Ange’s press conference yesterday was excellent, and notable not only for the way in which he filled us all in on the way training has gone but for his finally delivering a withering response to months of media garbage and every manager in the league trying, desperately, to explain away why we beat them, usually as a result of some refereeing “error.”
Ange clearly finds this stuff tiresome.
He is clearly fed up with the team not getting the credit that it deserves. He is also fed up with managers who want to hide their own failures behind those of the referees. Every word he said on this was pure gold.
It’s worth publishing his comments in full.
“It seems a lot of the analysis of games here are just more referring watch than analysis of the actual game. Yeah we got a corner we maybe shouldn’t have. But does that mean if we don’t get a corner that we should next time that means we will miss out on a goal?
“I mean there’s still a hell of a lot of things that need to happen for us to score from that resultant corner or resultant throw in. But you know, it’s very easy for people to look for those kind of clutches. I’ll let that storyline run because that means probably people are ignoring actually what we are doing and the way we’re playing if people think we are in our position because we’re getting favourable decisions by the officials then more power to them.
“We’ve just kept doing what we’re doing. What’s important to me, I’ve said that around officials all year is that they are human beings. If I have to make an assessment, I’ll say players and managers have made a lot more mistakes than referees this year.
“The only time I’ll speak about officials is if I feel like players aren’t getting enough protection or if they miss stuff that impacts more than just a game.”
This is exactly what this blog and others have been writing since all this whinging started.
This is managers hiding behind referees to excuse their own failures, and at the same time it is an affront to this club. But it’s an insult that betrays a major failing in the outlook of our enemies.
You only have to look their websites to see it in spades.
These mugs have convinced themselves – no joke, they have convinced themselves – that our successes in this campaign are due to some conspiracy. Either we’ve scared referees into doing our bidding or we’ve bent the SFA that way to the point we run the whole show. You’d be amazed the number of hacks who think something similar.
Ange knows that this underestimates us, and he’s okay with that, but at the same time you can see that he is angry at the implied insult. It offends him that so many people have bought into this fictitious narrative about the season we are having. It devalues the work he and others have done in getting our club into this position.
Our manager is not an egotist. He believes this whole club deserves more credit than it gets.
He is correct to talk of clutches and of people hiding behind their own mistakes.
I feel he includes the media in that, because a lot of these allegedly bad decisions come down to some of our own hacks not even understanding the rules that they quote.
Ange has long known that things work differently here, but I suspect he is only now becoming aware of just how differently. He understands that managers are using refs as a deflector shield, but at the start I bet he thought that was all there was to it.
But what he’s come to realise is that it is only Celtic games which get this extra layer of scrutiny. It is only matches involving our club, and decisions which go our way, which are poked and prodded and analysed like this, with all that it entails.
In recent weeks we have seen a change in the way Ange handles this kind of thing. He is no longer playfully batting away the press as he did in the early part of his tenure.
His responses have become sharper, more focussed, with targets in mind.
The press thought this guy was tough on them before.
Now he’s really got them in his sights. They better get used to having the gun on them like this, because unless they are willing to treat our club fairly this is how it’s going to be from now on.