Blogs & Opinion


Andy Walker: Celtic must not overspend to chase Champions League glory

Andy Walker - Andy Walker Posted 12th December 2013 view comments

Football can very often be a brutal game and it was a chastening experience for Celtic to be so completely outclassed in every department.

Barcelona tore them apart in the Nou Camp with a scoreline that could easily have been more than the six they conceded.

Unlike last season, Celtic have been unable to compete at this level this time round and the worry for the supporters is that the club have now reached their ceiling with very little chance of progressing any further.

Lennon: deserves credit for putting together a side that can play sparkling football

Lennon: deserves credit for putting together a side that can play sparkling football

Losing Kelvin Wilson, Victor Wanyama and Gary Hooper from the team that gave the supporters a treasured memory when they beat Barcelona in Glasgow, meant they were immediately weakened but when players want to go to England and extraordinary offers come in, Celtic will always sell.

Count me out of those who are critical of any players who want to test themselves in the Barclays Premier League where the level of competition is so great.

Count me out of those who are critical of any players who want to test themselves in the Barclays Premier League where the level of competition is so great.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

However, every Celtic fan I speak to believes that the club - without being reckless - should spend more on the type of player that might be able to make all the difference, perhaps in the region of £4million to £5million on a striker.

I believe it's extremely unlikely.

It's guaranteed that Celtic will retain the Scottish Premiership title this season and win it again for the foreseeable future. That gives the club access to the qualifying process for Europe's premier club competition.

The truth is that as much as the supporters want their club to spend big, Celtic don't need a £5million player to win the SPFL or succeed in the qualifying process.

The Champions route to qualifying should see Celtic overcome the two or three ties in front of them. I'm sure the money men at Celtic look at what the likes of Manchester City under Roberto Mancini spent on trying to compete with the cream of Europe. The harsh reality is that last season they spent in excess of £200million on players and still couldn't get through the group stages!

It's a problem Neil Lennon has to cope with. He knows himself that in comparison to everyone else in Scotland he has huge resources to draw on that ensures his team will be superior for some time. He deserves credit for putting together a side that can play sparkling football and destroy Hearts 7-0 one weekend and follow it up by maintaining that level of performance & beating Motherwell 5-0 the next.

The hardest part of his job is to keep his squad motivated to play a brand of football that entertains the fans.

Similarly, Barcelona call upon the type of resources that Celtic can only dream about and it's no disgrace to lose heavily to a team of that class. The worrying aspect was the managers assessment of his players; weak and half-hearted who gave up at 2-0.

It looked to me as though too many were completely overawed by the occasion and their opponents.

We get to see some of the best players in the world in Glasgow but in the current financial climate, I don't expect Celtic to reach the knockout phase again soon.

Of course they should be looking to play better and gain more than three points and three goals in six games. If they're lucky enough to qualify again next season, they'll be in the fourth pot of seeds when the draw is made. Dropping into the Europa League is a far more realistic target than competing for the last 16.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Alan Smith

Smith wants Welbeck at Arsenal

Danny Welbeck could be the man to replace Arsenal's injured striker Olivier Giroud, says Alan Smith....

Phil Thompson

Thompson: Lampard an icon

Frank Lampard is a football icon and can be proud of a ‘stellar’ England career, says Phil Thompson....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Everton present Samuel Eto'o, Troy Deeney set to pen new deal at Watford and Angel di Maria signs for Manchester United.

Di Maria blasts Real 'lies'

Manchester United signing Angel di Maria has claimed he never wanted to leave Real Madrid.

Van Gaal not shocked by defeat

Louis van Gaal insists he was not shocked by Manchester United's 4-0 defeat at MK Dons in the Capital One Cup.

Arsenal v Besiktas preview

Arsenal and Besiktas meet at Emirates Stadium with their Champions League play-off locked at 0-0 from the first leg.

Everton secure Eto'o deal

Everton have completed the signing of Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto'o on a two-year deal.

Features

If the 106-cap career of Frank Lampard is regarded as an England disappointment, then so is everyone's since 1966

If the 106-cap career of Frank Lampard is regarded as an England disappointment, then so is everyone's since 1966

They say there’s no worse feeling than losing in a final. Presumably that’s exacerbated when there’s so much at stake. One look at the forlorn figure of Lionel Messi ascending the steps at the Maracana this summer would certainly suggest as much.

Man Utd confidence 'shot' after 4-0 MK Dons defeat, says David May

Man Utd confidence 'shot' after 4-0 MK Dons defeat, says David May

Louis van Gaal’s first task in the wake of Manchester United’s shock second round Capital One Cup defeat to MK Dons is to rebuild the team’s broken confidence, says former United defender David May.

Where will Angel di Maria fit in at Manchester United?

Where will Angel di Maria fit in at Manchester United?

It was only May that Angel di Maria was receiving the man of the match award in the Champions League final. It was his slaloming run beyond three players that provided the catalyst for Gareth Bale’s crucial goal, putting Real Madrid ahead in extra time and all but securing La Décima.