Keith Jackson’s Latest Article On Celtic Is So Bad It Should Have Been Spiked.

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Keith Jackson has turned in one of those articles today which is so bad that it deserves nothing less than the full treatment, taken apart one paragraph at a time and held up to the utter ridicule and scorn that it deserves.

It is a lamentable piece of work.

Yesterday I wrote a lengthy article about why Celtic’s rebuild is actually well underway and why we shouldn’t view the current incumbents as following the same patterns we followed again and again under Lawwell.

Things have changed at Celtic, and things are changing even as I write this. I said the media was taking a lazy view of it … no piece characterises that better than Jackson’s deplorable junk today, full of wishful thing, presumptions and the sort of wrong-headed “analysis” which would make serious journalists open mouthed with disbelief.

Let’s start with the headline, and although Jackson probably didn’t write this it’s indicative of the nonsense that appears in the rest of the piece;

Celtic suffer unfathomable slow start to rebuild and £40m Champions League blackhole would be on Dom McKay – Keith Jackson

I’m going to say just three words to that, and I’ll elaborate further later; no it won’t.

One thing is for sure in Celtic’s summer of uncertainty. Dominic McKay is no-one’s mug.

 What a genius Jackson must be to realise that a man with McKay’s experience and CV and intelligence is not an idiot.

Did it really take brain-cells to come up with that?

The Parkhead club’s new chief executive may have spent the last few years fumbling around with oddly shaped balls but be in no doubt, when he opted to accept this hospital pass he demonstrated that his are made of steel.

McKay didn’t spend any years “fumbling about” with rugby balls, unless Jackson thinks he was actually out there playing the game. What he did do was haul the entire structure of Scottish Rugby into the modern world and skyrocketed its revenues.

The first Jackson ever heard of him was when he slapped the SFA all over the shop in the PR war over Hampden. But McKay was a superb CEO in that sport and it was obvious that he would bring a new focus to Celtic.

What kind of phrase is “hospital pass” in the context of this discussion?

Jackson is a prize idiot, but that is just crass and painfully so.

What a moronic comment.

Intelligent, articulate and progressive, McKay ticks all the boxes in terms of a modern day CEO.

You can tell Jackson, with his pitiful lack of a formal education, reads the blogs, can’t you?

The word “articulate” wasn’t in his vocabulary until he started skimming our work.

The word “progressive” he probably had to look up the first ten times.

Again, none of this is insight, it’s almost verbatim what some of us have been writing since he was hired.

But now that the serious business is about to begin tomorrow night against Midtjylland, his part in Celtic ’s mystifyingly haphazard preparations is about to come under the microscope.

If Jackson wants to put McKay’s performance “under the microscope” let’s do it.

He has been formally in the job for 19 days.

In that time, we’ve completed four signings, two of them involving the only real money any club in Scotland has spent. A fifth deal will be done imminently. In addition, McKay’s job at Celtic is bigger than running just the football department … he has myriad other responsibilities in addition to doing deals for the players.

Should it all go wrong for Ange Postecoglou against the Danes, McKay’s bottom line is in for a pounding.

In whose universe? McKay is a spoke in the wheel.

If it goes wrong there will be plenty of other people whose role in it will be far worse than his.

As much as £40million is about to go on the line here but the big Aussie goes into this tie with hands tied behind his back given the lamentable lack of forward planning which has coincided with the handover of power from the imperious Peter Lawwell.

This is the start of a transparently obvious and grossly misleading narrative; to blame the sins of Peter Lawwell on Dominic McKay, and thus weaken this guy’s relationship with fans right out of the gate.

The lamentable lack of forward planning was not down to this guy, not at all.

It has been in evidence for more than a year.

It didn’t coincide with the handover at all, it preceded the handover by many, many months.

Don’t forget; this was planned.

This “summer of transition” was planned. It didn’t happen by accident. The rebuild was “factored in”. They knew it was going to be done, and they did not one thing to make it go smoothly.

That is not Dominic McKay’s fault.

On the face of it, it feels a bit too much like what happened at Manchester United back in 2013 when a triumphant era came to a shuddering end at Old Trafford.

