I DO not want regular readers of this blog to think I am mellowing, or in any way going soft, but – Motherwell's £200,000 valuation to Celtic, when they enquired about the availability of goalkeeper Trevor Carson.
Trevor Carson - 2000% inflation on his value
Come-on Alan Burrows, y'er 'avin' a larf. Does he honestly mean to tell me, Carson, who the Steelmen signed from Hartlepool for £10,000 in the summer, has gone up in value by 2000% in half a season. I've heard of inflation, but, that is ridiculous.
I know it is a well-established and long-standing Scottish football tradition, to add a 0 at the end of your valuation, whenever the Old Firm come looking for one of your players, but, this is going to extremes.
I know too, goalkeeper is a specialist position, in fact, THE specialist position in any team, but, what message does this send out to the likes of 19-year-old Conor Hazard, the young Celtic goalkeeper who has just been sent out on-loan to Falkirk.
When Hazard joined the Bairns, we got the usual media spin from Bairns' boss Paul Hartley, all about: “I know how highly Brendan Rodgers rates him”, then guff about wanting him to gain first team experience.
That, of course, was before big Craig Gordon got injured. Well, for my money, if Hazard was good enough to be listed in Celtic's first team squad, then he was good enough to play if needed – inexperienced or not.
Let's look at it this way. Celtic ought to be able to win any domestic game without getting out of third gear, so, put Hazard on the bench, then, when the second or third Celtic goal goes in – put the kid on. All these 15 or 20-minute spells will soon add up, and Rodgers will know if his confidence in the boy was justified.
And, while a move to Celtic would be good for Carson – he will, should he move, only be a bench-warmer, whereas, at Motherwell, even if the money is less, he's playing every week.
Furthermore, as the Celtic Song goes: “If you know their history” - well, I can remember a very young goalkeeper named David Marshall being flung in at the deep end, and he hasn't done too badly in his career.
I've been watching Scottish football for a long time, and I can recall: Dick Beattie, Frank Haffey, Packy Bonnar and Marshall all getting their chance at 19 or 20, back when Celtic took pride in growing their own. Changed days now.
I SEE Rangers' Danny Wilson is going west, to Colorado, in the latest stage of a career which once promised so much, but, has somehow frittered-out.
Danny Wilson - he could have been a contender
Wilson, is 26, he is a Scotland internationalist, he really should be entering the peak years of his career. In fact, I would say, but for some bad advice, some not-so-bright decisions and maybe a wee bit of having it all too-soon, he would not be even contemplating such a move.
He was in the Rangers' first team at 17. OK, maybe, just maybe, he suffered a wee bit from having his talent over-boosted by the praise from the Lap Top Loyal, but, in those early outings, as the Sorcerer's Apprentice, learning from playing alongside David Weir, the thought was – here might be the centre-half who was a throwback to Woodburn, Young, McKinnon and Gough – a boy who would grow into a man and go on to captain Scotland.
He got an early, big-money move to Liverpool, where it all went wrong and he failed to establish himself. He got into the Scotland team when still just out of footballing nappies, but, he could not nail down a place at a time when we were not very good.
He became Scotland internationalist number 1115, when he replaced Christophe Berra during Scotland's friendly against Brazil, in London, in March, 2011; and was actually capped before, and at a younger age than Russell Martin, the man who has now displaced him from the Rangers' team.
Since Wilson was capped: Martin, Grant Hanley, Charlie Mulgrew, Liam Bridcutt, Gordon Greer, Paul Caddis and Kieran Tierney have all played in central defence for the national team. Indeed, if Wilson had been as-good as he was supposed to be when he first broke into the Rangers team, he might well have been looking forward to joining the exclusive 50 caps club by now.
He failed at Liverpool, he battled back and re-established himself in the Scottish game with Hearts, winning a return to an admittedly much-diminished Rangers from the club he had left. But, he has not taken the chance, and has now gone to America.
I wish him well in Colorado, but, the verdict has to be – Danny Wilson could have been a contender, but, didn't even make that might have been status. Truly, in less than a decade he has gone from The Next Big Thing to a Has-Been, and, that is sad.
GOOD luck too to new Hamilton Academical signing Mickel Miller, signed this week from English side Carshalton Athletic.
Mikel Miller (right) - I wish him well, but, I reckon Hamilton could have found a Scot just as good
Nothing against the boy, but, what the Hell are Accies doing signing players from non-league football in Scotland, when there are so-many good Junior teams on their doorstep.
Once upon a time, the Juniors was where our young players went to learn their trade. I am certain there are still bargains and unpolished diamonds to be found there. So why are Accies, who are not exactly rolling in money, recruiting from England and ignoring what is under their noses. And, not just Accies either.
Maybe if Scottish managers stopped listening to silver-tongued agents and got out there looking, they would realise, Scotland is still producing promising young players – all they need is a chance.