Chris Sutton’s take on Matt O’Riley’s apparent Ange Postecoglou dig

Chris Sutton  put to rest the recent controversy surrounding Matt O’Riley’s throwaway comments about the differences between Ange Postecoglou’s and Brendan’s coaching styles.

A recent interview with Matt O’Riley on CelticTV brought to light the apparent differences in the coaching styles between Brendan Rodgers and Ange Postecoglou. However, some social media controversy arose from Matt’s comments as many took his honest words as an insult to Ange’s approach.

O’Riley simply pointed out that Ange Postecoglou’s approach kept him at arm’s length from the players, whereas the new approach from Brendan Rodgers was very different as he spends much more time with the players. O’Riley described this different approach as ‘refreshing’ as Brendan has been making the effort to spend more social time with his players, like during lunch for example.

Brendan Rodgers. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Chris Sutton gave his thoughts on the recent discussions circulating about this throw-away comment from Matt O’Riley. Speaking in his column in the Daily Record, the Celtic legend said…

“I was interested to read the comments this week from Matt O’Riley about the freshness and openness now around the camp at Lennoxtown. There was always this underlying suggestion the Aussie wasn’t really one for mixing with the group on a day-to-day basis. John Kennedy’s interview during the week said as much when he commented on how Rodgers’ approach involved “being around people more socially.”

Celtic v St Mirren – Matt O’Riley celebrates scoring our fourth goal of the game during the Scottish Cup fifth round match at Celtic Park, Saturday February 11, 2023.Photo Steve Welsh

“It got me thinking about how some of my managers from the past approached things. The most obvious one for me to refer to when talking about Celtic would be Martin O’Neill. Now the situation would have been slightly different back then because we didn’t have Lennoxtown in those days.”

“We’d get changed at Celtic Park and then jump in the cars for training at Barrowfield. Martin was a bit like Ange. He would hardly be around the lads doling out the brown sauce when it was lunchtime back at the ground. He kept his distance. It was John Robertson and Steve Walford who were around the boys most of the time and I used to like the fact Martin wasn’t matey-matey with all the players.”

 Celtic coach Martin O’Neill (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

“To be honest, no manager I ever played with really sat and had lunch with the players. We’d have meals in the same room at Blackburn as staff and management Kenny Dalglish and the coaching team on Friday nights before games, for example. I wasn’t fussed either way. The O’Riley line was a throwaway. Glasgow being Glasgow, some folk cooked it up into something it really wasn’t.”

At first glance, O’Riley’s comments didn’t appear too controversial, at least not enough to spark the controversy that has ensued over his apparent snub of Ange. It seems that Sutton has got this one right, as many different managers have different styles and approaches to their job.

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