Celtic Finding Rhythm Under Postecoglou

After what was a somewhat stuttering start to the 2021-22 campaign, it seems like Celtic are now moving in the right direction under manager Ange Postecoglou.

It’s no surprise there would be some teething problems at the start of the Australian’s tenure, but the manager has been calm and collected over the opening months, and his side are starting to reap the rewards.

Ange Postecoglou, Manager of Celtic gestures during the Europa League group G match between Celtic FC and Ferencvarosi TC at Celtic Park on October 19, 2021. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Euro Win Shows Bhoys Progress

A 2-0 Europa League win over Ferencvaros showed how far Celtic have come since those nervy first days of the season. The Hoops, who are outsiders at 150/1 to win the Europa League this term, picked up their first points of their European campaign thanks to goals from Kyogo Furuhashi and an own goal from Ferencvaros’ Balint Vecsei. While Celtic face an uphill battle to reach the knockout stages of the Europa League, winning breeds confidence and that’s something Postecoglou’s side have been growing in, in recent weeks.

The October international break was somewhat kind to the Bhoys in their bid to get the season back on track. Celtic’s Scotland star Callum McGregor built up confidence as he enjoyed success with the national side, while top summer signing Kyogo Furuhashi had extra time to recover from his injury setback. The break also gave Postecoglou and the rest of the squad more precious time on the training paddock to work on the structure and tactics the Aussie is looking to implement.

Hoops Improving at the Back

One marked improvement for the Hoops has been the defence, since a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League. Celtic went on to concede just one goal in their following three outings after this. Clean sheets against Motherwell and Ferencvaros will again breed confidence, as well as the three wins in those games following a night to forget against Leverkusen. American Cameron Carter-Vickers and Swede Carl Starfelt are starting to form a more settled partnership in the heart of defence, while right-back Anthony Ralston has come on leaps and bounds already this season.

Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Group G match between Celtic FC and Ferencvarosi TC at Celtic Park on October 19, 2021. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Adding to the improvements at the back, Celtic are developing an exciting front three of Kyogo, Jota, and Liel Abada. The trio have already shown signs they will be a threat to any team this season, and fans can expect the forwards to only get better the more they play alongside one another.

The busy festive period is just around the corner, and building up confidence in the run-in to December and January will be key. Celtic have eight games in December, in a month that will have a big influence on the success of the season. With just three games in January, the squad will be able to get a bit more rest before the final push at the business end of the campaign.

It might have been a slightly rocky start but Postecoglou’s side are starting to settle, as the Hoops go in search of a winning run to swiftly climb to the top of the Scottish Premiership standings, maybe reaching the summit by 2 January when theRangers visit Celtic Park in front of 60,000 expectant Celtic supporters.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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