Jackson Irvine is justifiably proud of having been one of the few people to recommend Ange Postecoglou to Celtic.
There weren’t many of them.
A couple of the podcast Bhoys did it, and obviously there were a couple of people more directly connected to the club, like Mark Lawwell, who through the City Group knew his quality.
But they were in short supply. I was certainly not amongst them.
Celtic is lucky that these people banged this drum, and even luckier than they were willing to bang it as loudly as they did when the big guy got the job. Because so much doubt existed – mostly because our board had shown a shocking propensity for screwing up – they needed to do one Hell of a selling job on the big man’s behalf.
I thought Celtic’s PR campaign to do that was outstanding.
It helps that Ange himself had such charisma and confidence. But that so many of our own fan media guys were on board from the start is what really started turning some of the rest of us around. Those, like Jackson Irvine, who were there from the start do deserve to take their bow. They saw the man’s quality.
You know something though? I wonder if even they realised what we were going to get. Take the transfer success story, for example; Ange had no real history of big money transfer trading before Celtic, although it’s very obvious that he was capable of spotting a player. I wonder if even his biggest supporters recognised how good he was.
“t’s so funny how (opinion) turns,” Irvine said. “Obviously, I spoke about Ange literally a couple of weeks before he got the job and straight away people started referring back to that clip when he started getting linked to (it.)”
I remember it well. At the same time, a couple of people emailed me after my initial piece and told me I had gotten it well wrong, and I wanted badly to believe that they were right but my doubts were very real. Then I listened to big Jarrod from the Celts Down Under podcast giving Ange the most glowing recommendation … and I thought “maybe …”
Maybe turned into definitely once the games got underway. The night that fully turned me around was the one against AZ at Celtic Park, just for the quality of our football. It was exactly what people like Jackson Irvine and big Jarrod had promised.
And what Ange had promised too of course. It’s a promise that he’s lived up to brilliantly so far, and in my view all those people are well entitled to tell the rest of us how they told us so.