Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic tenure is really gathering pace at the moment but they did have to leave it late in their latest win.
Of course, it would not be following the script of the last 18 months if the Hoops didn’t make life difficult for themselves.
If you’d told supporters a year and a half ago that Anthony Ralston would be scoring the winner in a game for them, they’d have laughed and probably spat out whatever they were drinking.
Yet, under Postecoglou, the Scot has become an unexpected key cog in the wheel and his last-gasp header against Ross County on Wednesday evening summed that up.
He has stopped new signing Josip Juranovic from getting the game time he expected at his favoured right-sided role.
Instead, the Croat has been featuring on the left-hand side of defence. However, one can make the argument that left-back is still very much a problem position for the Bhoys.
Greg Taylor has spent time out injured while Liam Scales and Adam Montgomery still have some convincing to do.
The future of Boli Bolingoli still remains up in the air too. It was a surprise to see the Belgian receive match action earlier this term but he’s now not been seen in the first-team picture since he started during the win over Motherwell back in October.
His time in Glasgow seems to be coming to an end and that shouldn’t be unexpected. After all, he did well to even play a game this season.
When football returned in 2020 following the worst of the pandemic, the defender decided to put both himself and his teammates at risk, all but ending his chances of making the grade at Paradise. He went to Spain on an unsanctioned trip and then failed to quarantine upon his return.
Bolingoli subsequently featured in the matchday squad against Kilmarnock a few days later before everything was uncovered.
Neil Lennon, the man who signed him, was rightfully left furious with his player, calling him “stupid.”
The Northern Irishman continued: “This has been premeditated. You don’t book a flight to Spain on a whim. He knew exactly what he was doing. So this has been quite calculated. It’s been total disregarding of the outcome and the risks involved, so he will be dealt with in the strongest possible way by the club.”
He was loaned out and has been fighting for his Celtic career ever since. Postecoglou hasn’t taken a liking to him and fresh transfer reports suggest he could finally be axed for good.
That’s because they’re interested in Niko Giesselmann who currently plies his trade for Union Berlin.
Capable of being deployed at left-back or further forward in an offensive role on the wing, he possesses a blend of characteristics that would make him perfect for Postecoglou.
First and foremost, the 30-year-old loves a goal. He scored what was described as an “unstoppable” strike for Union earlier this term, hammering home the ball home from inside the area at a rate knots.
Those numbers demonstrate that not only does the ageing defender love to compete physically, but he also loves to bound forward.
In a Celtic side who dominate possession under Postecoglou, those are traits he’s surely lusting after from his new recruits over the winter.