Celtic’s Respectful Statement Masks Real Anger At How This Has Gone Down.

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So a few facts are now in the public domain, the first of which is that our former manager was offered a new deal by the club – which would have protected us from a predatory approach and given us a real chance to recoup the fee a manager going to the English Premier League should be able to command. I’ll write more on what we did get later.

He turned that offer down. The club won’t elaborate on when that offer was made, but it’s my understanding that it was made well in advance of this weekend.

Still, Celtic wanted that information out there and they made sure the words didn’t just come out of Michael Nicholson’s mouth but out of Postecoglou’s as well.

It’s important to note that, because that confirms what a lot of us have been saying.

I barely glanced at Postecoglou’s statement, because frankly I couldn’t care less what he has to say at this point, for reasons I’ve made clear over the last couple of days.

Celtic always wishes managers well, even the ones we’ve sacked, so don’t read too much into what we’ve sent out in our official statement. It’s got the substance of wind and it’s about as real those letters that cabinet ministers trade with Downing Street after they’ve been axed.

Inside Celtic, there’s genuine anger about how this has all happened because we know it didn’t happen over a weekend.

We are well aware of the role in this played by Spurs, the agent and Ange Postecoglou himself.

If the reports from England yesterday are true, his agent was working to get him the move behind the scenes for many months, even as the man himself sat in at planning meetings, discussions about transfers, putting the finishing touches to the tour of Japan and that ghastly season ticket PR campaign “We’re All In”.

So don’t for a second believe that those in charge of our club aren’t mightily pissed off.

But they’ve obviously decided not to get into a public war of words with either the departing boss or the club which has basically tapped him. I’ll explain why I think we’ve done that a little later on, but part of the reason – and it should be obvious – is that it’s in our interests for this to look smooth and without rancour because we want this club to look strong and professional for the next guy.

And right now everyone at Celtic is thinking about nothing else other than hiring the next guy, which is where our focus needs to be. Frankly, there’s no time for anything else … but I am encouraged by the club stating that this process can’t and won’t be rushed.

It’s onward to the next step for Celtic, that’s what counts now, and it’s all that counts.

A retrospective on Ange’s time at the club is probably in order, but I am not going to write it.

There isn’t a single regular reader of this blog who does not know how I feel about Ange Postecoglou the manager; he is an outstanding, elite level boss and any club would be fortunate to have him in charge.

But I also believe that he’s gone to the wrong one, that his style of football, which has not worked for us in Europe, is going to be sorely tested in a league where Manchester City, Manchester Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and now Newcastle can all spend more money and are capable of beating the best teams in the world … and where he will not have the luxury of time to get it right.

He comes cheap. Relatively speaking.

Which is why Levy won’t necessarily feel that he has to give this guy too long to start showing results.

As one Guardian journalist put it yesterday; “If the worst comes to the worst, they can always usher him to the door and replace him with a more fashionable choice: a bald, middle-aged Dutchman or young German with a penchant for wearing BBC Two spectacles and controversial trousers.”

It matters not to us.

I won’t be keeping too close an eye on him any more than I do the players who’ve left. I think about Celtic 24/7/365, and anything not within this zip-code is a lesser consideration. The focus of all at Celtic now turns to our own future, and if we do this right and pick the right person that future is as bright as it ever was.

Go on Celtic, go and find us another winner.

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  • John says:

    Must apologise about my PL comments. It would appear that Celtic had been trying to tie him down but failed to.

    I think now it is evident that this move was planned weeks ago and AP knew he was leaving. I get it he did not want to spoil the party, but some of his comments contradicted his actions which is what hurts me the most.

    He is gone, wrong choice as I said previously.

    Now we need to get someone in who these players can work with.

    Lad at Bodo/G must be a good bet.

  • Auld Chris says:

    Beautifully said as aye. I do wish Ange well for what he achieved with us. However, as you’ve paraphrased James, the way this has come about leaves a bas taste in my mouth. Scales have fallen from my eyes.
    Hail! Hail! Our Club moves forevever forward.

  • Bigmick says:

    Well said,James. He’s no longer our concern.
    Am i disappointed? Yes,a bit…won’t lose a wink of sleep though.

  • Frank Rafferty says:

    Yes, exactly. A chest thumping, lying, badge kissing, Aussie gobshite. He can fuck off and get fucked over and get his jotters by January from Levy. I wish him nowt but failure for the rest of his career. Next please & can we have someone who can make progress at European level.

  • Iljas baker says:

    So now the revisionism begins in earnest – manager couldn’t read the game, players couldn’t play the system, he WAS lucky. Alongside that we have the tendency to hope that fantasy football managers or just plain unsuitables will come to assauge the pain: Keane, Broony, Larsson, Clarke etc.

    Let’s face it for most Celtic fans the goal, sometimes the only goal, is to beat Rangers because the others in the SPFL are no real challenge. No manager we have had in my living memory has taken Celtic to less than second place. With any manager they’d probably achieve that, other things like budget remaining the same.

    No modern manager of Celtic will be a fan – NL was probably closest to that and look what happened to him. Lots of fans turned on him because he wasn’t winning and Rangers were, which only goes to show that being a Celtic fan is second to being able to gub Rangers, accept when you leave! That creates panic – will Rangers take the ascendancy? Panic, panic, panic.

    Probably no modern footballer will be a one club player. That’s the reality. JF and CMcG probably know deep down they will not do that well outside of the SPFL but others will want to test themselves elsewhere or want the big money, and good luck to them.

    Ange did well and pointed the way with a brand of football everyone loved. But it demands an awful lot of the players and not everyone could give their all or give their all for 60 or 70 minutes. Ange accepted that and that’s why he made the substitutes when he did but they weren’t as good as the starters and it showed regularly. We have a big squad but not of the requisite quality (yet) to play that style of football. I mean we are not Manchester City and never will be in Scotland.

    So in my view Ange was great for us but he was a professional manager with all that that entails including ambition. I think we should keep what he started and we need a manager who understands that and has experience of that style of play and believes in it. That rules out an awful lot of contenders including everyone who has already been associated with the club as a player.

    If Ange’s system needs tweaked and I believe it does it is improving the transitions from attack to defense. He completely failed to compromise even though he knew transitions were a problem and that left us with no European football for many months even though he believed success in European football required experience playing in Europe.

    I’d put my money on the Bodo/Glimt guy, Kjetil Knetsen – give him a better than one year rolling contract, get him before Ajax do.

  • Gerry Traynor says:

    If you don’t want to be at our club you mean nothing to me .someone better always comes along.

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