Planning For The Short Term


It is well over a year ago that many of us on here recognised the difficulties that any new manager at Celtic Park was going to face. That a large number of our squad then would not be with us by the end of the summer transfer window,and that many more were simply not good enough. 

That a new manager-let’s call him Ange Postecoglou,for that is who we went for-faced horrendous problems in rebuilding our side and the confidence of remaining players and new signings alike. Indeed,I stated often that we should be prepared not to judge him on this season,to be content to write the season off,as long as any improvement showed us as being ready to win back our title in 2022/23. 

And yet we can take time during this last international break of the season to reflect on that season so far. And obviously it is going much better than this Cassandra,normally the most optimistic of people,could possibly have wished for. So having stated the bloody obvious,why am I writing an article about it?

Well,the simple answer is that I’m not. Not really. I read an article recently in The Set Piece about how some managers seem to suffer from that four year itch,where the first three seasons are successful and the fourth is an anti-climax at best,or a complete failure at worst. The author then turns the argument on its head by comparing the records of some managers who have had continued success after that fourth year-but who changed their approach or playing personnel to do so. 

The first manager he refers to is Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds. Despite being hero-worshipped in Leeds,the board decided that events in that fateful fourth season meant he had to go. Bela Guttman,who won European Cups with Benfica and AC Milan,gets a mention. Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho at various clubs,and Pochettino at Spurs. As does Pep Guardiola,whose fourth season at Barcelona saw the wheels come off,and he got out of Bayern Munich before the cycle repeated itself. Even at Man City,his fourth season points tally was significantly lower than the first three-yet who can argue that he is still successful there?

The author argues that Pep changed the style and the personnel to start the cycle again,as Sir Alex Ferguson famously did so frequently across the city,dismantling and rebuilding as required. Measured by different parameters,Big Sam and Dave Moyes at Bolton and Everton did the same. 

Not in the article,but touching on a recent topic on this site,Jock Stein decided to have a ruthless clear out of the men who had brought the club such success since his arrival. It is surely no coincidence that it happened after our Partick Thistle humiliation. Yet if you look at the ages of the Lisbon Lions,many of them were still in their prime when Jock made the decision. Tommy Gemmell,John Hughes,Bobby Murdoch,Willie Wallace were all in their mid-to-late twenties,as was Jim Craig when he retired from the game to concentrate on dentistry. Surely all of them still had plenty to offer the club,and certainly none of them,Craig excepted-wanted to leave. 

Jock though had his eyes on the dismantle and rebuild that the author argues is essential to maintain success. And he knew that he had The Quality Street Gang to call on,and that the addition of Dixie Deans,Stevie Murray and Ronnie Glavin would bolster that group at a cost of around £150,000. One unforeseen problem is that around six years later,only Danny McGrain would still be with us-and he had missed two years with injuries and illness. 

And there,I think,lies one of the problems in the approach which the author fails to mention. That the best laid plans aft go agley! You can’t plan for injuries,you can’t plan for players getting their head turned by approaches from other sides,you can’t plan for loss of form. Or even,in the case of George Connelly,a desire to leave the game entirely. But the good managers know how to get through these,know how to adapt,know who and when to replace and who with. 

AP hasn’t just had to rebuild our team and our squad this season,he has frequently had to do so on the hoof when injuries start to bite. He has coped wonderfully well to date,and that inspires confidence that he can do so on a more permanent basis if required in two or three years time. It seems that there is no place for loyalty in football after all,that players-and managers-cannot be judged by what they have given us in the past,but on what they are likely to offer us in the future. 

That’s a very unforgiving position to find yourself in. But history has shown that it is a bedrock for success,even if we will inevitably sympathise with those who find themselves moved on in order that the club progresses. No room for loyalty,no room for sentiment. The only thing that matters and the one thing that must take precedence is success on the pitch. 

“This is the business we are in!” Nobody ever said it was fair. 

Above article by BMCUWP

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
March 25, 2022 6:49 am


Ange is likely to be the man with the itch … to move on and try something different.
He’s 55/56 and has moved every 2/3 years in his coaching career. He doesn’t stay to rebuild.
After a CL campaign next season he may decide his work here is done.

Jobo Baldie
March 25, 2022 8:14 am

Good morning, friends and a Big Happy Friday to you all.
My man love for Ange grows deeper every day but as CFC says there’s every chance that we only have him for 3 or 4 years. Will there be any attempt at forward planning for an eventual smooth handover? That won’t be easy given Ange’s particular style of play, his Asian contacts, his ability to destroy useless questions from the media, etc. So let’s just enjoy the ride while we are on it, starting again in just 9 more sleeps.

