Since the moment it became clear – unalterably clear – to the hacks that Ange Postecoglou wasn’t just a personable guy who talked a good game, perhaps around the time that we moved to the top of the league by slapping the Ibrox club down at Celtic Park in the 3-0 demolition, many of them have been consumed by one thought; one day he’ll be gone.
Every fan who ever watched a rival possess a top class footballer or manager has been driven by the same demented idea. Of course he’ll be gone one day. All of us will. Football is a business that never stays still. I remember the days when the press would salivate about the departure of Larsson in the same way, then it was O’Neill, then it was Rodgers … you get the drift.
All of them did leave. Eventually. But whilst they were here they did immense damage to the clubs across the city and the psychological state of their fans, and all were eventually replaced and their replacements went on to inflict yet more pain.
When you are reduced to this – hoping for people to leave your rivals before you can sleep at night – you are part of a support which knows that its own club is out of ideas. Or part of a media which would rather see genuine quality depart Scotland than watch as that quality dismantles every bit of the nonsense they churn out on a daily basis.
But sadly, for all of them, there is no sign whatsoever of Ange Postecoglou getting ready to leave Celtic Park behind. On the contrary.
We have made one signing for the January window already and a second is almost complete. The club is progressing nicely, under his control.
Just listening to the man it seems clear that he’s making medium term plans at the very least. Because as with the last January window, this is next season’s team he’s building right now, for another crack at the Champions League. He’s telegraphing that loud and clear. Whilst we don’t expect sales in January, Juranovic may go next summer.
This is a guy putting pieces in place for his third year in charge, and thinking even beyond that to what might happen further down the line. This is not some chancer just appointed to a club and pledging loyalty and talking about integrity one minute and slipping out the door the next. This is a guy who is right where he wants to be.
When Rodgers was manager, he talked, at times, like someone who saw his future at Parkhead but you never got the impression that he had a plan which was evolving down the road Ange’s is. We heard talk of “succession planning” but saw precious little evidence that he took it seriously, although we might have seen a transformed team had he gotten the resources he seemed to think he’d been promised the summer before he left.
Ange has been doing this since Day One, and the club has given him the power and the resources to do it his way, which is a big part of why he’s not getting itchy feet.
Indeed, he acts and talks like a man just getting comfortable with them under the table.