It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that Celtic critics are at it again, following the appointment of Ange Postecoglou.
You know what? We had our laughs at Rangers over the last decade. They were more than deserved, and some contentious (read: funny) issues will be part of the patter forever more. It’s unavoidable, and we don’t make the rules. But a particular comparison has made its way around social media of late, and it’s a wholly unfitting one.
Yep. Rangers fans, in fact, even some Celtic fans, are suggesting that Ange Postecoglou is our Pedro Caixinha.
As damaging as the ‘banter years’ were for Rangers, there’s stretching an argument, and there’s making a leap so profound it’d make Michael Jordan take notice. As much as Celtic fans loved Agent Pedro, these are ‘arguments’ we’re only going to entertain and dismiss once, because it’s already tiresome.
So, let’s look at Pedro Caixinha’s CV, prior to Rangers, yelling from bushes and talking about caravans. Tenth in the Premeira Liga with U.D. Leiria. Seventh with C.D. Nacionale, before leaving after six league games the following season, leaving them second-bottom.
Santos Laguna, a club affiliated with Celtic no less, was Caixinha’s next destination, where he fared far better. Maybe it was the Green and White, but whatever the case, the Portuguese manager won three league titles, and made it to the final of the CONCACAF Champion’s League.
Pedro Caixinha and Ange Postecoglou are only similar in the sense they’re both football managers
A two year spell in Qatar followed, managing Al-Gharafa. No silverware. So it was a surprise when our rivals came calling in 2017. The rest, well, you already know [BBC].
Look, this isn’t to say we don’t understand where they’re coming from. Postecoglou, like Caixinha, was a left-field shout in many ways. However, comparing their managerial records immediately ruins any legitimate argument that the two are similar.
Postecoglou has won league titles with different clubs, notably Brisbane Roar and Yokohama F Marinos. And he did so playing a brand of football that blew supporters away in both countries. He’s also been a national coach, taking Australia to a World Cup, and winning a continental trophy, the AFC Asia Cup. Unless Caixinha had won the Euros with Portugal prior to joining Rangers, then the argument collapses under even the lightest scrutiny.
You’re comparing a manager who is beloved in Australia and Japan to someone who was never successful in his own league, and managed in Qatar prior to taking the job at Ibrox. Someone whose tactical style and personality have been the subject of volumes of glowing prose [Penguin], to someone who’s most famous for yelling at his own supporters from the safety of a bush [Sun].
I get it; after years of Celtic dominance, you’ve won a title, and you’re feeling good about it. And naturally, given the nature of the rivalry, anything either of us does is going to be the subject of banter. That is, after all, how it happens. But this comparison is wider of the mark than a Josh Windass shot.
One is a proven winner, the other was a total gamble, one that didn’t pay off. And while winning the Liga MX is nothing to be sniffed at, it’s hardly the same.
Yes, there’s an element of risk with this Celtic appointment. Even Ange Postecoglou would surely admit that. And nothing’s guaranteed; for all the positive talk, he might not work out at Celtic. But come on. We’re only going to say this once; this is a ridiculous comparison.