“Way better”; Even Danish coach left blown away by Ange’s Celtic turnaround

By David Walton

March 30, 2022

Denmark under-21 coach Jesper Sorensen is the latest to notice a major improvement in Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic this season as he lauded Matt O’Riley.

O’Riley made his debut for the Danish under-21 side yesterday in a 1-1 draw with Belgium. The result keeps them firmly in contention for Euro 2023 qualification.

It was a better experience than Denmark than his Celtic teammates had back in July of course. Celtic were bundled out of the UEFA Champions League qualifiers by Midtjylland at a stage of the campaign where we had yet to bring in most of our signings.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Nowadays, Celtic are a totally different animal. And that isn’t lost on Sorensen, who says the Hoops are “way better” now than they were back in July.

As quoted by the Herald, the Danish coach said: “Matt would probably be one where he is right now at the perfect place for him. He is playing at a very good level at a very good club.

“I saw Celtic against FC Midtjylland at the start of the season, and right now it is a completely different team in my opinion. They are way better. Matt is playing for Celtic regularly at such a young age, and coming to the club and starting that early not as a star player.

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“If Celtic buy a guy from Juventus then okay, he is going to play. But if they buy a young guy from MK Dons, you expect him to need a little time to get into the team. But that’s not the case here. He has made his mark immediately, and that is pretty impressive.”

Celtic “way better” than they first were under Ange – patience is a wonderful thing

It’s a bit embarrassing when you go back and look at some of the narratives being pushed back in September. In fact, even go back to July and you have Kris Boyd hilariously trying to encourage Ange to quit [Scottish Sun].

It all got utterly ridiculous. It was clear that he couldn’t seriously be judged until he had brought his own signings to the club and was given the opportunity to mold his own team from them. Ever since he’s had that opportunity, Celtic have seen rapid improvement.

If, for example, we were to face Midtjylland in the UEFA Champions League now? The scoreline would likely be different. Granted, our loss to Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League showed we still have a long way to go.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Sorensen is spot on of course. Celtic are levels ahead of where they were back in July. Shows what happens when a manager is actually given the freedom to build something. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but too many weren’t willing to even give Ange the opportunity to find out.

Now, he’s showing what he’s all about. What his teams are all about. There’s now a genuinely big excitement surrounding what the finished article will look like regarding this Hoops side.

For now, however, the journey is certainly thrilling enough.

In other news, Galatasaray man rejected Celtic for “bigger club”; now stuck in embarrassing relegation battle