Close Ange Postecoglou ally shares Celtic boss' tactic to outwit unprepared media

By Euan Davidson

March 22, 2022

Sports broadcaster and close friend of Ange Postecoglou, Andy Harper, has given some insight on the Celtic boss’ handling of the media.

Harper, who made over 300 competitive appearances in Australian football, is a confidante of the Celtic manager. He wrote Postecoglou’s book, ‘Changing The Game’ [Goodreads], and has consistently given his insight on Ange’s career moves during the Celtic boss’ career.

The most recent move, of course, was to Celtic, where he’s dealt with a veritable avalanche of questions from the Scottish football media. Some have been incisive, some premature, others bizarre. What’s best about it all though, according to Harper, is that Ange Postecoglou is never particularly surprised by any of it.

Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

In an exclusive interview with 67 Hail Hail, Harper said: “Being so immersed in the direction he’s set for himself and his team, like any good operator, he’s already foreseen – or tried to foresee – and strategise around the potential potholes.

“So he sort of knows what’s coming. Because he’s thought about. What makes it endlessly humorous for him, is that he’s spent the time to think about this stuff. A lot of people who ask the questions haven’t.

“Partly, it’s a taciturn response from a guy who’s thought about a question that’s coming, “do your homework”. He doesn’t say this, but it comes out in his answer. “Do your homework, if you want to ask a question of material substance, great. Make sure you’ve thought about it, because I can guarantee you I have.”

“But then the other part of it is a tactic. It’s the way he manages people. It’s the way he manages his players, his staff. He doesn’t sit around after training, have a snack and a chat.”

12 Celtic stars depart as an epic Ange Postecoglou interview awaits

12 Celtic stars depart as an epic Ange Postecoglou interview awaits
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou and his media tactic make total sense

If you prepare adequately, you’ll never be surprised. Clearly that’s a mantra Ange Postecoglou knows very well.

In fairness to the Celtic boss, he does always seem to have a good answer prepared. Something that goes beyond the obvious, and leaves you really thinking. It’s not as if he’s offering philosophical essays, but he’s certainly different.

That’s one of the main things that Celtic supporters have responded to. You don’t get the knee-jerk reaction, conspiracy talk or vague platitudes with Ange. Instead, we have a manager who’s more than equipped for most – if not all – questions that come his way.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Call this bias, but you’d argue the reporters asking him questions have, very incrementally, raised their game somewhat. Not getting caught out by the Celtic boss has become its own spectator sport, with very famous casualties along the way.

Scottish football discourse can be draining at times. But if there are better questions, you’ll get better answers. That’s true of managers, coaches or players. In this day and age, fans of any club want a more thoughtful response to read. The same old, dry media responses aren’t really cutting it any more.

The fact is, he’s entertaining. Pre-match press conferences have become a must-watch for Celtic supporters since Ange Postecoglou arrived.

The media probably think he’s a total gift in a sense.

In another sense, there’s surely no expectation now that Ange Postecoglou will humour a pointless enquiry.

Read more: Ange had to adapt to get best out of Celtic striker Giakoumakis; it’s working a treat