Let’s be honest, there isn’t a single one of us who isn’t frustrated beyond measure at how long it is taking us to do the transfer business which plainly needs to be done. But let’s try to look at it from the point of view of the club itself and the situation we’re in.
The pursuit of Eddie Howe squandered months.
Tying up the Postecoglou deal took longer than it should have and quarantine regulations squandered even more time we didn’t have.
There’s no question whatsoever that this club has been a shambles.
So much that should have been getting done in the background was not.
The utter folly and waste of not bringing in a director of football must now be obvious even to those who harbour doubts about the position. Our failure to bring in a head of scouting is equally disastrous and appalling.
We’re now working off records which are probably well out of date.
None of this is the fault of the manager, who has inherited this mess and now has to make the best of it. How much can we blame Dominic McKay for?
Well, whatever plans existed he personally tore them up, which goes to show you what they would have been worth.
He is now nine days into the job, and with respect to the first team situation he has a job to do which is far bigger than the one involving the team. He has an entire structure to look at and run aside from what goes on out on the pitch.
If we had a football department in place at all then that would be something, but we don’t, and that’s the fault of other people.
Lawwell wasted his last six months in the job, acting, it seems to me, from the minute he knew he was going like Trump did the minute the election was lost. Not one single positive act of note was finalised on his watch in the year from last July to now.
The pieces he was supposed to put it place were all left up in the air.
McKay has since jettisoned almost all of it.
McKay and Postecoglou have taken on a momentous task, and that the men above them let the club slide in this way makes every single one of the guilty of a staggering dereliction of duty. We have a CEO and a manager who seem to get on well, working off dated transfer target lists and trying to get the rebuilding job done at speed.
It’s all very well saying that we’ve had months; these men haven’t had months.
These men have been in post a matter of weeks. Had we been signing players without a manager this blog and others would have been tearing strips off all involved at Celtic Park.
We all know that’s true, and it’s one of the reasons I’m trying to give the guys who are in some leeway.
But nine days is a long time, and there’s a general feeling that we should have been way further forward than we are.
Was it beyond the realms of possibility that Lawwell and McKay could have worked together to line some players up for the minute he was formally in the door? Was it too much to hope for that all we needed to do was push the button to get deals done?
Some of the deals we’ve allegedly tried for sound ridiculous to me.
£4 million for Aaron Hickey? Really?
Is that a good use of club money?
He’s only just signed for Bologna, so what were the chances that they would be willing to sell him at all?
A day spent on that pursuit was a day too long.
Trying to sign Ben Davies on loan seems, too, like a fool’s errand.
We let that guy mess about once already; are we going to let him mess us about a second time?
Why would we even give him that opportunity?
Is it possibly because the short list is very short indeed and we’re in a panic now that the clock is running down?
The deadline is in six days, so there is still time to get deals done but you wonder if any manager would simply throw new signings into the team with only eleven days until the game.
This is one of those things that the bean-counters either overlook or don’t care about; it’s why Lawwell used to think it was acceptable to wait until the last available second before doing deals, for players who would not, in a millions years, be ready to play in the games. Because he doesn’t understand football as well as he thinks he does.
Needs must here.
We might well have to throw people in who’ve not spent more than a couple of days with their team-mates and who have very little time indeed with the new boss. That’s the reality of where we are.
The best case scenario is that we do a couple of deals quick and the players can join the team next week for the friendlies at Celtic Park.
I really don’t want to blame the guys who are at Parkhead right now for the atrocious state things were left in by the guys who’ve gone.
But nor do I think McKay deserves a free pass.
The manager doesn’t deserve criticism either way, he’s a victim of this shambles just as much as we the supporters are, and although he can’t have an absolute disaster or the knives will be out early, he is probably the only one you can say is relatively blameless if in 11 days’ time the dithering and delaying and generally gross mismanagement comes back to haunt us all.