The other day, SI Ferry said that Ibrox has hired The Mooch because Ange has changed Scottish football and the expectation of what winning should look like.
It is no longer enough, he said, for teams to win. They now have to win with a certain style.
Just like what I wrote about us this morning. Just as Ange constantly preaches.
I usually like Ferry but there is a lot wrong with that analysis.
For starters, The Mooch has been brought in to be Gerrard 2, not Ange 2 although the man himself appears not to recognise this as much as he has tried to copy everything our boss has done.
The Mooch is certainly doing his level best to invent himself as an attack-minded manager with an emphasis on playing the game.
But the first three performances from his team have been the same blood and thunder stuff Gerrard became notorious for. Once teams figure out that they need to press them for 90 minutes there’ll be trouble.
The thing The Mooch is not grasping is that Celtic’s system is designed very specifically and the players we have bought were not just thrown together in the hope that they would fit.
Each has been specifically chosen for his role in the team.
It’s a masterpiece of strategic management.
It is methodical, forensic, clinical in its brutality at times.
There are players – like James McCarthy – who the evolution of this system has left in the dust, proving that you can’t play this kind of football with just any old squad you can throw together on the cheap.
That’s where The Mooch is going to have problems.
If you have bread and cheese you can make sandwiches. You can, if you’re feeling adventurous, toast it and go to that old standby. But you cannot take those simple ingredients and make something wondrous; they will never be greater than the sum of their parts, and that that’s the issue every football boss with limited resources has.
To play the system he’s going for you need two decent centre backs, full backs who can actually defend and who can get back instead of just running forward, you need a solid, dependable keeper and a quality defensive midfielder to act as an anchor.
We have spent a small fortune assembling the parts of that unit.
We are still working on it even now. On top of the defensive requirements, you also need the front men to be of a certain standard. Ryan Kent and Matondo (did you see him last night? Jesus …) and Tillman aren’t even close to it.
Yes we have a philosophy.
But it does you no good to believe in a certain way of playing football if the guys at your disposal cannot properly execute this plan. In fact, you do more harm than good trying to force them to play in a system that they aren’t suited to.
I have a feeling he is going to learn that, to his cost.