John Hartson offers stinging rebuke to online critics of Celtic boss

By Euan Davidson

September 21, 2021

Former Celtic striker John Hartson has blasted online critics of Bhoys boss Ange Postecoglou.

The Celtic manager received some flak after the club’s disappointing display against Livingston. Postecoglou was unable to go one better than Brendan Rodgers or Neil Lennon, and take three points from the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Despite a raft of brand-new players, a whole new tactical style and without his own choice of backroom staff, Postecoglou is still being criticised for how the Bhoys performed on Sunday.

Hartson, though, was eager to fire back at critics of the new boss. The former Wales international said [Herald]:

“People are braver online aren’t they?”

“I don’t think Ange will be too concerned about [criticism]. There were about 5,000 Celtic fans there yesterday. I think a lot of people realise that this is a bedding-in period. It takes a bit of time. The issue is [that] it’s big game after big game after big game. There is no respite.

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“When Ange gets his best players back we will see better performances again. When Celtic get their better players back, Kyogo, [Callum] McGregor and [James] Forrest, that will make them a bit stronger.”

Former Bhoys striker John Hartson giving his backing to Celtic boss Postecoglou

Hartson enjoys a very strong relationship with supporters. One of the preferred members of the Celtic commentariat, the ex-striker is typically honest and tends to back the club to the hilt, despite opposition.

So, to hear this is hardly unexpected. But nor was it unexpected that some supporters, particularly online, would be venting their frustration after a a considerably meek showing on Sunday afternoon.

That’s football, though. If you’ve never had a knee-jerk reaction to a result, then kudos. But you’re likely in a very, very small minority.

It does seem to be forgotten how many key players Celtic have had missing over recent weeks. While Celtic would have probably expected better against a team like Livingston, there are mitigating factors here.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The schedule has been relentless, as Hartson says, and with the turnover at the club, it was always going to be a difficult ask to secure close to maximum points from our opening fixtures.

Postecoglou will be well aware that improvement is needed. But there’s only so much he could’ve done at this stage.

What we need, though, is a reaction. With Raith Rovers coming up next for Celtic, it’s a perfect chance to rebuild some momentum for the challenges ahead.

In other news: Acting CEO thanks Lennon, Lawwell and more in opening message to Celtic fans