At the very least we now know what the Ange in Ange Postecoglou stands for.

Absolutely. Not. Good. Enough.

And that description also holds good for the board, the chief executive, the team and the principal shareholder, Dermot Desmond, in the wake of yet more European humiliation for Celtic.

The Irishman who was given unreserved credit for giving Celtic the best of times must now be criticised for presiding over the worst of times.

What happened to Celtic against Midtjylland on Wednesday night was positive proof of stagnation.

Before the duff Danes there was Ferencvaros last season.

And prior to them were Cluj and AEK Athens.

A quartet of embarrassing exits from the Champions League qualifiers at the hands of assorted journeymen who should not have been capable of standing in Celtic’s path. Stagnation. Desmond has overseen a club that’s gone down so far, and so quickly, they must be suffering from what deep-sea divers would know as the bends.


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The domestic season that began yesterday offers no respite from the recriminations and regrets of midweek in Europe.

On the face of it, Celtic offer no challenge whatsoever to Rangers and their visit to Ibrox on August 29 looms on the horizon like a bad accident waiting to happen.

This is because stagnation has been accompanied by complacency and inertia behind the scenes.

Desmond would instruct his lawyers to issue a writ quicker than Odsonne Edouard would now think about looking lively on the park.

But how could he deny the failure of governance that has afflicted Celtic?

Honesty demands an admission that going out of the Champions League before receiving a mortifying annihilation at the hands of a side of genuine quality is, in reality, a blessing in disguise.

But Celtic supporters are entitled to an explanation of how it has come to this.

Postecoglou said he wanted to create a style of play that would have supporters out of their seats.

But that only meant leaving the ground like an emergency evacuation after a friendly mauling from West Ham United last weekend. And the next home game, against Dundee next Sunday, will continue the scrutiny of a man who is struggling to inspire confidence.

Especially if there is yet more underachievement against the Czech side Jablonec in the Europa League qualifier on Thursday.

Ange cuts a detached figure, distant from those around him on the touchline and remote from his players.

His post-match comments in Denmark also allowed room for speculation that he doesn’t fully understand what he has got himself into at Celtic Park in particular and Scottish football’s fevered world in general.

He objected to one journalist’s word to sum up the abject nature of Celtic’s removal from the European level that was once supposed to be their natural habitat.

“It’s not catastrophic, mate,” he said. “That word means the end and it’s far from the end.” Really?

Another was told there was no demoralising effect arising from the result against what could easily have been termed moderate opposition.

“That’s strong language,” Postecoglou said. You ain’t heard nothing yet, mate.

Ange has to prove very quickly that he’s not in the wrong movie and the wrong country.

And he has to stop insulting the supporters’ intelligence by telling them what he thinks they want to hear.

Such as saying that Edouard worked really hard in a game where he could not have looked more disinterested if he’d tried.

Desmond should be instructing his chief executive Dominic McKay to find French Eddy a new club tout suite before he annoys fans and team-mates alike any more than he does at present.

And he should also leave out the talk about maybe not making himself clear enough about the urgent need for new players. The lack of signings is down to those people who employ him.

Dermot has to take his share of the blame for that and the Eddie Howe fiasco, which ate up more than three months of
business-time while nothing continued to happen.

All of which culminated in the sudden and increasingly desperate-looking appointment of Postecoglou.

A succession of players signed just in time to be unavailable for the Champions League must now be introduced into the team in an
atmosphere of restiveness.

They will replace a succession of players who have been found to be seriously wanting and at a cost that should be a source of outrage for Desmond.

Why isn’t he demanding answers concerning a very obvious lack of structure and organisation within the club? And asking exactly who is sourcing, and negotiating with, new players.

Celtic are a club at a standstill, riven by negligence and ineptitude on and off the park.

Young players are being sent to the front-line while still learning the game, but forced to commit while multi-million pound misfits clutter up the subs bench due to their inadequacy.

Shambles is too easy a word to reach out for under these circumstances.

There is a much-deeper malaise holding down a club who have lost their way and don’t appear to have the right people in positions of power who know how to find their way back to simple efficiency.

It is stagnation.