Ange Postecoglou fooled absolutely everyone with class Liel Abada messaging before Celtic match

By David Walton

July 21, 2021

Ange Postecoglou showed just how wily he could be with his bold decision to feature new Celtic signing Liel Abada.

Not because he’s just in the door. Granted, it takes bravery to throw him in for that alone. But because of how the Celtic manager built the game up as he made it look as though Abada was 100% out.

During his pre-match duties for last night’s Midtjylland clash, Postecoglou made it pretty clear. Celtic’s squad had been submitted and confirmed by UEFA, and even though we had the option of adding two wildcards into the mix, the manager said that wouldn’t be the case.

Speaking via Celtic’s YouTube channel, Postecoglou said: “In the next 24 hours? No. I’d love to, but mate, that’s not a wild card, that’s a miracle card. None of those exist at the moment.”

Abada didn’t make the initial UEFA squad. After only signing last week, it looked as though he was out with a view to giving him his competitive debut at Tynecastle on July 31st.

Celtic 1-1 FC Midtjylland | LIVE Reaction

Ange Postecoglou pulls a Celtic blinder; Abada makes colossal impact

Yet there we were last night. The teamsheet came out and Abada was in the starting XI on the right flank. Celtic had managed to wriggle him in as a wild card, much to the surprise of everyone.

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Postecoglou had made it clear to the support and the media that this wasn’t happening. In a way, he was also informing the opposition that we had no real option on the right wing.

His shrewdness in building up this expectancy before springing on such a class surprise certainly gave Celtic fans a pre-match jolt. All of a sudden there was intrigue and excitement when there was an initial concern.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

And you can’t say it didn’t work either. Abada bagged a debut goal and put in some fantastic deliveries that could’ve led to a couple more. He was the star attraction against the Danes, and he’s the player who’s giving us excitement ahead of next week.

But even more intriguing for Celtic fans is how Postecoglou dealt with the whole matter. He tricked all of us and it worked to Celtic’s advantage.

Even though the first leg finished 1-1 at Parkhead, plenty of excitement surrounds the second game in Denmark. And the new boss has certainly shown that he isn’t afraid to make any bold moves.

In other news: Stephen Welsh shows real improvement with no-nonsense Celtic approach