Callum McGregor tipped to thrive with big Celtic man-management responsibility

By David Walton

July 6, 2021

Callum McGregor has been tipped to thrive with the man-management aspect of being Celtic captain this season.

Ange Postecoglou has yet to officially confirm his new Parkhead on-field leader. Scott Brown’s departure has left a gaping hole, but it’s one that looks as though it can be easily filled.

McGregor has been vice-captain for some time now and was regularly in charge when Brown was out last season. Despite a dip in on-field performances like everyone else, Callum put himself out there every week and was always the first to talk to the media after a difficult result.

And as he prepares to take the armband this season, former Celt Billy Stark has given his own approval of the decision. Focusing on the man-management aspect, Stark has backed McGregor to thrive under the weight of his new responsibilities.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Stark said: “The modern day captain there’s a different perspective. There’s a degree of man-management. Players nowadays are rewarded so hugely financially that it brings a safety belt for them – they can be more difficult to deal with and it’s easier for some to think it doesn’t matter so much.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

“That’s where the captain comes in with the man-management part to make sure everyone is giving their all. I’m certain Callum will have that.

“He is not shy in telling people if they’re not doing their jobs and that’s what you want in a captain. But of course you want someone to lead by example in terms of their standard of play. And Callum very much fills that bracket.”

No other option – Callum McGregor must be next Celtic captain

It doesn’t look as though Postecoglou is in any hurry to bring a new captain into the club. Much of the speculation after his appointment surrounding whether he would try to find an on-field leader from elsewhere. Fast forward several weeks and that doesn’t appear to be the case.

We’re now only two weeks out from the UCL tie against Midtjylland. It’s looking almost certain that Callum will be the captain. Even forgetting the fact Postecoglou has talked him up in the past, there are simply no other major candidates for the gig.

Chris Jullien is out injured whilst it looks as though Kristoffer Ajer will be off at some stage. Celtic are lacking leadership figures outside of that. James Forrest would be a potential option due to longevity, but he isn’t the kind of player who would suit what we need from a Celtic captain.

Is Callum McGregor the next Celtic captain? / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

McGregor has demonstrated his leadership capabilities all season. Not to mention the fact he’s a serial winner at Parkhead and knows the standards that need to be in place for Celtic to be performing at their elite level.

So whilst no official announcement has been made on our new captain, it’s clear to see who the obvious candidate is. McGregor simply doesn’t have any rivals for the armband just now.

So when Celtic take to the field against Sheffield Wednesday in their first pre-season match tomorrow, expect McGregor to be given the honour.

In other news, Aaron Hickey to Celtic has been bigged up by a former team-mate.