Ange Postecoglou’s domestic record as Celtic manager is excellent, especially given the circumstances under which he arrived in Glasgow, but his European record has been nothing to write home about until recently.
However, it is difficult to blame him for the club’s troubles in the Champions League this season, given the number of chances that have gone begging for the Hoops.
This season, Celtic has scored twice in the Champions League, one of which was an own goal.
However, given the number and quality of opportunities they have had, the Hoops could easily be in the double digits by now if they had been clinical in front of goal.
Celtic’s approach is creating big chances, even against great European opponents like Real Madrid and RB Leipzig. Unfortunately, they were not converted.
Daizen Maeda is one player who has struggled in front of goal this season, with the Japanese star scoring just once. And Postecoglou has stated that he needs to work on this. According to Glasgow Live, Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers stated:
“It’s just perseverance. I know people look at the end product – and he was a bit unlucky on a couple of occasions, but he puts in an enormous work-rate. We felt from last week, down their right-hand side, they could be a threat going forward and I thought his defensive work was outstanding. And that helps us as a team.
“But he has got to learn the other side of the game at this level is really important in terms of finishing the end product.
“He keeps getting into those positions, every game he does, but goals are eluding him. But we can’t scrap him just because he is not the finished product yet.
“We have just got to persevere. All our players, apart from Joe (Hart), if you look at them age-wise and experience-wise, this is a massive jump for all of them.
“I am being really ambitious with the way I want to play our football and that’s going to be testing for them. But I am not discouraged by the way we are going. If anything, I am encouraged that we need to keep going down this route.”
What is even more surprising about this is the fact that he was actually the J League top scorer in the 2021 season, so he certainly knows where the goal is.
At the moment though, he seems to be either lacking confidence or has just failed to adapt to the European and Scottish game, potentially both.