This is the Silly Season. Transfer windows are about to open across Europe and every club who is looking to sign players will be linked with people from Celtic Park and every club which wants to offload players will be trying to get our club interested in theirs.
But a club is more than just the players. Ange has had a chance to look at the whole Celtic operation by now, and he will know that there are things beyond the squad that he will need to fix. The question is, what sort of changes should he be looking to make?
Scouting is an obvious area which needs work, but that’s what Mark Lawwell is being brought in for. There will be no director of football at Celtic whilst Ange is in the building. Between his knowledge and whatever Lawwell brings, that area might be covered.
I ‘ve always thought that the coaching side of the club needs a couple more staff, but the manager has expressed no dissatisfaction with his team on that end of the business either. Whether he feels that way now that the first campaign is over remains to be seen … but I would not be surprised if he felt the need to add at least one coach.
Are our analytics and sports science departments up to snuff? These are areas which the manager has expertise in and always values at his clubs. I would like to see us put some serious money behind those, so that we can build something to last.
This is another area where Mark Lawwell should bring a lot of experience to bear. He has worked for one of the biggest clubs in the world, and will have seen what the very best of everything looks like. If Ange wants true excellence at Celtic, he will want a major focus on this area.
Medical is another area. Our injury issues are a concern; obviously. We know that part of this will be solved if we get the sports science side of it right, but our medical department has been lacking for a while and we’re missing a few tricks, probably on the back of doing things so cheap. This is one area where Ibrox appears to have a significant advantage; all season long, we waited on their having a similar injury crisis to ours. It never came.
You can choose to believe that’s luck or you can look at things they’re doing and which we are not, and areas where they’ve put real time and money into things where we have come up short. If we get that area of the club right we’re on solid ground.
The transfer window opens in nine days. There will be a lot of activity before, and after, it does. But the backroom pieces, we can start putting in place right now. I would think that the manager considers this a priority.
We live in interesting times, folks.