Is The Celtic Manager Being Used By Daniel Levy As He Angles For The Guy He Wants?

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Reports again fill the papers today over the future of the manager.

How joyous the mainstream press here must be to be able to run variations of this on cup final weekend when we should all be looking forward to securing the treble.

I am pretty pissed off as I sit here writing this.

I reckon most of us feel the same nagging sense of frustration that this is what so much of the focus is on.

Although I blame Spurs for this I am not absolving our manager of responsibility either.

He has not killed this and seems almost determined not to.

This will be the first question he’s asked the minute the whistle blows and whilst he’ll put the hacks off as much as he can, he has to start talking straight to us. I’m sure that his agents are in talks with Spurs whether he is familiar with the exact details or not. He says he hasn’t spoken to them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t busy on his behalf.

But I get the nagging feeling that they are playing a dangerous game and so is everyone involved here. Because Daniel Levy is not a guy who cares much for how what he does affects other people or other clubs, and it’s not outside the realms of possibility that Ange and his people are not, as reports suggest, being courted at all.

It might be that they are, instead, being given a proper using here.

Levy cannot afford to be knocked back again, so I suspect he’s talking to the agents of multiple people behind the scenes even as the Ange “courtship” is happening in public.

Reports from down south suggest that Luis Enrique broke off talks with Napoli because he’s waiting for a call from England. That’s not the one from Leeds, or even West Ham where David Moyes said today, in relation to Celtic, what Ange failed to yesterday; “I’m happy at my current club.”

Enrique is being encouraged to hold off on signing talks in Italy. Spurs are the other club he’s talking to. There are reports that Marco Silva, of Fulham, in the last year of his deal and with a £6 million release clause because of that, is another name they are interested in. That feels like one tacked on there as a last resort; I think Enrique is the one he wants.

He’s held talks with Enrique. That’s in the public domain.

The Napoli chairman knows full well that Enrique has talked to Spurs, confirming to the media in Italy that he “prefers a move to the EPL.”

So those talks are at an advanced stage, regardless of what is happening elsewhere, and if Spurs want to appease their own fans here and have a choice of Ange Postecoglou with his Scottish, Japanese and Australian titles or a man with a Champions League winners gong, a European Super Cup, a FIFA World Club Championship, two La Liga titles, three Copa Del Rays and a FIFA Coach Of The Year award who do you think he’s going to go for?

He has to sell this decision to the fans. Which of those options is easiest to punt season tickets on the back of? Yes, Enrique will want big money and the license to do things his way … anyone who think Ange won’t have some pretty big demands doesn’t follow the guys career. So to Levy, the risks are broadly on the same level here.

Let’s not pretend that Ange isn’t a big risk as an appointment.

He has good ideas and the right philosophy, but the EPL is a different beast from other leagues with more pressure on managers than any other in Europe.

Life there is bloody and you have to hit the ground running.

In a dressing room full of players who are megastars and multi-millionaires ten times over a certain cachet is needed and I wonder what they’ll think of a manager who comes in and doesn’t even talk to the team before the match in the dressing room … culture shock? You better believe it, and if even just a handful of players are too egotistical to swallow this the party is over.

The Spurs dressing room helped get Conte sacked. Any manager would have to be aware of that going in, and you need to be able to command a certain amount of authority on the first day. We know the qualities this man brings to a club … but you have to be willing to look past your own prejudices to recognise it, and a lot of folk at their level can’t.

Levy has to think of all this, and he’s just ruthless enough to have made the strategic leaks about Ange in order to force Enrique to the table on the club’s own terms. If that’s the case then our manager does himself no favours in dancing around this stuff, and when the final whistle blows on Saturday he’s run out of room to dance around it.

Because if he interviews at Spurs and then doesn’t get it – if the whole purpose of getting him down there is to force Enrique’s hand – then he comes back to Celtic Park a diminished figure and one some inside the club will view in a very different light than right now.

At that point, if you sit that guy down and make one last attempt to get him to sign a long term deal and he says no, the club itself might have a grim and ghastly choice on its hands.

Everyone involved in this is playing Russian Roulette and the craziest part of that is that much of it depends on the whims of a guy who sacked Jose Mourinho on the eve of a cup final.

And there’s an even worse example than that about Daniel Levy and the dangers of putting your career in his hands.

More on that later on.

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  • Dan Cowie says:

    I have loved Ange in the job, foolishly thought he was different from the rest, but alas no. He could have said he’s staying but he didn’t. Maybe sounds harsh but if he doesn’t get the Spurs gig, I would not give him a contract offer at Celtic, move on as obviously his eye is elsewhere. I find it hard to accept we always have to be a stepping stone.

  • Jim says:

    Get real folks. He is interested in a big job and he doesn’t tell lies. So how is he supposed to play it?

    Would you rather he professed undying love for the club and then slink off without saying goodbye to the players?

    It’s not a given that he’ll go there, that has long been a problematic place to work. It is telling that Pochettino, a successful manager there, would not go back and chose Chelsea instead. But if Ange wins the cup and then decides to leave, he has discharged his duties and behaved honourably.

  • Jimmy R says:

    Like many Celtic fans, I don’t know what to think or believe. The straw I am clutching, is that Ange has never answered that question in all the very many times and ways it has been put to him. If he comes out and says. “Naw mate. I’m staying put. I am not talking to any other club.” We Celtic fans will be delighted. But somewhere down the road, if he is interested in talking to another club and being a truthful man, Ange won’t be able to use that answer. Immediately he doesn’t, the cat is out of the bag and we know he is talking to somebody. By continually being opaque, Ange gets to remain truthful while keeping his options open. It is his life and he should have complete control of what and when things get into the public domain.
    So saying, I really want to know what is happening and I so want him to stay.

  • Sea Of Green says:

    It’s me! Your stalker! And you never suspected! Because this is one of a number of monikers I have used on this site and others so you would publish my comments, so that I could at least, for a while, bask in your radiance and glory!

    I am a thoroughly sad bastard who gets more tragic with every new iteration.

    Oh worshipful master! Oh spiteful one! Take pity on your poor humble servant and PUBLISH THIS POST!

  • Gerrard Duffin says:

    Howe for spurs

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