Miller right to slam Livi performance but Celtic criticism is inconsistent

By Euan Davidson

November 2, 2021

Just a handful of days ago, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou was being heralded for masterminding a tactically astute, exciting win over Hibernian.

Now, after a goalless draw with Livingston, former Bhoys winger Joe Miller has criticised Celtic as being “robotic”.

Miller, speaking to the Daily Record, blasted Postecoglou’s side for being “predictable”, saying his centenary team with Bonner and McAvennie could “mix things up”.

All fine, and Miller is more than entitled to make these comments. Anyone who serves Celtic with the distinction of someone like him is allowed to have his say on Celtic. No doubt there.

Surely, though, as a commentariat, we need to be a little more consistent. Another day, and another spree of former pros branding Celtic as this, that or the other. It feels like moments ago, Charlie Nicholas was on the Bhoys bandwagon under Ange. Things were good, we had a pop at going top for a reason, and the football was exciting.

A nil-all draw, to my mind, doesn’t change that. We’re only in November of a season that was always going to be immensely challenging. Fine, Saturday was one of the dullest, most frustrating games Celtic Park has hosted in some time.

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67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

But they happen.

Pundits lining up to tell Ange Postecoglou how to manage Celtic doesn’t really help anyone

It’s not that the manager is immune from criticism. For what it’s worth, I’d argue he made incorrect personnel decisions on Saturday. And, again – horrible game to watch. Just awful.

However, we knew this would happen. We knew there’d be frustrations. Saturday was off the back of five consecutive wins [WhoScored?], including an impressive 2-0 victory over Ferencvaros.

We can’t win every game. Postecoglou is still adapting to a league where he manages a team that the majority are going to park the bus against. It’s an ideological clash for the Greek-Aussie boss, one he has to adapt to.

Yes, Celtic were extremely one-dimensional against Livingston. But what it doesn’t mean is that we go into panic stations immediately after making Messianic statements about the manager.

Photo by Daily Record/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Nobody at Celtic is immune from criticism, obviously. But the hyperbole around our performances is a little out of hand. We’re either amazing or robotic and dreadful. There’s no Plan B, or there’s a glut of attacking options, and Postecoglou has built a formidable squad.

We need to temper expectations a bit. Clearly, Postecoglou was going to have some teething issues, as any manager would. Saturday’s result is a disappointment to be learnt from, not a disaster.

Ange Postecoglou will find ways to win Scottish Premiership games. We know this. Lurching from handing ourselves the title to bemoaning a crisis constantly helps nobody.

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