Alan Thompson will make first visit to Celtic Park in 10 years tomorrow; compares Ange to Arsenal legend

By John McGinley

February 19, 2022

Alan Thompson will make his first visit to Celtic Park in a decade tomorrow against Dundee.

The former Hoops midfielder has had a complicated relationship with the Bhoys over the last 10 years after being hurt by the manner of his exit as a coach under manager Neil Lennon.

He’s now come to terms with all that and has been given an invite by shareholder Chris Trainer to take in tomorrow’s Scottish Premiership clash.

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Speaking to The Daily Record, he said: “Everyone’s asking me why it’s taken so long – well, for starters, it’s the first official invite I’ve had in all that time. Chris Trainer contacted me and I was delighted to take up his offer.

“For a long time, I wasn’t ready to return. I didn’t want to go back. It didn’t feel right. My time at Celtic did not finish in a nice way and while I never lost my love for the club, it hit me hard.

“I feel I can face up to it now. Writing the book, bumping into old friends at functions and COVID restrictions easing, everything sort of fell into place. And let’s face it, ten years is a long time.”

Meanwhile, Thompson has also compared Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou to Arsene Wenger.

The former midfielder worked under the inspirational Martin O’Neill and has been fielding questions about comparisons between the two managers.

Dundee await as Celtic get ready for a new kind of pressure | Celtic vs Dundee Preview

Dundee await as Celtic get ready for a new kind of pressure | Celtic vs Dundee Preview
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

However, for Thommo, there’s a more obvious like-for-like, saying: “People ask me to compare Ange to Martin O’Neill and I suppose there are similarities because he also came in at a time when Rangers seemed well ahead.

“But Ange reminds me more of Arsene Wenger and not just because of his background in Japanese football. It’s the way he’s stamped his identity on the team and the whole culture of the club in double-quick time. And you can’t fail to be impressed with his recruitment programme.”

Here’s hoping Thompson enjoys his time at Paradise tomorrow and that Celtic can produce a performance to be proud of.

In other news, Callum McGregor knows the questions that are now being asked about Celtic.