Ange Postecoglou remains an angry man. A man angry at our press corps for the way they behave at times. Angry at the critics who he knows have targeted this team in an unfair fashion. Angry at the way they have warped the facts. Angry at the double standards. Angry at the way some of them still see him as a character who arrived from a backwater.
Ange knows already what the press here is all about. He knows that a lot of the criticism being flung at this team is grotesque and unbelievably biased. He knows, furthermore, that certain players in our squad have been deliberately targeted by the hacks.
Today, he came out swinging on behalf of the defence. Which I was really pleased with him for, because there are some facts which the media never goes into about our allegedly dodgy defending, which he was only too happy to remind them of.
We have the best defence in the league. Funny that you never read that. After ten games we’ve conceded a mere 6 goals, two less than their favourite club who never get put under the kind of pressure all at Celtic know only too well.
The goals we conceded in Europe, we conceded as a team still learning the ropes, against a side from the Bundesliga and Spain. It’s as if people expected us to win both of those games; no realistic person did though, yet a more stable Celtic unit might have gotten something.
“Look, I know people keep harping on about it,” he said, “but we obviously played two very good teams in Betis and Leverkusen who put four past us. But aside from that, teams have struggled to score against us, so I don’t think it’s been that much of an issue as others have made out.”
It is good to see him standing up for our backline. That he feels he has to is obviously irritating to the man. So too was another of the questions today, and he handled it with real deftness and class, which is more than I can say for the idiot who asked it.
“Did you ever hear the name of Walter Smith when you were coming up as a manager?” this clown actually asked him, as though Ange wouldn’t know of a guy who had been manager of Scotland for years? “I mean, is he a man that sort of transcended across the board in a sense?”
Ange bristled at it, obviously, as anyone would. But out of respect to Smith, he kept it civil.
“Yes, yes, yes, Australia. I know,” he said sarcastically. “But yeah, well aware of Walter Smith mate. I’m well aware of his record at Rangers, with Scotland and Everton. His standing in the game worldwide … I know him by name very, very well.”
I don’t know if the questioner thought Ange was colossally ignorant or if he’s one of the few who didn’t rate Smith as a global football figure, but either way the question came across as unbelievably stupid and crass and Ange handled it beautifully.
But you get the impression that he is long since fed up with these people. He doesn’t even try to hide his frustration with them now.