At long last, Celtic have clarity and direction as a football club with Ange Postecoglou finally being appointed as new manager after a long and drawn-out process.
To add to the drama that has followed Celtic for the past three months, Postecoglou will have to quarantine for 10 days after his arrival into Scotland due to coming in from a red-list country and will miss the start of pre-season training. It’s clearly not ideal but it is what it is and all focus will now be on next season, which is fast approaching.
Some of the club’s supporters are slightly underwhelmed by his appointment and time will tell if it’s the right move or not.
I don’t imagine Rangers will be overly concerned and that’s not to do with the appointment but more to do with the work that has to be done in such a limited timeframe.
However, if Postecoglou’s early promises are anything to go by then his tenure could be entertaining. He was forthright in how he wants his team to play, the aims of making the Celtic supporters proud of their team again, but he was also realistic enough to admit there’s no short cuts and it will take a lot of hard work. He’s an experienced manager, of that there’s no doubt, but he will soon realise in Glasgow winning is the only way and that’s not experienced in many football cities around the world.
Quite clearly he wasn’t the board’s initial choice but he won’t view it that way. It’s not every day you get a chance to manage an institution as big as Celtic so he will see it as an incredible chance to join a football club that is known worldwide and that will excite him no end.
The board now have to give Postecoglou time and money to get it right. There is no point in giving him the job then tying his hands behind his back. I’ve said many times the team needs major investment, that’s abundantly clear for everyone to see, so they have to deliver the money required to allow him to rebuild the squad. If they don’t, it will be a painful watch.
There will likely be tough days ahead as there’s so much work to do but the board have to be strong and back him through those difficult times. It wasn’t Postecoglou’s fault the process took so long so he will need all the support he can get. Patience isn’t usually a word used in Glasgow when it comes to football so new chief executive Dominic McKay will just hope his experienced man can hit the ground running to take the heat off him too.
There’s been a clear and obvious disconnect between the Celtic fans and the powerbrokers in recent months and Postecoglou will be tasked with the job of helping to repair the damage. That comes with winning games of football but it may well go deeper than what happens on the pitch. A lot of supporters are still bitter at how, in their words, the club allowed 10 in a row to slip away without putting up a fight.
Winning games, and with a bit of style, will certainly be a start but it’s a bit easier said than done with so many new players required and new relationships needing to be formed on and off the pitch.
As always it’s a risk bringing a new manager into a club without prior knowledge of Scottish football but my view is all new managers have an element of risk attached to them. There’s maybe more of a risk, though, due to his unknown qualities with such a big club like Celtic but they have made their choice.
With his first job likely to be giving the seal of approval to sell Odsonne Edouard, he’ll sincerely hope things can only get better.