Ange Postecoglou in no mood for self-reflection as he hits Celtic landmark

By Euan Davidson

March 5, 2022

When Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou arrives in the dugout at the Tony Macaroni on Sunday, it’ll be his 50th time representing the club as its first-team manager.

Quite a milestone, and given it’s only March, it shows the sheer volume of games Celtic have already played. It also puts Ange above a few notable names; Lou Macari, John Barnes, even Dr Jozef Venglos. And he’s one away from equalling Wim Jansen, whose 97-98 season shares eerie parallels with Ange’s first campaign.

Having already won a trophy, and with Celtic top of the league, it’s been an entertaining time at Celtic since Ange took over. But is he any mood to reflect on this achievement from a personal point of view?

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Nope. Not a chance. He said [Times]: “It’s not something I look at too closely. What’s more important is: ‘What have you done in those games?’ That’s more important to me than just hitting the 50 mark.

“Have we made progress as a team and a club in the way I want? Are we in better shape than we were? If we’re ticking those boxes then it’s a great milestone to reach.

“Hopefully, I can get to 100 and say the same things: that we’ve progressed, are playing better football and getting success. I don’t take it for granted, though. Just look at the Premiership this year and the number of clubs changing managers.”

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Ange thrusts unsung heroes into the spotlight, as Celtic get a major pre-Livingston boost
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Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou asking the right questions as he reaches Hoops milestone

Considering the sheer workload of the staff and players, reaching 50 games and implementing a new way of playing for Celtic first-team is a heck of an achievement.

The schedule, since the first ball was kicked in the summer, has been relentless. That Ange and his staff have been able to reinvigorate the club top to bottom, from scouting and analysis, to youth coaching, via the not inconsiderable task of playing a high-intensity system, is hugely impressive. Because Ange, being the way he is, has had a hand in everything.

To do that takes incredible enthusiasm. If Ange had been shy about his objectives for Celtic, he wouldn’t have got the job, let alone had the chance to do anything. It’s impressive stuff, and you could forgive some self-reflection, maybe even a wry smile. Instead, though, he’s asking the right questions and looking to the future.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Celtic have made progress as a team, arguably as a club. We’re undoubtedly in better shape than we were. Of course, there’s still a lot of work that needs done between now and the end of the season.

To be where we are, though, given the unenviable task Ange Postecoglou accepted, is incredibly impressive. Yes fine, we may have more resources than our league counterparts. But the scale of the rebuild, the way we’re playing and what we’ve achieved already is remarkable.

Here’s to 50 more, Ange. Then 50 more after that. And then 50 more after that…

Read more: Chris Sutton rubbishes Livingston cliché ahead of Celtic visit