One Man Band
I mentioned on Tuesday that ATHINGOFBEAUTY and I had headed up to Glasgow for a few things,where to my horror I discovered that the current restrictions made it impossible for me to get a pint. But as always,we spent a fair bit of time discussing Celtic.
One major topic was how few changes have REALLY taken place behind the scenes,contrary to our expectations of only six or so months ago. To date we still have no head of scouting,no technical director. Those are the most glaring ones,particularly when you are looking at recruitments for such a major rebuild as ours. There are many other roles still unfilled,roles which most clubs of our size see as a priority. I will leave you,the reader,to suggest any which come to mind,as the two I’m focussing on are probably the most glaring vacancies. And that is because of the extra pressure,the additional workload,applied to our manager. After all,it is unlikely that Tweedledee and Tweedledum in the dugout will be of much assistance.
Various successful managers over the years have obsessed with the game,to the extent that they live breathe and eat football. Fergie and Wenger spring to mind right away. But they had a huge army of backroom staff,experts in their fields,helping out by doing their own duties. AP has…AP. And that’s it.
And so it was that I read an interview yesterday by our manager where he said that he was grateful for the assistance and support of our “helicoptered” CEO. Well,I can only hope for his sake,for all our sakes,that the assistance is more genuine than that offered by Nicholson’s predecessor. That assistance can be summed up simply by saying-leave it to me!
However,that is hopefully being unfair on MN. I’m happy to give him the benefit of the doubt,happy to rely on the words of our manager. That they are indeed working in tandem on new signings,and have been for some time. That,after all,is how it should work-the manager identifies a potential signing and asks the CEO to complete the deal. And unless or until we see evidence to the contrary,that is good enough for me.
What is NOT good enough for me,however,is that there are a number of steps missing in this scenario. Ideally-like elsewhere-the manager should be identifying the type of player he is looking to sign,and asks his chief scout to get busy. The manager and technical director then sift through the options made available and make their recommendations to the CEO based on information supplied by their backroom team.
It looks to me that AP is having to do all of that himself,while restructuring the team,building morale,drilling fitness into them and coaching them in his preferred methods. At the moment,we can probably rely on his experience in the under-utilised J-League,but that is hardly a bottomless pit. And there is also the question of work permits due to the problems caused by Brexit.
Most of us are pleasantly surprised by the improvement shown already under AP. Few believe that the rebuilding is complete or even remotely close to it. Or that the January window will see the job done,the final pieces of the jigsaw in place. So while it is heartening to hear of the support shown by MN-not much point identifying players if the CEO isn’t bloody interested in doing his job!-I think AP should be seriously hammering home the point that that there is only so much that he can do on his own. That he wants to be successful at Celtic,and needs a properly qualified scouting network to do the legwork for him.
People who know exactly what to look for-indeed,WHO to look for-when the manager says he wants a certain type of player. Tommy Burns had David Hay,but Hay didn’t have to do it all himself. AP doesn’t even have that luxury,as he is working as a one-man band. We all admire him for the improvement already shown on the pitch,clear signs of proper coaching and sensible recruitment. He himself will know that he needs to spread the load,to be able to delegate some of the spadework to trusted lieutenants.
January will see some new signings. But we need to start recruiting behind the scenes too.
Above article by BMCUWP