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Thread: U23 players 2019/20

  1. #361
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    There's a group of 25 or so young Irish players (23 or under) that I have been following this season to see how they progress, they range in age from last year's under 17 category up to 23 year olds - what I would consider to be our 25 best young players, although that's obviously a matter of personal opinion. What's very promising though is that 20 of them have now seen first team action so far this season, either in the Premier League, Championship, League 1 or the cups.

    FWIW the 20 are Parrott, Connolly, Obafemi, Molumby, Knight, Idah, Collins, Smallbone, O'Shea, Travers, Kilkenny, Cullen, Masterson, T O'Connor, Crowley, Manning, O'Hara, Coventry, Curtis and Kelleher.

    Two of the five that haven't played are Bazunu and Hodge who are both 17 year olds at Man City and who you wouldn't expect to have played first team to be fair (plus Hodge has been injured).

    The other three though are the three lads at Celtic, O'Connor, Afolabi and Connell who haven't seen a minute of first team action between them, not even an unused sub appearance that I can remember. They must be going spare in Glasgow watching everyone else at their age group progress while they're kicking their heels in the reserves, playing very little football and none that would be of any benefit to them. It's sad to see what's happening with them really. Hopefully one or two of them will get out on loan before the end of the month, I mean the standard of the SPFL is absolutely dreadful, surely the other teams in the league must have some interest in them if there's no interest from England?
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  2. #362
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirambler View Post
    The other three though are the three lads at Celtic, O'Connor, Afolabi and Connell who haven't seen a minute of first team action between them, not even an unused sub appearance that I can remember. They must be going spare in Glasgow watching everyone else at their age group progress while they're kicking their heels in the reserves, playing very little football and none that would be of any benefit to them. It's sad to see what's happening with them really. Hopefully one or two of them will get out on loan before the end of the month, I mean the standard of the SPFL is absolutely dreadful, surely the other teams in the league must have some interest in them if there's no interest from England?
    O’Connor is away on loan.

    The other two won’t see first team action. Lennon went with no recognised striker as opposed to chance Afolabi and Celtic have just purchased another striker for the guts of £4m. Christ knows what’s going on with Connell he has scarcely been heard of.

    Only way any of them sees first team action is if Celtic were to stretch clear at the top and wrap up the league early as happened after Christmas last year which saw Karamoko Dembele get minutes in the last few weeks of the season.

    We see the talk of Mourinho being bad for Parrott’s development in the other thread. Lennon is very much cut from the same cloth; he doesn’t give young players much of a chance he is a very conservative manager.

    Afolabi and Connell will need to force a loan if they want to play first team action football that goes beyond a possible few dead rubber games.

  3. #363
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Maybe time for a new thread.

    Norwich and ex-UCD winger Simon Power - who was in the Toulon tournament - is apparently being linked with Borussia Dortmund, Lyon, Ajax and PSV.

    Not even the 1st April, unless my calendar is completely wonky.
    His loan spell at Ross County seems to have ended early, so instead he's gone to Kings Lynn Town of the Conference North.

    Man of the Match on his debut as they beat York City 1-0 in a top of the table clash in front of 4,000. "Power became an instant fans' favourite with a dynamic and thrilling display in a vital victory for the Linnets. That he walked away with the sponsor's man of the match award was no surprise" is what the local papers said, so presumably he can play at a higher level. Whether it'll ever be high enough to reach the senior national team is another question though.

  4. #364
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    Molumby made a mug of Charlie Adam here. I enjoyed Adam's little clap of the hands:
    https://twitter.com/MillwallFC/statu...695102464?s=19

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  6. #365
    Seasoned Pro Razors left peg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olé Olé View Post
    Molumby made a mug of Charlie Adam here. I enjoyed Adam's little clap of the hands:
    https://twitter.com/MillwallFC/statu...695102464?s=19
    Will never get picked in the Irish midfield, ball should have gone back to keeper after 1st touch!

  7. #366
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    Will never get picked in the Irish midfield, ball should have gone back to keeper after 1st touch!
    The goalkeeper would have a better pana-vision of the forward positions to make one of those creative really long balls alright

  8. #367
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    Lee O'Connor has joined Partick Thistle for the rest of the season on loan. They're in the Championship up there. Surely he was worth an SPL club move.

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    One of the poorer teams in that division too. The only reason I can come up with for this move is geographical. It keeps him in Glasgow maybe there is something in that because I can’t for the life of me see the footballing benefit here.

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    On the face of it, it’s a poor move and not what he would have hoped for when he went to Celtic last Summer.

    But I’m pretty happy with it. Can stay where he is, and finally play first team football in a stadium less than 5 miles away from Celtic Park. Celtic can keep a close eye on him. Much better than the developmental football up there. A solid 20 or so games will do him the world of good, before he turns 20 in the summer. Would have been potentially unsettling uprooting himself so soon after the move to Celtic. Next up, Afolabi (confirmed he is available for loan per report) and Connell. The clock is ticking

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    There are those practical benefits and he may train with Celtic from time to time and use the facilities.