Noel Skytrot
March 25, 2022 8:24 am

I agree with CFC in regards to Ange staying for a dash at the Champions League dependent on us winning the league before departing the scene. If we are pipped, he strikes me as the type who’ll stay until he’s achieved his objectives. Ange loves the club, but has ambition and will move on at some point.

March 25, 2022 8:33 am

J B / N S

Obviously I don’t want the man to go, he is an inspirational figurehead, but realise we should enjoy what he brings whilst we can cos it might not be long term.

March 25, 2022 8:45 am

I’ve remembered the other ex Celt who managed Shotts Bon Accord. Frank McGarvey, 1993-95. 🙂

I just read that when he played for Celtic his take home pay after tax was £190 per week! It was before the big salaries they get nowadays. He also worked as a joiner after his playing days.

Prestonpans bhoys
March 25, 2022 9:35 am

Morning bhoys.

I personally think its healthy to have a new manager every four years. New ideas, formations, tactics, makes it more interesting.

Would also say the same about the bloody board😕😵😱

Bada Bing
March 25, 2022 9:37 am

Ange is 56,this might be his ultimate job in football. I would sit him down at the end of the season, and ask if he wants to build the Club up from grass roots,he’s hardly caught a breath since he arrived. We still need a few ins and outs,but not as drastic as this season, in Ange we trust.

March 25, 2022 9:37 am

Prestonpans bhoys, LOL so true! 🙂

Saltires en Sevilla
March 25, 2022 9:39 am


Some good comparisons there and agree with general theme that a team has 3 seasons if they are lucky

A good manager will know when to take a player or group out… or he won’t have more than one successful season

Listening to that interview the other day, he specifically mentioned the absolute requirement for him to get his senior players on board… to his style … specifically, mentioned Callum, Nir, Tam Rogic and Jamesy… he claims that has gone well.

Has it.. really?

Sense he would stay and give CL a bash and keep those 4 around for a season more

But….Already feel it is touch and go with Ange staying… he is so switched on to everything around him… so any wrong moves by PLC and he will be offski … Wim style

Don’t like to spoil a nice Friday morning folks but the oul’ bat senses tell me if he can’t win This season’ league he will not try a second time … too much stuff way outside his influence here…

Even more concerning …if his requirements for new players aren’t met, he won’t even try CL, as this team would get whacked – the defensive side ain’t good enough and the evidence is glaring back at him.

It is Weak, small and completely disorganised … admittedly the back line gets hee haw protection … but they are an absolute fragile mess in European games … anyone looking at stats in SPFL and comparing that standard to Europe ain’t watched much of our European performances under Ange.

The backline needs ripped up and started again.

Filling the The CDM is just as vital…

Will he get that backing?

Anyone sense he wouldnt be hearing attractive offers elsewhere in these islands ?

March 25, 2022 9:54 am

S e S

Recruitment in the Summer is key.
There are three obvious deficiencies in defensive roles, four if we assume a replacement is needed for CCV.
With those new bodies in place we should have a team capable of competing in Europe.
A third place in the CL group should be the minimum target. This assumes we keep the current squad together.

Will he get the funds required?
A £15/20m spend? With perhaps another quality loan signing or two.

Saltires en Sevilla
March 25, 2022 9:57 am

Our Rory knows how far away we are from European success..

Saltires en Sevilla
March 25, 2022 10:01 am


Totally agree with change needed-at least 50% of personnel in that line myst be different next season – probably more

Aye, but will he will get 15/20m for defence … as you say it’s probably more loans so not really building a ‘3 season team’

March 25, 2022 10:47 am

If you check out Ange’s coaching record, you cannot but feel that he is a re-builder, a constructor of teams. This is a man that likes a challenge and is not afraid to meet it head – on. it concerns me that the support becomes too emotionally attached to the football manager, its alway’s black or white. IE. Neil Lennon became the devil incarnate and Ange is the new prophet – “In Ange We Trust”. There’s no doubt but that the support was angry and hugely frustrated after last seasons debacle. The boards months of pursuing Howe just added petrol to the fire, including all the rubbish talked about a DoF. just more made up nonsense presumably to placate the support.

