through to May on the back of an incredible 30 game unbeaten run. Something which seemed unimageable after the miserable 1-0 defeat at Livingston in late September. Six points clear and a huge advantage in goal difference, one meagre point will now see Celtic as league champions and kick of the celebrations which will be long and loud. A quite remarkable turnaround from the misery of last season when so much went wrong in such a short time. All a distant memory now, time’s a healer. The big Australian who joined Celtic in their time of need and was ridiculed during those difficult early days, will now have the last laugh. The manager’s proclamation during that difficult autumn period proved to be prophetic – league tables are not decided in October. The hope is that Ange Postecoglou, and Celtic supporters, will be laughing for a long time to come.






Source: The Celtic Underground | 8 May 2022 | 7:45 pm UTC

Good to be back, to be back…GOOD!

THE Celtic Podcast


The podcast is back (again) after a midseason break

Now where were we….ah that’s right, we’re on track for a treble!

Sorry it’s been so long but you know how it is, life, work, IT issues – they all get in the way of creating the latest episode of the world’s longest running football fans podcast.  Anyway, the IT issues have been resolved (like most I’m not sure about volume of hours in work) but we’re ready to go.

This should have been out a week earlier but the aforementioned IT issues prevented.  Anyway – it’s Saint & me discussing the recent victory at Ibrox, just prior to the 7 goal victory over St Johnstone.

Source: The Celtic Underground | 15 Apr 2022 | 3:21 pm UTC