Well, well, well. Today’s presser with the manager was revelatory, wasn’t it?
Remember all those warnings the Celtic board was sent about Ange not being the sort of guy who would remain silent if he thought he was being messed about?
As much as I’m all for giving people at Celtic Park – McKay in particular – a little benefit of the doubt, the manager gave all above him a little slap this afternoon.
I have a big, wide smile on my face because of it.
Yes, I stand by my view that things at Celtic are moving in the right direction.
Let’s keep it real here; Ange doesn’t say they aren’t.
He simply says that things have to move a little faster.
He pointed out one critical failing, which has stalked Celtic for a while; the criminal amount of time it takes to go from the point where we’ve got most of the business done to the point where we actually close the deals.
He made what I believe to have been an excellent point; the club knows full well about the restrictions and delays which exist, and they should be pushing us to move even quicker on deals.
It’s frustration more than anger.
But it’s a sign that he won’t simply sit mute if he feels that they are dropping the ball.
It’s not a warning yet, but it can’t go unheeded either.
This man will brook no bullshit.
If they thought they had hired a “yes man” they were dead wrong.
This guy is not that.
This guy is already rocking the boat, and this is a boat which, to be frank, still needs a little rocking from time to time.
Not for this guy the diplomatic, head-down and wait route … he knows what has to be done and he knows what he expects from all around him.
His comments about the players are just as interesting; his handling of the uncommitted is about as stark and as brutal as you could get.
“I am picking players who are available and have both the physical and mental mind-set to play,” he said. “The ones who aren’t listed are obviously not ready for what we need to encounter tomorrow night. My focus is on the guys who are on that list.”
It’s clear from that that he feels Ntcham has already fallen below his standards and that Ajer never met his level of commitment in the first place.
Note some of the people who are on the list; Griffiths for starters.
Think on this for a minute; he believes that Griffiths is in a better head-space right now that Kris Ajer.
That tells you everything.
We’ll talk more on Griffiths later.
Don’t assume that he remains in the long term plan. Christie is part of the squad right now and he’s certainly going. Edouard will go the minute his valuation is met, yet he’s in the mix as well.
But Ange feels they are at least willing to put in a shift for the club … he has serious doubts about others and he has no intention of sugar-coating it.
We all harboured one deep-seated concern about Ange.
That he was the sort of manager who would be grateful just to have the Celtic job, and wouldn’t make waves.
How wrong that appraisal has turned out to be.
This is the press conference prior to his first game, and he has made sure that everyone knows exactly what he expects of them.
Ange Postecoglou is a proper leader and those who said that he was a strict disciplinarian who will not accept non-triers or shirkers and who will give everyone a chance only as long as they deserve it were correct in their own assessment.
It’s instructive to note that he had players in training yesterday on a Sunday.
His commitment to a minimum standard from everyone at the club – from the boardroom to the boot-room – is the mark of a man who will not settle for less than being in total command … and being seen to be in command.
So much for Jackson’s dishonest assertion today that Postecoglou lacks the authority to make demands.
By God, he’s made a lot of them this afternoon and everyone at Celtic Park, whether players or officials or directors, had better up their own game.