Following Celtic’s Postecoglou success, Aberdeen eye former J-League boss

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and to that end Aberdeen’s links this morning with a former J-League manager is probably most flattering to Celtic and Ange Postecoglou.

The Dons have been linked with former Urawa Reds Head-Coach Ricardo Rodriguez, who left his post in Japan as an Emperor’s Cup winner, as well as lifting the Super Cup, alongside returning his club to the AFC Champions Cup, before mutually agreeing with his club– following a poor start to last season – that his career aspirations may be best served elsewhere.

Head coach Ricardo Rodriguez of Urawa Red Diamonds is seen during the AFC Champions League quarter final between Urawa Red Diamonds and BG Pathum United at Saitama Stadium on August 22, 2022 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)

If the Dons do go down this route it would show a level ambition that matches their infrastructure, but has so far eluded them on the field of play.

Anyone who watched Celtic dismantle Aberdeen so easily on Saturday will now be acutely aware the Dons are a team with talented enough players to be doing far better than they currently are, but also one completely bereft of confidence, and direly in need of some fresh ideas. Remind you of anyone?

It should because Celtic were in a similar state to Aberdeen, comparatively speaking, prior to the left field appointment of Ange Postecoglou, following a protracted and ultimately fruitless attempt to persuade Eddie Howe his managerial future lay in Scotland.

Head coach Ricardo Rodriguez of Urawa Red Diamonds is seen prior to the AFC Champions League Round of 16 match between Johor Darul Ta’zim and Urawa Red Diamonds at Saitama Stadium on August 19, 2022 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)

Celtic, whether by accident or design – and it matters little now – lucked out by gambling on Postecoglou, an untried coach in European football, but my word it has worked out rather well.

That doesn’t mean the same will go for Aberdeen, but it would be more exciting and ambitious than the vanilla managerial appointments of the recent past, nor a retrograde step, as the recent link with Gordon Strachan would be.

Celtic have proven the Japanese market is well worth exploring for footballing talent and tactical nous. If Aberdeen follow suit, it could well be the last piece in their jigsaw could be about to be slotted into place.

Ange Postecoglou Unveiling – Celtic Park Celtic new manager Ange Postecoglou poses for a photo at Celtic Park Glasgow. Picture date: Friday June 25, 2021. Photo: Jeff Holmes

Off the field Aberdeen get a lot of things right. They have a solid record of rearing their own talent – such as Calvin Ramsay, and they have picked up young talent from provincial clubs, developed them further and sold them to markets Scottish clubs rarely sell too – such as Lewis Ferguson, picked up from Hamilton and eventually sold at a considerable profit to Bologna in Serie A, as such they have evidenced, on some occasions at least, that they have an effective player trading model.

Add to that the Dons have an impressive new training facility alongside an impressive youth academy, with new stadium plans also afoot. Yet despite the foundations being in place, the current first team lets them down.

Appointing Ricardo Rodriguez would not in itself guarantee success, but with Celtic proving they can sign players, and almost exclusively talented individuals who have hit the ground running, from Japan, picking up a manager with insider knowledge of the J League could represent a gamble worth taking.

When you add in, much like Postecoglou, that Rodriguez is a proven winner, it could well be a wise appointment. And that can only be good for Aberdeen, as well as a shot in the arm to Scottish football, and a league desperately in need of breaking from the norm.

We’d like to send our best wishes to the Aberdeen FC Chairman Dave Cormack who will following tests, undergo triple heart bypass surgery this week.

A statement on the Aberdeen FC website explained to supporters what has happened.


The statement reads as follows:

On his return to the US, earlier this month, Aberdeen FC chairman Dave Cormack underwent tests that subsequently revealed he required open heart surgery. Dave will need a period of time to recuperate after which the prognosis is that he will make a full recovery.

He made the following comments: “Having struggled with high cholesterol I had a heart calcium test performed. Having no symptoms, it was a real shock to find out I had three significant blockages in my arteries. I am thankful that this was caught in time, and I’ll undergo triple heart bypass surgery this week.

“With Alan Burrows coming on board in a week’s time as chief executive and with the support of my fellow directors, I’ll be able to take the time I need to rest and recover. Alan will pick up the early work done so far on appointing a new manager and lead the process on behalf of the board.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank fellow Dons fans for their incredible support home and away and to reaffirm my commitment to the Club we all love.”

Everyone at the Club wishes Dave all the best for a speedy recovery.

Niall J


Don’t forget there’s some Friday Night Football under the lights this coming Friday when Fran Alonso’s title challenging Celtic side take on theRangers at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie with the match only open to Celtic supporters.  Celtic are a point ahead of theRangers at the moment and three behind Glasgow City who we play a week on Sunday, also over at Airdrie.  A win against theRangers takes Celtic to the top of the league and a win the following Sunday will really put Celtic in the driving seat for our first ever SWPL1 Title. Get along and support the team, for  full ticket details click below…COYGIG!

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As a Bellshill Bhoy I was taken to my first Celtic game in the summer of 1987. It was Billy McNeill’s return to Celtic Park as manager and Celtic lost 5-1 to Arsenal . I thought I was a jinx, I think my Grandfather might have thought the same. It was the finest gift anyone ever gave me when he walked me through Parkhead's gates.

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