The next stage of Ange Postecoglou's Celtic master plan; exciting Saturday comments

By Hamish Carton

January 25, 2023

Ange Postecoglou gave an interesting insight into the next stage of his Celtic master plan on Saturday.

The Hoops boss was understandably swamped with questions about Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis after the 5-0 Scottish Cup win over Greenock Morton.

But his insight on the issue of squad planning, and how it may have evolved over the past 18 months, may have been the biggest take-away from the press conference.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In answer to a question posed by 67 Hail Hail, Postecoglou revealed: “When I put the team together 18 months ago, I kind of knew that there had to be a smattering of different age groups, different experience.

“Guys like Josip and Giako, to a certain extent. We needed some men in the building, apart from the obvious like Joe Hart and a couple of others.

“Guys like that really fulfilled what we needed to do to get back to where we wanted to be in a short space of time.

“Underpinning that is guys like Tony (Ralston) who’s 24. Alistair (Johnston) is 24. With both of them there it gives us an opportunity for growth and improvement.”

Given the rut Celtic found themselves in prior to Postecoglou’s arrival, and the need to win quickly, it is no surprise that he went for players in their mid-twenties and older.

Carl Starfelt, Giorgos Giakoumakis, Josip Juranovic, Joe Hart and James McCarthy all fitted that bill.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

What we’ve seen over the three windows since is a much younger profile of player targeted.

Matt O’Riley, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, Alexandro Bernabei, Yuki Kobayashi, Sead Haksabanovic and more all have extreme potential.

This month, Juranovic has left and been replaced by Johnston who is more than three years his junior.

Giakoumakis looks likely to leave, with Hyeongyu Oh nearly seven years younger.

While the Croatian and Greek were both loved by the Hoops support, you really can’t argue that Johnston and Oh have far greater potential.

Ange knows what he’s doing. The potential in his Celtic team is immense.

In other news, Celtic may have more transfer business to do if recent history is anything to go by