Only a complete idiot would have used such a ridiculous analogy.

There’s a serious danger here McKay will be to Lawwell what David Moyes was to Sir Alex. The right man at almost inevitably the wrong time.

I’ve read that 100 times and with all my smarts I can’t work out what it means.

It’s a painfully bad example and he persists with it like trying to fit a square shape into a round shaped hole.

It’s not even worth debating the point, he’s comparing apples with crispy pancakes.

Lawwell may have parted ways with the club under strained circumstances, having been demonised by the militant wing of the Celtic support, chewed up and spat back out by the very monster he chose to create.

What rot.

What a steaming pile of manure that is.

Lawwell parted ways with the club because he failed.

He gambled on Lennon, held on to his failing stock way too long and then capped it with the dreadful Howe fiasco.

Lawwell had the nous to realise that he was a busted flush and that he had been in the job too long.

The so-called “militant wing” of the Celtic support didn’t do this; like with Lennon it was over when Lawwell lost the rank and file.

He may have been blamed by the Green Brigade when 10 in a row hit the buffers but he was titan in his role and an undeniable asset to the club over his 14 years at the helm.

Nonsense. Lawwell was in the role way too long and had run out of ideas.

He was personally responsible for driving Brendan Rodgers out of Celtic Park, he failed to reform the SFA, he hired Neil Lennon twice and locked us into a cycle of progressively weakening the playing squad.

Lawwell made countless mistakes, both great and small, over a period of years.

What’s more, not even Jackson believes this guff.

Because at the same time every year he writes the same article;

Celtic hanging the manager out to dry.

Celtic unprepared.

Celtic’s CEO and the board dragging their feet.

I write the same piece every year, and all of them, until this one, were on Lawwell’s watch which is why I had to step back this weekend and actually look at what’s going on at Celtic right now instead of judging it by previous year’s standards.

This perception of Lawwell as a strategic genius is believed by very few Celtic fans.

As I said, it was not his losing the “militant wing” but the moderates, the ordinary fans, which ended his tenure at Celtic Park, and it ended with calamitous and total failure.

But, for all of his mastery of manipulation, Lawwell’s last season in charge was torpedoed by uncharacteristic miscalculations and it is this error strewn legacy McKay must now inherit.

 Lawwell’s alleged “mastery of manipulation” is a myth.

He was outsmarted by the likes of Rod Petrie and Campbell Ogilvie so don’t make me laugh.

And his “miscalculations” were only “uncharacteristic” if you weren’t paying attention for the last four or five years.

This is the guy who hired Neil Lennon in a Hampden shower and then boasted about sticking all the other CV’s in a bin; Lawwell who then had to dig them out and go through them when the end came, and was probably rebuffed by half the people on the list.

In the end, Lawwell was only ever really fooling himself.

The great thinker was incapable of long-term planning.

The new man can not be blamed in any way for a catastrophic mishandling of the pursuit of Eddie Howe but it has left him, Celtic and Postecoglou six months behind the eight ball nonetheless.

Ridiculous comment and unmoored from reality.

Six months behind the eight ball?

Even if the mixed metaphor weren’t enough to get you kicked out “journalism school” – even The Daily Record version of it – it’s garbage.

Already in this “disastrous era” we’re replaced Elyounoussi, and backed up Forrest.

We’ve added some promising kids to the squad.

We’re on the brink of signing the replacement for – don’t laugh – Shane Duffy.

Is there work still to be done?

Yes, loads, but we’re four first team signings done already, one is on the way and others are in the pipeline.

We’re behind, maybe by some weeks, but to say we’ve lost half a year is howling at the moon.

The new manager’s morose, almost flatlining reaction to Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Preston was a rather troubling indication of the current state of affairs.

I love the body language experts, I really do. Postecoglou is frustrated with what he’s watching on the park. If he had been all smiles Jackson would have said he was at it.

Postecoglou may have been Lawwell’s choice for the job but he looks like a man who is already struggling against the tide.

What tide is this? What garbage!

Postecoglou has managed three matches, all of them in pre-season, none of them meaning a damned thing!

What tide exactly?

You’d think we were ten games into the season without the man having secured a win.

Oh, and Dominic McKay has already publicly said that Postecoglou is his man, not Lawwell’s.

The man has led from the front and taken that responsibility on himself.

And he’s already authorised more than £10 million in spending.

I repeat; in his first 19 days.

Much like McKay, he finds himself hamstrung with legacy issues which were none of his doing but which are occupying all of his focus as Celtic stumble towards a new campaign against a bewilderingly dysfunctional backdrop.

 We’re on the brink of a fifth signing since McKay came in.

I ask again; what dysfunction?

Things are taking longer than people at Celtic would like because not only are we in the midst of a global health crisis which means, as the manager said, you can’t just “get on a plane” but we’re also living post Brexit where even the easiest signings now require work permits and Home Office decisions.

It’s not as simple as the simpletons at The Record are making out.

A little chaotic looking, yes, but only because we’ve got a new CEO and a new manager working to clean up one Hell of a mess. Where Jackson sees dysfunction it’s equally easy to see people digging new foundations.

Which takes time anyway.

Kristoffer Ajer may have thought he was destined for bigger things than Brentford but, by agitating for a move to the Premiership new boys, the Norwegian has nailed his colours to the mast.

 And we will reap the benefits of that to the tune of £13.5 million and the bonus is we’ll no longer be playing a central midfielder in defence.

Odsonne Edouard is another key player who would rather be anywhere else and the fact that the Frenchman was sat on Postecoglou’s bench for an hour or so at the weekend, suggests the manager is already resigned to making do without him for the long run.

Nothing we didn’t already know.

But as to his sitting in the bench for an hour, I am thinking that might have more to do with his just being back from another minor injury and the manager not wanting to risk him for 90 minutes.

You know, like the manager said.

That Edouard looked bright and lively when he did enter the pitch might give Postecoglou a welcome short-term fix where tomorrow’s match up with Midtjylland is concerned.

So what’s the problem?

He plays, he scores, problem solved.

Onward, Celtic.

The striker may be motivated by nothing more than the prospect of earning himself a big money move but, regardless, that could work in Celtic’s favour where dealing with the Danes is concerned.

I know what you’re thinking; “if it’s this obvious, even to Jackson, it has to be obvious to everyone at Celtic Park, right?”


If Edouard has his had screwed on properly then there’s every reason to believe he could provide Postecoglou with a sharp cutting edge at a critical moment.

If you’re re-reading that over and over again, I promise you, I left it just as The Record’s sub-editors did. I didn’t change a word.

If you’re also wondering “wasn’t this article meant to be about Dominic McKay? This is four paragraphs in a row about Edouard” I assure you, you’re not alone.

On the contrary, the fact that Olivier Ntcham and Ryan Christie were nowhere to be seen on Saturday suggests the manager may have given up on the pair of them already.

Well Christie won’t be at Celtic Park for long, so I’m guessing he has which is hardly surprising.

Ntcham didn’t make the European squad.

If the manager has already decided he’s not giving 100% then his exclusion is fair warning to everyone else not pulling their weight.

I don’t really care about either of them to be honest, but I’d keep Ntcham for the extra year only if he’s knuckling down.

If he’s not it’s his own career, not Celtic, that will suffer.

He’ll be heartened by the capture of tricky Israeli teenager Liel Abada – who also impressed after coming off the bench on Saturday – as well as the imminent arrival of Kyogo Furuhashi from Japan but Postecoglou is pushing water up a hill where this gargantuan rebuild is concerned.

By my reckoning, we needed around ten players.

We’ve signed four; a midfielder (Shaw), a defender (Urhoghide) and the two Jackson mentioned in the piece.

Another central defender (Starfelt) will be coming in within days. Lawal is a McKay signing, and I think he too will be a first team player in short order. We’re already halfway there.

So if he’s “pushing water up a hill” he’s not doing a bad job of it so far.

And whilst we’re on the subject, you push a boulder up a hill. You can’t push water up a hill, you can try to push back the tide. You carry water up a hill. You can’t carry a boulder. See? Get it?

