We hired a builder


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.

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  1. Paul67



    Oh good losing the ten just doesn’t feel so bad now.



    Who would win in fight between Marvin Compper and Scott Sinclair?



    Brendan ain’t no Saint and can’t hide behind his successful signings, and blame the Celtic signing committee for the duds. It was the same at Liverpool where he was sacked. He also blocked the transfer of Dedryk Boyata costing us millions financially, but preserving his sieve.



    By the time we’ve sold the wantaways, we’ve loads of money don’t let them kid you.

  2. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    “Celtic’s decline started with his predecessor’s inability to sign quality players after the arrival of Scott Sinclair”




    Bit of a u-turn there, Paul? I thought that the party line was that everything was going swimmingly until last autumn when we got hit by a load of bad luck?


    I take it you don’t rate Edouard or Ntcham? Fair enough.


    Our decline began when we didn’t strengthen in summer 2018.


    Incase you need a refresher:





    Then we compounded the error with a clear downgrade of manager, as you pointed out yourself:


    “Brendan was sacked by Liverpool, Neil ‘mutual-ed’ by Hibs, by any measure, a downgrade. ”




    Still no explanation of why the decision to downgrade, who made the decision or what the expected/intended outcome was.


    wasn’t Lennon’s appointment not because he “knew the city”? Would explain why Postecoglou wasn’t given the job, even though Lowball says we have been tracking him for years! Obviously that particular “skill” isn’t required this time.


    Can’t wait to hear about the exciting new modern vision Ange spoke about…..

  3. JAMES FORREST on 11TH JUNE 2021 12:18 PM



    Revisionism huh?



    Like doing a hatchet job on Ange when he was rumoured, then writing pieces now praising him?



    That sort of clickbait revisionism?

  4. DELANEYS DUNKY on 11TH JUNE 2021 12:32 PM





    I forgot that you know DAVID66.


    I will let you know when the re arranged Beer frenzy is arranged via this Blog.


    HH Mate.

  5. PHILBHOY on 11TH JUNE 2021 12:53 PM









    Back or front gate?




    I’ll haud the Jackits.



  6. The old ” Neil had an eye for a player” .



    Brilliant !!



    Rodgers left a team on the cusp of treble x treble.

  7. Rolling_Stone on

    Brendan’s shortcomings re player purchases seem a lot better now, given Neil’s shortcomings in that department.



    However, the articles glosses over the amount of money given to BR and discussion of who really made the signings – I’m sure BR was really desperate to land Compper, Morgan and Mulumbu etc.



    Of course, the same could be said for Neil. Did Neil have any say in his signings? I doubt it. I doubt even our chief scout did. In Paul’s article re Nick Hammond leaving he stated (words to the effect that) [that] he felt sorry for him as the club didn’t pursue his target.



    Who is calling the shots, I wonder?



    There was a recent interview with Jesse Marsch, the new Leipzig coach. In it he disclosed that (the late) Gerard Houlier and (I believe) Ralf Rangnick (then Red Bull DOF) interviewed him for the NY Red Bulls job.



    Can you imagine that? No CEO or chairman, with zero football experience making the decisions.



    Houllier and Rangnick, both ex-players, both managed at the top level, were in charge of the decision making process.



    Im hoping the best for Ange, but once again he has been chosen by people who really should be delegating to football people.



    Where is the DOF? Where is the Chief Scout?



    It is back to front, once again, and the requisite change isn’t being progressed (and I doubt it will).

  8. timmy7_noted on



    Someone has your log in details, surely you wouldn’t really accuse anyone of this:



    They are a politically motivated bunch of mischief-makers.



    Unless of course you’re the most unaware person in the universe or a liar.


    Or maybe all your racist sectarian posts attacking your political opponents were actually written by someone else?

  9. Go tell the Spartim on

    And they say the art of storytelling is gone……..



    Aesopcsc ((c) BSR any given year )

  10. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Hmmmmm…….not the most convincing thing you’ve ever written.



    The appointment of Ange is a leap in to unknown. That’s about all that can be said at this juncture and there’s little point in trying to “sell” him to the support.



    We’ll know soon enough if he’s ‘technically proficient’ and ‘capable of withstanding the intensity of our game’. Unless he is, he’ll not be building anything. That said, I wish him nothing but good fortune.

  11. DAVID66



    Aye you’d know about being minted bhoy😎


    Had a pint wi an ol’ pal of ours last week doon the albiono.ye mind big McGregor the driver from west 3/4

  12. vinniethedog on

    I really have to say John McGinn was the catalyst for so many things that have gone wrong….possibly..it drove a wedge through all the good work ….when we made the initial 1.5 million my heart sank !!!….it was a derisory offer that stank of taking the piss …..now we can all say …ne chose villa …but that was about 2 months after the initial bid !!!….Rodgers put a lot of effort into that transfer visiting John twice …….we sometimes never learn…………as for Ange ticking boxes …..the biggest box is the one with the £ on it !!!!

  13. Big Georges Fan Club - Hail, Hail, Wee Oscar on

    DREW 1967 – fur yer wummin – get on it!!!






    Me and wee BGFC already have tickets for Glasgow and Munich :-))))



    Any other CQN folks fancy joining for a night of rip-roaring rock – dive right in!!!



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OXaiILmvYE&ab_channel=EaracheRecords (don’t let your wife see this!!)






