Ange ally explains what "irritates" Celtic boss; passionately defends achievements

By David Walton

March 22, 2022

Close Ange Postecoglou ally Andy Harper has explained how a lack of respect for his achievements “irritates” the Celtic boss.

Ange had to deal with plenty of disrespect in Scotland for his CV as soon as his name was linked with the job. The now infamous Alan Brazil clip has been widely hammered, for example [TalkSPORT]. But that’s just one example. Let’s not forget the likes of Hugh Keevins [Daily Record] and Charlie Nicholas were also dishing out the disrespect early on.

That’s despite the fact Ange was a serial winner before he even became the Celtic boss. He had title-winning success with both South Melbourne and Brisbane Roar before moving to Japan and securing the J-League title. He had also taken Australia to a World Cup and did all of this whilst playing an entertaining brand of attacking football.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

But even so, Ange’s biographer Andy Harper, who helped write the manager’s 2016 book “Changing the Game: Football in Australia through my eyes”, believes that level of disrespect does indeed frustrate the Hoops boss.

Speaking to 67HailHail, Harper said: “It doesn’t affect him but it certainly motivates him. It irritates him. It irritates him as it does us that people can’t put relevant context on things. Anyone who was considering ‘what’s Ange done?’ ‘Why would we give him the keys to one of the biggest football brands in the world?. A brand that’s damaged in the recent history and which had fallen behind its great rivals. How quickly could we do that job?’ There was no particular deep sense that this was achievable in the short-term, and certainly not with some Antipodean with a long surname. What’s he ever done?

“But anyone who wants to look at what he did, and maybe people will think the Australian context isn’t reasonable. I dispute that. You’re trying to make a silk purse with a sow’s ear in Australia – Ange did that. Unlike Celtic in relative terms you can’t just go out with a chequebook and buy the best talent. It’s an equalised competition in Australia. So to have been so dramatically different from the rest of the competiton when everyone’s got similar resources is a big thing.

“Ange is loving Scotland” | Andy Harper on what the future holds for Postecoglou at Celtic

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“Ange is loving Scotland” | Andy Harper on what the future holds for Postecoglou at Celtic
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“However if that’s too much of a stretch for people – fair enough. Look at what he did in Japan. Japan is one of the most technical and competitive leagues going. It’s fantastic to watch. To have won that with a team that’s maybe 60% up the food-chain as far as resources are concerned, it’s phenomenal.

“It’s not quite Leicester in the EPL, but it’s not that far off. It’s incredible what he did there and how he did it.”

Ange Postecoglou has changed the vast majority of opinions around within months

The disturbing thing is the opinions highlighted above weren’t isolated to those individual cases. This level of disrespect was something that was going around Scottish football, even if subconsciously.

You had the media acting as though he knew nothing about the Scottish game for a start. You also had many using the odd bad result as a stick to beat him with and incredibly used as evidence as to why he shouldn’t be in the job.

That simply has to irritate you, even if you try to put a brave face on as Ange has. He was being treated in the UK as if he hadn’t done a thing in football. A massive slap in the face considering he’s a title-winner in 2 different countries.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Fast forward 9 months and things have certainly changed. Ange is now a widely respected figure in the Scottish game and many now consider him to be revolutionising Celtic as a club.

The truth is that Scotland has been shown up for its ignorance when it comes to Ange. The sheer lust to hammer him and dismiss his credentials was downright disturbing as much as anything else.

But the best thing Ange can do now is turn around and win the Premiership title in his debut season. Nothing would make his critics look anymore foolish than that.

In other news, Celtic youth talent in total awe after working with Joe Hart at Lennoxtown