Systems more important than the manager


Getting rid of the last guy is always the easy part.  It is the day later, when your mind turns to appointing a successor, that your worries really start.  The great problem with managers is that their careers do not proceed with success or failure evident in a linear manner.

The guy sitting joint second in England with a provincial Midlands club was sacked five years ago by Liverpool, who are adrift in sixth, despite having a genuine top tier manager.  Davie Moyes reputation was fixed as one of the English game’s tired old options before he got a chance to return to West Ham and has them in a Champions League spot.

Mourinho is the classic example.  Champions League winner with two clubs but he presides over the descent of Tottenham.  Guardiola needs all the money in the world to keep Man City ahead of Leicester and still awaits a Champions League since parting with his Argentinian Midas.  I enjoy watching City but Pep’s eight years there and at Bayern failed to deliver the trophy both clubs wanted.

All you really know about a manager with an impeccable record of improving players and teams is that his form will soon decline; they all do.

Systems bring sustained success in football.  Deeply embedded, appropriately resourced and continually reviewed systems: recruitment, development and coaching systems in particular.  Get this right and even Klopp would be able to push Liverpool above sixth.

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  1. Hot Smoked


    Yes it did but apparently the rules ( and punishments ) are a moving target again.


    Last Huns got a 7 match ban I think.


    The government are hoping we forget about it.




    Nobody left !



    It just looks like they are all useless but reality is that under a different regime and approach many on your dumpling list will be good for us …. it’s not great at the moment obviously but we don’t need a scorched earth approach either

  3. Drew1967



    Def one to keep an eye on as he’s doing a good job there – I just think he’s smart enough to realise the grass won’t be greener elsewhere as he’ll get a bit of time to develop at Derby and won’t want to be seen to be a guy who jumps ship at the first good opportunity that comes his way.



    Good start to his career though – given his natural talent (he was probably the last “street footballer”) I thought he might struggle a bit as many great players have but fair play to him!

  4. Celtic Mac on 25th February 2021 2:21 pm



    Cheers mate I liked that response. way better and funnier than the angry aggressive stuff thats so prevalent on here these days, made me laugh.

  5. drew1967 on 25th February 2021 2:12 pm



    Relax Drew no need to get annoyed just don’t see what the ongoing denigration of Neil adds to the discourse at the moment, its done, he’s gone lets look forward.

  6. Bada Bing



    Difficult to find anyone without a Celtic connection if they know about football. Going local is not such a far -fetched idea, On the playing front, Calum McGregor will inspire hundreds of young kids around Celtic Park and we need to bring on our players. How can the likes of Villareal continue to keep a high standard in Europe ? For many reasons but although they may have had their fair share of foreign players, their managers in the last 15 years, with the exception of Chilean Pelligrini, have all been from Spain.

  7. EK bhoy



    20 out but 17 left, We need no reserve team as no games but need at least 13 new players.



    Ferguson, Campbell, Porteous, Doig, Nisbet from Scotland rest from Europe if Brexit allows

  8. Neill has gone and PL is going and come May the third leg of the Moon Howlers dream treble will see Nippy Nasty Nicola turfed out power.


    This will see Scotland and Celtic at the mercy the Lanarkshire Labour Mafia.


    A Mafia under the guidance of the latest in the line uninspiring leaders.

  9. SPIDEY @3.04


    ” We’d probably only make a small profit on our £70m spend (say £30-40m for those three) and think how much we’ve wasted on wages on the other 65 folk we brought in during that time! Our recruitment strategy has been a disaster!”



    SPIDEY, thought that was a well considered, thought provoking piece. Mind you it helps that I’ve been saying the same thing for years, literally. I’ve often wondered just how much all the ins and outs of names and strays have cost the club over years! If we are now talking about an overall system to get the club moving forward an integral part of that just has to include recruitment. Hopefully the DOF chappie, whoever he is, has that uppermost in his action tray. Recruitment ‘disaster’ is not too strong a description IMO and all of that under an accountant!!

  10. timmy7_noted



    You’re welcome.


    I do like your idea of moving on, but there’s always going be a lot of soul searching.


    Not by me I hope you understand,


    Aw the ithers.

  11. While “who would you have?” is a fun and popular question when discussing managers, the board are paid big bucks to scour the leagues around the world and come up witha. good fit – as scouts do with players. We rarely ask “who do you think we should sign up front?” for example.



    Who’d heard of Arsene Wenger on here before Arsenal came in?



    Who knew Wim Jansen would be an adept manager in the Scottish game?



    I’m hoping the board are looking beyond the usual names and sourcing the best man available for our budget. Germany and Austria seem like breeding grounds for coaches at the moment.

  12. I see some if not all of the ipox 5 are in the squad tonight.





    Nothing to report here Timmy move along.







    D :)

  13. Weebobbycollins I disagree,what is Scottish football’s problem is ours and when its ours we should be speaking out.



    Otherwise we find ourselves in the same situation as we are in just now.



