Pundit's nonsense Celtic and Postecoglou suggestion

By Euan Davidson

June 17, 2021

We’re used to a great deal of nonsense said about Celtic, and particularly Ange Postecoglou, by now.

That isn’t to say that cynicism about the new boss isn’t allowed, that isn’t what we’re getting at. Every Celtic fan, however knowledgable they are about Australian football, is right to have or have had reservations. But we’re at the straw-clutching part of the game, it turns out.

Former Ireland goalkeeper Paddy Kenny has offered his take on Ange Postecoglou, and suggested that the optimism about Celtic playing youngsters might be because the club has no money.

If you can’t hear the sigh I’m doing as you read this, please imagine the most forceful exhalation of breath possible.

Kenny told Football Insider:

“It’s nice for him to give youth a chance. Whether that says Celtic haven’t got a budget to go out and buy anyone, who knows.

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

“Maybe they’ve got no money and that’s why they need to blood these youngsters, we’ll have to see. Maybe that’s the route they’ll have to go down.”

Of course, Kenny is as entitled as you or I to offer their opinion on Celtic. It’s not a closed shop limited to “real fans” or self-appointed judges like myself. However, this is so off-base, it verges on the funny side. Regardless of how much or how little you know about Postecoglou’s reputation for giving young players a chance, it’s just a totally nonsensical argument.

Postecoglou giving youth a chance is not an indication of squalor

Consider the players who made the most appearances in league football last season [Transfermarkt]. Chelsea are owned by a Russian billionaire, yet they played Mason Mount 54 times. AC Milan weren’t spare of a few bob when Gianluigi Donnarumma became their number 1; he played 48 matches. The riches of Juventus didn’t prevent young Swede Dejan Kulusevski from featuring in 47 times, at just 21.

Phil Foden at Manchester City. Ryan Gravenberch at Ajax. It goes on and on. Putting faith in talented youngsters does not mean that a club’s running short of cash.

Phil Foden has starred for Manchester City, despite them having significant backing / (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Nobody is suggesting Celtic will go out and break European transfer records this summer, or anything like it. Nor are we saying that the board ought to spend for the sake of spending. If anything, we’ve emphasised the free agency market with almost frightening persistence.

This can’t be a serious point. Can it? When Pep Guardiola sold big names like Ronaldinho and Deco, and replaced them with Academy products, it wasn’t because they were short of cash. Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool all used plenty of youth talents in 20-21, and will continue to do so.

Big clubs, with big budgets, have good youth systems in place. We’ve seen a smorgasbord of players head out on loan, and showing their potential. For the first time in a long time, with the likes of Luca Connell, Adam Montgomery and Karamoko Dembele coming through, amongst plenty of others, there’s genuine excitement about our Academy.

So, please, no more of this.

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