Patchy Celtic form shows how imperative it is for Ange to have key staff

By Euan Davidson

September 21, 2021

It’s difficult to really get a handle on the form shown by Celtic under Ange Postecoglou.

Pre-season didn’t help us out much. As ever, the games in the summer were glorified training exercises. Fine, we saw some promising link-up play and hints at what the manager wanted. They weren’t for judging, though, albeit pre-season gave some clues about the transfer business needing done.

Early season losses to Midtjylland and Hearts were unfortunate, but understandable. But then, Celtic just absolutely clicked, all of a sudden. A run of great results with clean sheets, a big European win; it distorted any expectations, reasonable or otherwise, we could have about the Age of Ange at Celtic.

However, the loss against Livingston – bearing in mind the necessary caveats – did show one thing fairly prominently.

That is, it’s going to be much harder for Ange Postecoglou to make this Celtic team tick without some key staff additions.

Because the manager, and his skeleton staff in the dugout, can’t do it all themselves. If we’re going to be progressing in a meaningful way, Postecoglou needs some trusted figures around him, and hand-selected confidantes to rely upon at the club.

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The honeymoon period is over – but there’s no reason for Celtic to panic

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If Celtic board want results from Ange Postecoglou, they need to back him with key staff

It’s beyond strange that, given the distance Postecoglou travelled, he didn’t snap up anyone to bring with him.

When Brendan Rodgers came to Celtic, he had Chris Davies, Kolo Toure (initially as a player) and more to rely upon [BBC]. Sweeping changes were made, as a big-name manager arrived in the dugout.

That was crucial. Because, despite the turnover in the summer of 16-17, Rodgers had a Celtic staff he could rely upon to set the agenda across different areas. Coaching, recruitment, player development – he had names he knew and trusted, who had delivered results, or had the experience to indicate they would be a good addition.

Ange just hasn’t had that. Of course, he was right to assess what he had before coming in, but it’d be odd if the club hadn’t made allowances for coaches, physios and the like that Postecoglou wanted.

Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images

It’s hard enough getting to know a whole new squad of faces. To add coaches and assistants to that? It makes it tougher, regardless of how good the incumbents are.

A month ago, Postecoglou said he wanted to fill gaps in his backroom team. Even opposition managers are commenting on the situation.

For Celtic to get the best out of their new man, and the team as a result, it’s so, so crucial that Postecoglou leads a recruitment drive.

In other news: Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov insists Ange Postecoglou is up for challenge

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