Great comments from The Boss yesterday on the subject of whether players will leave and how the club will respond to that. One of the great things about Ange is that he has some of the most polished communication skills I’ve ever seen from a Celtic boss.
Answering a direct question on Giorgios Giakoumakis, he summed up his thinking on the matter and he sounded entirely relaxed on it.
“I don’t think about those things,” he said.
“I don’t think about who I want to keep or who wants to leave. I just work on the basis of the group I have in front of me. If anything changes I deal with it. People have their own ambitions in their football career. My goal is to make sure we are supporting them in their endeavours.
“If they think opportunity is better for them elsewhere then we will go through that process. I don’t think about it because I may want to keep all of them but I could get offers in for them. I think it was my first year of coaching that my favourite player left me after two games because he had a better offer so I have never fallen in love with them.”
It’s a great statement both because it’s funny and because it’s true. Ange cannot afford to think any other way. In the modern game there are very few managers who can. Players do have a lot of power these days, and their agents have even more.
Ange will not panic. Chris Sutton yesterday was labelling it a “disaster” if we sell Giakoumakis and Juranovic, but it will only be a disaster if we’ve not replaced them when the window shuts. Otherwise it’s one in and one out as long as it suits all parties.
That’s how Ange will see it, and so I have no fears about selling either player. Juranovic’s replacement is not just in the squad but in the team already. In spite of stories in the media today about Japan – I might take a closer look at that tale tomorrow, it seems to have a few holes in it – I very much doubt that Giakoumakis will be sold until his own replacement is in the building and probably shown us what he can do.
But there’s a message in there, of course, and it’s for us. Not only is Ange telling us that he doesn’t fall in love with players, he’s telling us that we shouldn’t either and that’s a message he’s sent out to us before of course. He knows that to move us forward he will have to sell key assets at some point, to give us the cash to pursue even better players.
He’s reminding us that we need to trust the process. He’s reminding us that we need to have faith in him and in the plan.