Former Socceroos manager/coach, Ange Postecoglou, struggling to make a mark in Europe and leading his new team to victory!
Ange Postecoglou is a name known and respected by soccer fans across Australia. Regardless of which clubs they have loyalties to, followers of the beautiful game from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and further afield will always have a soft spot for the Greek-born Australian former player and current manager.
Postecoglou was once in charge of the Australian national team, leading them to varying degrees of success from his appointment in 2013 to his departure in 2017. There were many more good times than bad during those four years, with the highlight being a famous AFC Asian Cup win in 2015 that upset leading online betting sites worldwide.
Silverware was also won at under-17 and under-20 levels before stepping up to lead the national team following Holger Osieck. Postecoglou has since left Australia to seek new challenges in his career, but where is he now? The answer to that question may surprise you, as the well-travelled former defender has been globetrotting in search of glory and new fans.
Glasgow via Japan
Since leaving the Socceroos, Ange has made his living at club football, managing Yokohama F Marinos and in his current position as boss of Glasgow Celtic. In the J-League, he was a big hit with fans due to his team’s expansive, attacking football and goals scored. Supporters in Australia may remember Ange’s love for playing attractive football, and he carried that to Japan. On good days, his teams score lots of goals, are fantastic to watch and blow opponents out of the water. They are hit on the break on bad days, beaten by the counter-attack when desperately trying to get forward. Whatever the result, Postecoglou always ensures his team do one thing right, give the paying public value for money. He is an entertainer and understands sport is the entertainment business.
In Japan, he led Yokohama to the J-League title in 2019, another result that came as a huge upset to many respected pundits. Marinos weren’t meant to win the title that year and haven’t done it again since, but they did it under the guidance of Postecoglou. This is a man famed in Australia for breaking records, and he’s the current keeper of the longest undefeated streak in Australian sporting history when going 36 games in 2011/12 with Brisbane Roar, so sports fans there certainly weren’t taken aback by his success in Asia.
Ange has recently turned his attention to a new job, and it’s a construction job, tasked with rebuilding former European champions Glasgow Celtic. The Hoops enjoy a massive following in Australia. Scottish football now has many thousands of new supporters since Postecoglou’s arrival in the east end of Glasgow during the off-season.
Off to a sticky start
Ange came to Glasgow with a big reputation but taking over a club with a threadbare squad coming in on the back of their worst season in living memory. Everyone knew things would be tough. The manager got off to a sticky start, missing out on many signings due to covid restrictions, but he did take his pre-season spending spree into double figures.
On the field of play, Celtic was eliminated from the UEFA Champions League at the qualifying stages, knocked out at the earliest attempt. Still, they did sneak into the second-string Europa League. Things haven’t been going much better in the Scottish Premiership, with the Hoops already losing the first Old Firm derby of the season at Ibrox in front of fans and dropping to sixth of twelve in the ladder. Celtic failed to win four of their first eight league games under Ange. Having finished more than 20 points behind Rangers last season, the club is already six to Gers, who set the pace with stats of six wins, one draw and a defeat. The 19 points gained leaves Rangers, managed by former Liverpool and England legend Steven Gerrard, ahead of Hearts in second and Hibs in third.
Critics are already beginning to nibble at Postecoglou in Glasgow, and sections of the media seem intent to bring him down. Will he crumble under the white-hot heat of Scottish football, or will the man known for his fighting spirit battle back to get Celtic back on top?