Harry Kewell’s comments in the media today about how Ange runs the team are eye-opening and brilliant, and they offer a great insight into how the boss works on the psychology of his players as much as anything else.
Kewell was, in part, talking about the Australian national team and how Aaron Mooy is going to be a big asset for them. But he talked too about how Mooy didn’t have the greatest of starts in a Celtic shirt.
The low-point came with our defeat against St Mirren.
That afternoon, as we lost our unbeaten record, Mooy was subbed off at half time. It was a major reversal for him, and there are other players who would have taken it badly. Mooy didn’t do that. He dug deep. He started working harder.
We have all seen the results of that, results that Kewell talked up in the interview.
“Aaron has gone from there and he’s just getting stronger and fitter. He’s looking fantastic, he’s looking powerful, he’s looking strong, he’s looking comfortable on the ball, and I know he will take this into the Australian squad,” he said.
The thing is, Kewell said that apart from just wanting to make changes that day Ange did it because he knew that’s what Mooy’s response would be.
Think about that for a moment. He knows his players so well.
He knows their personalities.
He knows which ones need an arm around the shoulder and which ones need a kick up the backside. We’ve always suspected that Ange, aside from being a great tactical coach and progressive thinker is also an outstanding man manager.
This offers us a little evidence of how well tuned to his players he is.
No wonder they all look like they would run through walls for this guy.