Wednesday, June 18, 2014

John Collins: Fit.

So we have a new assistant manager and it's been warmly welcomed by most. John Collins single-minded style has seen him gain critics but you get the impression that he couldn't care less. For Celtic supporters there a few things we care about and all of them lead to the team winning football matches. There are some concerns with Collins based on previous incidents but, perhaps, they only tell part of the story.

The most common of these is that no players will get on with Collins, he's too stubborn and not good with people. This comes from the player rebellion at Easter Road which, common to popular belief, did not force him out. The accusation was that Collins training and discipline was too much for the players. Yet two players at Easter Road then wouldn't agree. Benji and Zemmama are both devout Muslims. As part of that faith, they observe Ramadan in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar a lot of which includes fasting. John Collins not only changed their training routines to fit in with the custom, he also trained separately with both to show he was in complete support of their custom.

Something that is increasingly important to all fans is how much employees are in it for the money rather than the good of their club. I've seen it leveled at Collins that he is greedy that way, based on his move to Monaco on a free. Of course he did give Celtic six years of outstanding service before then but it should also be remembered that he took the Livingston gig on a very modest salary in order to ensure his children were educated in Scotland.

Of course in this climate one thing that is pertinent to many fans is the issue of, not to put too fine a point on it, is he a yes man? I doubt anything in his character suggest he is but let me point you in the direction of a story from a Celtic youth game last season. Celtic were playing well and Peter Lawwell, rather smugly, approached John Collins and asked him what he thought of them? John Collins proceeded slaughter the style of play and certain individuals in the team much to the shock of Lawwell and a stunned Celtic board.

So, this is the start of something new and it might just fit.

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