Postecoglou’s Tottenham interviews, rejecting three Premier League sides and UCL fall-back plan at Celtic

David Davutovic writing in the Australian media outlet Keep Up has provided the Aussie angle on Ange Postecoglou’s move to and from Celtic to subsequently join Tottenham Hotspur earlier this week.

He provides plenty of insight into the move – which fulfils a long-term ambition and target for both Postecoglou and his Frank Trimboli who were left frustrated when Postecoglou failed at the final hurdle to get the AEK Athens job in May 2021 only to find Celtic falling into his lap a few days later, thanks to Eddie Howe’s decision to reject the opportunity to become manager of our football club after over 100 days of deliberation.

Incoming Celtic CEO and manager in June 2021 – Photo: Jeff Holmes

Davutovic takes us through the events and reveals that Postecoglou had two interviews with Tottenham Hotspur but was not prepared to leave Celtic until the season was over, trying to avoid the scenarios that played out previously at Celtic when Brendan Rodgers left mid-season to go to the Premier League to manage Leicester City and more recently at Ibrox where Steven Gerrard left to go to England’s top flight to take the Aston Villa job. The Aussie writer doesn’t point out that both have subsequently been sacked and are currently out of work, in terms of football management.

What Davutovic does do is confirm that three English Premier League clubs – Brighton, Wolves and Southampton (now relegated) – all attempted to recruit Postecoglou last season but that was not the plan that Postecoglou wanted to see happen, mostly due to the timing.

Ange Postecoglou Unveiling – Celtic Park Friday June 25, 2021. Photo: Jeff Holmes

“Postecoglou was adamant he did not want to leave Celtic in the lurch and his long-term plan – if and when the right job became available – was joining a Premier League club in pre-season,” Davutovic revealed.

And the informed Aussie journalist confirms that two interviews were done, and remember that Ange Postecoglou missed two pre-match media conferences in the closing stages of the season, so the Tottenham job was very much on his mind over recent months.

“In the two rounds of interviews with the Spurs board, it became evident to chairman Daniel Levy and the board that Postecoglou was a manager who would be privileged with the position, grow with the club but equally have the courage of his convictions to deliver the mass on and off field rebuild they require,” Davutovic wrote.

Daniel Levy, the Tottenham Hotspur chairman looks on during the Premier League match between Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur at Carrow Road on May 22, 2022 (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

There’s also a comparison between the position Daniel Levy is currently in at Tottenham with regard to his own unpopularity with the Spurs supporters and the situation Peter Lawwell as Celtic CEO found himself in back in late 2020 and through into 2021 when he stepped down from the job to be replaced by Dominic McKay then within a month or so by Michael Nicholson, who incidentally has had a particularly easy ride in what is a tough job thanks mostly to the brilliant job that Postecoglou did at Celtic.

There’s an argument that theRangers squad, pound for pound, was stronger than Celtic’s in Postecoglou’s first season, but that he was able to extract more from the collective to win both the league and league cup and followed that up with a Treble this season, when clearly the Celtic squad he had built was undisputedly the strongest in Scotland, with Postecoglou completing the Treble last weekend.

Postecoglou had, Davutovic claims, been working towards staying at Celtic for one more season and was targeting the Champions League knockout rounds as a means to get him his craved slot in the Premier League the season after next, but events at Tottenham last season fell perfectly into place for the Australian coach and he was off.

So that was that as far as Celtic was concerned. There’s nothing in Davutovic’s piece that references any particular affection for Celtic from Postecoglou, even after the way he was adored by the Celtic support, something quite unlike anything he’s seem before or likely to see again.

Levy though will be hoping that Postecoglou can take the heat off him too and re-build the football operation over the next few years. Whether he’s keep his finger of the trigger in terms of keeping Postecoglou in situ will as always depends on results.


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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email


  1. Jim O'Rourke on

    Bigger names than ange have tried and failed at spurs and sadly now a part of me wishes him to fail due to chest pumping fake love for our club and even more so our fans especially the younger ones who gave him such adoration when its obvious now that he’s been planning his escape for a long time.

  2. I’m trying to remain balanced in my opinions of him , yes like every one else , extremely let down that he’s leaving before a Champions League campaign with a freshly built happy squad of talented hungry players .. perhaps one or two more would have been added , and the fact he is only looking after his family which no one can deny him this right .

    Having said that , it wouldn’t be the worst thing if Tottenham fail miserably next season .

    One thing I see affecting him will be his nervous cough …. It will become so much worse with the pressure he is exposing himself too , and the English MSM , pundits , bloggers etc , who have never came across it at EVERY interview, will bo all over it !

    • I would honk the move had nothing to do with his family and everything to do with seeing Angeball succeed at the highest level.He is already a wealthy man. Even wealthier when he sold his villa in Melbourne. Now we know why he sold the villa though. I wonder if he will be as cheeky with the English media as he was up here.

  3. Now we know that the board have known he could be offski from the date of his first interview with Spurs . Hopefully they’ve used the time wisely.