History proves Celtic have the right manager for the times

By Euan Davidson

October 2, 2021

Yes, Celtic have been struggling under their new manager Ange Postecoglou, and there’s no doubt about it.

In Europe, the Bhoys have been defensively naïve. Domestically, we’ve created a vast, almost unbelievable number of chances in games, but haven’t won in weeks.

From the outside looking in, especially if you’re not a Celtic fan, you could easily look upon this situation rubbing your hands. They’re in meltdown! Fans are on the manager’s back already!

Except, that’s not necessarily a narrative that holds significant water. Everyone in the Celtic support surely knew how challenging the early part of this season would be.

Martin O’Neill had the likes of Henrik Larsson, Lubomir Moravcik, Chris Sutton and countless others to navigate his early period. Brendan Rodgers added Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair to a title-winning team. Even Neil Lennon had the advantage of momentum on his side, and a strong squad to boot.

Postecoglou didn’t have any of that. And you can understand the wisdom in wondering if an untested coach – by rather self-serving, elitist European standards – was the right idea for a Celtic that had lumbered from crisis to crisis.

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The Ange Postecoglou Celtic debate is all wrong

The Ange Postecoglou Celtic debate is all wrong
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Yet, history proves that Postecoglou is worth waiting for. That’s the key thing here, and he’s loving the doubt being cast upon him. It will only make it all the sweeter when it goes right.

Postecoglou’s CV proves he’s a manager for these trying Celtic times

Said Postecoglou himself [Herald]:

“There is nothing wrong with adversity. I grew up understanding that adversity is what makes you strong and you’ve got to go through it. I can’t shield the players from it, I can’t shield the whole group from the adversity we are going through because I think if you can push through it you’ll become stronger out of it.

“It’s easy for me to say it and the proof will be in the pudding. Over time I am happy to be judged. But this has been consistent throughout my whole career. Wherever I’ve gone it’s taken a certain amount of time for things to kick in.”

If we had a more panicky presence in the dugout, it would surely show. Instead, Celtic have a boss who has seen it, done it and has the medals to prove it.

Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

Of course, the standards are different, and his timescale is, too. The Yokohama F Marinos side was way off a J-League title when he took over. A year later, league medal achieved.

At Brisbane Roar, there were doubters aplenty. But in the next season, Postecoglou built a side that was the “best” Australians had ever seen. They went on ridiculous unbeaten streaks [ABC], won titles, and changed the landscape of Australian football.

Like Chris Sutton wrote today, we had to know this was going to take a bit of time. And yes, Celtic fans demand success, based on generation after generation of winning sides.

Realistically, it was always going to take some growing pains. We braced for impact, and an early struggle has, indeed, presented itself.

But history proves that Postecoglou is an ideal Celtic manager for these times. We are in a period of enormous upheaval. It’s incumbent on the board to back him and for his players to get results.

Read more: Celtic boss Postecoglou dismisses idea of Aberdeen rest advantage