I don’t want to go off on one and lash Michael Stewart today.
He’s not an enemy of Celtic. But I found his recent comments about our worrying “loss” of our “Scottish identity” absolutely baffling, not to say even a little ridiculous.
He’s concerned that we are signing too many players from the Far East, too many that Ange knows, and thus risking turning into a side which neglects where it’s from.
Sorry, Michael, but that’s simply not the case at all and you need only look at the current squad to know it.
Greg Taylor. Tony Ralston. Stephen Welsh. Callum McGregor. David Turnbull. James Forrest. Mikey Johnson.
And all these guys without even thinking of Henderson, Moffat, Murray and others who have gotten their first taste of competitive football under our manager.
He obviously didn’t listen too closely, either, to Ange himself talking about the pleasure he gets from developing home grown – and especially club produced – talent.
We have a Scottish core.
It’s a subject I’ve written about several times, one I return to on this blog over and over again. We always will, firstly because a club in our position needs to have that and secondly because it has worked well for us down through the years.
Once Ange has been at the club for longer than five meetings, he will have a better idea of which Scottish players might make the grade and which ones won’t. He will have identified those who play in this country who could do a turn for his team.
It will come, but right now he’s not willing to rely on the judgements of others. He is backing his own. That is how it’s supposed to work. Why does Stewart think it’s Japanese players we’re buying?
Ange managed there last. He has seen them.
Now he manages here. He will be watching for who on the domestic front can cut it.
If he wants a look at a club that is losing – haha try lost – its Scottish identity, he only has to look across the city where they are about to sell their only promising academy graduate.
Where is the “Scottish core” of their team? Nowhere. McGregor is a year or two from retirement and Ryan Jack has been injured so long there are questions as to whether he’ll ever return.
Honestly, of all things to get animated about … this one is pretty dumb.
I don’t know what Stewart has been thinking recently; I realise that his absence from TV of late must have been frustrating for him but I seriously hope he’s not going down the typically lazy road of criticising Celtic for easy headlines and a guaranteed starting position on the BBC Sportscene sofa.
No, he’s better than that, right? I certainly hope he is.