Barry Ferguson, mate, stop embarrassing yourself, it’s Ange who has all of Scotland sussed out

Barry Ferguson Ange Postecoglou Gio van Bronckhorst

After iconic Rangers legend Barry Ferguson claimed that the Ibrox manager had Ange Postecoglou all figured out, the slamming he’s received was expected following Celtic FC’s emphatic 4-0 victory on Saturday.

Rather than gracefully admit that Giovanni van Bronckhorst has a long way to go in figuring out how to undo the intensity of Celtic, he instead opted to double down by writing in his Daily Record column:

“Look, I stand by what I said in the build up to the match. Gio knew exactly how Celtic were going to go about their business on Saturday.”

That’s hardly a surprise - every manager, pundit, Scottish football observer, fan and anyone who has watched Ange over the decades know how he sets up his teams. In fact, Ange very openly speaks about the way he wants and has his teams playing!

The question is not knowing how Ange’s team plays - and Giovanni is not some mastermind for knowing this - the question is how to stop it, something he has failed at in spectacular fashion.

Although the former Rangers player turned pundit claimed Giovanni “knew how to set up his team to play against it”, the evidence says otherwise.

For the large Greek-Australian community of about 800,000 individuals, Ange is a source of pride, and we for 13 months have been watching Scottish football with a microscope.

We obviously will not pretend to know the Scottish premiership pre-Ange, but what cannot be denied is that there is a clear lack of quality punditry - who can forget Kris Boyd’s recent stinker in believing an overweight striker with a dreadful attitude is the best player in the league?

He too copped his fair share, especially after the many dazzling displays by Celtic’s Portuguese superstar Jota.

But this has been a consistent theme in Scottish punditry, average Rangers players are elevated to much greater heights than their actual ability, and everyone is seemingly afraid to call it out.

I can only comment on events from last season forward, but an endless rhetoric that has been heard is the supposed strength and depth of the Rangers squad. A full realisation of this being nothing but a hope and fallacy, rather than a fact, only came after Ange embarrassingly disposed of Gio for the second time in seven months.

Endlessly we have heard about the quality of Ryan Kent, who was once again anonymous and whose stats speak for themselves, especially when lined up against his Celtic counterparts Jota and 20-year-old Israeli sensation Liel Abada.

Morelos or Colak compared to Kyogo or Giakoumakis? Don’t even insult my intelligence.

The geriatric midfield of Rangers compared to the young guns Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate? We saw who rampaged the middle of the park.

Rangers “club legend” Tavernier, who has only amassed two trophies in what is supposedly a “two-team league”, to Callum McGregor. No comparison.

Joe Hart or even Siegrist to McLaughlin - don’t even try.

Gio does not have any excuses after two transfer windows and an entire pre-season to not be up to speed. Ange looked for no excuses into the chaos he walked into, he just silently worked away as the Scottish media claimed that Rangers had such depth that they could field two premiership winning Starting XI’s.

We can understand the mind games pre-match, which could justify Barry’s ridiculous claim that Gio has Ange sussed out, but to double down on that fact after the 4-0 slaughter is nothing but embarrassing.

Barry, it has to be understood that words coming out of Scotland reverberate much further around the world now than what it did pre-Ange, and a lot of these words are certainly causing a chuckle in Australia and Japan.

It’s not Gio who has Ange sussed out, but it’s Ange who has the entirety of Scottish football sussed out, and going by last seasons outcome, it certainly did not take him long to do that. The bland boring football that Ange must compete against, including from Gio's Rangers if pundits and fans will be honest with themselves, has not been enough to keep a goal hungry Celtic at bay.

Gio is yet to get one over Ange in the League or over 90 minutes, with a solitary victory coming in the form of an own goal in extra time in the Scottish Cup semi-final. This fact alone renders Barry’s assessment as absurd.

For those of us who didn’t have a side in the Scottish game until the arrival of Ange, we are finding it beyond ridiculous some of the pelters  and claims being made. We only want a good and honest assessment of squads and matches.

This is something very evidently lacking in the Scottish game, but at least it provides entertainment value…

Barry, mate, just gracefully accept that Ange is a top notch manager, who at this stage of his career would be at one of the big clubs in a Top 5 league if it were not for him having to climb his way out of the backwater that is Australian football and become a pioneer for Australian football managers.

But Ange is a serial winner, as proven by his extensive trophy tally over his career, and it is Celtic who will benefit from trophies and scintillating football as they made the brave decision to give him a chance.

Better get use to this new reality of Rangers being made to look ordinary, Ange is transforming Celtic FC into an entire new beast that modern Scottish football has never seen before.

BY Alexandros Marchetos, a sports journalist usually writing in Greek.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor