Martin O'Neill outlines what Ange Postecoglou needs to do next at Celtic

By David Walton

June 7, 2022

Former Celtic boss Martin O’Neill believes that the next step for Ange Postecoglou at Celtic is to make a splash in Europe.

Postecoglou impressively managed to qualify for the Europa League last season before going on to secure 3 wins in the group stage. However, it all ended in anti-climactic fashion when Bodo/Glimt easily knocked us out of the Europa Conference League.

Next season, however, Ange will be taking Celtic into the UEFA Champions League group stage after securing the title last year. It’s a major boost for the football club to be back amongst the big time, but also opens up an intriguing question on how we’ll perform at that level once again.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And O’Neill believes it’s the next step for the club after he claims Celtic had to “disregard” Europe last year. As quoted by the Herald, Martin said: “I think after the start last season the manger had to almost disregard Europe and concentrate on the league.

“That’s what he did and now the expectation is higher. They are in the Champions League and of course there will be great nights. But they have to address European football now and compete. Celtic’s results in recent years have not been good enough.

“I just hope he doesn’t phone me for any advice! I think he’ll know that himself and it’s about trying to get a better players for that level. Obviously he’ll show loyalty to the ones who got them there but in his own mind he’ll be thinking about carrying it further. I’d think he’d be trying to strengthen the side to compete in Europe.”

Celtic simply haven’t been doing enough in Europe over the years

The Hoops have been a major disappointment on the European stage for far too long. Let’s not pretend that getting out of the odd Europa League group is some sort of major achievement for a club of our stature.

Too many teams have been coming to Celtic Park and making their victories look straightforward. Bodo/Glimt, Copenhagen, CFR Cluj, and Ferencvaros are all examples of recent European home games that we should’ve been winning but ended up being embarrassed in.

Ange’s next step is certainly to start making a splash in Europe. However, given the rebuilding job that was on his hands last season, there was a reason many were satisfied with just getting a few wins under our belts in the Europa.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But come the start of our UCL campaign many of these Celtic players will have been together for a year. They’ve already tasted title-winning glory at the club and the bond has increased massively since we were last in Europe. There’s no reason we shouldn’t at the very least be competing in the competition.

It’ll also be interesting to see what moves the club makes in the summer transfer window to help us land a blow on Europe’s top teams.

To sum up, O’Neill is spot on. Europe has been a tricky nut for the likes of Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon to crack despite domestic success. If Ange can plot a route forward for this side on the continent, then his popularity will blow up even further.

In other news, Celtic Women announce 2 departures after double cup-winning season