Yesterday, during his excellent meeting with the fan media, Ange talked about the footballers who were signed in the summer and who have yet to make too many first team appearances for the first team squad.
Specifically, he talked about the boys from Sheffield Wednesday about whom little has been said even less seen up until now.
Confirming that he will be looking into January loans for one or both of them – and a few others, whose names I think we could guess – he also explained why, perhaps, we’ve not seen them yet. He cites the reason as being the difficulty of getting development players into an ever-evolving team, and he is correct of course.
Neither of these two have played at the level we’re talking about here.
They weren’t signed as first team ready footballers but as future prospects and it is much easier to put those kind of players into a team which is settled and already playing well. Imagine subjecting those two to the enormous pressure this team feels at the moment.
Ange has taken the smart decision not to do that.
He has kept these guys out of the way of real scrutiny. They have been allowed to develop at their own pace, in the B team, and now could be set to go out and get first team football elsewhere.
“It’s about now getting them the right opportunity, that may be here, that may be a loan deal somewhere but we’ll make those decisions come January. We’ll sit down with the boys and see what the best way forward is.”
The manager is giving us a little glimpse of his philosophy here, and there’s a little insight into the two players as well. He obviously feels they are ready for first team football, just not, at the moment at Celtic Park. And he said one other interesting thing too.
He talked about the overall improvements he sees in their game … and he made a promise to any young player thinking about Celtic and wondering whether they can really get better even if they are not regularly playing first team football.
“They’re pushing themselves,” he said. “I believe even though they haven’t played, they’ve improved as footballers. If you train every day with us, one thing I will say is you will improve.”
And that is the thing here; Ange’s whole career has been based on that improvement, on making better the players who pass through his hands.