    Silence is not the way forward.



    D :)

  14. so JK says we need to get the basics right , we control games but can’t defend or score goals ,sums it up.

  15. Emeraldbee – I’m sure most of our punts were on relatively low wages, but over time it adds up and I suspect that overall we’ve (at best) broken even financially. At some point I’ll probably look at ins and outs more thoroughly to see what it looks like, but our “kissing frogs” strategy hasn’t stood the test of time. I suspect Lennon’s earlier stint shows success as a result of the sales of McGeady, Forster, Wanyama and Van Dijk, but we failed to adapt when it became clear we were buying too many duds who ended up being paid up to leave early, sold at a loss, or just slipped out the door at the end of their contract.



    Recruitment absolutely needs to be at the heart of our new system/strategy going forward, but it’s only one pillar. We need the DoF to sort out:



    A defined pattern of play and identity (are we a Guardiola-type team? A Klopp type? A Mourinho type?)


    Coaching – the coach we hire needs to fit into the identify (no point having a Klopp identity and a Mourinho type manager) and be adept at coaching and improving players technically and working with folk in other Departments to improve/maintain physicality;


    Sports science – to get (and keep) players fitter and sharper;


    Medical department – to ensure we treat injuries well – no more Tierney and his dodgy hip playing on in pain or Forest and his foot playing on;


    Youth – a youth coaching set up that mirrors the first team identity and a clear pathway to the first team; and


    Recruitment – finding players who suit our identity – so no more replacing strong forwards like Dembele with quick strikers like Burke and Weah.



    It all needs to stitch together.

  16. Bada



    I would go as far away as Falkirk, to get Jack Ross.


    He played all his career in Scotland for Clyde, Falkirk and St Mirren mainly. Has bounced back at Hibs after a shocker at Sunderland but has been a manager of a a big club at least and will have learned from his experiences. Tactically aware, he also sends out attacking teams which is part of Celtic´s identity

  17. JAMES FORREST on 25TH FEBRUARY 2021 2:58 PM



    So it’s about systems not managers?



    Jesus wept. Expectation mangement in full flow here.



    So the right system can turn even a Jack Ross into a contender eah?










    Third time of asking james



    “two down one to go”



    expand and e plain please.

  18. Good presser from JK, main thing that I took from it was regarding forward play.



    Something along the lines of too rushed in attacking positions forcing play instead of patience to create quality attacks.



    That says to me that JK is more of possession based play camp, which contrasts to NL more direct style.



    I suggest, with absolutely no evidence it may be more like BR style, repetition moving from side to side before a playmaker or wide man is allowed to make a killer ball.



    It may look more rigid, patient play, more shorter balls and I reckon diamond will be gone with a more narrow shape with width only from fullbacks or 1 at a time by one of the “3” behind the striker.



    Only a guess mind 🍀

  19. If we go thru the rest of the season unbeaten, and of course thats a big if, but supposing we do, John Kennedy would be clear favourite to succeed Neil. Bear in mid we play sevco twice.

  20. And before it starts I am not saying he has to be the next manager, it’s just that he is now the manager and I’m interested how my team will line up. You know, the whole- game we all fell in love with and our team that tests us in life whilst also giving us amazing moments of thrills and joy 😉

  21. bournesouprecipe



    Thanks for posting that. John Kennedy came across very well. Has worked under Martin, Gordon, Ronny and Neil so would have learned a lot over the years. Barring injury of course he would have been one of Celtic’s greatest ever centre backs. Lucky enough to have seen some of the games he played in, all the way, from memory, Tony Adams Testimonial at Highbury in 2002 to his own Testimonial against a Manchester United select at Parkhead in 2011. Hard to judge his input, and indeed that of Gavin Strachan this season, seemed to be a bit of a communication breakdown, (it’s always the same), there but both of them showed a lot of enthusiasm in training today and hopefully that will show in the players’ performance through to the end of the season.


    Well if you think CELTIC’S defending is bad just count yourself lucky you are not an ANTWERP supporter.

  23. I’d still like a good manager and a good system……………………..


    and a few good players that makes for a good spine of Celtica.



    Goodstuff CSC

  24. PeterLatchfordsBelly on

    Lenny has been murder this season. I barely recognised him with his gaslighting. A guy you could always rely on to tell the unvarnished truth.



    I’m glad he’s gone as he’s had an absolute stinker. But I’m not elated and if you think this season and Celtic’s collective problems begin and end with Lenny you’re kidding yourself on.



    The whole club has stank. From an arrogant and detached majority shareholder, to an arrogant, overinvolved CEO, to a nodding dog chairman, dinosaur NEDs, an incompetent head of recruitment to a bunch of spoilt, vain numpties in the dressing room.



    Lenny was maybe 25% responsible for this year’s calamity. The rest share in the other 75%.



    Place needs a clear out.