This takes us back to the total lack of vision or pre – planning necessary to run any modern business including football. The “Old Men” who run the club with their “Old Men – OF” attitude are out of step with how a modern football club should be run, there doesn’t seem to be much pre – planning for the future other than ‘gies yer money’ and shackling us to Klub 1690. Its the “Old Mens Howf” that needs the rebuilding.

So here’s the conundrum, what happens if we lose this season’s championship? will Ange leave? His record suggests that he is his own man, without the money coming in from the CL qualifiers it will mean another season of frugality, make and mend. If we do win this season’s league title then will the biscuit tin be squeezed open? perhaps. He definately deserves another crack at it, another chance to add to the re-build, another season will add to his resume. If I was a betting man, I would place my meagre pennies on..
One More Year.

March 25, 2022 12:47 pm

Bawheid, you talk a lot of sense. Ange love is dangerous. He is certainly a builder but he has achieved little so far in terms of trophies. We could very easily finish the season with the one trophy that we have.

Sevco needs the money from the CL and the establishment needs Sevco. Ergo?

Ange does tend to move on after around three years. That is fact, but what is interesting is why does he move on after that time? Is it because of his ambition? Or is that he knows his style of play can only be successful for a short space of time? Check out Bielsa’s trajectory as evidence of that.

I have no inside info but I am sure that Ange’s ambition is to coach in a top European league such as England, Germany or Spain. His style of football is unlikely to be risked by an Italian club. In addition, who would not be attracted to return to their old country and triumph there! That brings Greece into the picture.

Given his commitment to the game, I can see Ange coaching into the second half of his seventies, so he has plenty of years left to make several moves. However, at present, talk of him moving is way too premature. Unless there is a serious disagreement with the Board, he will be in the dugout next season. If we win the league, he will stay to demonstrate that he can win back to back championships with his style of play……something he could not do in Japan. He will also wish to demonstrate that he can win in Europe to bolster his CV for his next move. Consequently, we can be relaxed about next season. He is almost certain to be at Celtic.

He needs at least two successful seasons to be attractive to the EPL. So far he has none. If he gets that level of success he will be attractive to mid level EPL teams such as Leicester(!), Everton, perhaps Aston Villa. Personally, I do not think Howe will last long at Newcastle. He will save them from relegation but he does not have what it takes to take them into the top six, nor to perform in Europe. He will be gone in a year. None of the current top six clubs will find Ange attractive because he is not high profile enough. The same is true for MU who will appoint from the over rated group of coaches like Pochetino.

All of the above suggests that Ange needs more time at Celtic to build his profile, a la Rodgers. To do this, he needs at least two of the next three SPL championships. Is that possible? Very much so, it is a two horse race! Staying at Celtic beyond three seasons will be risky for Ange because it is unknown if any of his teams can sustain his style of play beyond that period.

Whether the Board understands the above, is a totally different issue.

Have a good weekend.


March 25, 2022 1:06 pm

To return to the debate of yesterday on GG or Kyogo as striker? It is an interesting topic but not a real one. It is not a question of one or the other. We need both. Further, two strikers are not enough. We need three to four first team ready strikers for a complete season. We have seen what reliance on one striker did for the team when Kyogo went out injured because he was over played.

Arguably, Maeda is the third striker. He is less effective on the wing because he relies totally on his speed to beat opponents. His weakness is ball control. This combo of attributes makes him more effective in a striker role if we push a pass behind the opposition defence.

Incidentally, it is a good job that GG is a different type of striker from Kyogo because if it came down to one or the other, then there is only one choice. Kyogo is an infinitely better player than GG.


Bada Bing
March 25, 2022 1:26 pm

Just seen the comments from the repulsive Arlene Foster re St Patrick’s Day, disgusting human being.

March 25, 2022 1:53 pm

I think you’ve forgotten the elephant in the room,,the board.
They crave money, worship it.
And Ange is a very valuable commodity.
Infact he’s almost a chairman’s dream,,,imagine you’re an EPL chairman who needs the season tickets fully sold but your current incumbent isn’t up to the job, or have no incumbent at all.
Simples, find a glitzy foreigner who plays attacking football, give him some hype and some spend, viola the STs get snapped up.
Just like what happened to us post Lenny.
Bielsa Mark2 would drum up interest I’ve no doubt.

If our board get offered eight figures for him they will bite. We would be told lure of the EPL etc, and we all know the fans will still buy the season tickets, they could get away with it no problem.
Ange will have signed an NDA to cover their brass necks.

