Celtic’s 20th Manager (2021-23) – Ange Postecoglou – Thanks and good luck

Ange Postecoglou left us at the height of his triumph in June 2023. Unlike one of his predecessors, he left at the right time and with his dignity intact, but we were all bewildered, puzzled and upset by it all.

In the first place, why would anyone want to turn his back on that magnificent scene at Hampden with all the scarves in the air as the Cup was presented, or indeed the equally magnificent scene at Parkhead a week earlier when the Premier League trophy was handed over?

There are things that a fella just can’t understand.

But also why Tottenham? Yes, yes, we know it is all about absurd sums of money and “the best League in the world”, but was he going to win much for them? He had just won five trophies out of six in Scotland. Why did not want to win more?

And why did he not want to have another go at Europe with the team that he had created by raiding the Far East market?

His two years were remarkably good ones. Celtic were on their knees in summer 2021, betrayed by poor management and players who, quite clearly, did not want to be there. But who was Ange Postecoglou?

It was a long time before even Celtic scribes learned how to spell his name, but a well known Scottish journalist, long discredited and laughed at for his stellar stupidity, said that Ange stood for Absolutely Not Good Enough.

That said more about the journalist than it did about Ange, for after an uncertain start, he settled the team down with his own players and began to play the football that Celtic and their fans craved.

And it is also important to state that our opponents were not the worst team in the world. They reached, after all, the final of a European trophy and you don’t do that with duds. Indeed, in the semi final of the Scottish Cup which deprived Ange of a trophy, it had to be admitted that they were the better team, faster to the ball and showing more hunger.

The League was won at Tannadice Park in May, and then the following season saw a treble. One again, our rivals put up a fight in the League, but Celtic certainly got the better of them on two occasions at Hampden – in the League Cup final and the Scottish Cup semi-final.

Ange had brought in some tremendous players from Japan and elsewhere, and it was hard to spot a weak link anywhere in the team, as Celtic repeatedly played, won and entertained in a season which, at several points, looked as if it might be spoiled by VAR. In both seasons, Europe was a disappointment – but then again, Europe normally is.

Photo Kenny Ramsay

Ange was a great man-manager. He never argued with match officials, never had any arguments with players who all responded to his positivity, and was always chivalrous to opponents. He interviewed well, occasionally bothered by a cough, but answering all questions competently and tactfully.

Pity he didn’t stay around. Thanks anyway, Ange and the best of luck at Tottenham.

David Potter

Kyogo, Ange Postecoglou and Callum McGregor celebrate with the League Cup. Photo Jeff Holmes
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About Author

I am Celtic author and historian and write for The Celtic Star. I live in Kirkcaldy and have followed Celtic all my life, having seen them first at Dundee in March 1958. I am a retired teacher and my other interests are cricket, drama and the poetry of Robert Burns.

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