Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou showed some brilliant no-nonsense management at Tannadice
Ange Postecoglou has always portrayed a laid back figure regardless of what the Celtic job has thrown at him, but last night he showed he can take swift, no-nonsense action when necessary.
Celtic managed to stroll to a 3-0 Scottish Cup success against Dundee United at Tannadice. On paper, it looked straightforward, and to a large extent it was. But at the same time, there was one decision Ange made that ensured the second-half would be as routine as possible.
Heading into the break, Reo Hatate had clearly been struggling. He wasn’t dealing as well as Callum McGregor or Matt O’Riley when it came to the bobbly surface. But more importantly, he went into the break on a booking after a late challenge.
In addition to that, Hatate had also been pulled up for another challenge not long after. To sum up, he went in at half-time on a tightrope and struggling to make things work.
Ange therefore chose to show some real authority and decisiveness. He immediately took Hatate off and gave Tom Rogic the final 45 minutes. All of a sudden, there were no fears over our aggression in the midfield. We were able to seize control of the game, score another 2 goals, and head back to Glasgow with progression secured.
It hasn’t been mentioned much since full-time, but it was an extremely important moment. The moment that you could say ensured we remained in control and ultimately won the game.
Ange Postecoglou showed Celtic fans something important yesterday
Last season, we were constantly left frustrated by Neil Lennon’s refusal to change things. It would feel as though he would wait far too long into a game before making his moves.
Yesterday, Ange saw the worst-case scenario potentially unfolding in front of his eyes and immediately did something about it. It doesn’t matter if it upset Hatate. All Ange was thinking about was what was best for the team, and he clearly wasn’t willing to leave anything to chance.
It’s such an important trait for the Celtic supporters to see in Ange. He hasn’t been one for half-time subs in recent times with things going so well. But it’s reassuring to know he can spot potential danger early on and will take action when he feels necessary.
Of course, Hatate shouldn’t be too disheartened either. He did show some promising signs, especially when it came to carrying the ball forward and finding some space. But Ange simply had to be safe.
If Hatate had been sent off and Celtic went on to lose the game, Ange would’ve been criticised for not taking more decisive action.
So credit to the manager to that small but vital change on Tayside last night. It was key to our progression into the Scottish Cup semis.