Postecoglou Brings Excitement Times Back To Celtic

It’s funny to look back and think Eddie Howe was the Celtic board’s number one choice to become their new manager last summer.

A lot of time was wasted as The Hoops chased and ultimately failed to persuade the Englishman to move to Glasgow.

Yet after that particular rebuff the club’s hierarchy quickly put their Plan B into place and brought Aussie gaffer Ange Postecoglu to Celtic Park from Japan.

Not much was known about the new boss. He’d had a successful stint in his homeland, he’d done a decent job managing his national side and tasted glory in the J-League with Yokohama F. Marinos.

Upon Ange’s arrival in Scotland, I asked Aussie journalist Dan Colasimone to tell me more about the fifty-six year old.

Dan stated that Postecoglu would come in and insist on his new team playing to his system no matter what and that will get mixed results initially. But if Celtic were to stick with it, then it should bear fruit.

Now my reply was that Ange would be given a shorter honeymoon period at Celtic than at previous clubs, so he’d need to gain positive performances even during that initial bedding in period.

We are now twenty-five games into the Scottish Premiership season and it’s uncanny that everything has kind of worked to the most positive scenario Dan and myself discussed in early June.

Celtic did have some missteps early on in the campaign but they looked an exciting outfit when pushing forward. They’re always pressing whenever they don’t have the ball, they don’t give up and they play an energetic brand of football.

That attacking style is one that the fans in the east end of Glasgow have always appreciated. They watched as their team dropped points and believed that they were on a different path and that things would come good.

Last season under Neil Lennon, Celtic often looked sluggish and void of any creative ideas. There was simply no passion!

Under Ange: Celtic now look fitter, brighter and efficient in every department.

Celtic’s signing policy since Ange’s first day has been pretty on point too. The new signings from Japan; Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate, Daizem Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi have all impressed thus far.

Kyogo has been in Scotland since the summer and has been fantastic thus far. He makes extremely intelligent runs and he scores clever goals. The forward has scored eight goals in his fourteen league outings.

Hatate has been superb in his first five outings. He’s brought a new energy to the midfield. He has bagged himself three goals and two assists.

Portuguese loanee Jota has been one of the players of the season. He can play on either side and he’s a constant threat. It was a very smart move for Celtic to insert a clause in the deal to sign the twenty-two year old on a permanent basis in the summer (Source The Scotsman).

Celtic have been vastly improved on the flanks. Liel Abada made be more raw than Jota but his stats have been fantastic. scoring nine league goals and creating six assists.

Joe Hart, Cameron Carter-Vicker and Josip Juranovic have all come in and improved the backline.

Matt O’Riley is another talent that has impressed since his January move. He’s got a keen eye for a defence splitting pass and has no issue running his socks off for the team’s cause.

Question marks surrounded Carl Starfelt and Giorgos Giakoumakis early on in their Celtic careers. I’m not sure they’ve totally dispelled those doubts but they’ve certainly started to improve.

The one signing that’s been the biggest let down for me has been that of James McCarthy. The Irish midfielder has never gained true full fitness and that’s hampered his ability to bed into the current team. Although looking at all the signings McCarthy and Hart are the ones I’d suggest Ange had less say when they were being brought to Glasgow.

It’s not just the new boys that have flourished under Ange.

Captain Callum McGregor has found a new lease of life at Parkhead. He’s a player that leads by example!

Anthony Ralston has reinvented himself and Greg Taylor now looks the part too. Celtic accepted a bid for Tom Rogic in 2020, yet he has become a talisman again. While David Turnbull is fast becoming a top class midfielder.

These players just need a new vision to follow and clearly Postecoglu is the Wizard of Oz that can get a tune out of his players.

That nervy initial period seems to be gone now. Celtic have claimed the first piece of silverware this term, they’re currently on a seven game winning streak and have overhauled rivals Rangers and climbed to the Premiership’s summit.

They are playing like champions. A few weeks ago they were struggling to breakdown Dundee United, yet they didn’t give up and grabbed a winner inside injury time.

They dismantled Rangers this midweek in what was being billed as tight affair. It didn’t live up to the billing as Celtic blew the current champions away (BBC Match Report).

I often think that the game after a derby encounter can be a vital one. It’s important for victors to continue on the path of momentum. They need to have the brains to out fox opponents, the courage to keep a good run going and the heart to run all day and break the hearts of opponents. Celtic showed all that and more as they swept into Motherwell and crushed them.

The Celtic faithful have been overjoyed with the exciting football and the positive results that Ange Postecoglu has brought with him to Parkhead.

The manager also understands the support. His words after that triumph over Rangers showed that he gets it:

“We had 60,000 in here. I’m sure a lot walked in with some problems in their lives and for 95 minutes we made them forget that and feel good – and that’s something special.”

Via BBC Sport

Rangers showed today that they’re not ready to give up on their title. This current Celtic side still need to prove that they can handle the pressures of being the league leaders.

But from what we’ve seen do far, I don’t think Ange Postecoglou is a manager that will allow his players to take their foot off the gas or drop their levels. That’s why it’s understandable to see so many Celtic fans optimistic about their club’s future.

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