Asking Ange if he wants to leave is one thing, accepting an offer for him is another.
He will be in demand this summer, and just like everything he has a price.
Should he win the league or treble he could then leave a legend on a high like Wim, not a failure which makes departing easier and unfinished business. Besides the CL humpings could take the sheen off, best avoided, so off ramp while looking great? Stranger things have happened.
The EPL would literally have their new Bielsa to hype and swoon over.

Prepare for Scott Brown in the dugout 😉


Happy day of Frig y’all.

Hail Hail

big packy
March 25, 2022 2:33 pm

AFTERNOON ALL and JIM, thought you might like to have a read of this never heard of the case before and I thought anticatholicism only happened on this side of the pond, basically father james coyle was shot in the head and murdered in cold blood by edwin stephenson, an episcopal methodist minister for marrying the nice mr stephensons daughter in his church, he was vehemenly anti catholic and a member of the klu klux klan and another member of the klu klux klan, hugo black another catholic hater and a lawyer got him off, proving once again its not what you know its who you know,

March 25, 2022 2:43 pm

Hi Rebus. 1.06.
I hope you and your loved ones, are as well as can be.
Ange was interviewed here on the Open Goal podcast, after receiving his manager of the month award.
Si Ferry, who was interviewing him, is nearing the end of his playing career and hopes to go into management.
He asked Ange about mistakes, he may have made at the start of his managerial career.
Ange said, one of them was to listen to people who said don’t change a winning team.
He, left his better quality, returning, players out and his team ended up, 3 down before half time.
He said it was a mistake to do that.
I’m with you, once Kyogo is fully fit, he plays.

March 25, 2022 2:51 pm


All my boys are fine which is the main thing.

My wife and I are suffering from what is known as ageing!

One of the lesser known problems with ageing is that your will power declines. So, I know I need to lose weight and become fitter but I have zero will power to do what is necessary.

My wife is the same.

Overall, life is good.


March 25, 2022 3:02 pm

Packy that’s a shocking story. The KKK were a bad lot!
btw the link isn’t working pal.

March 25, 2022 3:13 pm

Rebus. 2.51
I’m delighted to hear you are all fine.
It’s always been a weakness of mine, willpower, when it comes to chocolate, muffins etc.
The consequences are my waist size keeps increasing. 😕😕

March 25, 2022 3:21 pm

We are in the “tickly bit” of a momentous season. Eight games left, two v our nearest rivals. We are in pole position to win the league.
Why are we talking about Ange leaving? It’s all pure speculation. I think this or think that. It’s all bollocks. I’ll bet that Ange is fully focussed on this season. If he feels the need to move on, he will.
I know that our succession planning has been woeful, and we’ve been lucky that Eddie Howe turned us down after a lot of dither; however, we will tie ourselves in knots if we try to second guess what Ange is gonna do. He’s been 100% up front with us so far. All this talk is a distraction from the job at hand.
Anyway, we have no notion of who could be Ange’s successor. Anyone who’s good enough to manage Celtic should be good enough for the EPL. Stevie G and his team have slotted into the Aston Villa set up quite easily and there’s no reason Ange couldn’t do likewise if he wanted. If it’s a challenge Ange wants, getting Celtic into the knock out stages of the CL two or three years running is as massive a task as any outwith the top 4 of the EPL. And remember, Alex Ferguson was plucked from Aberdeen to Old Trafford where none of the so called elite managers have achieved success since he retired. (Mind you, nobody now would be given the time Ferguson was to achieve it.)
Let’s focus on this season and deal with next season after May.

big packy
March 25, 2022 3:21 pm

JIM ,just google father james coyle and you will get the link👍

March 25, 2022 3:34 pm

Good afternoon all from leafy Giffnock. Tis a grand day to be an elderly Tim. Or any Tim.😂

March 25, 2022 3:36 pm

Frank McGarvey told a CQN Golf day audience that he was the highest paid player on Celtic’s books when he signed from Liverpool. He also said that Charlie Nicholas was on £80 per week and rose to £1500 p/w when he moved to Arsenal. If Frank’s net wage was only £190, I reckon he got a whacking sign on fee.

March 25, 2022 3:44 pm


I reckon I started the speculation by putting forward the incontrovertible point that Ange hasn’t stayed beyond 3 years in any club job.