  14. Some revisionism going on saying our decline dates back to Rodger’s inability to recruit well post-Sinclair! While recruitment wasn’t Rodger’s strength in his time with us, he left us with a team looking like:





    Lustig; Boyata; Ajer; Tierney;


    Christie; Brown; Cal Mac;


    Forrest; Eddy; Sinclair



    The team Lennon left us with looked like:






    Kenny; Welsh; Ajer; Taylor;


    Christie; Brown; Cal Mac;


    Forrest; Eddy; Moi



    So two years under the guy with “an eye for a player” and we were still relying on 7 of Rodger’s men, with a kid filling in at centre-half. Of the 3 new players (Moi, Kenny; Taylor), all represent a significant decline in quality from their predecessors, with the possible exception of Moi.



    Looking at it in greater detail, Rodgers spent c£25 million on the following players:



    Eddy – c£9m;


    Ntcham – c£4.5m;


    Bayo – c£2m;


    Shved – c£1.75m;


    Hendry – c£1.5m;


    Hayes – c£1.2m;


    Comperr – c£1m;


    Eboue – c£2.25m;


    Gamboa – c£1m;


    Morgan – c£400k;


    De Vries – c£400k.



    Of those, you’d have to mark Eddy and Hayes as successes in terms of performances for us. Hendry and Schved we’ll make a small profit on (and Hendry is better than Welsh so had he not been on loan would have played this year) as we did with Morgan. Musonda, Comperr, Gamboa, De Vries and Eboue didn’t make it for us. Bayo – who knows? Ntcham could have been great, but didn’t put in the effort. The remainder of the players were a series of random free transfers (Izzy round 2, Mulumbu) and loanees to fill in (Toijilan, Burke, etc).



    Overall, we’re likely to make a £5m loss on these players – £500k for Morgan; £1m for Eboue; 1.75m for Hendry; £2.25m for Schved (if they take up loan to buy option); £18m for Eddy (less £4.5m we’ll likely hand over to PSG) – with around £20m brought in. Eddy’s time (last season wasn’t great but still top scorer) alone was worth £5m in today’s market.



    Lennon by contrast spent around £30m and only really Julien (c£7m) and Taylor (c£2m) were first team stalwarts, meaning £21m was largely wasted, with very little sell on value now Frimpong has gone. Our better players remain those Rodger’s made good, and our sellable assets remain those who were there before Lennon (Ajer, Eddy, Christie, CalMac)….I think it’s obvious when the decline started and it was quite some time after the Sinclair signing…

  15. So if NFL wasn’t who or what PL was really seeking, did he blunder into the wrong shower cubicle?



    And was BR not what he was seeking cos there would be clout and ego to rival his own?



    In terms of being ‘builders’ I’d argue BR built more professional systems and fitness into our club since Jock Stein. Many of the players bought (by him? by PL?) weren’t great. That’s a long-standing tradition. But he got more out of players like Brown, McGregor, Armstrong than any coach before or since.



    That doesn’t make me a BR fan boy. I’m so not. He had deficiencies in tactics and integrity.



    NFL didn’t build. He oversaw the crumbling process. And exacerbated it.



    Ange might well be a builder. But a builder is hee haw with materials and a gang of fellow grafters.



    HH jg

  16. ROLLING_STONE on 11TH JUNE 2021 1:29 PM


    “I’m hoping the best for Ange, but once again he has been chosen by people who really should be delegating to football people.”



    Don’t worry, they picked his coaching staff for him…very useful is a degree in accountancy when it comes to making important football decisions for a club which purports to be an worldwide brand.

  17. DD gave the order for NL to be re-employed, he and Peter Lawwell went to the showers together, to relay Dermot’s decision, por cierto

  18. MARTIM1980:



    Where are the pieces praising him?



    Show me them. Where have I wiritten pieces praising him?



    You aren’t getting away with that crap … show me where they are. I am WHOLLY opposed to this appointment, I think it’s a total disaster. So you show me where the pieces I’ve written praising this guy are?

  19. IniquitousIV on

    SAINT STIVS @ 2:13


    As ever, I’m intrigued by the pics you post. Two of the individuals look very like John Cleese and Eric Idle.


    Can you share the background to this?





  20. I.



    TV comedy ABSOLUTELY.






    Stoneybridge Town Council (played by the entire cast) are the council of the fictional small Scottish town of Stoneybridge. Originally meant to be a one-off mocking the plague of promotional videos and adverts done by many British towns during the 1980s and 1990s, the characters proved so popular that they snowballed into a regular parody of small town and village councils run by the parochial minded with jarring grandiose aspirations for themselves and the people they are trying to serve (for example, bidding to host the Olympic Games).






    a wee bit cruel maybe, because even now my favourite advert was –







  21. garygillespieshamstring on

    Good luck Ange the builder.



    Hope he brings a plasterer to fix the holes in the defence.

  22. Thanks Paul67 (I know you read all my comments)



    It’s sometimes important to look at past history in a calculated and dispassionate way to understand the thinking behind new decisions, but having the insight given by the man who makes them is invaluable



    Resisting the urge to give in to knee jerk hysteria and the scrambled thinking that always results from it you can understand the decision. We find ourselves in a unique position, facing a challenge that, clearly not everybody is up for. Picking a team and tactics is only half the job, the pressures are going to be immense, so we do need a builder but the right sort. My imagination isnt good enough to run with the metaphor and come up with something funny

  23. onenightinlisbon on

    Do you think the new manager will be allowed the time to build? Not a chance.

  24. ONENIGHTINLISBON on 11TH JUNE 2021 2:50 PM


    Do you think the new manager will be allowed the time to build? Not a chance.



    By whom?

  25. IniquitousIV on



    Thank you. I got the anagram of Stoneybridge, but since I never see British TV, I didn’t get the bigger context. Final question – I assume the Cleese and Idle lookalikes were just that, and not the real thing?

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