Why Ange Postecoglou doesn't need a Celtic man in the dugout

By David Walton

June 7, 2021

Ange Postecoglou appears to be on his way to Celtic as he gets set to make the Parkhead dugout his own.

We all expect it to be finalised in the coming days. It’ll finally bring to an end over 100 days of being without a permanent manager since Neil Lennon departed back in February.

However, whilst we all firmly believe Postecoglou to be the man in the door, there are question marks over what his backroom team will look like. The prospect of his assistant being former Rangers player Kevin Muscat upset a few and didn’t bother many. However, the Daily Record has since stated that Postecoglou’s close ally won’t be joining him in Glasgow.

The truth is that it didn’t matter that Muscat used to play for Rangers. If he’s a good coach then he’s a good coach. If he’s who Postecoglou believed was the right man to be his number two, you had to back him.

The same then has to be said for the potential requirement of a “Celtic man” alongside him. Whether it be as an assistant or as a first-team coach, some will feel Postecoglou needs to have someone who understands the place around him. A figure steeped in the club’s history and who knows what will be acceptable and unacceptable to the club’s supporters.

Spare me; allow Ange Postecoglou to pick his own dugout team

Yet when it comes to what a “Celtic man” actually does, nobody can really put their finger on it. Ange Postecoglou’s role will be to win football matches. He’s going to be brought in because he knows how to do that.

He hasn’t been a success at Yokohama Marinos because he’s had a “Yokohama man” working alongside him. On the contrary, Postecoglou has picked his own backroom team in Japan and amended when necessary. He’s had autonomy over who he wants to work with, and that’s called backing your manager.

We’ve been over this road before when it comes to throwing ex-Parkhead men in for the sake of it. Ronny Deila was stuck with John Collins and John Kennedy. That ultimately ended in failure. Neil Lennon also had Kennedy and wasn’t allowed to make his won amendments to the backroom team either. Again, another massive letdown with both figures making baffling decisions despite knowing all about the football club.

Ange Postecoglou shouldn’t be forced to have John Kennedy in the dugout / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Knowing the club doesn’t guarantee success

Knowing and understanding Celtic doesn’t give you some sort of advantage. If anything it’s a detriment. Postecoglou has to be allowed to work his way. Not the way the media or the supporters demand to see. When you’re choosing a manager, you’re putting 100% trust in him. You’re saying that he’s the man who’ll know how to turn this football club around. That has to come with full autonomy.

Granted, if Postecoglou wants someone connected with the club alongside him then fine. Perhaps he’ll feel more comfortable having that kind of figure in his managerial team. But it should never in a million years be forced on him. It doesn’t guarantee you success and there’s hardly any evidence that it makes much of a difference.

I’m sick of managers of this football club being handicapped by boardroom demands. Sick of personnel being shoehorned into management teams they have no place being in. If we’re appointing Postecoglou, we need to go all in. Telling him he needs a Celtic-related figure in with him? We’ll be off on the wrong foot instantaneously.

In other news, Celtic still reportedly maintain an interest in this 2020 target.