Postecoglou's aggressive Celtic recruitment has quelled DoF talk - for now
Earlier in the summer, when Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou was unveiled to the press alongside Dom McKay, there was a tinge of disappointment.
Ah, now. Bear with me. It wasn’t due to the appointment of the manager, nor McKay, specifically. More that, after months of speculation about the likes of Fergal Harkin joining Celtic, nothing happened with a Director of Football. Or Sporting Director, or whatever Celtic would’ve called it.
The modernists in the support were all for it. The idea that Celtic were operating without a dedicated member of staff to maintain a footballing ideology seems daft. In many respects, it still does. It’s a role that most modern, elite clubs have in place.
However, the idea that it would hamper us this summer has – pardon the pun – gone out the window.
Instead, we have a manager who is actively pursuing players, and admits to needing a level of control over the club’s business. Actually, no, that’s underselling it – he needs total control over the club’s incomings.
As Liel Abada set up Kyogo Furuhashi for Celtic’s goal against AZ Alkmaar last night, you wouldn’t have heard many people complaining, either. And if reports are right enough, he’s landed another personal target. After a series of talks, Georgios Giakoumakis looks to be on his way.
Celtic might still need a DoF in the future, but recruitment under Postecoglou has been solid so far
Ange put it best himself when he said [Sky Sports]:
“I’m involved in everything mate. It’s just the nature of me as a person, I guess. Anything I’m going to take responsibility for, I’m going to make sure that I have input into it and have a say.
“That’s part of people getting to know me. They clearly understand I want to be involved in everything, and I want to make sure I’m in charge of everything. But they also know I take responsibility, good or bad, for the outcomes of it.”
We’ve seen this before, and it’s why Celtic fans have been concerned about this exact issue. Brendan Rodgers was a key factor in attracting talents to the club. Not that Celtic can’t sell itself, but working with a passionate, talented manager is an appealing prospect for any player.
The concern then, comes from what happens in the future. Thinking ahead, it seems McKay will be looking at the recruitment Celtic do – with or without Postecoglou – and seeing what’s possible.
The tone of McKay’s answer when he talked about any restructuring seemed relaxed, at a time when supporters were anything but. What a difference a couple of months can make.
Undoubtedly, it’s an issue Celtic will inevitably have to return to at some point. You’d hope that, in the event of a continued and successful Postecoglou reign, recruitment included, Celtic will appoint someone to a Director of Football role.
Just as with the playing squad, you strengthen while things are good.
What’s encouraging though, is having a passionate, proactive manager who lives and dies by his decisions, takes responsibility for much of a club’s operation, and isn’t afraid to make his pitch to players.
That’s something of comfort, for now at least.