Posted on Monday, 25th June 2012 by lordofthewing
On the 3rd June 2012 a single murmur on Twitter reached ear drum bursting volume by the time Celtic announced that first team coach Alan ‘Thommo’ Thompson had been sacked. The original rumour mentioned it would be a legal matter.
If only it was as clear cut as that.
Thommo the player left Celtic to join Leeds United in Jan 2007. By this point he was unwanted, unloved, and overpaid in the eyes of the support, coaching staff and our CEO. It was an unbefitting end for a man that won 4 league titles, 3 Scottish Cups, 2 League Cups and the scorer of 51 goals.
Thommo the coach left in worse circumstances. It had all the elements of a Footballers Wife script. Party lifestyle, drink driving charges, his wife throwing him out and an affair with a Glasgow Britney Spears look a like. All that was missing was a pool party, an LSD spiked punch and dancing dwarfs. There is an air of mischief and muck raking about these alleged misdemeanors but instead of a private council it seems that the soiled underwear will be washed in public.
That is regrettable and will be embarrassing but I’m more saddened at the misimpression I got that we had a band of brothers whose bond was formed when playing for the greatest Celtic side I will probably see and wouldn’t be broken has ended in a spat and a less than amicable split. The illusion of an unbreakable spirit, that if one would fall they all would fall out of loyalty to their team-mates and club badge lies crumpled up in the bin with all the other things that I thought football holds dear.
Initial press stories – favorable and leaked – had Lenny wishing to shuffle his backroom staff. Why he would want to jettison a highly rated coach that he fought tooth and nail to get was conveniently forgotten. Rumours that Johan was unhappy that people thought Thommo was the assistant manager and that the wages being paid reflected this was another rumour.
The days of a manager and assistant running the whole show at a football club is long gone. The size of the modern day backroom team means that roles are not as defined and the lines are blurred. The game has a reached a technical and scientific apex meaning that the heavier workload has to be split.
So, what did Thommo bring and what will we miss? Was he the main reason that we were the fittest team in the league? Was his drills the reason that we play quick one and two touch football? Was his more vocal style on the training pitch the perfect foil for Johan’s quietman persona, Gary Parker’s I’m one of the lads banter and Lennon’s – O’Neill like – backseat approach to training sessions? Will we notice any difference?
Will we see Lennon replace Thommo?
Many wanted him to bring in a more experienced voice to the backroom staff. That shipped sailed with the titanic and with a title success under his belt the manager will probably feel that a decision like that seriously would have people questioning his worth in his own mind.
My bet would be Lenny asking Garry Parker to have a shave, get some more sleep and stop taking as many painting and decorating shifts and Johan to become a more vocal and involved public face.
We wish Thommo well and hope for a nice out of court settlement.