When looking for a new manager, Celtic usually try to fix the biggest shortcoming the previous guy had. In May 2019, Neil Lennon’s biggest asset was his “eye for a player”. There were other attributes. he twice got Celtic into the Champions League group stage where he delivered some of the most memorable nights in our European history, but Celtic’s decline started with his predecessor’s inability to sign quality players after the arrival of Scott Sinclair.
When it fall apart last season, Neil seemed unable to imagine how to organise a squad that was performing significantly below the sum of its individual parts. Apparently simple tasks, like how to organise at defensive set pieces. The answer to that particular question was Eddie Howe.
Howe took a team of lowly £17m misfits and marshalled them into a very solid unit. He also had other attributes, but that ability to defend a corner kick was very convincing.
I spoke to Peter Lawwell soon after Brendan Rodgers left and again after Neil Lennon’s departure. Neither Neil nor Eddie fitted the bill he was initially looking at. On this occasion, Ange Postecoglou fits perfectly. Technically proficient, capable of withstanding the intensity of our game, with an ability to make us a far better team three years out than we were when he took over.
It’s that last attribute we recruited yesterday. Neil and Brendan both left teams that were poorer than two years previous. We hired a builder.