01 Jun What Celtic followers ought to count on from Ange Postecoglou if ex-Australia boss takes over as supervisor
The bookies putting in a former supervisor of Australia’s nationwide team because the favorite for the emptiness at Celtic has left many inside the Scottish membership’s fan base asking only one query: “Who’s Ange Postecoglou?”
A headline in The Scotsman posed the identical question because it reported that the attack-minded coach is main the percentages to take cost of the Glasgow giants after prime candidate Eddie Howe — who had been anticipated to signal a contract inside days — turned down the chance.
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“We are able to now affirm that Eddie is not going to be becoming a member of the membership,” Celtic stated in a press release. “We absolutely admire our followers shall be looking for readability on this matter.”
Whereas gamers equivalent to Mark Viduka, Scott McDonald and Tom Rogic have helped type an extended and proud OuncesCaledonian historical past at Parkhead, the appointment of 55-year-old Postecoglou would signify a considerably left-field transfer by the membership.
Regardless of his status in Australia and throughout Asia, the Athens-born coach — who migrated to Melbourne as a five-year-old — represents an virtually full unknown in European membership football; his lone stint on the continent was a quick stint accountable for then-third-tier Greek aspect Panachaiki again in 2008. Hoops’ followers, although, should not count on Postecoglou to be overawed by the event ought to he emerge as their coach. In actual fact, he’d favor to earn their respect.
“Being Australian, I typically really feel I will by no means stroll right into a dressing room and get that immediate credibility due to the place I am from,” he instructed Football4cast’s Gabriele Marcotti in 2016. “However that is tremendous. Even in Australia, the place I’ve had success, I by no means assumed that folks would comply with me due to who I’m. I knew that I might get buy-in if I might present readability, if I might put the precise image in folks’s minds. I have been in a position to do this. It would not scare me. It is who I’m.”
Certainly, trying past that temporary stint within the Greek decrease leagues, Postecoglou’s unwavering self-belief has helped forge one of the constantly profitable careers of any up to date coach outdoors Europe. A two-time Australian nationwide champion as a participant with boyhood membership South Melbourne — the second title delivered below the steering of the legendary Ferenc Puskas — he took cost at his beloved Hellas after retirement and led them to back-to-back championships.
“We have been a younger group, however he instilled a fearlessness in us,” Postecoglou instructed Football4cast about life below Puskas, who has his personal statue on Melbourne’s Olympic precinct. “We weren’t afraid to lose or make errors. He simply needed us to like the sport, benefit from the sport, and that’s one thing I’ve taken into my football.”
Teaching Australia’s junior nationwide sides for the subsequent half-decade, failure to qualify for the 2007 Below-20 World Cup led to his ousting and reflective spell in Greece earlier than, in 2009, he took over at A-League aspect Brisbane Roar and established himself as Australia’s premier coach. At one level going on a 36-game undefeated run, his aspect’s adoption to a fearless, possession-based and attacking fashion of football earned it the nickname “Roar-celona” and two consecutive A-League titles. A return to his hometown to take over Australia’s greatest membership, Melbourne Victory, adopted.
In 2013, Postecoglou was poached to take over a Socceroos reeling from back-to-back 6-Zero losses towards Brazil and France. Official histories would merely word that Australia subsequently misplaced its three video games on the 2014 World Cup towards Chile, Netherlands and Spain however fail to color a correct image of what transpired in Brazil. Down 2-Zero early towards the Chileans of their first sport, an inexperienced Socceroos aspect lower the deficit to at least one and had a aim disallowed earlier than conceding late to go down 3-1. They then raced to a 2-1 lead and may have made it 3-1 over the Dutch, who have been coming off a 5-1 win over Spain, earlier than substitute Memphis Depay impressed his aspect to a 3-2 win.
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The next January, he was in cost as Australia achieved its biggest achievement at worldwide degree: defeating South Korea within the 2015 Asian Cup closing to carry the trophy on dwelling soil. Simply as a lot a footballing evangelist as supreme motivator, Postecoglou’s worldwide success was constructed round a need to instill a confidence and perception not simply within the enjoying group, however inside Australian football as a complete.
