Celtic's Ange Postecoglou and the one curious hex that has yet to be lifted despite success
The Australian will be seeking to move another step closer to a second consecutive title through completing the set when it comes to top flight grounds. Potentially on no less than three measures. It is crackers to consider that St Mirren Park is the only Premiership arena the 57-year-old hasn’t witnessed his team winning in. Perhaps more remarkably, though, it also stands alone for Celtic having failed to register a goal within it across the season-and-two-thirds Postecoglou has managed in Scotland. The goal dimension can be stretched even further. No other away venue within these borders hasn’t seen Postecoglou’s men notch at least two goals in any contest.
St Mirren’s own patch stands as the scene of Celtic’s only domestic loss across their 32 domestic outings in this campaign. And not just any old loss but a contest on September 18 in which they were humbled courtesy of Stephen Robinson’s men netting twice without reply. The victory, secured by Mark O’Hara and Jonah Ayunga either side of the interval, seems to belong to another age, never mind just five months ago. And not just down to the fact that in the intervening period Celtic have racked up 23 wins and a draw from 24 domestic encounters, scoring at least twice in all but one of them.
For that Paisley assignment - which fell in the middle of the club’s Champions League campaign - Postecoglou changed up his starting line-up. Following a run of late substitute appearances, that meant summer signing Aaron Mooy being handed a first start. So lumbering did the midfielder appear though at a former stomping ground, he was hauled off at half-time with many dismissing his prospects of making a notable impact in Celtic colours. Which, with bells on, he has following his exceptional showings for Australia in the winter World Cup.
Postecoglou’s only other experience of St Mirren Park came on December 22, 2021, just days after the club’s first silverware success under him with the 2-1 League Cup final triumph over Hibs. This was supposed to be the springboard to firming up a title challenge to an in-form Rangers. Instead, a covid-ravaged home side repelled the toothless visitors - devoid of Hampden double-scorer Kyogo Furuhashi through injury - to leave them six points behind their ancient adversaries. Different times, indeed.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.