Commons piles pressure on Postecoglou but ignores Bobby Madden’s ‘Honest Mistakes’

Kris Commons put the put in this morning after Ange Postecoglou lost his first Scottish Premiership match at Tynecastle on Saturday evening. He didn’t mention the shocking challenge on Callum McGregor by Bobby Madden’s Open Goal buddy Andy Halliday which apparently merited a free kick only. Nor the wrongly called office decision when Liel Abada seemed to have given the lead. Or the non-existent free-kick, taken ten yards further forward that where the so-called offence by Soro took place.

To be fair to Commons, these incidents have pretty much been ignored by the media, for instance on the Sportscene analysis. The BBC were all over the warning issued to Ange Postecoglou at his introduction to the Celtic Fan Media yet when it all sort of proved to be bang on in his first 90 minutes managing in Scottish football they are much more reluctant to comment.


If Postecoglou wasn’t sure at the time what that warning was all about then the penny clearly dropped at Tynecastle on Saturday night and the bad news for the Australian is that Bobby Madden is just one of a pack of these match day officials that he is going to have to deal with this season.

“When a new manager takes charge of Celtic and fails to win any of their first three competitive games, the sound of alarm bells is normally deafening,” Commons wrote in his Daily Mail column this morning. “But these are not normal times. There is an acceptance among fans that Ange Postecoglou has inherited a shambles of a squad.

“This is without question the worst Celtic team we’ve seen in well over 20 years. You would need to go back to the dark days of the early to mid-90s for anything to even get close.

(the)Rangers won last season’s league title at a canter. They romped home like a true thoroughbred, amassing over 100 points and finishing the campaign unbeaten. Celtic had an abundance of time to prepare for the summer rebuild. Yet, eight months down the line, they have handed Postecoglou a donkey in what already looks like being a one-horse race once again.

“I would be astonished if Celtic got anywhere near (the)Rangers this season. The Old Firm (sic) clash at Ibrox on 29 August already looks like it could be a painful affair for Postecoglou.

“But he can’t afford to look that far ahead because, in the here and now, he has a huge week ahead of him. A Europa League qualifier against Jablonec on Thursday night already looks fraught with danger. Put it this way, I wouldn’t bet my last tenner on Celtic going through.

“Jablonec finished third in the Czech top flight last season, behind Slavia and Sparta Prague. Clearly, they are no mugs. If this sounds pessimistic, then how else are we to view Celtic right now? They’ve just been knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers by a bang average Midtjylland team.

“They’ve also just been beaten by a Hearts side who were in the Championship three months ago. Sandwiched in between all of this was a 6-2 thrashing at the hands of West Ham in a friendly.

“If Celtic are knocked out by Jablonec, they would then drop into the Europa Conference League, where the Shamrock Rovers and the Linfields of this world could await them. That’s the abyss into which they are now staring. I felt like things couldn’t get any worse after last season, but now I’m not so sure.

“With a home game to come against Dundee next weekend, things could unravel in double-quick time for Postecoglou if he’s not careful. He has largely been given a free pass so far. But that can only last for so long. There will eventually come a point where fans will demand results and evidence of improvement.

Photo: Malcolm Mackenzie

“Other than a half-decent 45 minutes in the home leg against Midtjylland, I haven’t seen a great deal to suggest that things are going to improve any time soon. It’s a lamentable situation which could yet get worse before it gets better. Three games in and it already feels like the new manager is on the brink of a crisis and I do feel sorry for him.

“He has taken over a squad whose defensive unit for a Champions League qualifier consisted of Vasilis Barkas, Anthony Ralston, Stephen Welsh, Nir Bitton and Greg Taylor. If you had told Celtic fans at the end of last season that would be the back line for the Champions League qualifiers, there would have been uproar.

“The squad simply isn’t fit for purpose. That’s on the board, not the manager. But if results don’t improve, it will ultimately be Postecoglou’s neck on the line.”

Kris Commons used to brag about ‘getting’ Celtic, that turned out to be just talk. Playing along with the media game as usual, a Celtic man my jacksie.

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


  1. As hard as it to agree with commons. It is the worst squad since the early 90s especially under Liam Brady then lou macari and to be honest the fans are more disgruntled now than we were then maybe be we wete on top for so long i don’t know.

  2. Should have been more vociferous in calling out the honest mistakes when we were on top. Didn’t bother us much as we were winning now sounds like sour grapes and paranoid Celtic. Commons is earning a living he is plying to the clientele who listen to the phone ins and the deluded new rangers supporters who but the newspapers. He does not care one way or the other if Celtic supporters don’t like him and he is viewed as a truth-sayer because he used to play for Celtic. Ange is going to wilt under the kind of abuse the hacks have already written about him. I could write the articles today that will be published after every dropped pointed. He will get credit for nothing and before Christmas season ticket holders will have stopped going as there will literally no point. That is what happens when your season dies in August. When Scott Brown bosses the game against us the newpapers will have a field day.

  3. Jim O'Rourke on

    In the centenary season we had huge crowds every home game but very few were season ticket holders and it suited the board as cash coming in every week helped keep us a float until the collapse of the team on the park and the crowd stayed away which led to their demise and Fergus took over then it all changed he wanted us all season ticket holders then he had our money up front and thats why the board won’t and don’t care what we say.