Davie Provan delivers vital message for Celtic boss as he labels Gerrard "fortunate"
Davie Provan has urged Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou to focus solely on results for now as he labelled Rangers’ Steven Gerrard “fortunate”.
Celtic’s rivals have struggled for consistency since the start of the season. They’ve lost their first two Europa League group stage games and have dropped five points in the league already.
Unfortunately, however, Celtic have let them away with it. The rebuild under Postecoglou is seeing the club go through a difficult transitioning period with only two wins in eight games. We currently sit sixth heading into today’s meeting with Aberdeen, with many supporters looking at this fixture as key for the manager’s short and long-term future.
Despite the generally poor results, Postecoglou hasn’t wavered from his attacking phiolosophy. But Provan believes all that should be on his mind at the moment is how to get some victories under his belt.
Speaking via his Scottish Sun column, Provan said: “Gerrard is fortunate Celtic are in such poor nick across the city. Right now, a stadium that used to be a fortress is a bouncy castle for Europe’s better clubs to enjoy. Be in no doubt, if Ange Postecoglou doesn’t have a Plan B, he won’t last. The Aussie says his principles are non-negotiable, but there’s a fine line between conviction and stubbornness.
“Listen, the big guy has been dealt a dismal hand of cards and should get the next two transfer windows before being judged. But only if he wises up. There are plenty of idealists in football, most with the same shelf-life as dogs who chase cars. Celtic have been poor in Europe for a while, but I’ve never seen a Hoops side as naïve and strung out as they were in midweek.
Want to join the discussion?
Join the 67 Hail Hail Forum now and have your sayJoin the forum now >>
“Postecoglou will get time if punters believe he is improving the team. Football in Glasgow isn’t a beauty contest, it’s only about winning. Postecoglou can’t afford to leave anything behind in Aberdeen this lunchtime. He could start by sacrificing style for substance at Pittodrie. If he has to grind it out in an ugly duckling 90 minutes, then that’s fine.”
Ange Postecoglou won’t actively change his Celtic style for anyone
You can see where Provan is coming from here. He’s partly right with his verdict too. In Glasgow, it certainly is all about getting three points and being a successful football team.
But style does matter. Celtic fans have forever craved a team on the park that’s easy on the eye. A team that they want to go and watch every week due to their scintillating, attacking football. Fans don’t get through their working week in order to watch a 90-minute slogfest full of long-balls.
Postecoglou has the right idea in terms of how he wants his Celtic side to play. If he pulls it off in the long run, he’ll eventually leave Parkhead a hero. But he needs to know when to mix things up and do the necessary things to win an individual football match.
The Celtic boss needs wins more than he needs pretty performances at the moment. Trying to instill a new philosophy is all well and good, and Celtic fans expected a period like this. But the scale of it has been a touch disappointing, and you can understand why supporters are frustrated with Ange just now.
Today’s game in Aberdeen then represents something colossal for him. A win and he’ll have put to rest the demon of no wins away from home. It’ll also give him a solid win against one of Scottish football’s big hitters – something you feel Postecoglou needs at this moment in time.
With Kyogo Furuhashi and Callum McGregor back, we should be in a good position to produce a positive performance this afternoon. The club could certainly do with one.