“It’s not any real, fantastic surprise to me,” Martin O’Neill on Ange Postecoglou at Tottenham

Two years ago on this day Celtic were sitting in 6th spot in the Scottish Premiership after drawing 1-1 with Dundee United at Celtic Park. Celtic found themselves behind leaders theRangers, Hibs, Hearts, Motherwell and Dundee United after Ange Postecoglou had already lost all three of his opening fixtures at Tynecastle, Ibrox and at the Tony Macaroni stadium in Livingston.

As an aside the Dundee United goal that afternoon was scored by Ian Harkes and on the same afternoon his wife Sarah scored for the Celtic FC Women side, making it the one and only time a husband and wife scored for and against Celtic on the same day!

Celtic v Dundee United – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park Dundee United s Ian Harkes left and his wife Celtic Women s Sarah Harkes pose for a photo at the end of the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow, after both scoring a goal in their respective matches. Picture date: Sunday September 26, 2021. PhotoJane Barlow

And after three home wins, the Australian then dropped his first points at Celtic Park on this day in 2021 with that draw against Dundee United. And the knives were out for Ange Postecoglou in the mainstream media, indeed as we have reported many times, shock-jock pundit Hugh Keevins reckoned after the opening day defeat away to Hearts that he knew what ANGE stood for, gleeing stating that it meant Absolutely Not Good Enough.

Celtic v Dundee United – cinch Premiership – Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou. Photo Jane Barlow

The Celtic support though had already seen enough to stay behind Postecoglou, having faith in what he was trying to build and the team he was in the process of creating. The identity of that team was also being established and the Celtic support could see it all coming together slowly but surely.

Postecoglou’s transfer activity had been impressive over the summer, bring in players like Kyogo, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Liel Abada, Jota and Joe Hart and they would all be hugely influential players for Celtic over the next two seasons.

Celtic v Dundee United – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park Celtic s Joao Pedro Jota appears dejected after the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park,  Sunday September 26, 2021. Photo Jane Barlow

For the next two years Ange Postecoglou has never found managing on the UK as difficult as in his first two months at Celtic. He went on to win five trophies from six while in Glasgow, including of course two Scottish Premiership titles and one Treble and he has got off to a brilliant start managing Tottenham.

Celtic certainly hit the KingCasinoBonus jackpot after Eddie Howe rejected the job at the eleventh hour, and instead Dermot Desmond, encouraged by Peter Lawwell and his son Mark, reached out to Postecoglou who had just been rejected by his dad’s boyhood club AEK Athens.

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

Looking back, the football that was being played was loved by the Celtic support. In front of the media the Australian always excelled and all of that combined to attract the attention of the hard-to-please Daniel Levy at Tottenham.

After lifting his one and only Scottish Cup in the final at Hampden against Championship side Inverness Caley Thistle, Postecoglou called time on his short but sweet period in charge of Celtic to head to the bright lights and mega-riches of the English Premier League. In doing so he fulfilled a lifetime ambition but many doubted whether a manager from the lowly Scottish Premiership, who had previously only managed in the J-League and A-League in Japan and Australia (they ignored his impressive record with the Socceroos) could compete with the elite managers in England.

Ange Postecoglou, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur, reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on September 24, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

And during his time at Celtic, Postecoglou was well aware of the casualty rate for EPL managers because he was continually linked with the vacancies after numerous sackings. Yet Ange Postecoglou backed himself to succeed at Tottenham and the start he’s made there is so much better than his first two months at Celtic. It must be a much tougher league North of the Border!

After Ange Postecoglou left for Tottenham, Dermot Desmond made another outstanding decision in reaching out to the former Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers who was a free agent after parting company with Leicester City. According to KingCasinoBonus, an independent gaming market analysis platform, the team has spent over £50m on the current Celtic team which has been put together by both Ange Postecoglou and Brendan Rodgers, ranking them 91st in the global rank.

Football teams perform better and gain legitimacy by investing in great players. Celtic FC attracts a global fan base and strengthens community links through building a competitive squad, giving fans a sense of pride and belonging.This popularity translates into increased fan engagement and has a notable impact on the betting and gambling industry, as more fans are inclined to wager on their team’s success. Celtic FC, one of Scotland’s most decorated clubs.

One man who knows the game in both England and Scotland very well is Martin O’Neill who left Celtic in 2005 before taking the job at Aston Villa, where he out-performed any subsequent Villa manager including of course the former boss at theRangers, Steven Gerrard, a managerial legend in his own lunchtime.

Martin O’Neill has revealed that he isn’t in the least bit surprised with Tottenham Hotspur’s start to the new season under former Celtic boss, Ange Postecoglou. The Irishman was on talkSPORT recently and was speaking about the North London Derby match at the weekend between Spurs and Arsenal the Emirates Stadium.

The game was fast-paced and was full of action as both teams went out to win and it eventually finished in a draw at 2-2. Many, like Sky Sports pundit, Paul Merson, were predicting that Ange would come undone with his Tottenham team this past weekend when they visited their old rivals, who have Mikel Arteta as manager and a whole litany of tremendously talented players to choose from.

Contrary to all the scaremongering about he would now be found out – just like they said when he first arrived at the London outfit – big Ange once again proved he is elite and belongs with the best of the best in the game of football. He has transformed Tottenham from a club that was in a malaise and lagging well behind their nearest rivals to one that looks like it could go places and is certainly in contention for a Top Four finish in the English Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspurs’ Son Heung-Min (R) and manager Ange Postecoglou attend a press conference in Perth on July 17, 2023 ahead of the pre-season friendly football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. (Photo by TREVOR COLLENS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ange’s fellow brother in Celtic, O’Neill, joked that things could have been different in the game had a sticky situation not dissipated for his team, but that he, unlike the vast majority of English pundits, hasn’t been shocked at the job Postecoglou is doing at Spurs right now, having seen him in action at Celtic Park.

Martin said: “The Tottenham side is a reflection of the manager himself. I watched a lot of him at Celtic, he came in and no-one really knew him. He got off to a poor start but fought through all of that.

“Everything eventually clicked for him and the players enjoyed playing for him, that’s the main thing. That’s the message James Maddison seems to be getting across…” The former Parkhead boss then added, tongue-in-cheek: “If Gabriel Jesus had scored after he was dispossessed, that might have been a different issue… I’m joking in that sense. He’s got off to a great start and it’s not any real, fantastic surprise to me so far.”

Paul Gillespie

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I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.

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