If Peter Lawwell is in Turkey on a jolly, then I have to wonder why in God’s name he’s travelling to the other side of the world to network and hob-nob and glow with pride at being in the proximity of the sheiks of a repressive petro-state when we need a manager. If he’s over there to make someone an offer then as far as I’m concerned he should stay there.
The idea that we might be about to offer the keys to our club to a guy with virtually no managerial experience at all should be reverberating through our fan-base like the shockwave of a powerful explosion. Maresca’s 14 game reign of error at Parma does not remotely qualify him for the position at Celtic Park and that we would be replacing an outstanding, elite level coach with such a man is almost beyond comprehension.
It’s as if all the progress of the last two years has been set aside so that we can again flirt with mediocrity. No wonder there are people in our support who are quite ready to believe that Lawwell is in some way responsible for the departure of Ange Postecoglou; it is ideas like this which don’t so much spark distrust as they do outright loathing for the man.
Every manager that we have appointed to this club in his tenure – bar one, and that one is still the one that scares us most – had more experience, by far, than this guy. Tony Mowbray had won the English Championship; not an easy thing to do by any means. Ronny was a title winner in his native Norway, and had taken his side from obscurity to that lofty perch.
Rodgers, Strachan and Howe – the one who got away – were outstanding coaches, with long careers behind them and which made them exceptional candidates. The reason so many fans were enthused by Postecoglou is that he had a whole series of accomplishments in the sport behind him; titles, managing his national team, competing on two continents.
Not one of these men was underqualified for the job in anything like the manner that this guy is. 14 games in management is not that many more than The Mooch across the street at Ibrox, and he was actually in a management job when they went and got him.
There is nothing in Maresca’s history which suggests that he will be able to do this, that he will be able to handle it, there is no tactical philosophy that we can discuss to assess his credentials for it. He has no history to speak of, no way to properly draw the least conclusions about whether or not he can command a dressing room. There is zero prospect of him uniting the fan-base, most of whom will look at the big picture here and recognise exactly what this is.
I said that history gives these guys some benefit of the doubt. But of course that history also includes at least one retrograde appointment which took this club backwards and yet it was not the second coming of Lennon that I was referring to earlier when I said there’s one part of the history that scares me. I’m talking, of course, about Lennon’s first hiring, when he had less experience than Maresca does right now, a decision which still shocks me to this day.
Lennon is probably the luckiest manager in the history of this club. He should never have been near the job even once and he’s had it twice. Outside of Celtic Park he has three sackings and the most significant club of that three was Hibs, right here in the SPFL. Football chairman of every shade and stripe refuse to touch this guy. Our board “saw” something no-one else does.
And that suggests that they are perfectly capable of making this appalling decision and bringing this guy to Celtic. They are perfectly capable of playing into every negative stereotype about them that we hold. I’ve long said that the way we do things inside the club is shit; it reeks of cronyism and nepotism that even the White’s and Kelly’s would never have dared.
And now we have this City Group “link” and all the bullshit that surrounds that. If he’s over there to play at being a jet-setter and try to look good in their showy circle then he’s got no business pretending that Celtic is his first priority. If he’s over there on business then it’s a sign that we continue to be governed by people who have been there too long and are now incapable of seeing the limits of their own thinking. This is the moment this drama risks becoming a crisis.