The lack of a proper education is so horribly obvious when you read this guy’s work, I can’t not comment on it.

The trouble is, the laying of Celtic’s new foundations has got off to such a slow start under McKay’s watch, it’s verging on the unfathomable.

Having thrown all Lawwell’s plans, including Lennon’s signing lists, in the bin and therefore with he and Ange working from a standing start, to have signed four players in 19 days with the immense complexities involved in that, not to mention pushing for the sale of Ajer, dealing with the fallout from Griffiths, trying to rebuild the football operation, run the business side of the club as well and working on other signings at the same time … I think it’s a remarkable start, and the only “unfathomable” thing about it is that he’s managed half of it.

That Postecoglou has not felt empowered to bring in his own backroom team is a source of big concern. That McKay has not yet secured someone to head up Celtic’s urgently required recruitment process goes way beyond baffling.

A lie. No other way to put it.

Ange Postecoglou is entirely “empowered” to bring in his own backroom team.

He’s made his choice, his own choice.

We might not disagree with it – I think it’s a dreadful mistake, which he’ll come to realise – but to claim, as Jackson does here, that he’s not got the authority to do it is a barefaced falsehood.

McKay is taking his time with a massively important role … and doing a lot of other stuff at the same time.

Jackson can barely do one task at a time; McKay is running a proper three ring circus, but a guy like him will have it structured and gridded and planned to the minute.

And amazingly, four signings without a head of recruitment and a fifth on the way.

And then there’s the matter of employing a director of football whose job will be to map out a new future for a club that’s been moving backwards for the last 12 months.

The future is already underway, ahead of that appointment.

But yes the club has been moving backwards, but for longer than 12 months, which is exactly the slide McKay is trying to halt prior to turning it around.

And whose fault was it?

The “imperious” Peter Lawwell’s, who Jackson loves so much.

The likes of Gordon Strachan and Shaun Maloney have been spoken to and sounded out as McKay gets his own head around what is required, but the longer he takes to make his mind up, the more Celtic’s rudderless ship will continue to drift.

 No, actually, neither man has been “spoken to” or “sounded out” about the Director of Football role, or certainly not under McKay.

It’s a job that needs to be filled but not as imminently as giving the manager the tools to do his own job.

And why is Celtic suddenly “rudderless” without a director of football when we’ve never had one, in all the years Lawwell’s been there?

Why are we suddenly “rudderless” now? Under McKay?

I don’t recognise that characterisation of our club at all … in fact, McKay has taken several critical decisions which show you that he’s fully in charge, including junking everything Lawwell had in motion.

And the accountability for all of this will begin tomorrow night when Postecoglou picks a side for a European eliminator against a Danish outfit which was robust enough to take a Champions League point from Anfield last season.

The “accountability” for a defeat tomorrow night will be laid at the doors of the boardroom and on the departed former CEO who handed these two men such a mess.

Neither Postecoglou nor McKay is accountable for any of this, and they won’t be blamed for it.

Yes, Postecoglou may be the man carrying the can for the time being in terms of selection and tactics.

Postecoglou is yet to manage a single competitive game.

If we were going to judge managers on a single game – their first game – Strachan wouldn’t have survived the Nightmare in Bratislava and Brendan Rodgers himself wouldn’t have returned from Gibraltar.

Nobody is going to be putting any pressure on Ange if he can’t win tomorrow night.

But, more importantly, McKay has to prove himself capable of moving Celtic back in the right direction.

He’s been in the job 19 days.

When he’s 100 in we can do a proper review on how well the rebuild on and off the pitch is actually going.

It’s preposterous for anyone anywhere to be suggesting that he’s already under pressure.

The media is at it here.

If the manager believes he has not been properly equipped for the immediate task in hand, then the buck has to stop at the boardroom. 

Correct, at the boardroom, not the CEO’s office.

The shambles exists because they allowed this club to drift for a year.


Just as well then that McKay is such a shrewd strategist. He’s going to need to be.          

 “CEO of massive company needs to be able to think strategically.”

What does Jackson want for this insight? A prize?

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