It's at times like this you wonder once more if your emotional investment in Celtic is way too disproportionate.

Less than a week after watching Ange Postecoglou beat his chest as he milked our applause at Hampden Park there he was in the livery of Tottenham Hotspur mouthing a familiar mantra. 

"It’s great to finally get started as manager of this great football club. I think it’s an exciting opportunity for us to now set off on a new direction, play football and create an environment that embodies the values and traditions of this fantastic football club," he told the Premier League side's website.

"Hopefully a team that you can all be proud of, and more importantly, get excited by. I can assure you that right through pre-season, we won’t leave any stone unturned, myself, the staff and the players, to make sure that when the league comes around you will be as excited as I am about the season ahead.”

There were clues indicating that his move to Spurs had been in the works for a while. “Finally get started”? It had only been five days since he’d left Parkhead. 

Watching him holding up the white shirt of Spurs so soon after securing Celtic’s eighth treble was disorientating. A bit like discovering your favourite uncle has run off with the barmaid at your local and set up home with her. There was a lot to process. 

You’re struck by conflicting thoughts. On the one hand, you’re shocked by how rapidly Postecoglou’s departure proceeded. Yet, you know in your heart that the quicker it was all concluded, the more time we had to begin the search for his replacement. 

READ MORE: Can Celtic improve their transfer policy under a new boss?

Already it seems that Brendan Rodgers is the favoured choice to replace Postecoglou. And so, once more, you find yourself having to untangle your emotions. It had taken you a long time to process the 50-year-old's departure from Celtic in February 2019: in the middle of the night and like a fugitive who’s about to be exposed as a fraud.

In normal circumstances, I’d have been unhappy about the prospect of Rodgers returning to Parkhead, having forsaken us so quickly and at such a precarious moment during that season. 

Yet, right now, I’m hoping that Rodgers becomes our manager once more and that the deal is done quickly. There are risks attached and there were aspects of his initial tenure as Celtic manager that might not bode well in the long term for his second spell in charge. Not the least of these was a recruitment record that might charitably be described as profligate and incontinent. 

At the annual prize dinner for international football agents, there must have been a special award to Rodgers for 'services to the industry'.

And yet, right now, the benefits of appointing him outweigh the risks. The most important one is that he knows this club and its staff. Of paramount importance is his relationship with Callum McGregor. Celtic will always owe a debt of gratitude to Ronny Deila for the initial development of our captain. But it was under Rodgers that McGregor became the alpha and omega of this side.

If Rodgers can re-kindle the relationship he had with McGregor, then the dressing room will follow. His favoured way of playing football is not very far removed from Ange Postecoglou’s. If he is to be appointed, I hope that he’ll maintain the pace of this team. Postecoglou wasn’t merely happy to have possession for the sake of it: he also wanted it to be purposeful.

Our closest rivals would have scented a degree of vulnerability in Celtic with the departure of Postecoglou. Normally, it would take a few weeks for any new manager to become familiar with his surroundings. 

Celtic are the only club in Scottish football that possess players who are coveted by teams in bigger leagues. The new manager must first find out if he can keep Matt O’Riley, Jota, Reo Hatate and Cameron Carter-Vickers at Parkhead while also targeting not only possible replacements but additions to the existing squad.

Amid all the thrills of the Postecoglou era, it’s easy to forget that we gave Rangers a nine-point start in the first two months of the 2021-2022 season. And those who think that Michael Beale hasn’t improved them considerably since then are deluding themselves. 

But we need to remember too that under Rodgers, Celtic lost only once to a well-resourced Rangers side in 13 meetings. This run included three victories by five goals and 4-0 win in a Scottish Cup semi-final. 

There has been considerable speculation as to why Rodgers left Celtic like a thief in the night rather than seeing out the remainder of the season. My own sources at Lennoxtown tell me that he didn’t have as much control over recruitment as he ought to have had. 

READ MORE: Celtic's managerial hunt: Everything we know so far

In any case, Celtic now have a much-improved system of talent spotting and recruitment and a chief executive who knows the boundaries of his relationship with the football manager. The dynamics of that bond underpinned Celtic’s success over the last two seasons. 

My hope is that Michael Nicholson, our CEO, is not being undermined by others in the building. 

Perhaps too, in all of this, it’s time to reassess Neil Lennon’s relationship with Celtic. Both Postecoglou and Rodgers scarpered at the first opportunity and without a moment’s hesitation.

Lennon’s achievements as Celtic manager matched each of theirs domestically and exceeded them in the European arena. Celtic played thrilling football under Lennon and beat one of the best teams in Italy home and away while doing so. They also qualified for the last 16 in the Champions League by defeating the last great Barcelona side. 

And if you want to quantify the recruitment failures that undermined Celtic in the Covid season, then you should be looking at who was really making most of those decisions. 

I’m not suggesting Lennon is a candidate for the Celtic job, only that his commitment to this club and his achievements as both player and manager eclipse the combined efforts of performative badge-kissers like Postecoglou and Rodgers.