ANGE POSTECOGLOU and Michael Beale cut awkward figures when they were placed side by side at the Viaplay media conference at Hampden yesterday.
It was clear that neither was on the other’s Christmas card list.
Observations, most of them probably in the ill-advised category, have been aired since the Englishman took over from the sacked Giovanni van Bronckhorst in November.
SILENT TREATMENT…Ange Postecoglou and Michael Beale at the Viaplay press conference at Hampden.
Beale referencing Postecoglou as “a lucky man” while discussing the transfer funds which are available to the Celtic manager was a fairly misguided remark from a rookie team boss who has not even been in sole charge of a team for a full season.
As Ange reminded the Press corps at the national stadium a couple of times, he has been in the business for 26 years.
However, this is not the first time individuals in charge of the Glasgow clubs haven’t quite seen eye to eye.
Celtic book author Alex Gordon illustrated the fact in his first newspaper memoirs ‘Jinx Dogs Burns Now Flu‘, which was published by Ringwood in 2015.
In another CQN EXCLUSIVE, here is an extract from Alex’s book.
I WASN’T one bit surprised when I learned that Jock Stein and Willie Waddell did not like each other. Of course, the public face was quite different as it had to be in the volatile market place of the Old Firm.
Any misplaced word or expression would be seized upon. In a powderkeg city such as Glasgow, that could have sparked chaos.
The managers of Celtic and Rangers were often photographed at functions, shaking hands warmly and smiling brightly for the snappers. Away from the cameras, it was a different story. There was a genuine discord between two strong personalities.
Stein had never forgotten an article that had been penned by Waddell in his guise as a sportswriter with the Daily Express. In a strongly-opinionated piece, Waddell blamed Stein, acting as caretaker manager of the international side, for Scotland’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat from Poland at Hampden in 1965.
The Scots had been leading 1-0 through a Billy McNeill goal with six minutes remaining when the Poles struck twice to leave 107,580 fans – me included – struck dumb. Waddell went to work and, basically, slaughtered his former Old Firm playing adversary.
BEST OF ENEMIES…Willie Waddell and Jock Stein emerge from the Celtic Park tunnel before an Old Firm game. Ibrox assistant boss Willie Thornton follows them.
Stein never forgot nor forgave what he perceived to be a very personal attack on his managerial abilities.
Waddell would often goad Stein in private by asking him how many times he had played for Scotland. The answer, of course, was none while Waddell had represented his nation on eighteen occasions.
Stein would reply in kind by asking how many medals he had won as a manager. For the record, the Celtic boss won twenty-six (one Scottish Cup with Dunfermline) and the Rangers gaffer picked up three (one league title with Kilmarnock).
And so it went on. To the innocent onlooker, it may have come across as some jolly banter between two heavyweights of the game. Below the surface, there was a fierce antipathy between the individuals who would never choose to spend time in each other’s company.
On occasion, it appeared they found it close to intolerable to share the same city.
GLASGOW BELONGS TO ME…Jock Stein congratulates skipper Billy McNeill, Ian Young, John Clark and Bobby Lennox after the 2-1 win over Rangers in the 1965 League Cup Final.
In truth, both could be gruff and certainly neither suffered fools gladly or otherwise. Stein was already the boss of the Parkhead side when I took my first tentative steps into the world of sports journalism with the Daily Record in 1967 and Waddell would arrive at Ibrox in 1969.
Remarkably, Waddell had quit as manager of Kilmarnock only months after leading them to the old Scottish First Division championship in 1965. He re-entered the newspaper world as a sportswriter with the Daily Express (he had an earlier stint as a youngster with the Glasgow Evening Citizen) and, that being the case, you may have thought he may have been sympathetic to those in that industry when he returned to football.
You would be wrong.
Waddell was a nightmare to deal with and I had a few run-ins with the guy. Never speak ill of the dead, they say, but I have no intention of being a hypocrite, either. I didn’t like him and I’m fairly certain that emotion was mirrored perfectly by Waddell.
By the way, I was also told Waddell used to grill trainee journalists who applied for jobs in Rangers’ publications. How many sought a new career path after a meeting with this chap, I wonder?