The Celtic Board Is Under Real Pressure For The First Time In A Long Time

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The search is on and as everyone knows that always excites me because I love it when we hire a new manager. You don’t know what you’re going to get, and so there’s fear as well as anticipation. A lot of people think the hire will be uninspiring. I suggest they look at O’Neill, Strachan, Rodgers, the attempt to get Howe and the appointment of Postecoglou himself.

I also suggest that they take a look at Ronny Deila. That one, the media never saw coming at all and it was imaginative and intelligent. That’s why the idea of Knutsen is not being readily dismissed although his record was forged in Norway; we’ve learned something from bringing in the Aussie. Our snobbery about this stuff is not as acute as it used to be.

The board is under pressure. That much is clear. The reason for the pressure is obvious enough; Neil Lennon, the appointment that will haunt these people for the rest of their times at our club, a mistake of incomprehensible folly and know-all arrogance. If people wonder if these guys are capable of getting this right, that’s part of it.

The suspicion that something changed at Celtic to “force Ange out the door” is also doing the rounds. It is sheer nonsense, but that so many believe it should serve as a warning to our directors that the departure of the man has torn away their human shield. As long as Postecoglou was at the club and being backed few people cared about those in the upper echelon.

They have to get this right, and they have to do it quickly. There are good candidates out there, far better candidates than some of the tired options being discussed in the press; Celtic fans are not going to accept a Clarke type appointment, or a complete novice like Scott Brown. One of the names allegedly on the shortlist is Maresca; he has done nothing whatsoever to suggest that he should be entrusted with the keys to Lennoxtown and our future.

I don’t care how many times Mark Lawwell has said hi to him in the corridors around the City Group; this guy has one half season’s experience as a coach and it was a disaster. He is also not, as some people are claiming, Guardiola’s right hand man. He’s a mere coach at City, and the last time I looked we were not part of that organisation and I damned well don’t want us to be.

Besides; working for Guardiola does not make you Guardiola. Close proximity to the prince does not mean that you can climb the steps to the throne and rule the kingdom. It would an appalling risk, and wholly un-necessary. I repeat; there are good candidates out there if our club takes care to look and do a proper analysis of their respective merits.

This appointment cannot come from the narrow knowledge of a handful of people. Our club’s incestuous hiring policies are dangerous for precisely this reason. They limit thinking. If someone doesn’t appear in the contacts books of a Lawwell or a Desmond there is a risk of them being completely overlooked. The longer you rely on that the more chance of mistakes.

I believe that our board wants to see this club be its best. I believe that this board is dedicated to the task at hand. I do not believe, and I never have, the moon-howling theory that there are people at Parkhead, namely the chairman, who has some vested interest in seeing that Ibrox is not too far behind us. It is ludicrous, it makes no sense, and it flies in the face of what I know from personal experience; Lawwell hates that club as much as any of us does.

He understands the implications of our overtaking the Lie, and he wants that as much as we do. No matter what lunacy other people are trying to punt, Ange Postecoglou was not forced out of Celtic. He talked a good game but ultimately was loyal only to himself. People can deify him as much as they want and look for evidence of the dark arts as they like … disappearing down that rabbit hole will do us no good whatsoever and its a dead end anyway.

Our former manager is 57 and this is his shot at the big time.

I don’t like how he’s gone about it at all but recognise why he did it. His reasons are wholly reasonable and uncomplicated. Once you accept that he didn’t feel any deep seated loyalty to the club you don’t need to go trawling for theories and finding people to blame. Blame the manager himself. Or don’t. But this is not the fault of anyone at Parkhead.

The problem is not that our board will deliberately sabotage our progress by hiring some raging mediocrity. It’s that they will limit their search to a narrow range of candidates and that will result in us missing out on some outstanding possibilities who would build on what’s already here. There are good reasons to fear that … but there are good reasons to have faith too.

One way or another though, this is the decision this board will be judged on. This one, right here. There will be no do-overs or chances, no resetting the dial some other time. Lawwell’s appointment as chairman, the club’s decision to appoint his son in a key role, the hiring of Michael Nicholson … all of it was tolerable, and tolerated, because of the manager.

