Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou and his gruff media demeanour are a breath of fresh air

By Euan Davidson

July 10, 2021

It’s post-match, and Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has guided his team to a 2-1 win over Charlton Athletic in a pre-season friendly.

Asked for his immediate impressions of how the game went by Louise Gould, Postecoglou takes a deep breath, considers his words and says “Yeah, it was okay” [Celtic TV].

As quick as we are to get carried away by pre-season matches (I am one of the world’s worst for it), it’s clear our new boss isn’t remotely satisfied. Not angry, nor delusional about the team’s progress. Just “okay”. And that very succinctly sums it up, doesn’t it?

Ange continued [Celtic TV]:

“Some of them as I’ve said haven’t played for quite a while, and they kind of looked rusty in terms of their touch, but that’ll come.

“Most important thing for me is they’re trying to do the thing we’re talking about.

"Postecoglou got every player's respect straight away" | 67HH chats to Liam Shaw and Osaze Urhoghide

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“We need to improve on everything. It’s only beginnings for us.”

In isolation, these aren’t entirely exciting comments. What’s refreshing, though, is the sheer, un-media trained honesty that our new manager exhibits on a pretty regular basis. Even when lobbed with particularly tricky questions, he’s handled in-house media and external press with a resolute calm.

That’s quite a world away from what we’ve become accustomed to.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is successfully performing a tricky balancing act, whether he’s trying to or not

It’s strange, in a way. Postecoglou has been very determined about the kind of football he wants us to play. It was in evidence today, against Charlton Athletic. Or at least, in the first-half. Quick movement, one or two touch passing and aggressive pressing in advanced areas of the pitch.

It’d be easy to sell that alongside extreme expectations and promises. However, Ange hasn’t really done that. He seems more old-school, a kind of “does his talking on the pitch type”.

Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

When approached, it’s not even like he’s particularly laid-back or, conversely, a combative type who’s quick to lose his cool. But not boring, either. A journalist’s dream, if you like; immensely quotable, but without hyperbole or unrealistic claims.

It’s probably informed by his past. There’s a famous interview that Ange Postecoglou did for Australian TV, while he was a youth coach for the Socceroos. It remains an explosive clip, and it haunted Postecoglou for a while after.

Sometimes, the best way to learn is by making mistakes. And now, unless we see something unexpected from our manager, Ange Postecoglou seems like the seasoned, steady hand we’ve been crying out for since Brendan Rodgers.

READ MORE: “Enjoying football again”; Celtic youngster hints at frustrations