Watching Ange handle the media at times, I wonder how this guy keeps his cool.
Almost every time he’s in front of the press he is asked something stupid. A lot of the questions are actually designed to trip him up and make him look stupid. But he isn’t.
Ange bats it all away, or breezes through it with the polished certainty of a trained expert. There are places you can go for media training; it teaches you mainly how to talk without saying anything.
He has a rarer skill than that.
He answers questions directly, and comfortably.
He calls things straight. That’s one of the things that drives the hacks nuts.
At a time when a lot of people are convinced that this is the most exciting Celtic team we’ve watched in our lifetimes, it is all the more remarkable that so few of the questions that our manager gets asked are connected to the general performances of the side.
This is a guy who gets asked constantly about the fans. About our rivals. About political issues and social issues which have precisely nothing to do with the team or the game. All of it is designed to make journalists look smart of the manager look bad.
He is good at handling it, but should he really have to? Would an Ibrox manager be asked so consistently about all this irrelevant stuff? Of course not. This is reserved for Celtic bosses, and Ange already knows what these people are about.
You could see the look on his face when, in the presser on Tuesday, he was asked about the “tribute” to the Queen.
The guy (from the BBC I’m told; there’s a surprise) actually asked him to talk about his own personal feelings on her death, as if that had any bearing whatsoever on his job.
Then yesterday there were no fewer than three questions from the same guy about the fans and tributes to the dead monarch – three non-football questions, to the manager of the league leaders and the team setting the pace, the team that had just secured a big result in Europe.
Doubtless more of this is coming tomorrow, both before and after the game.
He would be forgiven for losing his cool with these people … but he almost never does. I could not do what he does. He is a pure professional.