Critics ‘lose the plot’ in ‘staggering’ response to Aussie’s struggles

Critics ‘lose the plot’ in ‘staggering’ response to Aussie’s struggles

Celtic legend Chris Sutton has given bemoaned Australian coach Ange Postecoglou a resounding endorsement after a rocky start to his career in Scotland.

With just two wins from its last eight games, Postecoglou’s team are sixth in the Scottish Premiership – six points behind leaders and main rivals Rangers.

They failed to qualify for the Champions League and were defeated 4-0 by Bayer Leverkusen midweek in the Europa League.

‘Is he all right? No,” Sutton wrote in a column in the Daily Record.

“Do I agree with his approach in some situations? New.

But do I think some people are losing the Celtic manager plot? Yes I do.”

Sutton said Postecoglou was “dumped in the middle of a mess”.

“I find it all baffling. What is the alternative? Fire him? Losing confidence in a man within 12 weeks of a major overhaul? Really?” Sutton wrote.

“Postecoglou is just starting one of the biggest overhauls the club has had in many years and people seem to think change needs to happen immediately.

“Listen, I’m not a cheerleader. There are aspects of his approach that I don’t think are appropriate for the way his team is currently built.

“I don’t believe Celtic should agree with Bayer Leverkusen at this stage of their development. A little more pragmatism wouldn’t hurt in certain situations.”

He said two wins in eight games “isn’t a brilliant statistic, but I’m not exactly sure where people thought Celtic would be at this stage of this rebuilding.”

Sutton said he thought the Aussie could turn the club around.

“I have the feeling that with this manager they might be able to work it out once everything has settled down and his patterns are fully established with guys who can do it.

“Postecoglou has proven its shape with this. He has entered clubs and rebuilt. It took time, but he got there in both Australia and Japan. Yokohama struggled when he joined and he turned them into the J-League champions. That doesn’t just mean he will do the same at Celtic. But you can see the template.”
Sutton understands as well as most passions at the club, having played 130 games for the club.

“Celtic evokes strong opinions,” he wrote. “That’s the nature of the club.”

“Is he asking players to do things that are beyond them? It seems like it at the moment.

“But he will keep saying this is the process and if I keep doing it, eventually the players will get better at it.

I would say he needs more arrivals, better quality to do that. But Celtic have adopted this ideal and cannot just give up now.

“You can’t just flip a switch. Celtic is in a major transition. We all knew it before the season started, but somehow it has been forgotten and it is expected to go well now.

“If Postecoglou goes into the Europa League next season and hides in the same way his team did in the first two games of the group against Betis and Bayer, critics have every right to beat him with a baseball bat.

“But certainly not now. Not at this stage.”

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