The Herald Used To Be A Good Outlet. It’s Latest Piece On The Celtic Boss Reveals Its Fall.

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There was a time when The Herald was a very decent newspaper.

Before its owners got into blogging.

Before it hired some of the worst people writing sport in the country. Now its standards have fallen to the extent that an article such as the one I’m going to talk about gets through its editorial meetings without a hitch.

This would never have been published by that title 10 years ago.

Maybe even five. But it now has the likes of Ewan Paton writing for it and so almost anything goes. The article is about Ange and the “pros and cons” of his moving to Spurs.

It may happen, and it may not.

But whether it does or not, some of the stuff that has been written on this is so lamentable that it needs torched.

Paton’s article is shockingly bad. His grasp on the fundamentals is tenuous at best. It is truly witless stuff and I think it deserves the full-scale flamethrower treatment, so here goes.

“Ange Postecoglou’s future at Celtic appears to be up in the air as things stand. The Australian, 57, is believed to be the preferred candidate for the vacant Tottenham job. The Premier League club are on the onlook for their permanent replacement for Antonio Conte, who left them back in March. It’s said that they’re keen to have their next manager in place within the next two weeks.  So, after Celtic’s Scottish Cup final clash with Inverness this weekend, it’s likely that the picture will become a lot clearer, whether Postecoglou goes or stays. Here, we take a look at three positives and negatives of the Celtic boss potentially joining Spurs…”

You know this is going to be bad as it suggests Spurs would like to tie this up in the next fortnight. Because we’ve all been hearing that, on and off, for the better part of two months. The idea that the next two weeks are somehow critical is quite amusing. They have taken longer to get to Ange than we did, and we had the excuse that we were waiting for Eddie Howe. Also, “on the onlook”? Aren’t you amazed that this got by even a semi-competent sub-editor?

So let’s move onto these “pros” then, and the first one is

“A massive budget.

Some will say that Tottenham are quite tight with the purse strings. Historically, that probably is a valid point. But just four years ago in 2019, they worked out €63 million on Tanguy N’Dombele from Lyon. The midfielder hasn’t exactly shown up to be a good bit of business. Postecoglou has proved time and again that he has an eye for a player though, and would certainly back himself to find Spurs better value in the market with a vastly superior budget than that of Celtic’s. He’s been heavily backed financially by the Hoops, but as is the food chain of football, there is a limit. He won’t take the job without reassurances from Daniel Levy regarding spending powers and being allowed to reshape the squad.”

Let me do that for him properly.

Some will say Spurs are quite tight with the purse strings and they are, as we have to go back four whole years for a halfway big transfer fee, and they got that deal wrong. When I say “massive budget” I mean for a club based in London and isn’t owned by an oligarch. I mean relative to other sides in the league. Just not the ones who Spurs would need to overhaul to make any real inroads. When I say a “massive budget” I mean compared to Celtic, not to Manchester Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle, Manchester City … oh you get the drift. Luckily, Ange is good at working with a limited budget. He will want Daniel Levy to seriously back him just the same.

That’s basically his “pro.” Ange will get money, but nowhere near enough to be considered a top spender. But hopefully Levy gives him enough to do at least a partial job. Isn’t that a shocking start? So full of holes that a badly knit sweater is an improvement.

“Working with some world-class players

 Harry Kane, he’s arguably the best striker on the planet. He’s certainly up there. Heung-Min Son is a dynamic forward with a proven track record of being one of the Premier League’s best attackers. Dejan Kulusevski, his form may have tailed off this season, but the Swede has shown what he can do at the top level too. There are undoubtedly various areas that Spurs will need to strengthen, but even in defence, Cristian Romero and Pedro Porro are solid options who clearly need better coaching to thrive. Any manager worth their salt would surely fancy improving underperforming players.”

Let’s redo that article too.

The chance to work with Kane, if he stays, if you can convince him to, having heard a manager from the SPFL is coming in, and with no European football. And Heung-Min Son. Also a collection of decent but not brilliant players. So two world class players then, if they can be talked into staying.

“No European football

 Now, this could quite easily be spun as a negative, and that’s perfectly reasonable. Postecoglou quite clearly enjoys the big occasion, especially on European nights. But Spurs’ eighth-placed finish this term means the North London side even missed out on Europa Conference League qualification for next term. This could allow Postecoglou the chance to fully focus more of his time with his players on the training pitch rather than having additional games early on in his tenure. Playing Thursday-Sunday is never ideal, according to most bosses. It could be a blessing in disguise to help him implement his styles and ideas in a quicker fashion, thus boosting his chances of success.”

You know that gruel at the bottom of the barrel? This is the stuff that lies beneath the gruel. Imagine trying to make the argument that one of the pros for Ange will be not having European football? Imagine the brazen balls to hand that in and pretend that even a coffee break worth of thought went into the central concept at the heart of it? No European football is a disaster for Spurs, impacting on everything from the players they can keep to the ones they can attract, the huge loss of revenue from everything from appearance money to sponsorship … not even The Daily Record employs someone who would try and dress that up as a plus.

