It’s been two weeks now since Ronny and Celtic confirmed the parting of the ways at the end of the season. Following the initial announcement there was the usual rash of speculation about who may be coming in with Moyes and Rodgers set out as the clear favourites of the club. Since then the level of chat has diminished slightly but we are still faced with a potential name arising every other day and whilst we all want the right man to arrive promptly, patience is required.
Celtic made it clear when the announcement came that Ronny would be given the courtesy of collecting his second, and our fifth, consecutive title without the specter of the new man hanging around like an unwanted uncle at a family get together. With the modern media making leaks almost inevitable it meant that we would hear nothing concrete until after we lift the trophy on the last Sunday of the season against Motherwell. There will be no chat therefore until the 16th May at the earliest. Patience is required but this must be tempered with a sense of urgency – we need season book sales, a squad ready for the fresh challenges of 2016-17 and participation in the Champions League. Pre-season starts end of June with Champions League football around my birthday in July. We must get the right new man.
The Ronny experiment was worth trying – education and development, but I think there is now a belief at the club that Scottish football, and specifically the magnifying media madness that surrounds our club, does not create a time-consuming developmental approach. I believe that, with sadness, the board think that there is a need for a strong, instant impact manager with a greater understanding of the Glasgow football madness and intensity.
In some ways looking for someone who understands and can deal with the Glasgow madness helps with the urgency of appointment: there are fewer candidates who fit that criteria. Equally this type of candidate is likely to be someone hoping (rather than expecting) an EPL call and that league appears to be more stable than in many of the past few summers – certainly more stable than 2 years ago when we last fished on the fringes of that pond. Moreover this summer more than ever before, foreign appears to be the flavor of the month for EPL coaches.
You, like me, no doubt want a swift appointment of a quality manager. I understand the desire for someone who gets the Glasgow madness and would not overly criticise that rational. I understand why, with everything at stake, the board will be less inclined to experiment on something different. I also think the club (and fans) could do with some excitement and so a “bums on seats” appointment would also be nice.
I know this is a big wish list. Achieving all of the above without impacting on Ronny’s title glory means having the patience of waiting until after May 15th. Equally I want the new man ready to hit the ground running on the first day of training with his knowledge of the existing squad and plans for the summer and Christmas transfer windows inked in. THAT would require the new man to be in situ before the players are back…maybe even before the end of May.
Celtic fans demand success every week. We also want to believe that there is some long-term planning to have that success sustained but patience is not a common virtue among football fans. Celtic will need some patience to ensure that the right candidate takes over from Ronny to drive us on to ten, but that must be coupled with an urgency to ensure that we do not have a 3rd year without the Champions League. Urgency tempered by patience? It’s not an easy balance. Celtic, over to you…