Celtic’s Dressing Room Woes Are Another Symptom Of Incompetent Recruitment.

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There is a tremendous, but little seen, British movie of the 1990’s called Paper Mask, starring the ever-excellent Paul McGann.

He plays a former biology student working as a hospital porter who has spent so much time in or around the diagnostic rooms that he can answer patient questions before the doctors can.

When he witnesses a car accident that results in a death, he finds out that the dead guy was to start work in another local hospital as a doctor … and believing he’s up to the job, he assumes his identity and takes the guy’s place there.

You can guess how well that goes.

One of the themes this site returns to again and again is about how little the wannabe accountants and pen-pushers and bean counters inside clubs really know about football management.

They seem to think being in proximity to coaches and players, and perhaps having dabbled in the odd game of Football Manager, that they really understand the dynamics and mechanics of the dressing room and about how to construct a winning team.

You only have to look at our transfer policy from the summer and its utter illogicality to see the hand of the amateur at work.

Nothing about it makes the least bit of sense.

Positions which should have been filled were not. Areas of the pitch which did not need it were reinforced. The signings were so scattershot, a hodgepodge of them. That we were allegedly prepared for the Asian Cup when we signed a further three players eligible to take part in it makes a nonsense out of any claim that those involved knew what they were doing.

There is no way in the world that Rodgers was responsible for that.

His mistake was in trusting that the system worked. He had watched, from afar, as Ange Postecoglou’s first and second windows fit together like a perfect puzzle and my guess is that he gave too much credit to those over his head.

When he said he would work with what he was given I think he was probably already pretty worried about what was happening in front of his eyes.

Look, anyone who thinks I’m giving Rodgers a pass here hasn’t been paying attention. Go back and read the match reports over the past month. It’s shocking what we’re being forced to watch and even when we’ve gotten results there hasn’t been a single display where we’ve looked particularly good. The football is some of the worst I’ve had to watch.

Rodgers doesn’t get off here. If this season ends the way its heading, if he’s blown a seven point lead and exposed us to this garbage we’re watching and there’s no league title at the end of it he’s got no chance of surviving that.

There are people on the board who will sack him in two seconds and as much contempt as I have for them it will be the only sensible decision. He should be doing one Hell of a lot better than he is right now. He’ll also have shown himself up as weak, and you can’t be weak dealing with the kind of mindset that runs rampant at our club.

There are dynamics at play here which we aren’t seeing properly, and we got a glimpse of some of those issues this weekend in what McGregor said and then with Taylor’s comments to the media. The players have held an inquest and some of them have been told to get the finger out and start producing for the team. That’s a hell of a thing to need to happen.

But it happens, and it is particularly common when you have a dressing room full of people who have won things and been successful and are driven to succeed and you throw ten more bodies into it and expect that to work well.

One of the problems with the signing of project footballers is that most of these players have no idea what it is like to play for a top club and they have no experience of winning things. And some of them have the wrong mentality for it.

Again, this is something Rodgers has pointed out and which has largely been ignored. What do people think he’s talking about when he says that analytics don’t tell you everything?

They don’t give you any idea about how hungry a player is, or whether he is prepared to pull his weight or how he will cope with the pressure at a massive side … Rodgers has decades of experience in this stuff. Decades. That judgement should be respected and trusted.

Instead, he’s got Daddy’s Boy throwing players at him with no thought whatsoever as to whether or not they have the right character, or can integrate into a team or whether or not they are disruptive presences … no wonder the dressing room is all over the shop.

Why do those working above Rodgers think that top managers insist on meeting every signing? Why do they think that whole “I want to look him in the eye” stuff is so important?

It is critical. Yet we’ve actually had board apologists mocking Rodgers comments to that effect. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

Absolute amateurs, that’s what those above Rodgers are.

They don’t have a clue how to build an effective unit, but because they meet the players in the corridor every day and can have a laugh and a banter and a joke, they think they can build a team. They think that constructing a squad is nothing but a bunch of numbers.

Because numbers are what they know. It’s all they know.

This is how dressing rooms disintegrate.

Players who think they’re on holiday sitting alongside seasoned winners. Players who are in and out for the money wearing the same kit as those who understand the responsibility of playing for a massive club. The more random the strategy for signing players is, and the more random players you sign the greater the chance that something like this is going to happen.

