Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou sets lofty target for captain Callum McGregor

By Euan Davidson

October 22, 2021

Ange Postecoglou is already a massive fan of Celtic captain Callum McGregor.

Who wouldn’t be? The Scotland international is a manager’s dream. Adaptable tactically, second to none for effort and application, and metronomic in possession. The central midfielder offers so much to the club.

But the manager insists, good as he is, there’s more to come from the 28-year-old.

McGregor, despite injuries, has played almost 1400 minutes already for Celtic this season [Transfermarkt]. When he’s being playing, he’s hardly put a foot wrong. In the Europa League alone, he’s hit the mark with nearly 95% of his passes – remarkable considering the pace of the game [WhoScored?].

That’s led to glowing reviews from his boss, Ange Postecoglou. However, the demanding Greek-Aussie boss has insisted there are still targets for the Scotland midfielder.

Postecoglou said [Herald]:

“He’s up there…with the [best players] I’ve worked with anyway. Because what you look for are players in the tightest of areas – and he plays in that area – who always want the ball, are always looking, always trying to dictate the game.

“The way we want to play, that’s really important in the middle. He rarely gives the ball away. Nine times out of ten he makes the best decision in terms of the pass.

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“There are plenty of passes you can make, options you can take, but invariably he always makes the right pass. And he works his socks off.

“So, he is a good player, a fantastic player, but again, he is one that I think can improve.”

Can Callum McGregor get even better at Celtic?

We’d love to know how McGregor can get measurably better at Celtic. He’s captain for a reason; someone who leads by example, with exceptional technique and utter confidence on the ball.

For the roles he can play, he’s a phenomenal talent for the Bhoys. He’s even capable of scoring absolute screamers, most notably against FC Midtjylland earlier this campaign.

What can he realistically do better? It’s not hyperbolic that he’s top-level at all the things he needs to be for his position.

Photo by Jan Kruger – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

That’s the exciting part, though. McGregor’s in his peak years. If Postecoglou sees room for improvement in his game, then it’s not negotiable; there will be things for him to work on.

As effusive as the praise was for McGregor, this is actually the right attitude from Postecoglou. Even your best players need tested, they can’t be allowed to get too comfortable, and have to be pushing themselves all the time.

There’s nothing about McGregor’s mentality, from what we’ve seen, to indicate he probably doesn’t agree with Postecoglou. Or, that he’ll embrace these words and look to make marked improvements.

Read more: Report: Celtic “confident” of landing J-League star Daizen Maeda