Exclusive: "I'd have loved to play for Ange" - Celtic legend Jackie McNamara

By Euan Davidson

August 24, 2021

Former Celtic and Scotland star Jackie McNamara admits he’d have loved to play for Ange Postecoglou’s team.

After another thumping 6-0 win on Saturday, the ex-Bhoys captain was on fine form as he spoke to 67 Hail Hail. Ahead of two massive fixtures for the Hoops under new boss Ange, McNamara was his cheerful self, predicting a week of wins for Glasgow’s Green and White.

After discussing the form of Celtic’s full-backs, we had to ask; what would McNamara have made of being in Postecoglou’s attacking set-up?

He told us [67 Hail Hail YouTube]:

“I would have loved it. It was different, because when Wim Jansen came in, in 97-98, he didn’t want his full backs getting forward. So it was difficult for me to get into his [team], I started the first two games and found myself out.

“And then, I came back into the team further up the pitch. In front of Tom Boyd, or as a wing-back, an attacking wing-back, or a right midfielder. It was the only time I played that in my career, actually, under Wim.

“Two wins is achievable” | Jackie McNamara’s verdict on a huge week for Celtic

“Two wins is achievable” | Jackie McNamara’s verdict on a huge week for Celtic
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“That was difficult for me, because everybody expects you to [get forward], and suddenly you’ve got the handcuffs on and the chains there to keep you back. People don’t obviously understand that.

“I would’ve loved to play in [Ange’s] team. Bombing forward, creating chances, even just having that freedom. You see them moving around in the midfield area, Greg [Taylor] coming in, sets up the goal for Turnbull last week.

“It makes sense to do that. Why is that your position, just to stay there the whole time? When we’re in possession, you have freedom to go and create, and try and create chances. When it’s not there, you get back in your shape quickly.

“It’s good to watch.”

Jackie McNamara expects Celtic under Ange Postecoglou to be challenged, but victorious, away from Parkhead

Furthermore, the former Celtic captain made some bold predictions of a vital double-header against AZ Alkmaar and Rangers. The Bhoys carry a 2-0 lead with them to Holland, but no such cushion is in hand for the trip to Ibrox.

Not only that, Celtic fans will be locked out of both encounters. Despite it all,

“It’s [a challenge] that you’re not sure what to expect. But, looking at it, what we’ve seen is progression, at a really quick rate. I didn’t expect the team to be as gelled as they have been.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“Even with new players coming, how they’ve adapted. Kyogo, how he’s settled into the team right away, scoring goals. Abada, I think he’s made a good contribution. Obviously there’s one or two they’ll still looking to bring in, but the goalkeeper was a crucial signing for us. You know who the number 1 is, there’s no argument there.

“I think [winning both] is achievable. Don’t get me wrong, they’re two difficult games, two different games. But I think you take care of Thursday first, and everybody will be up for Sunday.

“I think two wins is achievable.”

We hope Jackie’s right! Undoubtedly, both games could define our season, even at this very early stage.

If Ange’s revolution has truly taken hold, two wins would represent enormous improvement from last campaign, and ramp up the Celtic faithful even further.

Read more: A definitive list of who’s in and who’s out