Throughout history, once in a generation intellects have appeared to challenge all existing orthodoxy.
Their names reverberate through time; Galileo, Einstein, Newton and others.
This isn’t going to be a science paper, I want to make this general point and move on.
Challenging orthodoxy successfully is nearly impossible even if you are one of these guys.
It meets resistance, always, from people set in their ways, people who think what’s now is forever and that there’s a way that things are done which has to be right because to think otherwise is to challenge everything they think they know about their lives.
This article is about two questions, and the first is this; do we have a generational mind at Celtic Park right now?
I’m asking if we have, at Celtic Park, somebody with the foresight to see things other people just don’t see?
When you consider the state Celtic is in right now, you would say no.
I mean, you would just have to.
Nobody can believe that there is a visionary at our club when our club is in this state. 101 days since Lennon was sacked. Lennon, the man hired in the shower, who didn’t remotely justify getting the Celtic job once far less twice.
101 days and we are floundering, still trying to close a deal for Postecoglou without knowing how long it will be before he’s even allowed to sit in the dugout.
Six months from starting a search for a director of football, and no closer to getting one in.
Celtic is not run by a once-in-a-generation intellect, the sort of person who is capable of seeing what no-one else can see.
This is a fact, we know this is a fact.
There is no basis to have faith in them.
The second question relates to Agne Postecoglou himself, and it’s this; in 25 years in the game, with all these various top managers and people lining up to give him testimonials and accolades, why has not one top flight European club ever offered him a job?
It’s the biggest question there is, the one no-one wants to even attempt an answer to because the only answer that they can offer is that someone at Celtic is a once-in-a-generation mind who sees what the rest of the European football hierarchy doesn’t see and is willing to challenge the whole of this continent’s footballing orthodoxy to give him the gig.
It doesn’t matter what you think of my stated desire for us to hire someone else, and indeed almost anyone else for this job.
You might think I’m just a blogger, that I am small-minded and parochial and narrow in my views, that I don’t have the sophistication required to look past my biases about the Japanese and Australian league’s … but every chairman and director of football, every person of consequence at every club in the senior ranks on this continent agrees with me.
All of them have been looking for managers at one time or another.
How can a guy who has been rated so highly, who has featured in so many videos, a guy who’s had rave reviews from the very best in the business, have eluded the attentions of all these boards and hiring committees for 25 years now?
What do we know, what do we see, that they don’t?
Every single club in Europe must, have at one time or another, given this guy a look.
He’s been coaching in Asia, how expensive would he be to get?
We’re about to close the deal for a six figure sum.
So really, honestly, he’s been available cheap all this time, his record is a out there for anyone who wants to see it, and he’s 55 years old.
All that information about his win record, his metrics, his ability to work under budget, his trophy haul … you would think all of that would have attracted somebody by now, right?
I understand that some chairman think their fans need a “big name” but that’s not true for the vast majority of teams out there.
None of them were interested. None of them.
Celtic is betting against all of European football’s accumulated wisdom here. We’re betting that he’s worth the risk no-one else would take. We’re betting that we somehow know better than every top flight European club.
I’ll ask another one question; how come Kevin Muscat, with his modest managerial record, got a job offer from Europe before Postecoglou did?
There are suggestions that he might be coming to Celtic as part of the backroom team; I am going to enjoy seeing how the board sells that one to fans who are pissed off enough already.
Still, he got a European gig.
He was rated as one of the best Australian coaches in the business.
So highly rated that his club waited six months to actually get him in the dugout.
Once he was in the dugout, he had some difficulty translating his ideas into practice in a better league.
How much difficulty?
He lasted a mere 14 games. The jump in quality was too much by far.
The whole debate over this guy is absolutely barmy.
If Postecoglu was a major league manager on the level some people are desperately pitching, he wouldn’t have spent the whole of his career in a backwater and we wouldn’t stand a chance of getting him.
What I see is a lot of people trying to rationalise this incredibly poor decision.
They are trying to find merit in it, but in doing so they are legitimising the choices made by this board.
To really understand this you can’t separate the decision making that has preceded it from the decision itself.
Because from where I’m sitting, we’re not challenging European football orthodoxy at all here.
Bear in mind that this guy wasn’t even our first choice.
He might not even have been the second or third choice; we have no way of knowing how many knock-backs this board got before they settled on this option.
So a much more likely explanation for how we ended up here is that this isn’t the result of great insight or imagination but a move born of panic, a mad punt with time getting away from us and season tickets to sell.
When you consider that there are wo options here and they are either that we’re geniuses who’ve spotted this guy’s talent in front of everyone else in Europe or that this board are desperate men clutching at straws and ready to shoe-horn anyone into that seat who’ll work with John Kennedy, I know which I think is the more likely to be true.