Today is the signing deadline for the next round in Europe.
We will register the two players we didn’t register last time, and draft them into the squad. But there’s no third player on the horizon, and we badly need a third and a fourth and a fifth.
Last night, the manager sat after the match and pretty much took the flak for multiple failures which have nothing to do with him. In short, he was trying to be diplomatic, but there was no denying the spikey tone of his comments when it came to signings.
He feels he’s being let down, and perhaps is starting to sense that he could be being left out on a limb.
Without resorting to cliché, it should be noted that the Aussie’s aren’t ever going to be noted for tact and diplomacy; in that respect they are a lot like Americans in that they don’t do deferential.
I kind of like how Ange handles himself, but with his anger at the glacial pace of our business already apparent, imagine how he’ll be when he decides to go no-holds-barred.
This guy isn’t Lennon, someone star-struck and blinded by the big lights of Parkhead.
One of my deep seated concerns about Ange was that he might be one of those managers so glad just to get an offer this size that his first allegiance would be to the board which hired him.
That fear has long since been overcome, because he’s not like that at all.
Ange Postecoglou will stand up for himself, and what he thinks is the greater good of this club. He wants to succeed, he knows this is his big chance and that he blazes a trail for all the other coaches in his part of the world.
He will not tolerate being put in a position which embarrasses him or them or the supporters. He will fight tooth and nail, and if that means doing his fighting against those he thinks are holding him back, in private and in public, so be it.
Right now, he faces a dark and grim scenario where Celtic crashes out of Europe twice in a matter of weeks, on his watch.
It is more than possible.
If we’re going into the Jablonec games with Edouard up front and a choice of two goalkeepers whose morale is on the floor and a backline which looks likely to include a number of kids, then the risk of it is as real as the porcelain mug I’m drinking my coffee out of.
Ange’s reputation will take a battering if we lose to the Czechs and he knows it. He will deserve some of the flak too, but not for failing to do transfers. He may want to be the final arbiter of who we move for but I don’t believe for a minute that he’s involved in the minutiae of contracts and tying together the deals. He knows what he has to delegate.
That man will take the flak for those above him only for so long.
He’s increasingly pissed off with it, realising full well that he’ll be the one who carries the can if this all goes wrong.
Look at that board of directors, with not a genuine leader amongst them, all yes men for the absentee shareholder.
Do they care, or understand accountability?
How come not a one of them offered to resign over the fiasco of last season or the failed pursuit of Howe, which cost this club three months? They are like a bad joke.
Better men would feel a sense of embarrassment at the very least watching that last night, as well as an awareness of their own role in it.
Ange must already smell it on them; the very sense of entitlement they brazenly accused the fans of having. They are gambling with his future now as well as ours and he won’t let them do that.
Right now, he’s trying to walk the line between raising his frustration in a place where it can’t be ignored and not directly laying the blame at their door.
But he’s been in the job a mere two months and that was his second competitive game in charge, and already he feels that he can’t sit in silence with what he clearly sees going on.
There are managers who will tolerate this stuff and there are managers who won’t, and if this board thought they had signed up the former they already know they are wrong.
Imagine what this guy will be saying by the time the window shuts, if we’re out of a second European competition and already falling behind in the league?
And he should be saying it all, and he should be saying it now before that happens, because he cannot, he must not, let this board hang him out to dry in the way they’ve done up until now.