The fundamental question you need to ask yourself about Ange Postecoglou after Celtic staff decision

By John McGinley

July 10, 2021

I don’t think anyone would have been expecting universal approval for Ange Postecoglou’s decision to keep John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan on as first-team coaches at Celtic.

There’s a serious perception issue when it comes to that pair. Both are inextricably linked to the failures of last season and the ill-fated Neil Lennon reign. Kennedy’s interim spell as boss didn’t go much better. This summer seemed like a natural stopping point for their Celtic careers. The idea that grand change should occur after grand failure is an appealing and understandable one.

There will be a lot said about this Postecoglou decision. No doubt it will spark creative worries that the new manager is being dictated to by the board. There will be accusations he’s a yes man. Some will continue to peddle the myth about Kennedy being the “defensive coach” but never fixing the defence. The memes about Strachan and his laptop will continue. That kind of speculation and patter is natural, given what’s gone on at Celtic over the last 12 months. If we’re expecting sections of the support not to be anxious, we’re expecting too much.

However, for me, ultimately it all comes down to a critical question that every supporter needs to ask themselves: Do you trust Ange Postecoglou, or not?

Ange Postecoglou is well-placed to make big Celtic decisions for himself

I’m not going to pretend that I know what John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan do, or don’t do, on a daily basis. I’ve never been given that insight. It’s hard to make a determination on their suitability for the jobs they have, as an outsider. Only Ange can make that call – and we can either back that, or kick up a fuss. If you trust him, you have to accept this decision and join the long line of supporters who are waiting to see how all this pans out – with white knuckles admittedly.

If you don’t trust Postecoglou, I’d argue your issue with Celtic right now, and the season ahead, lies much deeper than the decision to keep Kennedy and Strachan sticking around at Lennoxtown. I’m not here to dissuade you of that distrust if that’s how you feel. I think there’s enough out there now about the new manager for most supporters to get a grasp on how they feel about his appointment. I can only speak for myself.

However, honestly, I have to say, I do trust the new manager. I at least trust him to the extent that I believe he is making his own decisions at the club. He told us that in his opening press conferences. Right now, I’m happy with that.

I also reckon he isn’t going to rush into big calls that could radically alter relationships at Lennoxtown. If he makes changes to his staff, it’s going to be done over time and not based on the deadline of a Champions League qualifier.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

With the new season bringing new chances and opportunities to the Celtic players under Postecoglou, it seems fitting that staff would also benefit from this ‘clean slate’ attitude.

The manager himself has also said he is still planning on making additions to the football department.

That’s not to say it will all work out perfectly. There are bumps and twists ahead this season for Celtic fans. As I said earlier, anxiety is natural.

For now though, I back Postecoglou to make these decisions, even if they are unpopular or unfashionable.

Now Celtic, where are the transfers?

In other news, Postecoglou identifies key traits for Celtic captaincy, will consult senior players.