So we’ve not discussed in any major depth the events at Parkhead, and we’re going to do that right now. We are a Rangers site, but we’re not going to defend ourselves or justify discussion about a topic that affects Rangers as well, and that’s the exit of Ange Postecoglou to Tottenham as their new manager.
Any Rangers fan with the ‘it only matters what we do’ patter is not completely wrong, but not actually right either – what happens at either club affects the other, or are we going to make a claim Rangers’ demotion in 2012 didn’t hand Celtic 9 league titles in a row? Had nothing to do with it?
What happens with either club affects the other, that is the harsh reality.
And Postecoglou’s exit to Spurs is significant to Rangers.
The main aspect is the exit now of many Celtic players, their Asian and Oceania contingent, regardless of whether it’s to join him in England or not – they joined, not for Celtic, but for him – he knew the market Down Under well and pretty much every addition he made was from the Far East or Australasia.
Now that he’s gone, their team is very likely to break up – Celtic still have money, lots of it, so don’t think they are going into ruin, but he was the builder of that specific team and now the bulk of their players’ heads will be turned to move to new clubs.
See, players always know a transfer to a new club might well see the manager moving on not long after they join, they’re not naïve, but Postecoglou was very specific – almost all the additions were from a particular market and they all knew him as the Celtic boss. His leaving will affect those players more than normal.
So there’s disruption there, and of course their key man Kyogo is wanted down south by the now-old boss at Tottenham.
Let’s be clear – Ange has zero loyalty to Celtic – he will pilfer for all he can the best bits of his Celtic team, and take them south. He couldn’t really care less about them, his focus 100% is Spurs now, just like predecessor Brendan Rodgers’ interests became Leicester.
So while Celtic are a well-oiled machine, Rangers have an opening here – we’re building a new side to face next season with, while Celtic have lost their manager and things are very unsettled now in the east.
We’re not for one moment saying Postecoglou was a good manager, he was ok – he had a comically horrible Rangers to beat and that’s not saying much – he didn’t even manage to clean sweep, and he was a joke in Europe.
Incidentally, the Premier League is much much tougher than Europe, just ask Joe Aribo. We’ll see how good a boss Angie really is when Spurs’ season starts.
But Rodgers was better, much better. He was dismal in Europe, but he was a far superior domestic boss for Celtic than Postecoglou was – fans were more bitter about Rodgers because he was exceptional for them. Rodgers was the best they’d had since MON.
Angie? He’s been ok, nothing amazing. He had the better of a rotten Rangers, with the hapless post-55 Steven Gerrard before Gio focused solely on Europe then had a dismal injury crisis.
Michael Beale? He’ll never get the chance to properly judge himself against the now ex-manager but that final Old Firm may have been a bit of a clue.
So what now?
It is true – what matters is what we do, but what they do next we should monitor.
Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.