Today all the talk is centred where it belongs; on Ange Postecoglou and his latest training session, which CelticTV filmed and released to the fans. It shows the manager giving his team a talk on how he wants them to play.
It was eye-opening.
First the emphasised movement. God, I have waited a long time to hear a Celtic manager highlight movement off the ball. Everything that was wrong with Lennon’s ludicrously rigid team shape is being swept away.
This guy wants us to play stuff that leaves the opposition dizzy; purposeful one touch football which opens up gap and exploits them.
He wants players always to be moving; no more of this static nonsense with some players being utterly pedestrian. “We move as a team,” he said, which is absolutely the way it should be. It’s front foot stuff, keeping the opposition on their toes.
The emphasis on hard work is summed up when he tells the players that we never stop running and moving. He summed it up in one endlessly re-playable statement, which is destined, I believe, to become the stuff of internet memes all season long.
“We stop at half time and then at the end of the game when we celebrate,” he said.
But during the game we never stop. (If) the opposition want to stop that’s good for us, we’ll ****ing take advantage of it.”
He knows that attitude will rattle teams.
“The more (like that) we are as a team, the more they don’t want to play against us, the more effective we’ll be. They’ll know they can’t get a rest against us.”
At another point, he shouted at the players, “If we lose the ball, I ****ing want us to win it back.”
No more will the emphasis be on this staid, boring, passing from side to side dirge we’ve spent too long watching. This team will be aggressive and purposeful and it will play with pace, power and energy as its principle weapons.
This guy means business and this season’s Celtic is going to be a different proposition entirely. Teams who expect to see that cautious, slow working team are in for a shock.
This Celtic will bear no resemblance to the one which surrendered our title and trophies without a fight.
This team is already undergoing a big, big change.