Eighteen days on from their feel-good media conferences the spotlight is very much on Dom McKay and Ange Postecoglou, with the focus mainly on Celtic’s new CEO.
Postecoglou has made his need for new players fairly clear in every media appearance, now, barely a week away from a Champions League qualifier he has been given Osaze Urhoghide to add to his misshapen squad. From Saturday’s 45 minutes against Charlton it would be fair to say that the former Sheffield Wednesday man isn’t oven-ready for Champions League qualifiers.
Since last autumn it has been apparent that there are many areas of the Celtic squad needing strengthening, that has been accelerated by the contracts ticking down on Kris Ajer, Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie and Olivier Ntcham.
Celtic have been active in the transfer market this year, Hatem Abd Elhamed, Patryk Klimala, Jeremie Frimpong and Jack Hendry have been sold for around £15m.
Incredibly none of that money has been reinvested. From the Managerial Review announced in December through Neil Lennon’s resignation, the chase for Eddie Howe and appointment of Postecoglou there was an expectation of change. Maybe not a revolution but certainly change.
Dom McKay made an early move from the SRU to Celtic to grasp the issues.
Failing against Midtjylland in itself isn’t a crime, failing to give the team a fighting chance is a much bigger issue as Keith Jackson explains in the Daily Record:
It’s starting to look like gross mismanagement and not least because, even in the unlikely event that Postecoglou snaps into action and brings in an entire raft of new recruits over the next 24 hours, it’s almost certain that none of them will be in his starting line-up next Tuesday night.
With so many millions on the line, Celtic’s continued dithering is close to being as inexplicable as it is inexcusable. But the club’s finances won’t be at the top of Postecoglou’s immediate concerns, even if his long term plans for the club will be largely dependent on what kind of funding trickles down.
No, right now the Australian must realise it’s his managerial reputation which will be hanging in the balance should he get off to a false start against the Danes.
A youthful side is expected to play against Bristol City on Wednesday leaving Saturday’s match against Preston North End as the last chance before Celtic buy their tickets for the £30m Champions League lotto.