Today an interesting development; The Record reports that Rui Faria, the long-time assistant manager to Jose Mourinho, has held “tentative” talks with our club about the manager’s position.
Here’s the thing; he’s only managed one club in his career, winning the Qatar Emir Cup, with Al-Duhail. It’s his one and only job in the dugout hot-seat.
He took over there in January 2019, won that trophy and then a year on resigned from the role.
Here’s the difference between him and Postecoglou; Faria might not have 25 years as a manager, but he has 17 at the right hand of one of the most successful men ever in the game. The trophies he and Mourinho won together include eight league titles in four different countries, two Champions Leagues and the UEFA Cup and that was just the major ones.
If we’re going to take a punt – and a punt might be all we have left – it seems to me that this might be a more palatable option and a less concerning one than taking a shot on the Australian.
Neither of them has the CV that Celtic needs, but Faria’s is a closer to something we understand and recognise and there is much to credit it.
We know that Postecoglou is valued for his tactics and his style of play, but those tactics and that style have only ever been tested against low-level opposition.
Faria has worked alongside one of the finest tactician’s European football has ever seen … and he will have his own ideas about what he wants to do in the game. His experiences have been at a level above and beyond anything that Postecoglou has ever done.
Speaking as someone who is hugely sceptical of the level at which Postecoglou has worked, this is infinitely more attractive an option and far more credible.
The idea of us appointing a guy who is essentially a rookie would be ridiculous at another time, but there are factors here which count in his favour aside from that.
He has been tremendously loyal to Mourinho, and stayed by his side although he had offers from around Europe and elsewhere.
When he quit working with Jose in 2019 he said he did it for the betterment of his family. He has told the media that he will never go back to being an assistant, and so this is a guy who wants to forge ahead with his career.
He is currently linked with Wolves.
Look, everyone knows that the optimal scenario here is a decent level European coach with experience and some trophies to his name. Be honest; we’re not getting that at this point. The pursuit of Postecoglou proves that.
So we’re left with the least bad options … and this isn’t even a particularly bad option.
Whatever we do next is a risk.
There is simply no getting away from that.
It’s the level of risk that matters … and this seems less dangerous to me.
There are a lot of rumours flying about, some of which I may write about later, some of which people have undoubtedly heard for themselves.
We all know, too, that the clock is ticking and that there may be difficulties in getting the Postecoglou deal over the line; his club can name their price for him, they can drag it out, there are licensing issues, the idea of him having to re-locate across continents, the anger of the fans … there are a lot of obstacles to overcome.
And it might just be that Celtic has decided that the risk isn’t worth the reward.
If so, I can applaud the outbreak of sanity.
If this is the direction we’re looking at, it is far better than almost all of the low-rent and cheap alternatives.