Battling inner and exterior perceptions that Australian teams have been perpetually doomed to interact in shows of battling pragmatism towards their footballing betters, he preached a perception in an attacking, fearless and never-say-die fashion of football that he felt higher represented the nation’s sporting psyche. He did not simply need Australian sides to ship scares to the likes of Chile or Netherlands — he needed it to achieve some extent the place they might constantly beat them. Ought to he land at Celtic, he would assuredly undertake this similar mindset on the prospect of potential conferences with the likes of Manchester Metropolis, Barcelona or Bayern Munich.
Critically for Postecoglou, this fashion of football — one which empowers the “artists” — is one which his father Jim, his hero, would have needed to look at. “My father handed away a few years in the past,” Postecoglou instructed Hudl in 2020. “When my team is enjoying, I fake my father is within the grandstand and suppose, ‘would he be having fun with watching this team?’ And that is all the time been on the root of every thing I’ve performed.”
Postecoglou’s unwavering dedication to his rules — or stubbornness, as others would possibly put it — and a need to return to membership football led to his resignation from the Australia publish after securing qualification for the 2018 World Cup by way of a playoff win over Honduras in November 2017. He had more and more clashed with segments of the Australian sport who took problem along with his devotion to reshaping the nation’s footballing character at the same time as his aspect spluttered on its approach to Russia, and he grew annoyed with a perceived lack of help from the Australian federation.
He reappeared at J1 League aspect Yokohama F. Marinos a month later. Yokohama completed 12th in his first season, scoring the second-most targets within the league and conceding the third-most — however that preliminary bedding-in interval rapidly made method for the vindication of his ethos. In his second yr an all-or-nothing, extremely entertaining fashion of play led Yokohama to its first Japanese crown in 15 years. It additionally gave him a Metropolis Football Group hyperlink with Fergal Harkin, the favorite for the director of football emptiness at Celtic.
That template, a interval of integration adopted by success, has usually been the mannequin that Postecoglou has adopted all through his profession: his titles with South, Roar and Yokohama all arriving in his second yr in cost. However coming off a marketing campaign the place their quest for the fabled “Ten in a Row” was foiled by rivals Rangers, whether or not Celtic has the endurance for a brand new boss to implement his most well-liked fashion is maybe the largest query mark hanging over the potential appointment. Historical past means that the Australian would ship success comparatively quickly, particularly with the calibre of gamers that Celtic are capable of entice in comparison with the remainder of the Scottish league. However will it’s quickly sufficient?
If Postecoglou thought the media scrutiny as Socceroos boss was grating, it will likely be nothing in comparison with the strain cooker that awaits in Scotland. After watching their grip on Scottish supremacy slip, Celtic followers shall be in no temper to undergo via any type of intensive rebuild that permits Rangers to go unchallenged. Fall a number of video games again and the scrutiny — which can already be heightened as a consequence of his outsider standing — shall be crushing.
Within the dressing room, followers should not count on a wave of Australians to look alongside Rogic within the enjoying ranks ought to Postecoglou be entrusted with staging the turnaround: not a single Australian arrived at Yokohama throughout his tenure. The identical can’t be stated, nonetheless, for Australian coaches. Postecoglou added long-time collaborators Peter Cklamovski and Arthur Papas to his employees when he landed in Japan in late 2017 and changed them with Australian-born Malta worldwide John Hutchinson and Shaun Ontong when the previous pair parlayed Yokohama’s success into teaching jobs of their very own. Intriguingly, it was introduced early Saturday that Papas was departing J3 aspect Kagoshima United FC as a consequence of private causes.
Finally, ought to Postecoglou come to Glasgow, his tenure carries seismic repercussions for a number of fan bases. For Celtic, the Australian shall be entrusted with rapidly sending Steven Gerrard and Rangers again into second place on the Scottish hierarchy and returning the Bhoys to some semblance of European success. Celtic will not be a challenge — you have to win now. Nevertheless it’s a membership job that can also be, with out query, the largest an Australian coach would have ever been entrusted with.
Success for Postecoglou would deliver with it an opportunity to interrupt down boundaries of notion and create a brand new narrative not only for himself, however for all Australian coaches in Europe.