Hartson claims Celtic should release statement backing Ange Postecoglou

Former Celtic striker, Big Bad John Hartson, has been discussing the future of Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou with Stephen Craigan on Go Radio. Why the Celtic managers job is even getting mentioned in this way so early into the season is bewildering to me but it is something that the mainstream media seems fixated on, with rumours of Ukraine manager Andriy Shevchenko being line up to take the job even being being circulated.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – AUGUST 29: Gregory Vignal of Rangers challenges John Hartson of Celtic during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Rangers at Celtic Park on August 29, 2004 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

Hartson told Go Radio: “I do think there should be a statement coming out from Celtic to say: ‘We’re in transition, we’ve had to build a whole new team, we’ve made a lot of changes, and we’re behind Ange’.

“Whether or not they’re telling him that internally but I just feel as if that would stop a lot of the noise about Celtic.

“In January we’re maybe going to strengthen. Give him another window or two more windows. He’ll be feeling pressure and I just feel that would help the cause.”

I heard this from big Hartson and literally couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Celtic should make a statement backing Ange? Why?? If this were to happen it would be proper Micky mouse stuff from the club. This is the type of cringey nonsense we used to have a great laugh at when theRangers were participating in such things, it was branded ‘statement o clock’ when it seemed like day after day they were releasing another statement on some minor event to appease their fans.

Ange Postecoglou does not need the club to come out and back him. He is a confident, experienced coach who has frequently brought up in interviews with the media that he sees his role with Celtic as a long term project. Through the usual ineptitude of our board, who spent months sitting on their hands waiting for Eddie Howe to make his mind up, Ange only got the Celtic job in June. He’s been in the job for four months.

In that time he has got Celtic into the Europa League group stages by beating a good AZ Alkmaar side. We are also into the league cup semi finals. Yes there has been some poor results, we have most certainly dropped too many points in the league, we have been beat in both our games in the Europa League group stages. The thing is that we should have expected as much.

Celtic players Chris Sutton, Joos Valgaeren, John Hartson, Henrik Larsson, Alan Thompson and Jackie McNamara line up in a defensive wall during the Bank of Scotland Scottish Premier League match between  Rangers and  Celtic held on 27 April, 2003 at the Ibrox Stadium, in Glasgow, Scotland. Celtic won the match 2-1. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

This is literally a brand new team. Players are still in the early stages of getting to know eachother never mind fully getting to grips with the managers new system. This will take time. We all want Celtic to be winning every match but in the circumstances it’s unrealistic. The team needs time. The manager needs time. We as fans know this. We do not need the club to release a statement backing the manager. You know why? Because no one is calling for him to be sacked!

On the same show Stephen Craigan had this to say in response to Hartson “I don’t think it’s needed. Just let him get on with his job and don’t interfere.

“A lot of the fans are with him anyway, they don’t need a statement from above to say things are fine. That’ll be evident come January.”

I love Big Bad John but it’s a sad day when I find myself agreeing with Craigan’s opinion over his.

Conall McGinty

About Author

Hailing from Cushendall in the North of Ireland my formative years were spent watching Celtic during our barren spell through the 90's which meant I have appreciated our recent trophy-laden spell even more. Favourite matches home and away I've attended has to be beating Man Utd 1-0 at Celtic Park and being with my 2 brothers watching us beat Lazio 2-1 in Rome. Best away day experience? Has to be Munich with friends from Coatbridge...what a few days!


    • In the SPL? C’mon. The SPL in which we finished 25 puts behind the leaders last season?That’s how good we are/were. That means he’s out of his depth in a paddling pool….which isn’t true.