ANGE POSTECOGLOU and his Celtic team went to Fir Park at the weekend and gained a comfortable three points against Motherwell.

Celtic controlled the game, the home side offering very little in the way of an attacking threat. A goal a piece from Jota and Turnbull was more than enough to make sure of the win – another clean sheet into the bargain.

However, there was one subplot many people didn’t pick up on when the squad came out; where is James McCarthy?

The midfielder played quite a few games in September out of necessity because the squad was so bare. Ange spoke about the new signings bedding in and having those ten days during the international break to get a bit of normalcy in their lives.

The Australian even namechecked McCarthy in the bhoys who had benefited from the ten day break before the Motherwell game.

When it came to naming his squad, James was nowhere there.

Speaking to the Scotsman on Friday, Ange said: “Yes, [James] McCarthy, Giakoumakis, Mikey [have benefitted from the ten-day break] but even guys like [Cameron] Carter-Vickers and Jota. People forget they arrived, had two sessions with us and then we threw them in.

Jota’s second game for us was away to Betis. Cameron the same. So for those guys to have those ten days just to settle on and off the field. To settle their lives down and get a bit of normalcy around it.”

So where does that leave James? Celtic aren’t even at full strength yet and will have more players back soon vying for places in the team and on the bench. If the Irish international can’t make the bench right now, it’s going to get more difficult for him.

If the midfielder has picked up a knock [which we have no knowledge of at the moment] that would be another issue. When we signed James, many were worried about his fitness and how much he could potentially play.

Sources close to the club told CeltsAreHere that James signing for Celtic was driven by the hierarchy and not the manager. Ange Postecoglou seemingly got a say and after a chat with James was happy to bring him in even though James isn’t really a player who would naturally fit into an Ange Postecoglou side. Handing the midfielder a four-year deal, off the bat, was eyebrow raising.

Ultimately, it’s up to James to show his worth, he’s a talented bhoy and will want to do well at his boyhood heroes. Will he get the chance?


  1. No harm to the fellow personally, but he’s not suited to this young, quick Celtic team. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him shipped out on loan to an English League One side come January. The whole move smacked of a grey, time-served director doing someone a favour.


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