Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou speaks on importance of Europa League

By Euan Davidson

November 3, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has emphasised the importance of the Europa League in growing his team.

There were fears about how the Bhoys might do in Europe. Given last season’s Europa League campaign, featuring two 4-1 defeats to Sparta Prague, there was obvious reticence this time round.

Returning to the summit of Scottish football was surely the goal this season, with anything in Europe a bonus.

That’s not how Postecoglou sees things, though. The Celtic manager, instead, insists that Europa League football is a huge chance for the players. Having essentially built a new squad, the Celtic manager is banking on formative experiences in Europe shaping the attitudes and standards of his team.

Postecoglou said [Celtic FC]:

“As I said, these are great opportunities. We’ve built a new team, we’re trying to play a certain way, we’re fitting in new players. You don’t want to miss these opportunities to test yourself and get growth and development.

“Because if you can have a strong performance away from home, get a result away from home in Europe, it just adds to your development. So you don’t want to miss that opportunity by sort of thinking ‘Well, we’re not ready for that stage’.

“It’s another huge week for Ange and Celtic” | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail

“It’s another huge week for Ange and Celtic” | Scott McDonald on 67 Hail Hail
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“When these doors open you want to go through them. And put your best foot forward, and see where it takes you. From my perspective, tomorrow night is a great opportunity for growth with this team.

“The game against Betis away was a fantastic game against a top team. We gave it a good shake. I know we lost 4-3, but away victories in Europe are always challenging. The manner in which we took the game to them helped us in our growth, and that’s what I’m looking for tomorrow night.”

Postecoglou is correct; Celtic have opportunities aplenty in Europa League

Obviously, league titles and domestic trophies will be what Ange Postecoglou is judged on during his time at Celtic.

If he’s not able to secure the Scottish Premiership during his tenure, he knows what the consequences are. That doesn’t mean, though, that we ought to jettison European football altogether.

It doesn’t have to be a binary. It’d be hard to argue that European football hasn’t had a positive effect on squad building. Equally, good Celtic performances domestically have yielded positive form to take into the Europa League.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Was Postecoglou meant to have us dumped out of Europe on purpose? Surely, no manager with ambition would want the Celtic job without the promise of the famous European nights at Parkhead? Or the chance to go up against some of the continent’s best teams?

No way. Ange Postecoglou, getting his first proper crack at managing in Europe, is going to get every ounce of experience he can from it. That’s the attitude the players should have. Going against quality opposition will make them better-equipped for challenges at home.

`Arguably, the Celtic manager has license to fail in Europe this season. However, an attitude like that isn’t worthy of our dugout.

Big Ange is right. These things can work in tandem. With Celtic looking to bounce back from disappointment against Livingston, a test against Ferencvaros is perfect.

Read more: Celtic man Anthony Ralston responds to Scotland snub