Watching the boss in his last two pressers, it is obvious that he is not a happy chap at the moment when it comes to some of the questions he’s getting asked. This is not new, of course; Ange has been eating dirt from the media in the form of daft questions for a long time now. But up until recently, he mostly handled it with equanimity.
Sure, there was some snarking from him, mostly in relation to the questions from the BBC, but for the most part the big guy was calm and handled the media with good humour.
That’s retreated a little in recent weeks, and especially the last twice, when he’s actually gone on the attack over the criticism of the team in Europe. He is entirely correct to be angry, and if you know what to look for there are even signs that the message is getting through loud and clear.
Take Keevins this morning; he likes nothing better than to have a pop at Celtic, and it’s there, in vague outline in his article. But the piece he turned out was a full-throated assault on Van Bronckhorst. He knows better than to have a direct pop at Ange right now. The Celtic boss has him flapping, and he’s not the only one who is.
The manager has had enough.
That he was so ready to use words like “bias” and “agenda” the other day, and that he even had a go after a game we had won comfortably, is a sign that this guy isn’t going to take this rubbish any longer.
He’s been here long enough now to recognise the reek of double standards. He is aware of the way the press tries to twist everything. And having been told that it was his failure to consider the defensive side of the game that led to defeats which he knows full well are because we failed to put the ball in the net, he’s decided to hit back.
The difference is not subtle. To win games you need to create chances. If we’d had our backs to the wall in these matches, as the Ibrox club has in all four of its games, we’d be due criticism for not making the effort to actually win, but we’ve played these games on the front foot and made enough opportunities to win each of them.
So he knows that lumping us in with the no-hopers is ridiculous and he knows it’s designed both to put pressure on our team, and on him, and to supply the Ibrox club with an alibi.
For the second time in a row, he’s demanded that the critics keep us out of their plague pit.
This man has tolerated as much of our press as he’s willing to stomach.
They should tread carefully unless they enjoy feeling his boot on their backsides.