Now let us get to the cons …

“Unfinished business in Glasgow

 Should Celtic defeat Caley Thistle on Saturday, Postecoglou will have lifted five out of the six trophies available to him during his two years in Scottish football. That’s an outstanding record, and in turn, it would also complete Celtic’s eighth domestic treble in their history. The biggest area to highlight with this point would be his desire to do better in the Champions League. It was a joy for all of a green and white persuasion to be back in UEFA’s elite competition last term, but with a tough draw came some tough results against Real Madrid, RB Leipzig, and Shakhtar Donetsk. Postecoglou would be waving goodbye to the Champions League for at least a season if he was to make the jump to London. Is that enough to persuade him to stay? Who knows.”

So the reason the guy who would see no European football at Spurs as an advantage will stay at Celtic is because we’re … in the Champions League? You can see the logic, right?

You can see the way the pieces of the jigsaw fit together in this loon’s head.

A more sensible person might say that if the Champions League is this important to Ange that it might swing his decision not to go to a side that isn’t even in the third tier competition – as myself and others have – but clearly that’s not the guy The Herald has hired as a sportswriter. Jesus wept.

And believe it or not, that’s prize winning stuff next to this bit …

“Working with Daniel Levy

 The 61-year-old is a notoriously tough character to deal with. Shrewd in his work, there’s no doubt the Tottenham chairman is a highly successful businessman. But numerous managers have detailed the difficulties they’ve faced with working under his stewardship. Recently, Jose Mourinho admitted that Spurs are the only former club he has no connection with. Just last week he said: “I have established a great bond with all the clubs I have coached. The only team I don’t have this relationship with is Tottenham. I hope that my words will not be misinterpreted by Tottenham fans but that is the only club in my career with which I do not have a deep feeling. Probably because the stadium was empty at the time of Covid and probably because Mr Levy didn’t let me win a final or win a trophy.”

But wait a second … isn’t this the same Daniel Levy who Ange will be relying on to back him in the transfer market and give him full control over the team, as outlined by the writer in his first “pro”? Doesn’t that render the first “pro” – and thereby haha the whole article – a complete waste of time, effort and an insult to the readers?

“Not leaving a Hoops legend

 Without doubt, the Aussie is a hero in the eyes of all Celtic fans. But would two seasons’ work be enough to enable you to go down as a club legend? It’s debatable, but the answer is probably not. He’s certainly achieved an awful lot in that time and has progressed the club at a rapid rate from the dark days of the Covid season which ended their ten-in-a-row ambitions. It all really depends on how Postecoglou values the thoughts of the club’s fans. Nobody could begrudge him the chance to earn vastly more money than he’s currently on at Celtic. And at least he’d be leaving at the end of the season, unlike Brendan Rodgers, so he wouldn’t have that hanging over him. The likelihood is he would go with the best wishes of the majority of fans. But probably not quite as a legend. It’s hard to say whether that would bother him, mind you.”

Pathetic. Probably the worst part of a truly abysmal article, one so bad that it should give off a physical stink.

An entire 157-word paragraph about why a downside of leaving Celtic for Ange is that he might not be remembered as a legend … and ending with the words “It’s hard to say whether that would bother him, mind you.

I think it’s equally hard to imagine serious people giving this writer a job, and yet there he is, writing for The Herald, a paper that once took itself seriously and which was read, and appreciated by, serious and intelligent people.

I wonder where they went that their editorial team is pitching below even the lowest common denominator with crud like this?

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  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Ibrox fan boys berry and young of the DR, clearly ecstatic about this spec that Ange will be ‘announcin’ his departure after Saturday ! All of them, their biggest fear is that we are gettin closer tae their ‘record titles’, they’re terrified of that, no tae mention bein 1 trophy away from debunkin their deranged ‘worlds most successful club’ claim. It could still happen, tho If Ange does go, it’s up tae the board tae show ambition and get the right person in. Keep the momentum goin.

  • Johnno says:

    In fairness James, Ange would have to weigh up all the pros and cons if indeed such a job offer ever comes around and a decision he has to actually make.
    To much noise to be claiming that the whole situation is just nonsense, which I first thought about the speculation.
    Personally I would feel a bit conned by Ange if anything was to come out of this speculation.
    Of course I couldn’t condemn him upon the job he has done with ourselves, but I also feel the job is far from completed yet.
    Winning trebles is all well and good, yet believe making a bigger impact within CL is a better goal to be aiming for, with the domination of Scottish football as a decent and worthwhile back up and plan going forward.
    So still Ange hasn’t completed his ultimate goal for his celtic team yet so unfinished business still remains.
    Hope Ange sticks with his sences as the pros with ourselves far outweigh the cons that spurs have on offer imo.

  • Brian Cavanagh says:

    Hi James

    it is a very poor article -but it doesn’t take away the sense of inevitability of this move. I hope he doesn’t for he have provided an excitement and free flowing football reminiscent of ONeill and Stein days. I dont like admitting it, but the fact the Spurs have nothing but to concentrate on the but the league means that getting back into top four would be achievable with Ange as manager. If he goes I would wish him well. I pray he stays

  • John S says:

    Is anyone trying to unsettle the Celtic camp in the run-up to a Cup Final ?

  • Croftcelt says:

    TBH, I think this article is a bit of an over reaction. The Herald article is scarcely worth commenting on, and doing so gives it more attention than it deserved.

  • scouse bhoy says:

    a sevco fanzine what editor worthy of his profession would allow the utter insult of the engine room subsidiary to be printed.

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