That’s over with. These people are now under the white hot light for real, and for some of them it’s the first time and for others it will almost certainly be the last, however this decision ends up. This is the most important decision of their lives at Celtic Park … failure is possible, of course it is. But it is not an option and every single one of them is well aware of it.

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  • Saulgoodman says:

    Moyes could never be a celtic manager because of the way he sets his team up – Rodgers is done being celtic manager ever again, lennon not a chance , I admired the way bodo glimt blew anges team away 2 yrs ago + he seems like a good fit to me right age hungry to prove himself + had some results in Europe certainly more than ange !

  • S Thomas says:

    Graham Potter is the 1 who really sticks out for me.. good manager whose teams play very good football. The other chaps for me are not the most inspiring to be honest. Thankfully we are straight in the group stages , so that has given us a bit of leeway there. I’m hoping it’s a quick appointment because we can’t allow this to drag on.. and need to get the players and the new ones we sign acclimatizing to the new gaffers philosophy.

  • Brian Cavanagh says:

    In reply to Bob

    the most believable theory is he got a bigger offer of money from a bigger league – simple. Dont like it, and dont like the way he did it. Board is not to blame here, what the board do next is the key. Will build on the Ange lesson, or revert to hiring a board puppet. I suggest you hold your fire

  • JimBhoy says:

    Slavan Bilic for me and Kennedy goes for 750k compo, they can have Strachan for free.

    Broonie comes back as one of his assistants.

  • JimBhoy says:

    Ange left for a 4 year deal that will bring him 25-35mill and he is close to 60. If he bombs season 1 he still gets a huge compo package and gets to be the first Ozzie to manage in EPL. Who can blame him.

    All the best and I hope he takes Kennedy and Strachan too and Kennedy get his own management gig at some point as he deserves that.

    Someone mentioned in previous comment Ange was not a brilliant manager but he did get the best out of some and we should try to improve on that. No reason why we cannot as new guy has a much better start point than Ange had, better squad, money to invest and some to move on also no doubt.

    Slavan Bilic for me would do a fantastic job. I hope we can get him.

    • Martin says:

      Yeah, as much as I don’t want a raid on our coaches…I actually think for their own good they need to leave. Otherwise they’ll stagnate and be stuck in a rut for their whole careers. Kennedy is manager material and he’s never going to try it while he’s in the Celtic creche.

  • Magua says:

    If Lawwell ‘hates’ the Ibrox club, he has a feckin’ funny way of showing it. As CEO of Celtic in 2012, he should have gone after David Murray in a court of law, for implementing and continuing, the largest criminal fraud in Scottish history. That would have been acting in the best interests of Celtic FC. Instead, this spineless coward, actively participated in the creation of the new Ibrox club, by refusing to challenge the 5WA. At best, his behaviour was criminal negligence, and at worst, collaboration in the face of the enemy. This Hun has no business being at Celtic Park. His very presence is toxic.

    Hail Hail.

  • Martin.H says:

    If Brendan can be persuaded to come back, great, the blue noses are shitting themselves at the prospect.

  • James Fullerton says:

    James you say Peter Lawwell hates Sevco as much as the Celtic supporters does,Well in my opinion he should have done more to stop them from the 10,In my opinion the biggest mistake he along with Dermot Desmond was reappointing Neil Lennon,

  • Gerrard Duffin says:

    Az alkmaar boss

  • Michael Clark says:

    I also think this is an exciting time for Celtic I know between managers can cause disruption but here’s a chance for Celtic to push on. Ange Postecoglou wasn’t the be all and end all. As far as appointments are concerned I trust Peter Lawwell to bring in the right man whether it’s Brenden Rogers again whom I’d have no problems with or Kjetil Knutsen, both men play attractive attacking football and we certainly have the team to do that. I agree with James Forrest, this guy Maresca at Man City and Jesse Marsch are proven failures and would only do the club damage. I’m sure Peter will get the right man

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