As we edge into another week, one that looks as if it will confirm the appointment of the Australian league winner, the PR campaign to get fans to accept this lamentable decision is in full swing.
Although the drum is banging loudly there is almost no serious argument being put forward in favour of him.
His record is being mentioned obliquely but not studied properly in most quarters.
If it was, there might be a lot more doubt about the merits of this.
People are saying he deserves this opportunity without a single one of them focussing on the more important point, which is that in a career spanning 25 years no-one has given him one.
Clips of him are circulating. He talks well. He doesn’t suffer fools.
He can handle the press. He’s dedicated and focussed. He is ambitious.
He seems like a decent guy, but every time I read that I think of Alex Baldwin’s searing speech in Glengarry Glen Ross.
“Nice guy? I don’t give a shit! Good father? F@@@ you! Go home and play with your kids! If you wanna work here, CLOSE!”
We’re a major footballing institution, for God’s sake.
It’s astonishing how easy is it to seduce some of our fans into getting behind a patently ludicrous idea.
I’ve looked at his football results; they are impressive until you examine them in context and then they aren’t as solid as they seem.
I’ve considered the league’s he’s managed it, the calibre of the opposition, and how modest it all seems when you do that. His successes look notable; some of his failures stand out as well. His title in Japan is bookended by finishing 12th and 9th and you cannot simply pluck the achievement out whilst ignoring such grisly failures.
And our board wants you to ignore the failures.
It wants you to focus on the international record, in particular, without considering the quality of the opposition he faced in those years and vast disparity of resources between the Australian team and its neighbours.
Australia, because of its regional results, has traditionally been in the top 30 ranked international teams in the world; the sides they come up against usually fall outside the top 50.
We’re told that we can’t dismiss him because he’s currently coaching in Japan because Wim Jansen and Arsene Wegner were there when they were snatched up.
But Jansen had won two Dutch cups with Feynoord, and Wegner?
That’s the most ridiculous comparison of all.
He was a French league and cup winner as a manager with Monaco before going over there. He wasn’t some obscure unknown when Arsenal appointed him, he was one France’s most highly rated coaches.
We are being bombarded with nonsense to distract us from doing a searching examination of his bona fides, and if every Celtic fan site isn’t doing it now when are we supposed to do it?
When the contracts are signed and he’s sitting in our dugout?
It’ll be a little bit late then for people to say, “Maybe we should have raised a bit of a stink about this when the press said we were moving for him.”
Ninety percent of what I have heard about this guy today makes not one bit of difference to his abilities as a manager.
I’m not interested in whether he sounds good on a podcast or comes across well as a man or that his former players liked him or that the Australian media is happy for him or that Rodgers once said nice things about him; he said the same nice things about Jack Ross and John Kennedy.
Is this guy of the calibre Celtic fans should expect? No.
Has he experienced football in Europe, at the level we need to make a good fist of it in the massive games we have coming up? No, not remotely.
He is not some young thruster with new ideas, some unpolished gem we’re going to watch grow into a major figure.
He’s 55 and has been in the business for 25 years.
This is the most important appointment at our club, the absolute core figure, the personality the entire institution revolves around.
We should be aiming higher than this.
Let me put this in a way that cuts right through all the nonsense.
If we sold Odsonne Edouard tomorrow and we wanted to replace him and the manager signed a 35-year-old striker whose career had been spent in Australia and Japan, we would be outraged.
I’m talking about a jobbing footballer who’d found his level.
Nobody would be trying to spin it.
Nobody would be justifying it.
Nobody would accept it.
No YouTube highlights reel would convince us.
No interviews with former team-mates would stay our anger.
We’d think we were being taken for a ride.
And that in no way compares to this, because this is bigger, the affront is greater and the stakes are much, much higher.
This is a farce, and too many people are treating it as if we should all get behind it and wait and see how it goes.
There’s hoping for the best and there’s just shutting your eyes and blocking out reality.
This appointment will be an insult to all of us.