Wednesday provided us with another Socceroo master class in Scotland, as Tom Rogic ran the show to seal the win for Ange Postecoglou’s rising Celtic side against Hibernian.
Fellow Socceroo striker Martin Boyle was on the losing side for Hibs, but has still impressed so far this SPFL campaign with seven goals in 11 games.
Despite a shaky start, Celtic look to be coming good under the former Australia coach.
Althoguh Ange Postecoglou is the biggest name in soccer coaching by a distance in Australia, his arrival at Celtic Park wasn’t exactly met with fanfare.
The former Socceroos man was a completely unknown entity in Scotland, and Europe in general, and the Celtic fans had been expecting a name more known to them to be taking charge in East Glasgow. Former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was thought to be a shoe-in for the job, but it ultimately didn’t come to pass.
Celtic fans were therefore somewhat disappointed with the announcement of Ange, with many believing he was possibly even the fifth or sixth choice for the job.
Despite a shaky start to the season, ‘Big Ange’, as he is now called in Scotland, has managed to quickly endear himself to the Celtic faithful. His attacking football has managed to entertain crowds and the Scots appear to appreciate his straight-talking Aussie approach when speaking to the media.
While things are most definitely looking up for Ange and his Bhoys (the nickname for Celtic), no manager can ever make himself comfortable in Glasgow.
The Scottish Premier League has been dominated by both Celtic and their crosstown rivals Rangers since the 1980s, when Sir Alex Fergusons Aberdeen last broke their stranglehold on the title.
As a result, the view among Celtic fans is that second place is as good as last, meaning every draw or loss comes under an intense amount of scrutiny from the media and fans alike.
In his first season in charge of J-League side Yokohama F. Marinos, Ange finished fifth, before going on to win the league comfortably the following season. However, at Celtic, a fifth-place finish would surely see him out the door, and wouldn’t afford him the chance to win the title in his second season.
Ange has already seen ups and downs to his Celtic career, despite only being 11 games into the season.
A poor start with a loss against newly-promoted Hearts was followed by two thumping 6-0 victories over Dundee and St. Mirren. But things quickly went south with losses against rivals Rangers and strugglers Livingston.
Their victory during the week marked a fifth straight win for Ange’s Celtic though, but despite the fickle nature of football in Glasgow, things are definitely looking up. He has a near fully-fit squad to choose from and his style of play looks to finally be clicking with a team that is still in his infancy.
Celtic are just two points behind Rangers in second place and look like mounting a serious title charge this season.
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