Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has come out and defended Hoops boss Ange Postecoglou – and he is spot on in what he is saying.
Writing in his weekly column for the Daily Record, Sutton expresses his thoughts on the recent form, stating that, of course, Ange isn’t getting everything right at the moment, but he deserves time during one of the club’s most significant rebuilds in years.
“Ange Postecoglou is coming under some heavy fire.
“Is he getting everything right? No.
“Do I agree with his approach in some situations? No.
“But do I think some people are losing the plot over the Celtic manager? Yes, I do.
“What do people expect? Where do they think Celtic should be at this moment in time?
“The same people who were rational in July when the guy was dumped into the middle of a shambles and making it quite clear that he was going to need at least a season to sort out the mess are now losing their shape after three months of his reign.
“I find the whole thing staggering. What’s the alternative? Sack him? Lose faith in a guy within 12 weeks after a massive overhaul? Really?
“Get in a new manager who will want to bring his own players in again? Do me a favour.
“Postecoglou is just starting one of the biggest overhauls the club has had for many a long year, and folk seem to think change should be instant.
“Listen, I’m not some cheerleader. There are aspects of his approach I don’t think are suitable for the way his squad is built right now.
“I don’t believe Celtic should be going toe to toe with Bayer Leverkusen at this stage of their development. A bit more pragmatism wouldn’t go amiss in certain situations.
“Wanting young full-backs to be inverted to take the ball in the middle of the pitch against that level of opposition is asking a lot.
“The team has been naive in Europe. Case in point being the fourth goal against the Germans. Flooding numbers forward in injury-time when you’re 3-0 down and the game’s gone is downright silly. That comes from leadership on the park as well as off it.
“Two wins in eight games isn’t a brilliant statistic, but I’m not sure exactly where people thought Celtic would be at this stage of this rebuild.
“Know what? I’ve a hunch they might just get there with this manager once it all settles down and his patterns are fully established with guys who can do it.
“Postecoglou has proven form with this. He has gone into clubs and rebuilt them. It took time, but he got there in both Australia and Japan. Yokohama were struggling when he joined, and he turned them into the J-League champions. That doesn’t just mean he’ll do the same at Celtic. But you can see the template.”
He added: “But surely not now. Not at this stage. Mistakes are being made. Even if Postecoglou, in time, gets it right, more will be made on the way.
“I’m not sure anyone could have really expected anything else.”
For me, what Sutton is saying is pretty much exactly how I feel about the current situation.
Has Ange made some mistakes in his short tenure as manager? Of course. But I also think there are many positives to look at which outway the negative points at this stage.
This season was never going to be easy. No matter who the manager was, with the size of the rebuild we faced, the task was basically to create an entire new squad of players.
We have also had our fair share of bad luck so far in this campaign with the number of injuries to key players at such an early stage.
Personally, I have complete faith that Ange is the man to turn things around for this club. It might take a little bit more time, but once it clicks, we will be on to something.