Wow. Ange took his first proper swipe at the media today, in a broadside against his “condescending” critics who have never accepted that he was good enough for the job in the first place. It was a well-timed slap at the people who are counting this team out before we’re even through the first quarter of the SPL campaign.
It is not difficult to come up with the names of some of the people he is talking about.
There is a difference between those us of who harboured early doubts – I said on the day of his appointment that it was a disaster- and who have since seen enough to convince us otherwise and those who made their minds up early and are too arrogant to change them.
I believe that you can make an early judgement and then change it.
I’ve written, at great length, as to why I changed my own view of the guy. That’s what you’re supposed to do in this gig, you’re supposed to constantly challenge your own opinions and to be courageous enough to say when you got something wrong. I’ve done that.
Not everyone is able to. Some, mostly in the mainstream media, were determined that this would fail and aren’t in the least bit interested – either because of their biases or because it would challenge their own sense of infallibility – in refreshing the page.
Those people aren’t looking for evidence that they were wrong, they are looking for evidence that they were right, and they would have found it even if the start had been ten times better than it has been.
The way they covered some of our excellent early performances, and the glee with which they’ve gotten on his back, should tell you that.
Ange knows this and he hit back at them today.
“The only thing that I don’t sort of like is the condescending nature of the questions that somehow I don’t understand that if we don’t win games of football or don’t understand the magnitude of the football club that somehow I’m in charge of this sort of rebuild and I’ve got no idea what the ramifications are if I don’t get it right,” he said today.
“Maybe that’s the intent … If the intent is to be condescending towards me and who I am in my career, then I guess they’re achieving their point … I’m not going to change my approach because people keep talking about the fact that there’s pressure and it’s Celtic. I took that task on board when I accepted the position and I’ve been given the responsibility to rebuild a team that hopefully will be successful, not just this year for years to come … I don’t do that in some bubble that I don’t realise that if it doesn’t go well that the responsibility will lie with me.”
The last section was the most critical; “I think some people, not all, some people just want to be condescending towards me. They have been from day one, they probably don’t think I deserve to be in this spot and that’s fine … it’s neither here nor there for me.”
I hear echoes of Dave from The Celtic Star reminding him that his only friends were in that room. The manager seemed to get it at the time; he sure as Hell gets it now.
He realises something else too; the only way to shake these people in their certainty is to challenge the narrative on the park. To win and keep winning. That’s where his focus is, and that’s the only place that his focus ought to be.