And that’s how titles are lost.

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  • Legend07 says:

    I don’t always agree with you James but that is a10 out 10 from me
    Edited we get to the manager we need to start from the very top THEY ARE the problem and have been for a very long time.
    You can go back to Tony Mowbrays time we were signing a bus load of loans and players that made no sense.
    It was if we’ve got you a load of random players now go away and make something of it. They are aJoke and know nothing about football.

  • Legend07 says:

    Before not edited*

  • Frank Connelly says:

    reports suggest that McGregor Taylor and Hart made there feelings clear at this dressing room get together. But in truth have any of those three reached the dizzy heights expected of a seasoned celtic player. Not sure I think they have. Were is the game management from this squad. We have constantly watched a second half collapse for weeks now yes even going back to the Sevco game when fortunate not to have given up a two goal lead.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Good article James, Rank amateurs in recruitment terms. Still can’t understand why BR came back to the club under these circumstances. Surely he asked for certain guarantees and final decisions on signings.
    After his previous dealings with Lawwell, I just can’t believe he could be so gullible. Still believe the manager should be getting a better tune out of the players who are available to him.
    Some strange decisions on substitutions on Saturday, would’ve like to have seen Iwata coming on to shore up midfield.

  • Davie says:

    Amateurs don’t deserve the bad tag.
    I said some time ago that the board were a problem and had to go.
    Rodgers is a bigger problem, he can’t motivate the team.
    Why do we still have a huddle, it’s past its use by date, issues should be addressed before players go on the pitch.
    Rodgers playing style bores me to sleep.
    When Hart gets the ball passed back 70 yards, the forwards don’t get any service.
    That’s Rodgers garbage tactics.
    Rodgers and the board are not fit for the purpose, if that happened in retail you would want a refund.
    Wake up James, Rodgers is a massive problem, he has no tactics to adapt and change, his boring slow non creative style is destroying the team.
    I never liked his style, I thought it was Scott Brown during Rodgers 1st time round, I was wrong, it’s Rodgers who is hopeless.
    Enough said, Rodgers and the board must go.

  • SSMPM says:

    The boards arrogance in stubbornly pursuing their policy of development signing and dislike of DD’s choice of manager is what’s costing us this league. They backed Lennon’s 2nd stint and Ange more than they will Rodgers. It appears a deliberate act to ensure his failure. Like Dom McKay and his enforced demise, that clash of personality is what’s leading Celtic to fail in the most important thing; providing the manager and the fans with a 1st team squad capable of winning the league. Sure Rodgers ain’t doing great and the team ain’t playing well but they’re doing enough to make chances and half chances but failing to take them to win the games we should be winning.
    The rankers are no great shakes as we know but they’re good enough to challenge a sub par squad and even go a run in the 2nd tier European tournament.
    Our board are exhibiting a dereliction of their duty, the priorities are all wrong and their spiteful pursuit of fecking Rodgers right off is unforgivable.
    I’ve not given up hope yet but it’s like a girlfriend that’s now going out with Billy come lately, the new kid in town. Those fellas that I thought were on my side that have failed me by not passing the message given to them to pass to her and now seem to be Biilly’s mates need a good kick up the arse. All the way to the midden where Billy has moved into his dead relative’s house. HH

  • Davey1888 says:

    We’re so bad that I’ve renamed us The Glasgow Rodgers 2024 after a famous Glasgow 2012 entity.

    Absolute drivel to watch. His leadership is failing, 80% of those players are treble winning players and Ange team.
    He’s took them backwards faster than even Beale could have done.

    I hope The Glasgow Rangers International 2012 win the treble this year and get the CL money, it’s the only way we’ll get this board out.

    They’ve sooked every penny from this club with a smirk on their whisky sodden faces, let’s get them out.

    If the team can down tools we can down subscription and support. Give them nothing. They’ve ridden our backs way too long

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      No Davey – Definitely no Sevco treble for me…

      Them holding The League (Mickey Mouse) Cup is painful enough for me –

      I’m missing ma schadenfreude already with them being at the summit and me having nothing to brag about any more on a Monday nowadays !

