The big guy was excellent today at his press conference, using the kind of language I’ve wanted to hear from somebody at Celtic for a long time. The talk suddenly is of building something this season which lasts beyond it. The word strategy was even mentioned.
He praised Michael Nicholson, which is what you’d expect.
The guy is his immediate superior. He praised McKay a lot too when he was at the club.
When you listen to what he said it’s tempting to conclude that Nicholson is going to be in the job long term; in fact, Ange hasn’t said that.
For the record, I have little doubt that the club has enough contempt for us to appoint Nicholson; but the manager has not confirmed that today, but suggested that the club is focussed on one thing at a time.
The important thing, as far as Ange is concerned, is that the team building be brought as close to completion (for the time being) as possible, which means more work in January on those areas where we’re still lacking. From there it’s all about tweaking.
We know there will be stuff happening in January, on the playing side, but he was also happy to talk today about other areas of the team needing bolstered as well.
“We brought in Anton in terms of our sports science and he has been brilliant since he came in, not just with what he is able to input, but also helping the existing staff because we have been a man or two short in that area.
There are other areas we are looking to bolster particularly in terms of scouting and recruitment.”
Notice that he used the word “particularly”; he intends to do a lot more than just work on the scouting and recruitment departments, and this is all to the good.
What’s more important, Ange has suggested that the real stuff will happen when the club is not focussed on players any longer and has a chance to look beyond the immediate horizon.
Rebuilding the squad is obviously the key thing, for now, but when that’s done Ange has suggested that it’s time for people to start thinking about what our club wants to be.
“”We have some immediate concerns obviously, that’s around the football department and looking ahead to January. But we want to build something, not just for immediate success, but for sustainable success.
So you have to get into more strategic thinking and I am working alongside Michael hand in hand with that.”
Nicholson, then, is involved for the moment, and as I said I reckon he’ll get the job because this is the shocking way Celtic still does things, without an open process, without finding the best available person and without considering the message it sends to the fans.
But at least there is talk, at last, of something beyond the here and now.
The word “strategy” isn’t one that gets bandied around too much in connection with our club, unless its us bemoaning the lack of one.
Ange seems determined to change that.