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Ange Postecoglou will find Celtic is no place for bulls*** but I’m not having Caixinha tag – Chris Sutton

Daily Record logoDaily Record 3 days ago Chris Sutton

Ange Postecoglou arrives at Celtic with a reputation of being a no-nonsense manager.

It’s just as well, because the new manager in charge will certainly have a lot of nonsense to deal with at my old club.

I know a lot of Celtic fans have yet to be convinced and see this appointment as a major gamble. I understand those concerns. It is a risk, but there’s always a risk with any appointment.

But what I would say is fair play to Postecoglou.

I admire the guy for being brave enough to take this job. For having the balls to up sticks and come to Scotland when the likes of Eddie Howe got stage fright and ran away, leaving Celtic high and dry in the process.

People talk about Celtic taking a punt on this manager. But what about him? He’s been waiting for his opportunity to get a job in Europe and he’s landed a huge one.

Ange Postecoglou in a blue shirt © REUTERS

It’s his reputation that’s on the line though. He has to be a success.

But he also needs backing from the Celtic boardroom.

Because, make no mistake, Postecoglou has a monumental job on his hands. He’s up against it right from the start.

Celtic have no director of football and no head of recruitment. There are two chief executives listed on the statement announcing Postecoglou’s arrival.

There is a squad that’s surrendered the league title to Rangers last season which could be weakened even further with Odsonne Edouard and Kris Ajer likely to be on their way.

Postecoglou will need to hit the ground running as he’s going to be under huge scrutiny right from the off. Whether it’s right or wrong, the pressure will be on him immediately.

That’s why he needs to be given the power. The fact John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan will be taking the first day of pre-season training isn’t great for a start.

No harm to them but they were part of last season’s failure. The last thing the squad needs is the same old faces when they are being promised a fresh start.

Postecoglou simply has to be allowed to bring in his own backroom team. It’s an absolute must.

You heard Neil Lennon talk about it recently. He had nothing against Kennedy and Strachan – but they weren’t his men.

Martin O’Neill came in and he had John Robertson as his sounding board. Lennon had Johan Mjallby when he first took charge.

Managers need to have guys around them they know and can trust.

Otherwise they are out on their own while it’s their heads on the block.

And what about recruitment? Who is taking charge in the search for new players? Celtic are going to need a lot of them and you have to assume Postecoglou won’t have as good a handle on the British and European markets as other potential bosses.

He might have a few he’s got his eye on from Australia or the Far East and we shouldn’t be snotty about them either.

But the signings are going to be absolutely crucial if they are to claw back the huge gap to Rangers.

I look across the city and I see a settled side and a united dugout. Steven Gerrard could have been handed his p45 if Covid hadn’t curtailed the season beyond last.

But he was given time and he was allowed to surround himself with his own men, with Gary McAllister and Michael Beale getting as much credit as the manager.

Gerrard has been lauded for winning one trophy out of nine in three years but Postecoglou won’t be given the same luxury.

He’ll need to show massive improvement in a short space of time.

The Champions League qualifiers are just around the corner but it will take a miracle to get to the group stages. The Europa League group stages will be hard enough to obtain this year.

Postecoglou will need to plot all this stuff out from isolation in the initial few weeks but it will take him longer to find the answers to some of the burning questions he faces.

a football player on a field © SNS Group

Questions such as the future of Leigh Griffiths. Does he stay or go? Does Albian Ajeti have a future at Celtic? What about the goalkeeper situation?

It was a nightmare position but can Postecoglou help Vaslilis Barkas find his mojo? It’s a big ask on last season’s evidence.

Can he get fellow Aussie Tom Rogic firing again? Get a tune out of Mikey Johnston? The list goes on and on but the big question is over how much money will be made available to the manager to spend.

There’s no point in hailing a new manager as the next big thing but then not giving him the tools to succeed.

Postecoglou spoke well yesterday when he was unveiled. He certainly talks a good game and I’m not having people calling him the Aussie Pedro Caixinha.

This is a manager who’s taken his country to World Cups and won titles.

But Celtic don’t need a manager who will just talk well. This is no place for bulls***. This is an environment where second is last and results speak for themselves.

Postecoglou will know that. I suspect there may be some bumpy times in the short term but he’ll need to be given time.

Whether he gets it or not is doubtful.

His task is to win over the dressing room and the support. He’ll also need to win control over the Celtic boardroom to get the power he needs to do the job.


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