SFA man wowed by Celtic player's transformation under Ange; makes Brian Clough comparison

By John McGinley

January 2, 2022

Scotland U-21 manager Scot Gemmill is thrilled by the transformation of Celtic defender Anthony Ralston under Ange Postecoglou and has compared it to his own experiences working under Brian Clough and Walter Smith.

Gemmill played at Nottingham Forest and Everton under the legendary managers and sees a bit of that in the situation Ralston is currently enjoying at Celtic.

The Scottish FA man has also worked closely with the Celtic defender in the past, so knows all about his journey through the ranks at the Bhoys.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Speaking to The Scottish Mail on Sunday [02/01 print edition, page 151], Gemmill said: “What has happened says a lot about Tony’s mentality. I believe he has settled down now, he has matured, and he has been helped by the people around him, the club itself and the players there. He has been given an unbelievable opportunity and he has taken it. You have to tip your hat to him.

“In my day, players wanted to play for Walter Smith and I would compare him to Brian Clough. People used to ask what was Clough’s X-Factor, and it was simply that players wanted to play for him.

“For the coach to get his players playing for him, where they would run through a brick wall for him and he can coach them, it’s all part of the package. That’s obviously happened with Tony and it’s interesting to see.”

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Obviously, Clough’s aura is peerless and his achievements in the game are at a level beyond most men – not least Postecoglou. However, it is a pretty interesting point.

Postecoglou does have that energy that brings out the best in everyone. You can tell every single player in his squad is desperate to play for him and impress him.

That was especially evident in games like the win over Real Betis, where fringe players came in from the cold to give everything for the manager.

Now bringing more of his own style of player to the club, the future just looks rosier and rosier for Celtic under Ange.

In other news, Roberto Martinez eager to visit Celtic Park as he makes Shaun Maloney prediction.