Ange Postecoglou hits out at Celtic performance narrative

By David Walton

September 29, 2021

Ange Postecoglou has today hit out at the narrative over the performance levels of his Celtic team.

Today’s pre-Bayer Leverkusen press conference was dominated by the manager being disappointed with the condescension on show from the Scottish media. It’s the comments that the media have been quick to jump on, with both the Daily Record and Glasgow Times leading with them for example.

It comes after a run of form that’s seen Celtic drop to sixth in the Premiership table with only three wins in seven games.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

However, Postecoglou was also irked by the idea that his side need a step up in performance levels if they’re to compete against Bayer Leverkusen. When questioned on it by the media today, he said the following via Celtic TV:

“I’ve got to be careful how I answer this because I see things a lot differently. I know the narrative around us is that we’re struggling, but in terms of our performances, I don’t quite see it that way.

“I think we showed in the last game against Real Betis away from home against a quality team, we gave a good account of ourselves. We played some great football and dominated parts of the game. We didn’t get the results but it was a fantastic performance.

“Celtic fans want to see the team giving their all” | Jackie McNamara on 67 Hail Hail

“Celtic fans want to see the team giving their all” | Jackie McNamara on 67 Hail Hail
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“But we know we have that performance in us. That’s what we need to do tomorrow night. Just make sure we play our football as we have been and just be really positive about our intent and take it to our opponent.”

Celtic performance levels have been a mixed bag

It hasn’t been easy for Celtic over the last few weeks. It’s clear that injuries have played a key part in the decrease in performance levels. However, we still have a group of players that should be putting in better than what we’re seeing.

This could just be Postecoglou defending his players. After all, seldom will you see a manager attack his playing staff in the press. Or even call them out for anything in fact. So given the pressure that’s already on his players, this could be the manager’s way of trying to relieve some of it.

But at the same time, the performances haven’t been of the standard Postecoglou maybe feels. After all, we can’t bring ourselves to praise the 1-0 loss at Livingston. Same goes for the draw against Utd.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

You can’t look at the Celtic first-team in both of those games and believe we didn’t have 11 players who could do the job. Yes our options are stretched, but that doesn’t mean that sub-par performances should be accepted.

The United game in particular was a bitter disappointment. Given the loss to Livingston the week beforehand, you would’ve expected a big reaction.

But again, the manager is entitled to defend his players. It’s what you would expect, and all we can do now is hope the performance levels do indeed get a boost ahead of tougher challenges to come.

In other news, Celtic midfielder James McCarthy fit to face Bayer Leverkusen