Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is without doubt a ruthless manager when he feels the need to be.
He won’t stand for poor performances, poor work-rate, lack of discipline or a bad attitude. You also won’t play unless you are up to the required fitness levels unless he has no other option.
That is what we have seen with Danish midfielder Oliver Abildgaard, as it has now been reported that Celtic have agreed with Rubin Kazan to cut his loan deal short, instead of keeping him until the end of the season as planned.
Some supporters are saying he hasn’t been given a chance, whereas others are saying that of course he’s been given a chance, he gets one every single day in training and he clearly hasn’t impressed.
I understand both arguments as both are based on logic and fact in their own way.
You just get some players in football who aren’t the best in training but they turn it on come match day. Although, in this particular case, Abildgaard hasn’t impressed all that much on the pitch either in the short time he has had on there for us.
I remember Wayne Rooney saying that about Carlos Tevez, that he was the worst trainer that he had ever seen, a lazy sod every day, yet, come match day, if given the nod by Sir Alex Ferguson, he would run himself into the ground and his play would be full of quality.
Ange strikes me as a manager who does not allow standards to drop in training, and quite rightly so, if you want to play in the team you have to show you can do that day in and day out in training, and the way this Celtic team plays, I think he has to be like that.
Everyone will have a guess as to why Abildgaard clearly didn’t impress Ange enough in training to get a run in the team, especially when Callum McGregor was out injured for so long. It’s being reported that it was fitness issues, but perhaps it was a number of factors, who knows?
But what we do know is that Ange does not mess about, once he has made his mind up that you aren’t going to be part of this Celtic team under him, he will get you out the door ASAP and bring in somebody better, as we are seeing with the reported imminent incoming of Tomoki Iwata from Ange’s former club Yokohama Marinos.
This signing excites me, as from what I have read, Ange is the one that brought Iwata to Yokohama shortly before he left to take over at Celtic and now he is brining him over to Glasgow, so he clearly rates the player very highly, and the fact that Iwata was the J League’s MVP last season as he helped Marinos with the league title, tells us that he’s clearly a very good player.
It also looks like fellow midfielders Ideguchi will be on the way out, as well as James McCarthy.
I think Ange would have liked McCarthy to have moved on in the summer, but there was obviously no suitors for him or James didn’t fancy what was on offer, but I think again once the window opens in a few days time, Ange will make it clear to him that he has no future at Celtic and to find a new club.
So it looks like the plan is to get three players off the wage bill and replace those three with Iwata, which makes sense because they aren’t playing anyway so won’t be missed, and they all play in pretty much the same position.
It looks like January is shaping up to be a very busy window for Celtic, both in terms of incomings as well as outgoings.