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Mark Hateley: Old Firm need hidden gems to win jewels


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Celtic's loss to Arsenal again hammered home the gulf in standard of player between our clubs and the Euro big guns.

It made depressing viewing and the bad news is things are going to get even worse.

Jim McLean spoke in the early 1980s of his Dundee United team being the corner shop against the supermarkets.

Gordon Strachan during his Sky Sports analysis came up with another analogy when he said Arsene Wenger's spending power is like a machine gun while Tony Mowbray's using a water pistol.

But there is one saving grace and that is the fact there are players around Europe of genuine quality.

Scottish clubs need to see if they can crank up their scouting network a notch to uncover these gems.

That is the one area where the big two will be able to compete. Look back a few years and you'll see Henrik Larsson and Lubo Moravcik went to Celtic for a combined fee of less than £1million.

Across the city at Rangers, Jean-Alain Boumsong was picked up for free and Carlos Cuellar for just £2m.

Both players were sold for around £8m so that is the way to go.

I have been doing some analysis for French league football for the past few years and I can see talent in every single match I watch. Sadly, Old Firm supporters are going to have to realise their teams are no more than selling clubs.When you think back to the 1990s that's an incredible state of affairs.

You pray for a bit of luck - just what Celtic didn't get - for results and it's a constant battle.

In saying that, Celtic's performance was disappointing.

When I think back to great European wins for Celtic at Parkhead, I recall them creating plenty of chances. But other than one Scott Brown shot there was nothing.

A lot of Celtic's players just did not turn up and that was a shame.

We need to start working towards something else as there has to be an assessment of the coaching as well.

There is a difference when you see teenage boys who have been developed in England as compared to Scotland. Physically, they're worlds apart.

But overhauling coaching styles may be for the future. Right now the secret is to find the gems. That is the only hope.

http://blogs.<No links to this website>/markhateley...-gems-to-w.html

Although, I agree with most of his points regarding Scottish clubs scouting network and training methods. Sadly right now for us the Money ain't there for us to boost our scouting network.

One thing he is spot on about is, "Old Firm supporters are going to have to realise their teams are no more than selling clubs".

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I'be been saying this for years. We need to start improving our scouting network because we simply cannot afford not to. It doesn't cost anything to ask an ex-players' thoughts on the best talent coming through in the region they live.

It may cost a little to employ a number of scouts for different regions but the money we will save and indeed make by uncovering real talents from across Europe and the world would far outweigh the initial costs of setting the system up.

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I've also said this for years, yet been told that because we've signed proven quality like Davis, Mendes, Bougherra, Boumsong etc that our scouting network is just fine.

I don't think those who said that quite understand the premise of a 'scouting network'.

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I'be been saying this for years. We need to start improving our scouting network because we simply cannot afford not to. It doesn't cost anything to ask an ex-players' thoughts on the best talent coming through in the region they live.

It may cost a little to employ a number of scouts for different regions but the money we will save and indeed make by uncovering real talents from across Europe and the world would far outweigh the initial costs of setting the system up.

You know what and this may not go down well, if we cashed in on a player and still didn't sign anybody. With the promise, the money raised was going straight into a complete overall of our scouting network worldwide I for one would be content.

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I'be been saying this for years. We need to start improving our scouting network because we simply cannot afford not to. It doesn't cost anything to ask an ex-players' thoughts on the best talent coming through in the region they live.

It may cost a little to employ a number of scouts for different regions but the money we will save and indeed make by uncovering real talents from across Europe and the world would far outweigh the initial costs of setting the system up.

You know what and this may not go down well, if we cashed in on a player and still didn't sign anybody. With the promise, the money raised was going straight into a complete overall of our scouting network worldwide I for one would be content.

That would assume a large number of fans looking past the first team. Which would be unlikely and very rare!

I agree wholeheartedly though (tu)

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Agree with the idea DB and it would be a useful procedure to follow, but don't think it would be appropriate for this season as I think we are now down to our minimum and if we sell any more players now then things could be a lot worse for us and we need to make sure we win the league again.

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I'be been saying this for years. We need to start improving our scouting network because we simply cannot afford not to. It doesn't cost anything to ask an ex-players' thoughts on the best talent coming through in the region they live.

It may cost a little to employ a number of scouts for different regions but the money we will save and indeed make by uncovering real talents from across Europe and the world would far outweigh the initial costs of setting the system up.

You know what and this may not go down well, if we cashed in on a player and still didn't sign anybody. With the promise, the money raised was going straight into a complete overall of our scouting network worldwide I for one would be content.

That would assume a large number of fans looking past the first team. Which would be unlikely and very rare!

I agree wholeheartedly though (tu)

haha would be quite rare on a number of fronts mate.

And, DB, see, without Discussing Boyd, we can agree ;)

Scouting, Youth development and, someone who understands the finance/contracts side of things would do wonders for us. Christ, dumping Bain would give us in the region of £250k (unless am out of date on that), surely that would get the scouting going? We could let the cleaner take over the contract negotiations, would probably be better!

And sack the accountant! :D

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Jim McLean spoke in the early 1980s of his Dundee United team being the corner shop against the supermarkets.

Why have Pakistan never got to the World Cup? Because every time they get to a corner..

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Of course the scouting network should be improved, most supporters have probably been saying this for years. We simply cannot afford to do otherwise. Perhaps awhile down the road we could set up an academy in another country, kind of like Ajax does? I'm not sure what this would cost, but surely it would be a wise investment?

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Of course the scouting network should be improved, most supporters have probably been saying this for years. We simply cannot afford to do otherwise. Perhaps awhile down the road we could set up an academy in another country, kind of like Ajax does? I'm not sure what this would cost, but surely it would be a wise investment?

We've already got the appropriate system in place. Wen Murray Park was being discussed, Murray cited Ajax as the example of a self sustaining club with a production belt of young players. This season is arguably where all that hard work, really comes into play.

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Of course the scouting network should be improved, most supporters have probably been saying this for years. We simply cannot afford to do otherwise. Perhaps awhile down the road we could set up an academy in another country, kind of like Ajax does? I'm not sure what this would cost, but surely it would be a wise investment?

We've already got the appropriate system in place. Wen Murray Park was being discussed, Murray cited Ajax as the example of a self sustaining club with a production belt of young players. This season is arguably where all that hard work, really comes into play.

I don't know all the financial aspects of it, but Ajax have an academy in South Africa, and I know they used to have one in Florida. If we widen the net cast, we're going to end up with better players.

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