    Whilst it is certainly better than wallowing in the quasi-reserve system in Scotland, I can't help but wonder why an SPL side wasn't found. He is an Irish international after all. He looked very impressive against the Sweden under 21 side. It seems poor from Celtic to me.

  12. #371
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    Wow, Partick Thistle. He'd be as well off in the Leinster Senior League.

    Those three players are being treated disgracefully by Celtic, they must be regretting their moves there every day.
    Keane O'Shea Given Best Long Cox

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    Seasoned Pro Razors left peg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirambler View Post
    Wow, Partick Thistle. He'd be as well off in the Leinster Senior League.

    Those three players are being treated disgracefully by Celtic, they must be regretting their moves there every day.
    Especially Afolabi considering Celtic just signed another striker last week

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    Quote Originally Posted by Razors left peg View Post
    Especially Afolabi considering Celtic just signed another striker last week

    I know for a fact that all of Afolabi, Connell and O'Connor were told they were being signed with a view to them being members of the first team squad this season. Afolabi and Connell turned down more lucrative moves to go there with the club sighting players like Van Dijk, Wanyama, (Moussa) Dembele, Tierney Boyata and Armstrong. It's hard to know exactly who's to blame? Celtic brought in a head of football operations in October 2019 just after they all signed, so maybe up to that point, the lines of communication between Lennon and the scouts and the people signing the players weren't what they should be. It could be that Lennon simply isn't playing ball, or that the promises that were made, in order to convince them to sign, shouldn't have been made in the first place - but either way, there's a serious problem and i would advise any young irish player to avoid.


    Okoflex is in a similar but different situation. Rodgers personally promised him a role, starting this season (2019-20) - said that he viewed his development on par with Raheem Sterling and the way he treated him after arriving at Liverpool. Obviously with BR leaving, those promises became null and void.


    Scottish sides like Celtic have the advantage of being able to avoid paying tribunal compensation to English sides for players who refuse to sign a new contract, that would cover the likes of Okoflex from Arsenal and Karaoke Dembele. So where they could cost an English side millions, it’ll cost Celtic about 70k. It generally means they can offer fairly competitive financial packages to the young players, especially if they can convince them that Celtic are able to develop talents like Van Dijk. However, in reality, you’re left with situations like what’s going on with the irish lads.


    Genuinely, Afolabi would have been better to sign for Rovers till the end of the season, get half a season of first team football under his belt and make a decision then.

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  16. #374
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    Celtic are notorious for this kind of thing, they (and previously Rangers) have spent years hoovering up the young talent from around the Scottish game and then messing up their careers by rarely or never playing them.

    From their point of view they signed O'Connor, Connell, Afolabi and Frimpong for next to nothing during the summer as shots to nothing. Frimpong has come good quickly so they're on a winner with this project regardless of what happens to the three Irish lads. They'll sell Frimpong for a few million in a few years and if the other lads end up falling out of the game they won't care, it'll still have been worthwhile for them.
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    The blame lies primarily with Neil Lennon imo. He is adverse to giving young players a chance and would rather buy swathes of mediocre or outright poor players then just tossing aside those that don’t work out.

    For Wanyama or Van Dijk from his first spell there was Efrain Juarez (Lennon ruined his career- in Europe at least - brought him in after impressing for Mexico in the 2010 World Cup), a Mo Bangura, Teemo Pukki, Derk Boerrigter, Rabiu Ibrahim, could probably dig up several others with a quick google search.

    He is poison for a young players career.

  18. #376
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    It takes a particularly special manager to find a way to make Teemo Pukki not score goals in Scotland.
    Keane O'Shea Given Best Long Cox

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  20. #377
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    Surely the players have their own responsibility to break into the team? Lennon is playing Mikey Johnston in big games. He must be doing it in training /behind closed doors. Celtic, nor any club, have the responsibility to develop players for the Irish national team. Between first team squad, reserves and youth there is probably 4 players vying for one spot at every single club in the top 3 leagues. Not all will make it. That is obvious. A lot has to fall right for a lad to get regular senior games even if he is applying himself to 100% of his ability.

    We may stop expecting that all or even most of our promising young players are going to make it in the game. History shows the majority of them won't.

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  22. #378
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    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iFh-XumxfVs

    Celtic colts with 4-1 win in meaningless game yesterday. Lovely goal from Connell yesterday, and Coffey appears in highlights too with an assist. Connell does look like a tidy operator, let’s keep the fingers crossed he can secure ANY loan away until end of season. Afolabi not in squad, so hopefully he’s negotiating a loan move somewhere, less likely they were saving him for today’s senior game...

  23. #379
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    Hayes the only Irish involvement with Celtic tonight

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    Johansson declaring for Sweden according to his agent.

    https://www.todayfm.com/sport/irelan...n-agent-954938

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