The leap from player to manager is difficult. Talents which maintained your career on the field, like technique, fitness and an ability to follow team instructions, mean nothing. Instead, you are required to support, develop and discipline players who work in a constant state of flux. You need to understand and work within budgets, and you know that a few bad results will see grown men yell obscenities at you to compensate for whatever inadequacy they have (they are always there).
So why wouldn’t Scott Brown want to manage Ayr United? Setting all the negatives aside, Scott needs to do something to get him through the days, months and years ahead. Being retired and wealthy in your thirties must be great, but what gets you out of bed and going in the morning? The novelty of hair care will soon fade.
His one full season in charge of Fleetwood Town ended with a respectable midtable finish, but the current campaign started disastrously and Scott was hooked six games in. Things did not improve for Fleetwood who are bottom of League One without a win in 13 games.
Ayr are a different challenge. A win over bottom side Arbroath last night, with Scott watching from the stand, saw them move out of the relegation play-off place. Next up they have the monied Queens Park, who now occupy that play-off spot. Their campaign could pivot before Scott has time to learn all the player’s names.
For Celtic, it would be helpful to foster good relations with another Scottish club. Our fringe players benefit from loans in the hands of a manager who knows our systems and where they can be watched every game by a Celtic coach. Hopefully we’ll see a couple make the journey before the month is out.
We’ll discuss Matt O’Riley tomorrow. Celtic’s face is set to stone to any club asking about him. It will be a nervy few days, nonetheless.