The joke doing the rounds at the time was that Hibs were Celtic’s feeder club. Celtic had snapped up all the best Scottish talent around, Caldwell, Brown, Riordan from Easter Road and then other SPL players such as Wilson, Hartley and Robson.
Players who came through the youth system were flourishing in McManus McGeady and Maloney, and along with a couple of excellent foreign imports in Boruc and Nakamura. We as Celtic supporters under the stewardship of Gordon Strachan witnessed one of the most successful periods in our history.
Three league titles and three domestic cups were won in the four year period. The team stood toe to toe against the best in Europe defeating the likes of Benfica, AC Milan and Shaktar Donetsk. We progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League TWICE. All this with so much homegrown talent was a phenomenal achievement.
In the following seasons our transfer policy changed and initially we had lots of success in the foreign market. Wanyama, Ledley, Izaguirre, Forster, Ki and Hooper arrived and we embarked on another successful period, this time under Neil Lennon and Johan Mjallby. After the initial success of cheap foreign talent coming in and moving on for big money the quality started to dry up and we bought our fair share of flops, Miku, Lassad, Balde, Gershon, Pukki, Cha Du Ri, and Derk Beorighter to name a few!!!
This was a frustrating time especially as we watched some excellent Scottish talent, Steven Flecther, James McCarthy, James McArthur, Andy Robertson, Johnny Russell and Craig Bryson all leave Scotland and do exceptionally well in England also missing out on Ryan Gauld who moved to Sporting Lisbon.
We are now seeing a change in transfer policy and I for one am happy to see the likes of Gary MacKay Steven signing and at the time of writing a bid has been placed for Stuart Armstrong. History could be repeating itself, a new manager, Scottish talent being snapped up, adding them to some foreign talent already at the club and allowing the young players in Henderson and McGregor to show what they can do.
These could be exciting times!!