Ange’s Humility Does Not Hide That He’s One Of Celtic’s Most Effective Ever Bosses.

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Ange Postecoglou has dealt with bigger fools than Rod Stewart before, but I’d wager not many of them.

Of all the “celebrity Celtic fans” the buffoonish buddy of Boris Johnson is far and away the most irritating. I know this is a matter of taste, but his music aside he’s not to mine.

When he compared Ange to Stein the other day our manager was quick to dismiss it.

And yet you know something?

Stewart isn’t always wrong and this time he’s closer to the mark than Ange probably realises.

We’ve all watched Celtic teams all our lives.

For me to say this is the most exciting Celtic side I’ve witnessed is to compare really only Burns, O’Neill and Rodgers sides.

The others I’ve watched were, to varying degrees, a little meh even if some of them – and I’m thinking of the side put out by Strachan in particular – shooting the moon. That side was often bad to watch, but two Champions League knockout stage qualifications confirms that man as one of the best Celtic bosses of my lifetime.

But let me tell you something, when people of my dad’s generation – who grew up watching The Lisbon Lions – tell you that this is as exciting a team to watch as any they’ve ever seen in the Hoops, and are wondering where this man might take us … that’s when you know. That’s when you really know that something special is going on here.

Ange is right to say that Stein stands alone.

Of course he does. And I regretfully acknowledge that he probably always will. If we’re talking, seriously, of who sits just below him on the pantheon of legends, then you’re talking about O’Neill for sure and then the others you can fight over which of them has the greater claim to a place at his side.

Rodgers, if you can overlook his disgraceful exit. Lennon, if you can overlook that he should never have been manager in the first place. Wim, if you care about one title.

McNeil won a couple and nobody mentions him whenever I have this conversation.

But let me tell you something; if Ange Postecoglou wins this treble and makes it five out of six trophies as boss, from where he was, at a standing start, inheriting not a winning side but one that was on its knees, his claim to sit alongside O’Neill will be very strong indeed.

If he can take us even to where Strachan got us in Europe I think he has a claim to being the second most influential boss in our history, especially – and this should tantalise us all – if he becomes the manager who overtakes the Big Lie and beats the Ibrox club’s claimed trophies.

Ange will not trouble himself with such concepts.

Doubtless he would think that frivolous and not worthy of his attention.

He simply wants to be the very best manager for this club that he can be, but I know that right now he’s no longer standing on the shoulders of giants but in a very real sense walking in their magnificent footsteps himself.

And the exciting thing is that none of us has any idea yet how good this man might prove to be.

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  • Johnny Green says:

    Being humble with his comparisons to some Celtic greats is the proper thing for Ange to do under the circumstances, for until he wins a few more trophies he cannot be mentioned in the same breath as some of his predecessors. Potentially it looks like he will definitely get there, but until then he still has a bit to go yet.

  • Michael Collins says:

    You cannot compare the Champions League in Gordon Strachans time to now, look at the money involved. Taking everything into consideration, Ange is up there with Martin O’Neill and Brendan Rodgers, Ange has built a team from nothing up to what it is now.
    Gordon Strachan done great but the top European teams he beat did not have the same money of the top European teams now.
    There is no way that Ange will get into the last sixteen of the CL now, they do not have the money to spend on players like Real Madrid or Manchester City, Celtics top buys cost around 6 million, some of these top European clubs could easily and do spend about 60 or more million on one player.

  • Eldraco says:

    I saw the best.

    Take it from me it’s not a matter of if but when. Ange will want to take us to CL final and regular qualification that’s his benchmark.

    He will stand next to Mr stein ( I still have his autograph).

  • Jim says:

    I’ve been watching Celtic since Jimmy McGrory’s days.
    By God, we’ve had many glorious moments. Big Jock will always be our greatest ever manager but I’ve never taken to a manager as quickly as I have with Ange. ( previously thought MO’N was untouchable ). He’s an absolute diamond who has us not only playing the “ Celtic way” but he’s such a terrific bloke too.
    Treasure this manager every day we have him and savour every game.

  • John Copeland says:

    It’s the way you are raised by your Parents and Grandparents that mould you into the person you are ! If you are reared in a house of bigotry and racism ,I would have a large bet that you will continue the trend into adulthood . Common decency and sense along with high morals and integrity begin in the living room and house from a young age . Yes there are exceptions to all of this ,but thankfully few and far between … I for one can fully understand why there is such a giant desire for other clubs everywhere ,wanting Ange as their next manager ! It’s not just his football teaching prowess …

  • Jack says:

    I lived through the days when Celtic were probably the best club side in the world. I saw us lift aloft the European Cup and lose the World Club Championship trophy narrowly to the thugs of Racing Club of Argentina. The world has changed so much since then to the extent that money makes it unlikely it will happen again. We can but dream though and perhaps Big Ange is just the man to make our dreams come true.

  • SSMPM says:

    Ange is far away yet from being up there with Big Jock, even simply based on the successes he brought to the club. The financial impact across the game has changed everything so much over the years. Couple that with a lower level of available talent in Scotland compared to the increase in world talent makes a comparison impossible. Ange, admirably, has the humility to see that.
    In terms of coaching and an ability to spot a player he certainly is ahead of anyone in Scotland, and therein perhaps lies an opportunity to make a fairer comparison to Jock. Ange’s standing in the game will rise still further, no doubt, but it’s very difficult to compare apple with pears when one has achieved way beyond the other in historically differing times. HH

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