In the build-up to the weekend’s game there has been a modest attempt by some in the media to put the pressure on the manager of Celtic. But let’s face it, Ange is under very little of the sort of pressure that the man across the city is under, and that’s in no small part down to The Mooch himself and the words that come out of his mouth.
Today, he’s been verbally set upon by Chris Sutton again, and all of us are fully entitled to snigger at that because when he picked the fight with the big guy he had to have known that it was going to be like this. What’s worse is something that may not have dawned on him at the time; most Ibrox fans are in complete agreement with our former striker.
The part that will resonate most is what Sutton has termed “the Michael Beale League.”
Which is to say that he openly told Celtic and Ange that we were very lucky that he had not been around since the start of the season because he would have put up a stiffer challenge.
Let me give you some context here, and this is from an Ibrox fan site. Van Bronckhorst was sacked after shipping 12 points and losing disastrously in Europe. Beale has already dropped eight points and lost a must-win cup final. If he loses the semi, you tell me whose record is looking worse? Ibrox fans are sick of this guy talking a good game.
Since he came in the league lead Celtic hold has increased by four points, so even if you stupidly accept the narrative that the campaign only started when he arrived, he’s failed miserably in that one as well.
Which is what Sutton is talking about.
“It’s a must win for Beale,” the big man said. “If they don’t there will inevitably be pressure on the start of next season. This year, you’d had the Scottish league and you’ve had the Michael Beale league. He’s losing in both and now he has this enormous game on Sunday. Beale has had a lot to say about Ange Postecoglou, he’s had a lot to say about a lot of things, and that’s okay. But the important thing is backing it up on the pitch.”
The Mooch has proved very adept at the talking part.
The thing about that is, it raises expectations at his own club whilst provoking the ire of others.
There are probably very few neutrals in Scotland who wants to see the Ibrox club win at the weekend, such is the egotism and arrogance of this man and the nonsense that has come out of his mouth.
Now, with even their own fans comparing his record with that of the man they dispatched only a few months ago – the manager who did win a trophy and got them to a European final – there is a sense that a win for Celtic on Sunday would see his power and authority at Ibrox starting to ebb away.
Coming on the heels of the loss of the chairman who hired him, the sporting director who was helping pick his targets and the departure of the CEO, it’s all adding up to a perfect storm, with this joker and his big mouth caught in the middle of it.