Postecoglou can make it a trio of redemption stories after Celtic Wednesday win

By Euan Davidson

January 29, 2022

You won’t hear it from Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou himself, until maybe way after the fact, but he’s one down, with two to go.

After beating Hearts at Tynecastle, the Celtic manager can make it a hat-trick of redemption stories. The Hoops lost in Edinburgh on opening day, and have now beaten them in their own patch. Putting Dundee United away today would make up for an earlier draw, when Ian Harkes, married to Sarah Teegarden of the Celtic FC Women’s team, levelled at Paradise.

On the 2nd, well. It’s obvious. Having lost to Rangers in the prior meeting, a win there wouldn’t just give us a huge morale and point boost, it’d also right another wrong from earlier in the season.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The motivation is surely there. If not publicly, at least privately. For Ange Postecoglou, he has no responsibility for last season; any incentive from 20-21 comes from the captain, and the likes of James Forrest, Greg Taylor et al. But the Celtic manager will surely have a chip on his shoulder from the initial disappointing results under his watch at Celtic.

That Dundee United draw was particularly frustrating. Celtic turned the Terriers over at Tannadice, of course, but it was the fact that Celtic drew at home that rankled then, and will still annoy now. Dundee United are missing key players, not least last game’s Man of the Match, Jeando Fuchs, who’s move to Peterborough.

Still, the mandate is clear; make up for what happened last time. It was the same on Wednesday, it’s the same today, and it’ll be the same when Rangers come to Parkhead.

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What trio of wins could do for Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou, his team and the supporters, is immense

Sometimes, it feels like the “fixture computer” at SPFL’s Hampden headquarters has an agenda. I don’t mean this in a paranoid way, so much as the narrative situations and sub-plots it can throw into the mix.

Playing three teams we’ve been frustrated by in a row provides an amazing opportunity. You couldn’t have a better benchmark for how improved the Celtic team is since early in the season. You could try, but it wouldn’t be possible.

Whether or not the typically cool Ange Postecoglou thinks about these things is an interesting debate to have. Not to say he’s dishonest, but to me it seems like playing the media is similar to strategising for a match. There are things he wants to achieve, messages he wants to send, and headlines he wants written.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

So, when he joked about the statute of limitations for the Hearts game at Tynecastle, yes, it was funny [Celtic FC]. But do you honestly think Postecoglou didn’t find it extra-satisfying when Celtic overcame the Jambos in their own backyard on Wednesday night?

For the same reasons, thumping Dundee United would cast out a demon from earlier in 21-22. The Rangers game speaks for itself, but we’re currently at game 2 of a 3-game stretch that’d show the vast strides Celtic have made since the start of the season.

Ange Postecoglou might not be thinking like this, at least outwardly. I’m not questioning the guy for a minute. But if you think nobody at Celtic, including the manager, hasn’t at least thought about this hat-trick of opportunities, then I’m afraid we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Read more: Chris Sutton says people were too quick to write off “forgotten” Celtic summer signing