Celtic title-winner Gary Caldwell feels he didn't get time at Partick Thistle

By David Walton

October 23, 2019

Former Celtic defender Gary Caldwell’s tenure at Partick Thistle certainly didn’t go the way he would’ve liked.

The two-time Scottish Premier League title-winner was sacked last month after only being appointed in October 2018. He left the club second-bottom of the Championship and having failed to win a league game.

Now, the club look in a better place under new manager Ian McCall. Partick have won three of their last four games and are now just four points off the playoff positions. However, due to their poor early-season form, they sit bottom at the moment.

Gary Caldwell’s spell with Partick Thistle was a big failure (David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

However, Caldwell actually believes he made the groundwork after forming the squad in the summer. Speaking in an exclusive interview the BBC in their Scottish football podcast, Caldwell had this to say on his Partick spell.

“I enjoyed it. I worked extremely hard to try and change the culture and fortunes of the football club. But ultimately, I didn’t get the time I needed to try and do that.

“But I enjoyed working with the club, the staff, the players – we gave it everything. Like I said, it’s disappointing that I didn’t get the chance to see it through.

“I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t believe it (he laid the groundwork for success). I base it on my staff and the way we work. And I base it on the players we signed in the summer. I only had two games with Dario Zanatta, Reece Cole, and Osman Kakay.”

Results don’t lie, but Caldwell has to bounce back

Unfortunately, results just don’t lie in this game. Caldwell, despite his clear enthusiasm for the job and the role that he had with Partick – never managed to pick up enough momentum.

The start of the season was next to disastrous. However, he also has a point when he bemoans the fact he didn’t get to develop the squad he had taken time to build. Instead, McCall has come in and will get the opportunity to do that instead.

Caldwell’s experience as a player has yet to help him to managerial success (Chris Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images)

But we all know how football management works. The former Celtic man has to start finding some success in the game and soon. He’s now been sacked in his last three jobs by Wigan Athletic, Chesterfield, and now Thistle respectively.

You can make up all the excuses you want for him, but it’s a poor record. Caldwell has a right to defend himself as much as he thinks is right, but he needs to have a positive impact wherever he goes next.

Can Caldwell bounce back from three consecutive sackings? (Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Of course, where he ends up could force him to take a modest step down yet again. Caldwell has an abundance of international and European experience with Scotland and Celtic respectively. However, that doesn’t always transfer into making someone a great coach.

So far, being a future Celtic manager looks so far outside the realm of possibility that it’s not worth discussing it. How he now responds in his next job will be an intriguing sight.