Date: 19th June 2009 at 10:32am
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After the past four seasons, it would be great if Tony Mowbray was allowed to make as many changes as he liked to the Celtic playing staff. Players who want to play should be given a chance, those who don’t should be punted.

Now, with the usual caveats of ‘newspaper claims this time of year are dafter than ever’ and the like, the suggestion that Gary Caldwell could walk out of the club unless he is handed an improved contract is worth a ponder for a moment or two.

In fact, the claim that “SunSport understands Premiership and European clubs are showing interest in the 27-year-old” is almost worthy of a full-blown belly-laugh, especially as it could be argue Caldwell’s perceived improvement could actually be due to the players around him getting worse.

Mowbray, speaking at his first press conference as Celtic boss, said: “I will speak to Gary the first chance I get. Gary might have huge aspirations to move to the English Premier League, I will assess his thinking and see where we go with it.”

Instead of being downbeat about the situation (though who is to say he is?), Mowbray would do well to remember every cloud has a silver lining. Celtic’s defence has been pretty poor and could do with an overhaul. Replacing Caldwell, Stephen McManus and Lee Naylor would be a great way for Mowbray to show he means business.

Questions remain about how much cash Mowbray will have to spend and how much money generated from player sales he would be allowed to keep for transfers, but it’s unlikely strong hints about players coming in and changes being made would be allowed without the nod from the suits.

If undoing the damage done in the past four seasons means going through the squad list with a red pen and aggressively marking players off, then so be it. Whether the board would allow that is another debate entirely, but the initial signs are look promising – real change ahead.

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