Celtic boss compared to Ralf Rangnick by ex-striker who lobbied Sunderland to hire him

By Euan Davidson

December 17, 2021

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has been compared to Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick by Michael Bridges, who lobbied Sunderland to go for the Greek-Aussie boss.

Bridges, who played for Leeds and Sunderland, pleaded with former Sunderland chief Martin Bain – a former Rangers CEO – to make Postecoglou a Black Cats manager back in 2017 [Sun].

Bain, who’d never heard of Postecoglou, went with former Wales boss Chris Coleman instead. What happened next was a large part of the Netflix series ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’.

Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images

Luckily for Celtic fans, that moment four years ago led us to where we are now. But Michael Bridges insists that Postecoglou should’ve got the job, and that he’s like German visionary Ralf Rangnick.

Bridges said [Sun]: “I said he was a serial winner and if he wanted someone to come in, clear the existing culture, get rid of some players and help them on and off the field, then Ange was their man.

“To this day I remember Martin’s response. He said, ‘But Michael, we’ve never heard of this guy, the fans will go ballistic’. I couldn’t have given Ange a better reference. I can’t praise this guy highly enough. But Martin went for the name.

“He’s a fascinating person with a highly structured and incredibly detailed approach. I can’t think of too many coaches with such clear football philosophy. He knows what he wants to do with and without the ball, in transition moments and set-plays.

“Perhaps only the new Manchester United manager, Ralf Rangnick, is similar to him.

“Every team under him had real identity, which you can see with Celtic.”

Scottish football loses the plot as Ange’s Celtic win again

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Scottish football loses the plot as Ange’s Celtic win again
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Sunderland’s loss would end up as Celtic’s gain, with Ange Postecoglou being compared to Ralf Rangnick

Quite lofty comparisons there, given Rangnick’s reputation across Europe. The aggressive pressing style and squad building attributes the Manchester United boss has, though, make Postecoglou comparisons feel rather apt.

It’s got to have been frustrating for Ange acolytes like Michael Bridges. Plenty of players will have seen first-hand just how groundbreaking Ange Postecoglou was in Australia. Bridges played for 5 years with the Newcastle Jets, and would’ve been more than well-versed in Postecoglou’s style and results.

In 2017, Postecoglou had even landed the Australia job and an Asian Cup triumph. Yet, former Rangers shot-caller Martin Bain barely gave him a moment’s thought.

Photo by Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Quite funny, really. A former Rangers man helped to create the path for Celtic to hire a manager.

Whether Ange Postecoglou has the same kind of European success Ralf Rangnick has enjoyed is yet to be seen. For sure, Bridges is right; there’s a real identity to this Celtic team.

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