Celtic boss Ange on the obsession Scottish media have; Sky Sports and Sportscene take note

By Euan Davidson

March 10, 2022

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou finds the obsession with refereeing decisions in the Scottish game absolutely staggering.

The manager, in a press conference ahead of Dundee United on Monday, was asked about refereeing decisions made in the game between Celtic and Livingston. The Bhoys had a penalty, could arguably have had another, and were ridiculously scrutinised over whether we should’ve had a corner. Not only that, there was overwrought analysis on a throw-in non-decision.

Postecoglou, typically, had no time for such things. And in a hilarious take-down of analysis in Scottish football, he joked that referees get more attention than the football itself.

Photo by NEIL HANNA/AFP via Getty Images

He said [Celtic FC]: “As you’ll know, I don’t get into that too much.

“It seems a lot of the analysis of games here are more “referee watch” than actual analysis of the game.

“Yeah we got a corner we maybe shouldn’t have, but does that mean if we don’t get a corner that we should next time, that we miss out on a goal? There’s still a hell of a lot of things that need to happen for us to score from that resultant corner, or resultant throw-in, or…

“It’s very easy for people to look for those kind of clutches. I’ll let that storyline run, because that probably means people are ignoring what we actually are doing, and the way we’re playing if they think we’re in our position because we’re getting favourable decisions by the officials. More power to them. We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing.

“[Officials] are human beings. If I had to make an assessment, I’ve seen players and managers make a hell of a lot more mistakes than referees this year.”

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has no time for another Scottish refereeing debate

That’s Ange Postecoglou there, after less than a year of managing in Scotland. It’d be legitimately interesting to know how many times he’s been asked about refereeing decisions since he arrived in Scotland. Perhaps there were assistant referees waving his plane into Glasgow safely to ground.

In any event, he looks entirely fed up with it. He’s right, and though it’s hard to see from our perspective, the obsession over Scottish referees is absurd.

That’s not because we’re wrong to analyse them, mind. It’s just that the utter uselessness of officials in Scotland is so ingrained in the psyche of football fans here. Everyone, regardless of who they support, could provide a dossier of evidence saying referees are working against their team.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

And the evidence would be hard to argue with!

Ange Postecoglou is right to just let this all pass him by, unless it ends up really hurting his players. He would go on to talk about retroactive punishments, like the one seen for a tackle on Yosuke Ideguchi. Those kinds of things make sense. VAR coming in would also make sense, but it’s not foolproof either.

He’s right, Celtic have been playing extraordinarily good football this season. That’s not down to what referees do or don’t do. Play well, and it won’t matter what whistles are being called, because you’ve already beaten your opposition.

Sky Sports, Sportscene and the like – take note. The Celtic manager has seen the hyperbolic refereeing analysis.

Read more: Ange Postecoglou gives injury update on Celtic midfielder David Turnbull