It’s a blog, read by very few, where opinions stimulate discussion.
I doubt whether Ange has even heard of SC let alone read it so doubt our friendly musings affect him one way or another. It won’t take his mind off the job in hand.

Of course getting to the end of this season successfully is all that matters.
Throwing opinions around these close confines spends time chewing the fat during downtime in the league. Nothing more.

Not to be taken too seriously.

March 25, 2022 3:44 pm

GER57, I wondered about the figure when I read it. He might have been quoting his ‘basic’ wage to emphasise the point about how they weren’t paid superstar wages in those days. There might have been win bonuses on top of that?

March 25, 2022 4:26 pm

Have not watched this yet but it should appeal to most on here

JJ Bull (@jj_bull) Tweeted: Been asked a lot about Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic, so watched a heap of games and put this analysis of how they play together.

Then @donmafilms used his editing skills to make it much better.

March 25, 2022 4:45 pm

REBUS67 @2:51pm
You could be talking about myself and wife.I blame it on the weather.

big packy
March 25, 2022 4:53 pm

JIM ,a true story when wee joan first invited me to her parents house in garston in liverpool in 1977, i used to wear flair trousers and platform shoes, when we got to her house I thought this is coronation street🤩 anyway she said take off your shoes it will make you feel more comfortable, i said id rather not, but she insisted ,FFS she said I thought you were pretty tall, well I am when I put my platform shoes on I said,🤩🤩

March 25, 2022 5:04 pm

Packy, LOL 🙂 I only ever bought one pair, the smallest ones I could find. I was 6ft tall. I felt like an eejit wearing them. I had wee pals who loved wearing them! 🙂

March 25, 2022 5:17 pm

Update on Invincible Larne running tomorrow at Wolverhampton 7.30. Scott Dixon says he may need the run. Fair enough. £1ew to UK punters €1ew to the Irish Bhoys. But he has Rebel Redemption running in the race. Won on him at 28/1 and 7/1 before. Hmmmm. As always if the horse loses don’t blame the old Govanhill guy.

March 25, 2022 5:25 pm

Maximum bet I should have put ffs. 🙄

big packy
March 25, 2022 5:36 pm

HEY jim just because im 5 foot 6 inches and your 6 foot dont be bragging about it,🤩🤩

big packy
March 25, 2022 5:57 pm

ok ghuys I own up, my moniker is from my late uncle packy, but patrick was his name, built like a brick shithouse 6foot tall from end to end ,he took me to all the celtic games growing up, my father was from croy and you dont need to think of his celtic credentials so in reality my moniker would be wee jim ,but there is another poster on here who is called jim, but he is my best pal .another true story🤩

March 25, 2022 6:02 pm

Packy I have a close friend who would be jealous of you, Wee Jack. He is only about 5ft tall. But he is a giant of a man. Just like yourself 🙂

big packy
March 25, 2022 6:17 pm

JIM love to wee jack👍 JIM, quiz question, wee joan went to banks road primary school in garston liverpool 19, see ive even given you the post code😎 what famous footballer was in her class ive told this quiz question before,clue wee joan said he used to blow his nose on a regular basis😎ok played for liverpool and the republic of ireland ,another true story👍

March 25, 2022 6:25 pm

MAHE 153

AP is on a 12 month rolling contract. Not much chance of a BR-type payout.

March 25, 2022 6:32 pm

Packy haven’t a clue!

March 25, 2022 6:33 pm


A blog,yes. Read by few? We have fewer posters than we like,but we can still hit around 7000 views a day. That’s more than many of the teams in the SPL have attending their games.

March 25, 2022 6:36 pm


I’ll go for Ronnie Whelan. What a left foot he had. He could probably have used it to blow his nose…

big packy
March 25, 2022 6:37 pm

JIM ,just for you his first name was john 👍

March 25, 2022 6:38 pm

I’ll pass to Bobby. 🙂

big packy
March 25, 2022 6:39 pm

BOBBY close but no cigar👍😎think jim might get it now,😎

March 25, 2022 6:40 pm

John Barnes?

big packy
March 25, 2022 6:42 pm

JIM, no😎😎😎

big packy
March 25, 2022 6:51 pm

JIM OK remember the song the blue ridge mountains of virginia take the ridge part and put it on to the JOHN –ridge you must get it now😎

March 25, 2022 6:54 pm

Ah,John Aldridge. What a striker he was.

March 25, 2022 7:01 pm

Never heard of him! 🙂