Ange Postecoglou challenges press verdict after Celtic exit

By Euan Davidson

July 28, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has acted frostily, speaking to the BBC after the club’s disaster exit to FC Midtjylland in the Champions League.

Taking responsibility for the result, Postecoglou had praise for his players. Equally, he wasn’t keen to agree that the result was “catastrophic”, or that anyone was to “blame” for the poor result.

Despite dominating both ties, very weak defensive moments and goalkeeping misadventures culminated in another early Champions League exit. However, Postecoglou wanted to control the narrative of the night.

He told the BBC:

“It’s pretty strong language, mate. I don’t know what your definition of catastrophic is, but it certainly doesn’t fit my definition of what happened tonight.

“It’s obviously a disappointing night, disappointing we didn’t get through. I can’t fault the effort of the players, they worked their socks off. I thought we controlled the game, we scored, had a good chance to go two up, and then straight away they scored and we lost a bit of momentum.

“We just looked a bit tired in the end, and lacked a little bit of energy to get back into the game.

“Catastrophic to me, means the end. This is far from the end. You’re suggesting that this is the club falling apart and the season’s finished. I don’t see it that way.”

Asked who was to blame for Celtic’s loss, Postecoglou said [BBC]:

“I don’t blame people, I take responsibility, responsibility is mine. Again, you’re using very strong language for something that I don’t think merits that sort of view. I can’t fault the effort of the players. It’s not like they gave up or fell apart.

“They gave everything, it was a tight contest, we didn’t get through. So we move on and onto the next game.”

Postecoglou is showing admirable courage to take responsibility after Celtic exit

We should know the fundamentals of Postecoglou’s approach with the press by now. He doesn’t mince his words, he takes responsibility for what happens on and off the park.

That’s just who he is.

Photo by BO AMSTRUP/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

However, how much is he bound to say that, and how much of it is in earnest? The fact is, the board need to take the blame for tonight.

Ange Postecoglou just hasn’t been backed to the level he needs to be. Not to compete at this level. Again, we’ve faltered at the Qualifying stage of the Champions League. Despite being a money-spinning tie, with which we can attract bigger, better players, the board just don’t invest like they need to.

What’s Ange Postecoglou meant to do about that?

If he wants to take the blame that’s on him. Hopefully we get frosty, determined Postecoglou when we’re proving our doubters wrong over the season.

As it goes, though, it’s not Postecoglou fans are blaming tonight.

Read more: Chris Sutton reels off list of woes for Celtic boss