Hugh Keevins forced into U-turn on Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

By David Walton

October 24, 2021

Sunday Mail columnist and Clyde 1 Superscoreboard pundit Hugh Keevins is the latest to be forced into an embarrassing U-turn over Ange Postecoglou.

The Greek-Australian tactician has turned things around at Celtic Park in impressive style. After going through a miserable injury crisis over the course of September, Postecoglou has come out the other side to secure 4 consecutive wins ahead of a crunch trip to Easter Road on Wednesday night.

Former Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas was last week forced into changing his tune on Postecoglou. But he isn’t the only one who’s publicly singing from a different hymn sheet.

Photo by BO AMSTRUP/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images

Back in August after Celtic were dumped out of the Champions League qualifiers by Midtjylland and beaten by Hearts on opening day, Keevins stated the Hoops boss’ first name stood for “Absolutely Not Good Enough” [Daily Record]. He stated that Celtic would offer Rangers no challenge, questioned his style, and said that he was “struggling to inspire confidence”.

However, in today’s Sunday Mail column [print edition, 24/10, page 62], Keevins said the following: “The remarkable size of the crowd told a story [vs Ferencvaros], ironically, about climate change on the day a tie had to be played against Ferencvaros in the afternoon as preparations continued for COP26 in Glasgow because Ange Postecoglou has created a climate of optimism out of the toxic ashes of last season’s implosion at Celtic Park.

“There was a time during Ronny Deila’s tenure when the top tiers of the stands there had to be closed due to lack of interest in anything other than Champions League when it came to European football.

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“Over 50,000 in broad daylight appreciating Postecoglou’s approach to the game spoke volumes about the job he’s done in a short space of time.”

Hugh Keevins forced into Celtic praise after being too quick to judge

We’ve all criticised and questioned Postecoglou’s decisions at one stage or another. That’s absolutely fine. It’s part of being a football fan and we all have our own opinions on potential issues and solutions.

Where Keevins went wrong was the scale of his criticism. Labelling him “absolutely not good enough” after about 3 competitive games always had the potential to bite him on the backside. The same way predicting we would be no threat to the title is starting to look a touch silly also.

It was always far too early to be making predictions like that. You have to remember this is a Celtic side that had still to finish off their transfer work. The rebuild had barely even begun before we were dumped out of the UCL by Midtjylland. So many players had yet to be integrated when we lost at Tynecastle.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Football, and Scottish football in particularly, is so reactionary. We get that. But you have to learn your lessons and have a sense of perspective. Postecoglou was being ruled as a failure before he had even managed a league game at Celtic Park.

Not to say he’ll definitely become a success. We all hope that will be the case. The truth is that’s just as high in the air as to whether he’ll fail. Nobody knows the answer to these questions yet. So why the likes of Keevins and Nicholas were so keen to effectively write him off so early into the season is anyone’s guess.

Regardless, Ange is proving many wrong these days. Here’s hoping it continues when we head to Easter Road on Wednesday.

In other news, Fascinating Daizen Maeda interview emerges in Japan after Celtic link