I cannot stand it when the media twists the Celtic manager’s words or deliberately misrepresents him. I know a lot of people will think I’m exaggerating this, but I think the way they’ve twisted his words in relation to the Kyogo decision is pretty deplorable.
Let’s take the headline in The Evening Times; this is a headline which is explicitly designed to put Ange on the very wrong side of the fans. There is no other way to look at it, especially considering that it misrepresents him on both counts.
“Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has no regrets over playing Kyogo, and asks fans to get behind team after Bernard Higgins silent protest.”
Let’s be honest, that stinks to high heaven.
The manager absolutely did not say he has no regrets.
This guy sat in front of the media talked about “sleepless nights” for God’s sake. He talked about carrying the responsibility for the decisions he makes. He will turn that over and over in his head again and again and again in the next few weeks.
To suggest he has “no regrets” when we face all these fixtures and have no fit strikers is an utter falsehood, not just a misrepresentation but a barefaced lie.
Look through his comments. Scan them. Watch the press conference.
Those words never leave his mouth.
It is scandalous that the media so consistently does this.
That headline is designed to anger fans, that’s all its for. It bears no resemblance to Ange’s take on this.
The second part of that headline is just as bad. Ange has never suggested that the Celtic fans are not behind the team; in fact, he went out of his way, last night, when asked a question about the silent protest, to make it clear that he was delighted with the support the fans have given the team, consistently, from the start of the campaign.
Ange has defended the rights of the fans to express themselves as they see fit. He would never, even for a second, suggest that the fans were failing in their duty to support the players.
Again, that spin on the headline is designed to create a division where none exists.
What Ange has done is express his hope that the club can come together to get the team through what will be a much tougher few weeks than it might have been without this injury crisis.
This is not a controversial view; it is one expressed by many thousands of our fans.
It is perfectly reasonable for him to ask this, and I actually hope The Green Brigade can take the high ground in this case by putting their protest on hold in order to cheer the Bhoys on.
But Ange will not criticise the fans if they decide to maintain their protest. Ange will not question their loyalty or their right to do that. He gets it. He understands, even if this board does not, that the fans are the heart and soul of the club.
Honestly, the way they have framed Ange’s words is completely ridiculous.
This Celtic boss is as straight a talker as these people have ever come across at a top flight club.
If they report what he says, accurately, without trying to re-interpret it, without spinning it, they will find him a much more agreeable character and the Celtic fans more tolerant of their output.
This is exactly what drives some of us to dislike them so much. It is shocking.