Happy Saint Andrew’s Day
And a Happy Saint Andrew’s Day to all of our Scottish readers. Some sites also have Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Greece amongst other countries,which ties in neatly with our new manager. See,you all think I throw these things together,and you are right-but I can sometimes remember to do a bit of googling just to check that my memory is correct.
It used to be called research,I think…
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that AP is a saint. After all,he hasn’t yet won anything-but he has certainly instilled some long lost belief among the fans and more importantly the players. He has us playing in a much more attacking style,and has largely discouraged the mantra of possession which saw us aimlessly passing the ball in front of packed rearguards.
It isn’t yet perfect-but then,even Saint Andrew’s mentor knew that miracles take time!
So AP hasn’t achieved beatification status yet,but he certainly has the patience of a saint. Anyone new to the strange ways of Scottish football,anyone who has seen the different methods of refereeing being applied to the opposing sides in the same game,or the paucity of yellow cards to our rivals while we are gathering them like confetti,most definitely has the patience of a saint. I’ll say no more about penalty awards,or timely red cards. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know.
It is clear by now that I’m not telling AP anything he doesn’t know either. Despite being brought in very late in the recruitment process,he was on the ball right away with his clear belief in pass and move. He was on the ball very early in his identification of where we needed strengthened,and many of his signings have slotted in to great effect. He has been clear -and vocal too-from the start that there is a rebuilding process in place,and that he wants new recruits again in January.
I’m not sure he will accept shilly-shallying or flim-flam from anyone regarding his plans,whether that be from players who don’t buy into his ethos or from a board unwilling to support him. Certainly,he has the players onside-and most of the fans too. The rigidity of the board and the continuing questions about the departure of DMcK should be a source of concern for him,and for the fans too. But it should above all be a concern for that board. I don’t think the fans will accept having a fourth-or fifth,depending on how you count it-manager in three years,and I don’t think it will be acceptable to the players either.
I suspect that AP knows that he is dealing from a position of strength with a board who normally CGAF,and if so he knows that his demands will be more carefully considered by our intransigent incumbents. He knows too that he has shown who holds the cards when dealing with our unique form of sports journalist in Scotland-usually a pish stained jakey with a hun scarf in his pocket,and the hunnishness and venom dripping out of him. Or her,as the case may be nowadays.
He has certainly learned very quickly who his friends are,but more importantly those who never will be!
So AP is no saint,and the Celtic job is not the right one for such. But he’s a hard-nosed operator who knows what he is doing,and is hell-bent on success at a relatively late stage in his career. Yet we in Scotland judge success here so parochially that we overlook his achievements elsewhere,whether it be in club or international football? Celtic Plc need this man to succeed,and should be pulling out all the stops to make it so. Our chances of attracting another manager of international standing will be sub-zero if we are seen to let him down. Our share price has slumped by 40% recently while analysts believe the price should be only around 10% below its peak. That’s gotta hurt the money-obsessed!
Money talks,and we have it. Time to get the biscuit tin open and support a man who has largely been left to do it all on his own for the last six months. And let’s face it,the only way we can ever get that board to do the right thing is when they realise the hit they might take on their wallets.
Although I will deal with my thoughts on referees in a later article,that might also be the only way to get the useless NeverCelts to do something about them as well. I’m sure that AP has the referees in his sights,and as I said at the beginning,has the patience of a saint.
But then,has he ever struck any one of us as the type to sit quietly and take it?
No. Me neither. And I canny wait for him to blow.
Above article by BMCUWP