Ange Postecoglou's excellent perspective on Celtic star's international disappointment

By Euan Davidson

March 25, 2022

It’d be fair to say that there was a reaction when Celtic man and Ange Postecoglou favourite Anthony Ralston wasn’t called up for Scotland.

Fans of the right-back, ourselves included, couldn’t believe that he wasn’t included to face Poland and Austria this month. As one of the Scottish Premiership’s top-rated performers, it seemed like lunacy, a snub for the sake of a snub.

Ange Postecoglou, though – as ever – has offered some perspective. Celtic Academy graduate Ralston and his rise to prominence has been swift, and if you’d suggested last season that Ralston should be a shoe-in for Scotland? Without being too harsh, it would’ve got you a very distinct reaction.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Yet, here we are. And Postecoglou has reminded us that some perspective is needed. He said [Daily Record]: “I think the fact some people are surprised he’s not been called up is a reflection on the way he’s been playing.

“If he keeps playing like he does, I’m sure he’ll get looked at and he’ll get the opportunity again. He’s come a long way this season.

“If you think about where he was at the start of the season, if you said in six months people will be disappointed he’s not been picked for the national team, you’d need to check yourself.

“It’s a credit to Tony. He’s worked awfully hard and taken every opportunity he’s had. He’s helped us as a team this season in getting us where we are. He just needs to keep doing that. This is his first full year at this club where he’s playing meaningful minutes.”

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Outrage over Celtic star Ralston and his snub is fair, but so is Postecoglou assessment

Multiple things are possible at once, here.

It’s entirely reasonable to say that Celtic man Anthony Ralston got a raw deal from Steve Clarke, here. Objectively, he’s been the best Scottish right-back in the Scottish Premiership. Not only that, he’s actually playing, unlike Nathan Patterson at Everton.

It is also fair to say, though, that time moves incredibly quickly in football. The idea of Anthony Ralston being anything like a regular for Celtic seemed pretty unfeasible a matter of months ago. He’s not going to retire tomorrow, there will be more opportunities.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It’s a very good motivation, as Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is more than aware. And, the discourse around his Scotland rejection has given the Hoops boss an opportunity to praise one of his players.

Win-win for Postecoglou, then.

Ralston’s time as a Scotland regular will surely come, provided he’s able to routinely put in great performances for Celtic. Even with the competition of Josip Juranovic, Ralston has shone.

So, let’s give it some time and perspective. He’ll get there.

Read more: Report: Celtic winger Dembele appealed to Neil Lennon for more minutes