I liked what Ange had to say in his presser yesterday, as I usually do. This guy talks a good game and no mistake. He says all the right things.
I have never listened to him and had that sinking sense of dread I got from Lennon in his second tenure, the sense that something was totally off with how he reads the game and how he handles his players.
Ange is a much better man manager and he is much better at analysing performances to learn lessons from them. He knew exactly what had gone wrong at the weekend, and said so after the game.
“Poor decisions in the final third,” was how he put it. The players simply did not play the way they were meant to. They fell back on lazy football.
When he says that the fans understand that this is all going to take time to gel, he is correct.
One of the reasons we’re all still optimistic is that we recognise, from what we’ve seen already, that he is trying to build something radically different here, something far more effective than what we’ve watched in recent years.
It will not happen overnight.
But Ange has to understand that the improvements have to be apparent in more than just little flashes. If we blow it next month it might be the earliest point at which we see a league title race slipping away from us. We cannot come out of October still waiting for things to happen.
At that point, serious questions would be getting asked and serious problems would have already developed in the relationship between the fans and the team.
The horrible truth is that all this talk of him getting a season to get his ideas across is, and has always been, ridiculous. We must win this title.
No Celtic fan will, or should, accept writing off this campaign as if it didn’t matter at all. The Champions League bounty at the end of it is too great to simply hand-waive as if it were nothing. If we secure that it’s a game changer in more ways than one.
Ange has to get this right, and although he’ll get as much time as we can give him there has to be a realisation that it’s not in exhaustible supply.
This job comes with massive pressure and huge levels of expectation. It is a must-win environment and there ought to be no appetite for settling for second.