  • Michael Clark says:

    You have to ask how Celtic Football Club allowed it to come to this. Back on December when we were 7 points clear it looked more difficult to lose the league than to win it, yet thats exactly whats happening. We have an owner of our Club who is worth a whopping 2.2 billion pounds yet we dont hage a player on the park worth more than 3 million pounds. After all the great work Fergus McCann did for our Club, its got that horrible feeling were going backwards to the days of the Kelly’s and Whyte’s.

  • SSMPM says:

    That really is a woeful comment … seriously man. Never ever should a Celtic fan want the huns to win the league let alone the treble. You sound angry but I hope when you calm down to a frenzy that you take that back. The league and the cup is still there for the taking. A return to some kind of form, return from injuries, smash them in the Glasgow derbies and it’ll be all the sweeter that they were thinking, like you, that it’s over already. Btw you should check your maths out too. HH

  • Gerry says:

    Although we have been hugely successful ( trophy wise,) the recruitment, in the main has been pretty dreadful. When we’ve had strong teams/squads, they’ve then just been asset stripped, and it’s start all over again ! What do they call this …the ‘Celtic model?’
    As Celtic fans, we’ve seen this for decades, and a refusal of the speculate to accumulate model, whilst in positions of great strength, has resulted in our complete malaise in Europe, and the regular embarrassments we have to witness. We have gotten away with this dearth of enterprise from our board for many years at domestic level… but their greed, arrogance, ignorance, incompetence and huge ego’s have all conspired to blow domestic dominance as well and lead us down this present road.
    For this season, if we’d spent £20-25 million in the summer on 3-4 ‘game changers,’ would we be where we are now? Or even more recently, £6-10 million on two in the January window…a Miovski or Shankland would have gotten the goals to win us this league ! The fact that we haven’t done so, is a disgrace and complete insult to the Celtic fans !
    It would be great to say that we can go on a sustained run of form to still win this title …but most of us are a bit tongue tied, with what we are having to watch at present!

  • Celticfcman says:

    He has a great player he’s not using in James Forrest.

  • Roonsa says:

    Beautiful article.

    I need to thank you again for making reading about Csltic an interesting endeavour. As opposed, obviously, to wanting to thrash the author of the piece with their own entrails.

    It’s definitely a God complex shown by some, especially Lawwell. That sheer arrogance of “I know best”, “these people are beneath me” and (of course) “how difficult can it be?”

    I agree 100% with what you said in a recent article that we, as Celtic fans, have slept through this, now, for far too long.

    Laziness has ensured that we rely too much on the Green Brigade speaking for us and look where that’s got us. We need leadership, a campaign and a message. Fast.

  • Robert Roy says:

    The team is playing woefully poorly just now and seems to crumble when the opposition get a bit too physical. The general standard of play is sleep inducing.It’s way too predictable and as i’ve said before the schoolboy basics of crossing the ball and getting past the 1st defender are shockingly poor. None of the new recruits add anything to this squad. There’s not a first pick in there. Whilst that’s the case I think individually there are some fine players but it’s a bit like “wood from the trees”. There’s just too many of them to be able to introduce them and develop them properly. Odin Holme looks like a good future prospect and are Lagerbielke and Naiwrocki that bad that Welsh is picked before them?Iwata has looked promising when he’s come on but can’t get a game because midfield is overloaded for choice. On that point what’s the point in the development teams?
    However, yes, we’ve lost the 7 point cushion but we’ve beaten Rangers twice this season. Once when the media had written us off as no hopers. Rangers, despite the hype from the media once again, are not world beaters and yes they shouldn’t be anywhere near us but there’s enough games to go for Celtic to still win the league. The time for the inquest is at the end of the season and not before the patient has died. I’ve been a supporter for over 50 years and i’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly plenty of times and to me this is a blip.

  • Peter says:

    I personally wouldn’t be worried right now there is still 12 games left including the split its only 2 points right now and I am pretty certain that there will be more twists and turns before the season is concluded.
    Even if Rangers win on Saturday against Hearts and it’s a 5 point gap it still won’t matter, because there is still plenty of games left for things to turn around. I’m not saying Celtic will win the Title or Rangers as its too early still to be certain but, I really don’t think that blaming the Players, Rodgers or the Board is the best move right now. Celtic need their supporters to back them every single game from now until the end of the season no matter what the results are. True Champions always find a way back to winning and its not over until the fat lady sings so let’s not be negative right now because if we keep this negativity up then we will lose everything and then the blame can only point towards ourselves.

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