"What a piece of management"; Chris Sutton loves what Ange has done with Celtic hero
Chris Sutton has lauded the transformation in Celtic defender Anthony Ralston as he pointed to Ange Postecoglou for what he’s done with the right-back.
Ralston has gone from an out-of-favour no-hoper to a double-winner who’s won the adulation and respect of the Celtic support. Indeed, the right-back was so far from being a success at Parkhead that the thought of him making it here was borderline laughable. In fact, we probably considered it an insult to our intelligence to even suggest it.
Yet here we are. Ralston is a fully-fledged goalscoring international with 47 Celtic appearances to his name this year [Transfermarkt]. Not to mention he has a new long-term contract to boot and now set for UEFA Champions League football once again.
And Sutton believes his turnaround in form only goes to highlight how influential Ange has been on not only the new signings, but those at the club when he joined.
As quoted by the Daily Record, Sutton said: “One thing I will add at this stage is that it is not just about buying. It’s about coaching and getting the best out of boys and the Aussie has been brilliant. One look at Anthony Ralston playing for Scotland this week tells you that.
“Brendan Rodgers was given garlands for the way he managed to get a hold of Scott Brown, or James Forrest, or Tom Rogic and improve them markedly. Making them far-better players with his work purely on the training ground. Look at what Postecoglou has done with Ralston. If you’d have told a Celtic supporter 12 months ago that the right back would be doing what he is doing now, you’d have been carted off.
“Now let’s be clear. The boy deserves credit. A manager can only do so much. The player has to deliver and he has done so superbly. But what a piece of management and coaching from Postecoglou to bring about this transformation. It all added to the mix for the Celtic manager, but he’s put a mantra in place which says we never stop and it’s the perfect statement for the current situation.”
Ange Postecoglou’s man-management has been felt all around the Celtic squad
We’ve been bigging up Ralston’s achievements and rightly so. We know how far he’s come and where he started. We know at this stage the magnitude of the turnaround and how unlikely it was. But let’s not pretend that Ralston is the only player Ange turned around.
Sutton is right to bring up the fact that the manager has had an influential role in those who were already at the club. It certainly doesn’t start and stop at Anthony, however.
Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor will be the first to say how Ange has helped turn their games around, even if the former decided to leave at the end of the season. Greg Taylor, meanwhile, has won the hearts of the Celtic support and become a dependable option at left-back.
You then have the fact that Ange has had his influence spread over to the coaching staff too. John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan were real targets for criticism last season along with what felt like everyone else at the club. But they’ve proven to be essential cogs for Ange with the manager helping to rebuild their reputations.
It’s brilliant to see the turnaround in so many individuals at Celtic Park. We know it’s a new team compared to the 2020/21 campaign, but certain players who looked to have no business being a major part of it have managed to become reliable figures at the club.
That’s all credit to the boss.