After whipping the Ibrox club at the weekend, I knew that there was a certain inevitability about the old “Ange will not hang around in Scotland” stories starting up all over again. Had we gotten a result on Tuesday night they would have reached a crescendo.
On TalkSport, one hack tried to suggest that he was a good fit for Chelsea, who had just sacked their boss. The favourite for that job is Graham Potter, currently at Brighton. When it became clear that Stamford Bridge was probably out someone pitched up with the idea that Ange might fancy a dead-end job by the seaside instead.
Good God, but it’s pathetic isn’t it?
These stories, of course, are heightened by the fact that Ange is still on a one-year rolling contract; if he wanted to walk out tomorrow, he would probably cost the club that took him less than we paid for Matt O’Riley, and the robbery would be ten times as great.
But you know what? Celtic, and Ange’s, calm over this tells me something; both parties are very relaxed about where his future lies. If Celtic had any doubts they’d offer him a long-term deal with some heavy guarantees written into it. If they did, I am certain he’d sign it. He is not the sort of man who would leave us in the lurch.
This is not Brendan Rodgers. We have to remember that. Rodgers has wanted to be the star in every story that ever played out in his head. He thinks that the best place to get that big spotlight shining on him is England. This is one of the reasons why he itched to return there.
Ange sees things in a totally different way; he sees things in terms of his personal satisfaction and a connection with his surroundings. He is a builder, and they tend to hang around. He gets Celtic in a way Rodgers, even with his background, never did.
I think Ange sees the opportunity to build a dynasty here.
Personal glory doesn’t mean as much to him as it does to someone like Rodgers – I cannot envision him ever winning a trophy and taking the credit for the achievement for himself, as our former manager brazenly did when he won the FA Cup at Leicester and framed it as part of his own success story – but he understands that cementing a place in our history is a better option than playing some modest role in that of some mid-table struggler somewhere.
He knows what Celtic is, and he knows what it can be. He is supremely confident of making this club into the perfect encapsulation of that vision.
If there was the slightest doubt in the minds of anyone at Parkhead about this guy he would never have got the backing he got in the summer until such a deal was put in front of him and signed. The man is a class act, a genuine person of worth who knows that value isn’t measured in pounds and pence but in the highest standards of loyalty and personal conduct.
Don’t worry about these stories. There will always be stories like this when a manager at Celtic is successful. This man is going nowhere except forward at the helm of our club.
What a journey it’s been already, and I don’t think it’s even properly started yet.