We’ve made no secret of our admiration for former Celtic manager, midfielder and captain Neil Lennon in this space.
The Full Scottish with Brian P. Dunleavy
We wish him well, and lament how it ended for the Irishman last season. But even we must admit that, at this point, it’s Ange Postecoglou’s world and the rest of us are simply living in it. Well, some of us anyway. It’s fair to say after Wednesday night’s Glasgow derby, Rangers are still trying to find their way in the Aussie’s world.
It’s arguably easy to jump on the Postecoglou bandwagon after Celtic’s 3-0 victory, a final scoreline that, frankly, flattered the Ibrox side. Referee Bobby Madden could have blown for fulltime after Japanese midfielder Reo Hatate recorded his brace.
I’d bet ’Gers wish he had.
For Postecoglou, the match was a master class in tactics, man management and player recruitment. No less than five Hoops players were making their Glasgow derby debut on Wednesday. However, you’d never know that by how the likes of Hatate, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt O’Riley carried themselves on the pitch, during the game’s key moments.
All three are Postecoglou recruits, of course, and all three have quickly earned admiration from Celtic supporters.
From Rangers’ perspective, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his squad must be wondering what hit them Wednesday night. Players that turned in dominant performances against Celtic last term—James Tavernier, Connor Goldson, Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent and Kemar Roofe—were virtually invisible during the match.
They look an entirely different team from the one that dominated the Scottish Premiership under Steven Gerrard.
The Dutchman has overseen two losses and two draws since taking over from Gerrard. In 11 matches, in normal leagues, that would be fine. However, this is Scotland, where for Glasgow’s big two, a draw is a loss, and a loss is the end the world.
It’s only February and Rangers only trail Celtic by one point in the table. But it’s the first time in nearly 18 months they’ve found themselves in second place.
They must hope that that’s not a permanent scenario in Ange Postecoglou’s world.