Occasionally in life you have to admit your mistakes. When the deal to bring Eddie Howe to Celtic fell through and the name of Ange Postecoglou was leaked to the press as the man who would be offered the Celtic position, I was outraged. It seemed that we were going from a big name with huge potential, to a nobody from the other side of the world. I blamed the board for what I thought would be a disaster in the coming months, when the club was going to need a manager of stature for the biggest rebuild in my time as a fan.
I couldn't have been more wrong if I tried. As the initial shock wore off and word started to reach from Australia about big Ange and his teams, I started to come round. By the time he arrived on the scene, I had read enough to get me excited, but it is nothing compared to my feelings at this particular moment. This guy's style of play is nothing short of spectacular. It is an absolute joy to watch and was epitomised by yesterdays display against St Mirren.
James Forrest was rested for the game, Tom Rogic would drop to the bench and Ryan Christie made a welcome return from injury, after a very good start to the season. Kyogo would start on the left and Eddy as the striker, with Liel Abada taking up position on the right of the front three to provide the ammunition.
David Turnbull had an early chance. Ralston picked up the ball at the back and played a simply wonderful ball through to Abada on the right. The tricky winger played an early ball to Turnbull, who took a little touch to the right before unleashing a thunderous drive that hammered the left hand post of Jack Alnwick in the St Mirren goal. A sign of things to come.
Abada came close shortly after when his shot from an Edouard pass was deflected over the bar with a timely intervention by Power inside the box. It would be the little Israeli that would break the deadlock on 17 minutes. He took possession of the ball on the right and stepped inside Tanser to unleash a nice left footed curler that Alnwick got a hand to, but couldn't stop from flying high into the Paisley teams goal.
A minute or so later, the chances of a St Mirren comeback were thwarted when Alan Power flew into a tackle with David Turnbull on the left sideline. The studs up challenge was lucky not to do some lasting damage, but was (rightly) deemed a straight red by Willie Collum, and despite much protestation from the St Mirren players, he took the long walk back to the changing room.
The second goal came shortly after. A good run by Taylor was spotted by Kyogo who played a nice pass to the by-line. Taylor ran onto the ball and chipped an immaculate ball to the back of the box where Abada rose and headered back across goal and into the ground, and it found its way into the net.
McGregor tried to curl a left footed strike towards goal after good work by Edouard capitalising on a poor pass out of defence by Alnwick. The shot from the captain never had the desired curl on it though, and it sailed a yard or so past the far post.
St Mirren had the ball in the net that was deemed offside by the main stand linesman. It came from a free kick given by Christie on the left hand side against Ernahon. Alnwick hit a disguised long pass down the left wing to Tanser that wasn't met in time by Ralston. The cross by Tanser met a leap by Kiltie in the box that dropped to Main a yard or two out and he swept the ball in with his left. It looked a mile offside to me at the time, but looking back, Ralston had been slow in getting out far on the right and he actually played Main onside. St Mirren can feel slightly aggrieved by that one to be fair to them.
The first of David Turnbull's goals was simplicity itself, with a very simple set up and a wonderful strike to add to the tally. Welsh took the ball on his chest in the Buddies half and played it to Turnbull in acres of space, 25 yards out. The midfielder turned on the ball and struck a cultured right foot curler that spun and swerved on it's way past a despairing Alnwick.
Another slide rule pass by Ralston found Abada on the right who flashed a great cross to the far post that was met by our new Japanese sensation Kyogo, but uncharacteristically he never caught the left foot volley sweetly and it went past the post.
The fourth would come before half time and it was set up by the very busy Abada on the right. He took control of the ball on the wing and drove towards Tanser. Some clever footwork allowed him some space to cross the ball enticingly towards the goal where Alnwick parried, but it fell to the feet of Turnbull who stuck a toe out and prodded the ball into the open goal.
It would be 4 nil at half time, in what was a wonderful half of football.
The second half saw St Mirren contribute a little more to proceedings, and they came close to pulling a goal back through McPherson. McGrath took the ball from a shy near the corner and turned past Abada. His ball across the box met the run of McPherson but he sliced the ball high and wide when it looked easier to score.
A Turnbull effort that flashed past the post and a shot from close range by Kyogo nearly led to an increase in the scoreline, but it would be Odsonne Edouard who would make it 5. Nice work by Kyogo on the left saw a good cross into a dangerous area which was met by Edouard. His initial shot was blocked by Shaughnessy but the rebound fell to the French striker and again he reacted quickly to toe poke the ball in from 7 yards out.
Edouard managed to dispossess a St Mirren defender on the left and ran in on goal. He played a beautifully weighted pass into the run of Tom Rogic but somehow Alnwick to get a leg to it and stop what looked like a dead cert of a goal.
The final flourish would come from man of the match Turnbull with 6 minutes to go before the end. Ajeti, who had come on as a substitute for Edouard, did well to chase down a ball and dispossess Marcus Fraser and his pass to Rogic saw the clever footed Australian control the ball and nutmeg Shaughnessy to put in Turnbull again. The magical midfielder got a toe to the ball in front of Alnwick to guide the ball into the net for a well deserved hat-trick and the match ball.
It was an immense display of bright and inventive football that delighted the support. The manager has improved this team immeasurably in such a small space of time that it is truly unbelievable. Once we get in some cover in defensive areas, and allow the manager to work with them to implement his style and game plans, we could become a VERY good team indeed. These are exciting times and as I said before - the appointment of Postecoglou is a work of genius. For once, I am going to doff my cap to whoever made that appointment and thank the stars for bringing him to the club. Angeball is the sexiest thing to hit Scottish football since Rodgers, and has the potential to just get better and better.
Bring it on!