Rattled Ange Set To Run South As Beale Turns Up The Heat: An Exclusive By Keith Jackass.
Ange Postecoglou is tonight believed to be packing his cases with Everton his likely destination as the pressure grows on him.
Michael Beale’s Ibrox revolution is in full swing on and off the pitch and a number of developments in recent days have convinced the Celtic boss that his future in Scotland is increasingly precarious and he’s now set to run.
Amongst the things that concerns Ange most is a recent revamp to the Ibrox club’s training ground, a revamp which is thought to be key to the way Beale’s team is playing at the moment.
A series of posters with motivational statements on them have been put up where the players and other staff can see them every day, a move which has people at Parkhead and Lennoxtown up in arms because their club has failed to take similar, game-changing steps.
A Celtic insider told this writer that “I keep on telling Michael (Nicholson) that what we need more than his spending money on players are more inspirational quotes around this place. When I was CEO we would have been well on top of this. It’s outrageous that we don’t take these simple measures.”
Also of concern is the way the Ibrox boss has become dominant at his press conferences, talking about Celtic over and over again in an effort to shift the pressure from his own club to theirs. His recent remarks about Postecoglou being a “lucky” manager have clearly been a factor in Celtic’s recent form slump which has seen them drop two points since Christmas.
Beale’s dominance over Postecoglou in the media is something that the Celtic boss never expected and is psychologically unprepared for.
His glib answers to Beale’s searing critiques have impressed no-one inside Ibrox, or at this paper, where there is increasing confidence that the Australian is rattled, in spite of his calm demeanour.
“Celtic’s form is slipping,” an Ibrox insider told me. “You can see it. Fifteen goals in their last six games? At the start of the campaign they were scoring that in a weekend. If that doesn’t convince you that he’s losing the dressing room nothing will. And that’s all down to me. If someone less handsome or charismatic was in the dugout, well this club would be in a right mess. If this board gives me proper money – £100 million ought to do it, something that allows us to compete – then Ange will be off like a shot.”
But Postecoglou is already contemplating the exit door, now that the Ibrox club has announced the signing of Todd Cantwell tonight.
“He might only give you 20 minutes at MacDiarmid Park on a Wednesday night but those are the 20 minutes which win leagues. You know, if it wasn’t for the nine-point gap and that …” an ex-Ibrox midfielder said this evening on a local radio show.
This writer called Ange Postecoglou for comment, but all five of his numbers, including his office, his mobile, his home number and the one at his dentists were switched off or not returning calls.
The number for his local supermarket did answer, and someone called his name on the PA system but he would not come to the phone when he found out who was calling and what the subject was.
Eighty-six separate attempts failed to secure a comment, although his solicitor did put out a statement;
“Mr Jackass has been asked repeatedly to stop trying to contact my client, and especially not late at night when he has been on cheap wine. All entreaties to that effect have failed, and my client, at the urging of his wife, has been forced to take out a restraining order. We would urge Mr Jackass to refrain from further attempts at communication.”
The Celtic CEO Michael Nicholson did answer the phone, but when he found out who was calling, and what the subject was, he hung up laughing.