The introduction to the fans of a new team coach is normally a time for celebration and hope in a new beginning. The street vendor had turned up at Celtic Park yesterday hoping to sell a flag or two to the supporters gathered at the portals.

He gauged the mood of the fans and decided to keep the Champions 1998 flags in the black bin bag.

The Celtic people had materialised, in the famous words of Michael Kelly, from their peripheral homes (that's four times and counting, Michael) and, as so often in the past, were not happy.

Jozef Venglos had been named as head coach. The question ''Who is going to be the new Celtic manager?'' was replaced by, ''Who is this new Celtic manager?''

Fed on a tabloid diet of unfounded stories about the biggest names in football, the fans could not swallow the reality of the appointment of the little-known Jozef Venglos, aged 62.

''He's a pensioner,'' said a peripheral one who also happens to be a shareholder. But it's not true he will be collecting his money from the Post Office in Springfield Road.

As details seeped out to the crowd about the new man, it was revealed that he is a doctor. Some fans mischieviously confused Doctor Venglos with Doctor Mengele: ''Maybe he could clone us some of those boys from Brazil.''

Another instant nickname for Venglos, who must surely already be wondering just what he has got himself into, was ''Doctor Who?''

Dr Venglos has relatively good English but may be wondering about this Glasgow greeting of ''Brown Must Go!'' used to welcome a new coach.

A command of the English language is no longer high on the list of qualifications for a football manager in Scotland. On the evidence of even a brief press conference, it appears Jozef Venglos has a sufficiently fractured brand of English to follow in the Wim Jansen tradition of entertaining soundbites.

So total is the breakdown in communications between malcontent fans and the Celtic regime that neither Jock Brown nor Fergus McCann felt able to introduce the new coach to the fans.

Venglos was on his own, with only a Celtic scarf as armour.

He was greeted with a polite, but short-lived, round of applause before the ritual barracking of Jock Brown recommenced.

Fergus McCann's game plan is certainly working with his general manager firmly in the role of chief villain.