Is There A Dream Team? We Are Waiting, Mr Desmond

Much has been the discussion of late of who the next Manager will be. The choice, one assumes, has already been made by those who make the decisions, but we all now that it is vital that they get it right. We really need to have a management team, rather than one individual, and there are good reasons for this.

We need a man who has been around, a total and proven success at a reasonably high level. He must know how to win in Europe, the area which possibly hurts fans the most. We have been banging on about 1967 for a long time now (myself not least!) but we really have to begin to make some impact. Going out of Europe at an early stage to teams than no-one has heard of really has to stop. We are big enough to deserve to do well on the larger stage.

But as important as all that, it is crucial that we get at least one member of the team, not necessarily the Manager himself, who knows and understands Scotland thoroughly. There must be someone who knows that the pitch at Ross County is likely to bobble after the snow has melted (we underestimated that on Sunday), that Motherwell’s pitch has a dreadful slope from one side to another, that every team will try harder against Celtic (and (the)Rangers as well, to be fair) than they do against anyone else, that some referees in Scotland are tighter than others on some tackles, that the sheer size of the Celtic/(the)Rangers divide is quite astonishing (Liverpool and Milan don’t come anywhere close!), that some teams play on astonishingly sub-standard artificial pitches, and that the climate in Scotland is totally haywire.

In short, Scotland is a very difficult, complex and, frankly, unique country with more interest in football (per head of the population) than anywhere else. A member of the Management team must know all this and deal with it. Success in Europe is vital, but success in Scotland is paramount, and being second means being last! A new management may well be allowed one season without a trophy; they will not be allowed two!

But there are at least two other qualities that the management team must have. One is judgement, and the judgement of a player must include his character as well as his playing ability. There is no point in having a man who can score 30 goals if he suddenly decides that he wants away in the middle of the season. And a player must be able to cope with being kept on the bench sometimes, he must be able to ignore filth on social media from the less blessed, and he must realise that occasionally he may NOT be at the centre of attention. A player must also have total understanding of just how much Celtic means to so any people.

And the other thing that management must be able to do is cope with the Celtic support, the impatient, demanding, intolerant Celtic support when things go slightly badly (as they do now and again) but also the cheering, chanting, harmonious, loving support when things go well. Nothing but the best is good enough. All these trophies we have won in the past 5 years (unparalleled in any country) have created expectations. The new management team must appreciate all this and deal with it! The trophies must be kept coming after this year’s hiatus.

The other thing I was going to say that the management team would need would be luck. But if, they have all these qualities, they won’t need luck! Psychology and a good positive mental attitude are more important in any case.

We are waiting, Mr Desmond!

David Potter

About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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