Home » Scottish Football » Celtic has incredible strength in depth – but for how long they will keep their best players?

The only time a few months ago that he participated in a lengthy discussion with daily press correspondents, Whyte was asked his view of the road ahead for the Rangers. He replied that there should be a reduction in wages and that income would come from the development of young players which could then be resold at a profit.

On the face of it, there is nothing unobjectionable on the formula, especially given the gap between income and expenditure in Rangers.

However, the idea that young players simply roll off an assembly line in his way through Ibrox to the Barclays Premier League is not reinforced by many tests.

In addition the fact, by virtue of Walter Smith last season, Rangers pushed almost all their young talent available to the gaps that appeared in a squad already thinning and achievement of the previous administrator was to handle this process lucid enough to hold Celtic in Bay and deliver a third successive Championship.

Ally McCoist simply does not have another generation of early cadets whose gifts require a showcase on the first team, and even if it did, prudence would dissuade launch them into battle when the club is under such pressure inside and outside of the field.

When the matter was raised with him yesterday McCoist first recognized that there is a significant disparity between the strength of the two Old Firm clubs and, secondly, which has little room for manoeuvre in the field of youth.

“It would be discussing the case that if we could get a little luck wee and retrieve the players we are missing now then it would take me my chances with a totally appropriate equipment,” said Ibrox Manager. “Definitely, though, in terms of numbers and the strength of the squadron as not really have.”

“As more young players, is all about getting a balance.” If his team is doing really well and sometimes you can give young people have opportunity to flourish, but at times you nourish young players for themselves as well as the club.

“It would be a little unfair in some cases to throw to young boys in a situation that might be difficult.” Put it this way, is the much easier for the young woman entering a team that is winning and in a consistent run so that it is the opposite.

“We have still Gregg Wylde and they have had bad luck with Jamie Ness.” Kane Hemmings on things at the beginning of the season and is returning from injury now, so they are certainly young that they have an opportunity to play for the Rangers, but on the other hand, it would be reluctant to throw them and they potentially harm.

Celtic, can be noted, only they were overburdened week with players that have come through their youth ranks. Of the 18 players on the Court or the Bank at Tynecastle only James Forrest has not worn any other jersey club.

However, the Parkhead club has balanced the scale with an extensive program of shrewd players in markets previously abandoned shopping, or seemingly little attractions as Korea of the South, Honduras or Kenya, most astute purchase of Scandinavia and the lower leagues of English.

Neil Lennon now has a group of players at just the right age to establish domination in Scotland for some time and perhaps also become operators experienced in Europe.

However there is also reason to be cautious about linking long-term assumptions between the current crop of players of rings.

The team – largely built by Martin or ‘ Neill – played the Uefa Cup was Bobo Balde (Celtic service nine years), Paul Lambert (eight years), Henrik Larsson, Alan Thompson, Neil Lennon, Stilian Petrov (seven years each), Didier Agathe (six years), Robert Douglas, Joos Valgaeren and John Hartson (five years each) of 2003.

What are the odds that this Celtic squad will have longevity? “Not high”, said Craig Levein while walking with the Manager of Scotland from Tynecastle on Wednesday.

“The difference between the wages paid by clubs in the Premier League and Old Firm has increased dramatically since then.” “It is much more difficult for Scottish clubs to hang on to their best players now.”

Do by way of illustration, in which one only needs to ask: could Celtic perfectly maintain Larsson in his books for seven years? On the other hand, must be tempting thought – what sum could I command for his services in this era of bloated transfer rates?


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