Neil Lennon has said that Celtic will ‘try’ to address some of the holes in the squad in the next couple of weeks.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s match at Motherwell, Lennon said: “We have some positions we’d like to address and we’ll try to do that in the next few weeks.”
The manager’s comments are a bit concerning.
Kieran Tierney’s departure was widely anticipated, but even if he stayed, there was a good argument for getting another left-back in, regardless.
Tierney missed much of last season through injury and, while Boli Bolingoli has signed, it’s fair to say the defender has still to find his feet.
Romain Perraud says that Celtic dropped their interest in him during the summer.
If he was highly rated, having him signed up for the inevitable departure of Tierney, who would have gone in the next window or two if the Arsenal move didn’t happen, would have seemed reasonable.
Last year we played Hayes and McGregor at left-back and as it stands we could be doing the same again.
On the right, we have Elhamed. He’s a doubt for Saturday, so we’re again looking at Ralston possibly being our only fit right-back.
We have no strength in depth across our back line. Christopher Jullien seems to be taking a while to get up to speed. We have already had a midfielder playing at centre half and more of that can be anticipated throughout the season as Jozo doesn’t like playing on plastic pitches.
Lille are reportedly interested in the player, a situation that would leave us down to the bare bones as a defence.
Lennon has also said he needs a forward and a midfielder at least.
Midfield looks strong on paper, but injuries to key players last year saw us overworking Callum McGregor for example. Up front, Eddie was left to carry the load on his own for too many months.
Lennon spoke of players leaving too. Whether that is before or after new faces come in, with the English window closed, that narrows the options.
Has enough been done to support Lennon in probably the most crucial window we’ve faced in years? As it stands, most certainly not.
There doesn’t seem to be any difference in strategy from his first time at the club, which left him frustrated in the extreme. In fact, it feels worse this time because we’re flush with cash.
Our tie against Cluj is in the balance. Lennon has spoken before almost every round of qualifiers saying he wanted players in. The games come and go, but the team and squad is weaker than the one that finished the season.
Meanwhile, our pile of cash in the bank continues to grow. There is absolutely no point in having more money than other teams if we are short of quality and depth.
Peter Lawwell always says we aim to come out of a transfer window stronger than we went in.
The season doesn’t start on September 2, however. It’s already underway and yet again a manager is tackling our most crucial matches, the CL qualifiers, with one hand tied behind his back.
Fans don’t care about the size of the wad in the bank if it’s not used to help the team. It looks as if this is an insurance policy in the event of a CL exit, rather than something that is used to help avoid such a scenario in the first place. That’s before we even think of the challenge of winning a ninth title in a row.
The board’s role at the club is to make the manager’s job as easy as possible in winning matches. It’s time for them to get the finger out and do this.