Celtic boss Postecoglou promised no "violin playing" over call-ups; don't expect it now

By Euan Davidson

January 22, 2022

You’d be forgiven for wondering if Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is panicking a little after call-ups were handed out to Daizen Maeda and Tom Rogic.

Rogic, absolutely vital this season, will undoubtedly be a miss. Postecoglou has already said he’d have been disappointed were the Aussie midfielder not called up, but still. He’s a key player, no doubt.

Ditto new Bhoy Daizen Maeda, announced in the Japan squad this morning. 1 game, 1 goal. Without Kyogo Furuhashi available for a while, that’s a blow ahead of facing Dundee United, Hearts and Rangers.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Yet, knowing Celtic manager Postecoglou, he’s going to find an opportunity from it. A way of squeezing quality performances out of fringe players who need the minutes, some who perhaps need to win the supporters over. Besides, the Celtic manager has already addressed this issue, before the winter break was brought forward.

In december, he said [Herald]: “If they get called up they will be [unavailable]. There is a lot of violin playing around the place, we are not going to be one of them.”

So, don’t expect any significant talk of postponing the Glasgow Derby. Nor any woe is me stories about the players we’re missing. When he said that, he meant it; and now he has the weapons in his squad to negotiate two important players being called up for international duty.

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Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou and his steely determination will see us through these important fixtures

Let’s be clear, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou isn’t a guy that likes excuses. Injuries, referees, the schedule; he’s given reasons when Celtic haven’t been up to par, but he’s not the type to affix get-outs when things don’t go his way.

Besides, when has Celtic having international players been a bad thing before? This was something to expect, and it’s because we have a squad of guys who are playing well. It says a great deal that after just one superb game for Celtic, Reo Hatate not being in the Japan squad is a significant surprise.

If anything, it could’ve been a lot worse. What if Cameron Carter-Vickers had been called up for the USA? If we were missing Ideguchi and Hatate, too? There are other scenarios that could’ve played out here. Yet, even had all that happened, you’d suspect Ange Postecoglou would’ve found the positives there, too.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

As far as he’s concerned, he has the playing squad to get through these games. He’s largely built it.

And Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou isn’t the type to build his team around one or two key players. Not at Brisbane Roar, not for Yokohama F Marinos, not for Australia. It’s about one cohesive unit playing together, with goals coming from a range of sources, attacking and defending as a unit.

Is the timing of Rogic and Maeda being away ideal? Of course not.

However, if you’re thinking Celtic boss Postecoglou is going to write a letter to the SFA about how unfair this all is, think again.

He promised no violins. Don’t expect to hear any.

Read more: Celtic hero Chris Sutton says Hoops have avoided “nightmare” over international selection