“Things are going to get even better,” Charlie Nicholas loving Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic

In the uncertain world of football management there is an argument to say waking up every morning having a year to run on your contract is a decent level of security. It may not be a four- or five-year deal, but a one-year rolling contract, in theory at least, is one that will never run out.

But for Charlie Nicholas the time has come for the Hoops hierarchy to reward Ange Postecoglou’s miraculous turnaround in Celtic’s fortunes, less than a year into his time at the club, with a long-term contract.

And writing in his Scottish Daily Express column Nicholas believes the offer of a new deal would reward Postecoglou in much the same way Brendan Rodgers was, whilst at the same time allow the opportunity for financial compensation to be included should other clubs be looking to Celtic and recognising the coaching talents of Postecoglou with a view to swooping in.

“Never mind potential summer transfer targets, Celtic’s number one priority over the coming weeks should be rewarding Ange Postecoglou with a new contract.

Celtic Manager Ange Postecoglou at Full Time during a Europa League Group Stage match between Celtic and Ferencvaros at Celtic Park on October 19, 2021, (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

“The Australian joined last June on a 12-month rolling deal, but the club would be absolutely crazy if talks haven’t already started or been scheduled with their manager.

“Given what he has achieved in his first season in Scottish football – the league title all but sewn up to go with the Premier Sports Cup trophy bagged in December – Postecoglou merits a long-term arrangement. Parkhead chiefs need to get him tied up because he is at the heart of everything good that Celtic are doing and have done.

“Postecoglou’s reputation is growing. There is no doubt other big clubs will be looking at him, so Dermot Desmond’s top priority at the club should be rewarding his manager. The Parkhead supremo kept topping up Brendan Rodgers’ contract when he was manager and eventually got £8.8million in compensation when Leicester snagged him and his backroom staff in 2019.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou arrives prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park on May 07, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“I don’t think Postecoglou will be pushing for a pay rise but it would be thoroughly deserved for the remarkable job he has done so far. Not only will Celts make tens of millions from Champions League group stage football next season, he has also built a squad of genuine value. It’s also worth remembering he has done it while working with the coaching team that was already in place – John Kennedy, Stephen McManus and Gavin Strachan.

“Postecoglou just got on with the task in hand and as long as people do their jobs well then the Aussie has shown he will be loyal to them. The 56-year-old has already won top-flight titles in Australia and Japan – and Scotland will be next if Celtic take a point from Dundee United at Tannadice tomorrow.”

It would be something of a dereliction of duty for the Celtic board not to be considering a long-term contract for Ange Postecoglou, but in truth it’s no doubt something the manager would have viewed as an unnecessary distraction at this point in the season. However, with the title all but won and Champions League football to plan for next season, this summer would be the perfect time to secure the manager on a deal befitting the job of work he’s carried out so far.

Celtic have come a long, long way in a short space of time under Postecoglou. The squad rebuild was the biggest required since Wim Jansen took over prior to stopping the ten, and the gap between theRangers and Celtic has been bridged far quicker than even the most optimistic of Celtic fan would have imagined.

And Nicholas recognises the manager has achieved a tactical overhaul of Celtic’s style of play alongside those personnel changes, as well as carrying out his job with a level of humility and genuine understanding of the ethos of the club, something that makes the man as well as the job he has carried out worthy of praise in equal measure.

“Given how dominant (the)Rangers were last season, I doubt many Hoops supporters would have predicted their team would be on the verge of a double when Postecoglou walked in the door.

“I have to hold my hands up and admit I was unsure. I think Postecoglou was unsure as well. It felt like he had to hit the ground running but his first three matches saw Celtic go out of the Champions League at the first qualifying hurdle and lose to Hearts at Tynecastle in their Premiership opener.

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“Postecoglou hasn’t really made a poor signing and handing Callum McGregor the captain’s armband was bang-on. I loved Postecoglou from his first interview. When Celtic did a lap of honour last weekend, he was about 20 yards behind the players on his own, applauding the Celtic support and his team. His humility is wonderfully refreshing.

“I have loved every minute of his reign and I think things are going to get even better,” Charlie Nicholas concluded.

As he has all season, Ange Postecoglou will be entirely focused on the job at hand. Tomorrow night at Tannadice the man ridiculed in certain quarters – and written off as early as September – will have performed something of a footballing miracle.

Photo: Jeff Holmes

A solitary point against Dundee United will officially secure a league title Celtic fans have been celebrating already. And when the dust settles and Postecoglou plans for next season, it would certainly be wise for the Celtic board to ensure the manager does so with a long-term deal behind him and the club protected financially from football’s circling vultures. That would be just reward for the manager’s achievements so far, but it would also be a simple case of common sense.

Niall J


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About Author

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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