Poor Liam Shaw faces an awkward Celtic pre-season
Liam Shaw moving from Sheffield Wednesday to Celtic was relatively controversial.
Fine, it wasn’t Dominic Cummings giving evidence to an inquiry, or Eastenders Christmas episode level. But in footballing terms, it was a move that made a lot of people unhappy. Not least his former club Sheffield Wednesday, who considered legal action against Celtic.
In a statement from March, that’s still on their website by the way [SWFC], the Owls leadership claimed they were “investigating” the transfer. It looked more than plausible that the two clubs would end up in court. Needless to say, given the time that’s passed, nothing has happened quite yet.
For Shaw though, he’s watched as his boyhood club has sunk to League One, and his new club swerved from one disaster to the next. At the start of May, my colleague David wrote an excellent piece titled “Liam Shaw has every right to be concerned ahead of Celtic switch”. He wasn’t wrong, either.
So, for Shaw, the most important thing will be keeping his head down, getting to grips with his new club and enjoying a fruitful pre-season. Nothing unusual or uncomfortable should impe- oh no wait, we’re playing Sheffield Wednesday in pre-season.
🗓️ Pre-season fixture update…
The Bhoys will kick-off their pre-season friendlies against @swfc on July 7 at 3pm CPT.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) May 27, 2021
New Celtic recruit Liam Shaw faces some old friends
We’re assuming, then, that any bad blood between the sides has evaporated. Traditionally, you don’t play “friendlies” against clubs you’re not that friendly with. For example, if Celtic decided on a Beef Tour involving Rapid Vienna, Racing Club and Atletico Madrid, it would be incredibly unusual.
For Shaw though, it’s got to be an extremely awkward one. He’ll be determined to get some first-team experience under his belt early on, even if it’s only in pre-season. There will, though, be that added incentive for him, because supporters will be asking questions if he plays against the Owls and doesn’t perform.
Honestly, it’s hard to imagine a less welcome name for Shaw to have read. Whether he actually features is a different argument altogether, but you’ve got to assume a new manager will come in and look to experiment. We wouldn’t have bothered making the controversial move for Shaw if he wasn’t worth playing in a friendly, you know?
So, this summer, spare a thought for new Celtic man Liam Shaw. It’s going to be a tricky one.