Ange Gave A Masterful Press Conference After Todays Poor Celtic Display.

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One of the things that is most impressive about our manager is the way he conducts himself in front of the media. I thought that today he was absolutely brilliant. On a day when the team was horribly poor, he once again proved his own quality and class.

It is a good manager who protects his players.

It is a good manager who can spot when the media is trying to trap him into saying something wrong.

It is a good manager who takes victory and defeat the same way, focussed ever on the next date on the calendar.

He did all of that today. It was a sublime display of managerial cool.

He was critical of the side as a whole, in saying that nobody reached the standards he expects.

But when he was asked to specifically comment on the guys who came in, he suggested that the team selection should be blamed on him. That’s not directly answering the question he was asked.

What it did do was remove the focus from the players.

Ange did this not because these guys need coddled but because he recognises that a failure like that one today was not the fault of individuals but that of the collective, that of the whole unit.

To have criticised those who came in would have offered a needless alibi to those who play every week and who weren’t near to the levels he demands.

His decision to change six players was not the problem.

He changed nine for the Ross County game and we won comfortably.

There were enough good players on that park today that we should have taken the three points just as easily.

Some of those who let us down most – Abada, McGregor, Hart, Lenz and Maeda – are regulars and have been brilliant for months.

So I thought that his decision to divert to the decisions he made was a brilliant way of taking the flak for his guys.

That’s what good leaders do.

The question about the “tribute” and the “respect” was an obvious one he would have seen coming a million miles away and those in the press corps who were salivating at the prospect of his saying something rash or something which put him at odds with the fans were swiftly dashed when he brushed that aside by pointing out that he answered those questions on Friday.

Ange did that without the slightest trace of anger in his voice, although I’m damned sure that he must be sick fed up of these questions which have nothing to do with his role as our manager.

I won’t say that he is used to this now – how could you ever get used to it? – but he now accepts it.

Only rarely does his contempt show.

Ange knows their game. He knows their agenda.

If he didn’t believe the Celtic fan media when we told him he’d have to watch these people, he does now.

What came across most today though was his contention that this is football and even with the best form in the world, you’re going to have days like today and not to get carried away.

He knows what he has from the first, what he’s preached from the first.

The most important game is the next one.

This guy will not dwell on defeats any more than he basks in the victories.

He will simply focus on how to do better.

That’s why he’s the stand-out best manager in the country bar none.

That’s why he will pick this team up and drive them forward.

It’s why we’ll again be champions.

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  • John Copeland says:

    I have a question ? Can Celtic bring our own ballboys to away games,or does the rules stipulate the home team is responsible for all of that dept ! If it can be done ,why can’t we bring our own ball boys and girls ! Not to make any excuses for today’s lame performance , but the tempo was lost at the very start of the game due to slow ball retrieving,and never recovered . A trait that will continue at every away ground ,to destroy our rhythm all season long .

  • SSMPM says:

    There’s been a lot of hero worshiping of this team and manager and we the fans have been caught up in the thrill of it when I guess we should have expected a lull at some point.
    The only way to focus on doing better is to look at what happened in defeats and victories. He needs to dwell. Performance is what Ange says is important, so I’m sure he’ll be analysing just that from this defeat though admittedly it shouldn’t take long. Poor show all round today but confident it’s just a lull and the bhoys but be back on the upward track after the break

    • MarkE says:

      I don’t think Ange will analyse it. He’s said multiple times now in interviews that his teams concentrate solely on playing their own game.

      I’d like to think thats just talk, and that really he studies opposition, and the players do too, looking for weaknesses or patterns to their play that can be exploited in games, and that they also look at holes in their own game individually and as a team that opposition have exploited or could exploit, and then make appropriate changes to nullify them.

      I’m sure the players always look to improve individually, but i assume thats as far as it goes as we still lose the same types of goals we did a year ago and the same type recent past Celtic teams lost too

  • Johnny Green says:

    As always Ange handled the questions well, no surprise there, and he gave the guy short shrift when he was asked about the minute’s silence, I wouldn’t expect any less.

  • Johnny Green says:

    I hope nobody will be clapping during the minute’s silence tonight.

    For that’s no nice 🙂

  • MarkE says:

    Underestimated St Mirren totally today. We generally only dominate teams domestically when we’re at our best and playing our best team.

    I think the European games with no domestic fixture inbetween possibly caught the players and manager off guard, with them forgetting just how physical our league competition is relative to the more technical game on the continent, and how compact defence’s are.

    St Mirren were excellent, have to say, defensively solid and a real threat in attack.

    For me, todays game showed further vulnerabilities in our system and some players e.g. Kyogo needs space or having teammates at close quarters to play off, Abada is either on form or on holiday, Maeda is not a forward, McGregors out his depth in an advanced role, among others.

    I’d like to see Ange switch things up a little system and personnel wise, e.g. try a 4312 with say Jota & Haksabanovic leading the frontline, something like:

    Juranovic CCV Jenz Taylor
    O’Riley Abildgaard Hatate
    Jota Haksabanovic

    One good thing about this international break is it gives players like Abildgaard and Haksabanovic time to catch up with the squad fitness wise and i expect we’ll see a lot of them both in the first team from now on.

