“He just wanted a wee break from it,” Kennedy explains Ange skipping media duties

Ange Postecoglou certainly showed his sense of awareness remains very much intact, as he chose to forego his media duties this week and allowed John Kennedy to pick up the slack.

The Celtic boss would have known the majority of the tiresome questions from the mainstream hacks would centre around the Jesse Marsch sacking from Leeds United and the vacancy that had arisen. And given he possibly felt he’d already had enough of dealing with questions surrounding his future career intentions – having already deflected speculation surrounding Wolves, Everton, Brighton and Southampton vacancies this season – giving yesterday’s presser a wide berth was perhaps an exercise in preserving his own sanity – with the added bonus of denying the assembled hacks their opportunity for the desired quote to bolster they’re already written stories.

Celtic v Livingston –  Callum McGregor right is congratulated by manager Angelos Postecoglou after being substituted off during the cinch Premiership match on Wednesday February 1, 2023. PHOTO Andrew Milligan

That’s one theory and there may be some truth in it however it’s also the case that the decision for Ange to skip media duties this week was taken BEFORE the vacancy at Leeds United emerged, to freshen things up and also to give Ange Postecoglou a break from the same type of questions that really only have a limited number of different ways to answer.

So, John Kennedy stepped into the role yesterday and handled himself impeccably, played his time at the crease with a straight bat, along with an interjection of humour, and saved his boss a hold load of frustration – alongside no doubt the habitual post-presser requirement to reach for the Anadin Extra.

John Kennedy. Photo for The Celtic Star by Vagelis Georgariou

“I know first-hand how much he enjoys it here. He loves the club, the challenge and he’s in the middle of building something quite special. He’s happy where he is and we’ll keep a watchful eye on him to make sure he’s in our sights at all times. We’ve tied him to his chair upstairs and got a couple of security guards on his door!

In terms of his approach, it has been a normal week and he’s very much focused. He’s been his normal self this week. He’s been good. It’s the same as with the players who arrive at the club.

“If they do well over a period of time they start to get linked with clubs and there’s speculation around them. Credit to the manager for the job he’s done in bringing success over the last 18 months.

“He’s built a really strong squad who have produced very good performances. With that comes attention.

“People are taking notice and he’s getting credit. That comes with the territory, a lot of people watch Celtic from afar so there is going to be speculation, it’s all par for the course. It means the club is in a good position and things are going well. It’s all positive. There are no problems, he’s in the building and he took training.

 Photo Steve Welsh

“To be fair, it was planned over a week ago that I would do press duties to save him from answering the same questions. He just wanted a wee break from it, so it was my duty to stand in, this was planned before any speculation.”

And that kinda some it all up. Speculation on moves away from the club come the way of the Celtic manager because he’s doing well, simple as that. It certainly doesn’t mean the manager wants to go, but it also doesn’t mean other clubs won’t be interested in the Celtic boss. And if we’re doing things right as a club, constant speculation is simply a by-product of such success. Not that it means the boss doesn’t fancy taking a break from such inane questioning however.

Photo by Stuart Wallace

One thing that is worth noting is the Celtic boss seems to realise the responsibility he undertook when signing a series of players from the Japanese and Korean markets in particular. It’s a big ask for so many – and their families- to come to Glasgow. And the responsibility for their settling, with a view to them thriving very much lies with the Celtic manager. The least he owes those he’s asked to buy into his footballing vision is the time to see it come to fruition, and you can be certain Ange Postecoglou knows he has that responsibility.

Postecoglou’s rebuild has been carried out at a ferocious pace, and despite the huge turnaround in playing staff, the six-month financials, released by Peter Lawwell yesterday, show Celtic with a £33.9m profit for the first six months of the year, and with £59.2m in the bank. That must be frightening for a club across the city with a penchant for shares confetti.

Ange Postecoglou arrives prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Kilmarnock FC at on January 07, 2023 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

For a manager who has his eye on European progression, already having the guts of a squad a squad in place – and with the added bonus of funds in the bank to strive for better still – must be enough for Postecoglou to feel he can have another crack at the Champions League, safe in the knowledge his style of play worked to a point in that environment, but also acutely aware personnel changes may be needed to ensure we can see it to its best effect next time out.

Postecoglou now knows he has the funds to do just that, and it’s that unfinished business that will ensure Leeds United will need to look elsewhere for someone to fill their situation vacant, just as all the other panicked EPL chairmen did before them.

Niall J

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About Author

As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

1 Comment

  1. Up up and away beale getting away with his persistence to get angi to get into one up man ship but that will stop when celtic won the league Cup with ease maybe by2 or 3 4 5 but it will be with ease celtic know they gave beale a platform after the 2-2 at ibrox forrest has never played well at ibrox Oleary has said he not yet used to the crowd noise when a pass goese a stray he’ll learn to accept it these pitches are poor in winter when angi subbed forrest abda who has confidence in himself with abundance started attacking rangers down the outside forrest never does at ipox and angi will know not a man for that hostile atmosphere then subbed Oleary with mooy celtic took control straight away mooy holding onto ball in Which Oleary didn’t gave the ball away under pressure he will know refs let new. co away with challenges that are fouls he’ll know better he be a great player for celtic no disgrace I think that was his first game at ipox but forrest should hold his hand up in such a poor performance won’t challenge goes backwards Al the time puts his midfield on the backward foot by not taking his man on angi won’t make that mistake again Everbody would had had Oleary in the starting line up but forrest now angi seen what we all know man has no balls at ipox nans 31 it’s not his first time he gets bullied just by first tackle