04 Aug Roughie’s view: Celtic need better quality strikers
Let’s face it, Celtic look like a Europa League club just now.
In terms of signings, they’ve had to bring in a few players. Dedryck Boyata looks a decent replacement for Jason Denayer, he’s got the same quality and background.
But as far as I’m concerned I think the strike force is very, very weak. It sounds ridiculous to say something like that about Celtic but, compared to what they’ve had previously with the likes of Gary Hooper and Georgios Samaras, they haven’t got the same ability. I actually think that with Leigh Griffiths and Nadir Ciftci – although he’s yet to prove himself – they are domestic level quality.
They’ve other options like Anthony Stokes but he seems to be out of the equation, they also don’t seem to be too sure on Stefan Scepovic or he’d be in the first team regularly. It’s fair to say Celtic are going into a season with not the same quality of strikers that they usually have.
The backroom staff were quick to say that this is a quality side but I mean obviously there’s no walkover games in European football now but let’s be serious the teams that Celtic were playing in previous years are better than this team.
Celtic have downsized like everybody else but as it stands they are looking like a Europa League side. If they get into the Champions League it would be an absolutely outstanding achievement because I don’t think they are geared with the players they need for that level.
Can they make the group stages? It’s going to be tight, they are still a wee bit sloppy at the back. Teams are getting chances against them and if they were to lose an early goal as they did in Iceland it could be a worrying time.
When you get into that situation you need strikers who can go into that European set-up and give you that goal. Celtic have always had that kind of striker and it’s yet to be proved whether these forwards can do that.