To The Limit
OGLACH raised a good point in an early response to yesterday’s article. Namely,just how much time should we be willing to give AP before we start getting the return on investment which as Celtic fans we think is a given.
I remember when he first started posting elsewhere,and he applied the suffix UFB to his moniker. I’m pretty sure that it didn’t refer to a desire to be considered as unceasingly forgiving,and of course few of us are that anyway. But I believe that such is the nature of the task facing our new manager,the mountain that he has to climb to undo the damage that has been done particularly in the last two years,that perhaps we will have to cut our newbie boss a bit more slack than we would otherwise be comfortable with.
I’ve explained in the past that we have employed new managers at some of the lowest ebbs in our history. 1978 and 1987 each saw the arrival of The One True King Billy. 1994 gave us the return of a much loved son,and also of maybe the best football any of us has seen,while 2000 brought us a winning mentality not seen before unless you were lucky enough to witness Jock’s best sides,but another glimpse of which was given to us just recently with the arrival of Brendan Rodgers.
All of these true legends in our history had a team to build in their own way,one which reflected how they felt the game should be played. Each of them effectively came in with a clean sheet as far as the support were concerned. After all,we can be a lot of things but we are not stupid! Generally,the reason why we have a new manager in the first place is because the previous one had been found wanting.
In much the same way that in boxing,it can be argued that styles make fights-and therefore determine the winner-so too it could be said that players make managers. There are exceptions of course,in the ring we sometimes see an unstoppable force of nature,such as Mike Tyson. Some of us at the time thought that only Mike himself could defeat him. We were half right. It was the arrival of a tiny eight stone girl,coinciding with the death of his long term mentor and trainer,which did for him.
So is it how a boxer is managed which determines success? If so,does that apply to footballers too-as so ably proved over the years by how Brian Clough turned journeymen into worldbeaters,but worldbeaters who simply couldn’t perform under anyone else? Jock famously said that his greatest achievement was to keep Wee Jimmy playing at the top level for five years longer than anyone else could. Our greatest ever player was only 30 years old when he left,but he sure gave us some memories.
However,I don’t think anyone before him has accepted the job on the same terms,under the same circumstances,as are facing AP at the moment. The decline in quality since the last days of Martin O’Neill has been staring us in the face for the best part of two decades,and those of us who warned about it were rounded upon and decried in some vile terms. Sometimes we still are,though civility seems to have returned at the same time as that healthy dose of reality that a boot in the baws like last season seems to provide.
Nothing like a boot in the nether regions to open someone’s eyes!
Well,this new season at Celtic Park is,I feel,gonna be a real eye-opener for AP. Of course he will have been briefed upon the innate hostility awaiting him from The Press. Actually,I have no fears for him in that regard as he seems to consider them generally in much the same way that the support do. They owe their living to their ability to castigate and demean any incumbent Celtic manager,whether it be offering to race one of them round the perimeter or telling the world that a snarling-faced manager brought bombs and bullets “on himself”
AP will either ignore or dismiss these self-appointed arbiters of public approval-because the only people whose approval he should be seeking is us. The fans. And he can only do that by giving us a winning team,and I mean yesterday.
Or so OGLACH would have us believe. And while this article is in no way intended as a personal dig at our fine fella-it isn’t,I’ve got a strong feeling that I’d need the good trainers on if ever I meet him,but nothing that a pleasant couple of pints couldn’t put right!-I think this is our time,the only time in my life,to realise that wanting success NOW is not a viable place to start.
One of my hun pals recently told me that they were set for an easy five years of it. I think there are a few out there like him,if I’m honest. Give these peepul an inch and they’ll take a liberty! I conceded that we were unlikely to be challengers next season,but that I was pretty damn sure that they had better keep a hold of the ticket for that pawn shop that they hived off the trophy to. OGLACH clearly expects us to achieve the second coming of Lazarus immediately,but I think that the rebuild that is required of the man is too much to expect of any one man in such a short time.
That’s all it is,we agree on every other point. Just not the time scale. Oh,and the other associated point. Like how much time do we give to a man if he isn’t-as I expect-putting us up there as challengers,or even winning the bloody thing in the first place?
Well,this brings us back to some real fundamentals. The fundamentals which led MAHE and I to start this site less than three years ago in the first place. We had some serious assistance to do so,but we did so in the face of some ridicule. That the site has been a success is down,as we’ve always said,to the quality of our posters. But in one respect,I think it is down to the one consistency that MAHE and I have shared from Day One. And that is the poisonous legacy of Lawwell,and worse,what he was doing to our club while in office.
ATHINGOFBEAUTY mentioned yesterday about how quick John Reid was shuttled out of office for speaking out,speaking up in favour of the support,in a way that had only been done once in our 120 years at the time. Replaced by a nodding donkey/horse’s arse,take your pick. AP and DMcK have to pick up the reins-Royal Ascot week,so pardon the horsey metaphors!-from a jockey who threw the race for his own reasons. We will never know whether this was done from simple self-interest or just to show how clever he was-not much,as it turned out-but a brief convo yesterday with AULDHEID shows where our thoughts are reluctantly heading towards.
As Celtic supporters,we should expect the best we can get. With AP,I actually doubt that to be the case. But I do believe he will prove to be a tremendous asset,a man for his times. We need a firefighter,and since BADABING has taken a well earned retirement,AP will do us all nicely. But,and this is where OGLACH UFB and I slightly differ,we have to remember that”Rome wasn’t built in a day”
And as BADABING will tell you,it takes a bloody while to put out a fire once it has caught hold. Time and patience and a ruthless attention to detail is needed.
Above article by BMCUWP