The oft-heard wisdom is that every player plays for money and every player ultimately plays for himself. But if that was true then no manager would ever be able to command a dressing room.
Certainly, no manager would ever be able to inspire a whole team.
Ange Postecoglou is gifted that way.
When you hear other managers talk about how they intend to crack the whip and then you look at the way this guy goes about his business you recognise that he’s a man who commands respect without ever having to raise his voice.
He’s proved himself through his CV, his talent and his ideas.
Listening to Alastair Johnson talk about the reasons he signed for Celtic you hear Wanyama being given credit and you hear about the club itself being a massive draw and playing in front of 60,000 people being what football is all about … and then you hear him talk about the manager and how one conversation with him sealed the deal.
Ange Postecoglou is Celtic’s biggest asset. That’s not to say that we couldn’t sign players without him or that his ideas make an otherwise unpalatable prospect an easy sell … those other things, our name, our reputation, we the fans, they still stand up, they still hold sway, but more and more it’s clear that Ange himself is now part of the magic.
He is special, and he can make other people understand that he’s special in very short order.
I once wondered how this guy would get on walking into a dressing room in a strange country with people he’d never met, people who might have preconceived notions about where he’s from and where he’s coached until it dawned on me that he’s faced those doubts before, when he went to Japan, and he triumphed there. He has nothing to prove.
And it is this man who is one of the key drivers for people who want to play for us.
They recognise in him something appealing, something that makes them want to trust in him and uproot their lives and come on over here and give their all for this club.
I know not everyone in Parkhead will accept this, but Ange Postecoglou is the beating heart of this club. He is the man at its core and everything that happens should flow through him and orbit around him.
If we do that, everything will be just fine.