ROOKIE manager Michael Beale has branded Celtic gaffer Ange Postecoglou “a lucky man”.
The Englishman, who has not even been in charge of team for a full season, reckons his managerial counterpart across Glasgow is “a good coach – but he’s spent a lot of money.”
Beale, aka Mick, replaced Giovanni van Bronckhorst as Ibrox gaffer in November after becoming a boss in his own right at second-tier Queens Park Rangers in the summer when he cut his ties as an assistant to Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa.
The pair, of course, had worked together in Govan for three and a half years where they won one trophy.
BEST OF ENEMIES…Ange Postecoglou and Michael ‘Mick’ Beale at the end of the 2-2 draw at Ibrox.
The Londoner takes his squad to Tannadice to face Dundee United for this afternoon’s four o’clock kick-off as they trail the champions by TWELVE points and are also a massive 22 goals behind in the scoring stakes.
Beale is attempting to strengthen his squad in this transfer window while Postecoglou has wasted no time in bringing in J-League double-act Yuki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata plus Canada World Cup right-back Alistair Johnston.
There is every indication the Greek-Australian is not yet finished in the wheeling and dealing before the window is closed at the end of the month.
Beale may even be green with envy at the Celtic chief’s expertise on this front as, speaking to the Daily Record, he pointed out: “We don’t spend the most money in this country.
“Celtic have made three signings and people are asking: ‘Are you going to make three?’. No, we will do what we think [is best]. But also, they spend a lot more money than us.
“So, Ange is a lucky man because he’s spent a lot of money.
“He’s a good coach – but he’s spent a lot of money.”
GREEN FOR GO…Ange Postecoglou is flanked by two-goal Kyogo Furuhashi and captain Callum McGregor after winning the League Cup, his first piece of silverware as Celtic manager after taking over only six months beforehand.
Beale, of course, is quite correct. Back in June 2021, Postecoglou inherited a train wreck of a collection of players who had just limped to the sorry conclusion of the Hoops’ first trophyless season in 11 years.
The historic bid for a tenth successive title had been blown by January and the previous manager, Neil Lennon, departed a month later.
Relegation-threatened Ross County came to Glasgow and knocked the holders out of the League Cup the previous November. It was a bewildering collapse from a team that had won the trophy in the previous four consecutive years.
The players were on their knees by the time they made an exit from the Scottish Cup at Ibrox in March.
Postecoglou accepted the responsibility to revive a deflated squad of players and he set about the task with a verve and vigour that saw first-team regulars Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie head through the Parkhead exit.
Other fringe players were moved on and there was no respite for the new boss as he welcomed the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Carl Starfelt, Filipe Jota, Josip Juranovic, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Joe Hart.
Expensive flops such a £5million striker Albian Ajeti and £4.5million keeper Vasilis Barkas were also swiftly dismissed as players the manager thought had a role to play in his restructure.
The buying and selling continued at the turn of last year when the Japanese trio of Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi caught up with their countryman Kyogo.
By then, the League Cup had already been won following a thrilling 2–1 comeback triumph over Hibs at Hampden in December.
Postecoglou oversaw the £1.5million swoop for MK Dons midfielder Matt O’Riley, too, a year ago.
GLOWING WITH PRIDE…Ange Postecoglou is all smiles as he holds the newly-won Premiership trophy.
A six-point deficit in the league was overturned around the same time when a double from Hatate and another from Liel Abada, two of the manager’s buys, beat Van Bronckhorst’s team 3-0 at the start of February.
That put the Hoops back on top of the Premiership for the first time in 18 months and the team remained in pole position all the way through to winning the silverware – their tenth in 11 years – in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United at Tannadice on May 11.
Postecoglou’s side won the championship by four points. The previous season, they had collapsed over the line 25 points adrift of the winners.
That’s a swing of an incredible TWENTY-NINE points in a year.
Now that’s what we at CQN call luck.
Long may Ange Postecoglou continue to get a rub of the green!