    That team i named would be the players getting pass marks from me so far, with Ralston, Starfelt, Seigrist included; obviously we’ve still to see Abildgaard but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

    McGregor, Mooy, Abada, Maeda, Bernabei, Kyogo, Giakoumakis are all a bit hit & miss, and would be my second string, or play only one or two of them at a time in place of a player(s) in that first string.

    Welsh, Bain, McCarthy, Ideguchi, Forrest are the peripheral players basically just making up the numbers atm

    • Hugh Campbell says:

      If we started with strongest team would have won not saying ange was wrong but midfield wasnt doing it and vickers would have sorted that so called prick bain mabe main that thought he was hard non football player . Just a blip celts love u all

  • Derek Duncan says:

    GB can have some fantastic tifos and great atmosphere to games but the anti monarchy stuff is embarrassing, myself i cant stand the monarchy but I turn away and ignore it ,simple thing today turn around in silence ,they lower us to level of the Sevco filth.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Deary me, Ange has lost one domestic league game in the last year and already we have someone offering to replace him.

    Sorry MarkE, but a team with no strikers and a player we have never seen before, but who we should give the benefit of the doubt to, does not quite cut it for me.

    I’m happy to give Ange a wee bit longer 🙂

    • MarkE says:

      Yeah me too, it wasn’t a takeover bid ?? just blowing off steam making a hypothetical team out of players who’ve got pass marks from me so far.

      Incidentally both Jota & Haksabanovic can play as CF’s; i suppose i should’ve elaborated further on my hypothetical proposal in that they’re both players who can run at, and enjoy, taking defenders on and beating them, and that we’re missing that type of player in the middle.

      Kyogo’s great at making space for himself, his off the ball movement is up there with the best, but when he’s no space to operate in it makes him redundant for most of the game, similarly Giakoumakis, an out and out CF who needs precise service(ball to feet/head), but with 2 dribblers through the middle, it gives the team more options and they will create more opportunities.

      I was calling for the club to sign a third striker all summer who’d fill that type of role.

      Abildgaard should get a chance after the break when his fitness is up to speed, let us see what he’s made of; can’t write a player off without seeing him, hence the benefit of the doubt i mentioned.

      • Johnny Green says:

        The huns do that in their forums every week, pick their own teams, but because they are unhappy with Gio and his own line ups. Ange will pick who he wants, I don’t always agree with him, but I do trust him most of the time to do the right thing. He made too many changes yesterday and he admitted that, it was an error of judgement and he is only human after all. Wholesale changes from now on will not happen, he has learned a lesson. Abildgaard will be introduced gradually when Ange feels the time is right and not a moment before that.

        • MarkE says:

          I wouldn’t know what they do on their forums, they’re not that interesting, though i will admit to occasionally watching games they’re involved in.

          I always analyse players performances. I can’t help but notice who’s playing well, who’s struggling, where players could improve or who would likely bring the best out of each other if played together in the current system or otherwise; its an interest.

          On Abildgaard, aye, Ange says already that he’s not up to speed with the rest if the squad, likewise Haksabanovic; could be two very interesting players when fully match fit.

  • Saulgoodman says:

    Nothing wrong with losing but that was as bad a celtic performance in many a year , against st mirren ! Was it a one off , 2 things ange – don’t ever play that team again + don’t ever wear that ghastly grey thing that we where wearing today.

    • Michael Collins says:

      Anyone remember some years ago when Alex Ferguson was the Man U manager? He blamed their away strip for bad performances which was also grey. He said the grey was too much blended with the background which made if harder for the team to pick a team mate with quick passes.

  • Don Cowie says:

    Can’t agree that Maeda has been brilliant for months! Just don’t get the lad, yes he works very hard, but the composure, finishing and general quality is just not there.
    I will be a wee bit concerned about Haksabanovic in a Rangers game as he seems to be a bit of a hot head.
    However. In the long run todays display and result may prove a good thing as maybe the players were getting a bit too confident domestically. I’m sure Ange will address that performance today.

    • MarkE says:

      Maeda would be great playing Centre Forward in a counter attacking team, maybe better with a CF partner.

      I think he’d make a great Central Midfielder in our current system too given his pace that’d enable him to track back when we’re counter attacked, though McGregor has that ability in his locker too.

      Maeda would also be a phenomenal Fullback too; he’s one of those rare players who could fit in almost anywhere in a team playing a certain system that utilise’s pace, but for a systematic passing team up against packed defence’s, his talents often go to waste

  • MarkE says:

    When Ange said there could be a thousand reason’s for the result yesterday, i couldn’t help but think of the supporters protests, as if he was telling us something without actually saying it.

    Not saying we threw the game to appease certain people, but its been niggling at me that he was indirectly referring to something; could be that something/some people caused the players to have a restless night

  • Jim meechan says:

    Bad day at the office James

  • Thomas Daly says:

    The guy can give me a shoulder any day of the week,we trust in him,I said from day 1(not knowing him),if our new manager has big shoulders he will survive the shit from our biased press,and guys it’s working,wrap around his fingers any of you clowns in the press,fatboyboyd anyone,MONTHEHOOPS.

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