Celtic boss Postecoglou admires Dundee United approach and manager Courts

By Euan Davidson

September 25, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has offered some praise for Dundee United and their manager Tam Courts.

Courts, something of a rookie manager, is enjoying a decent start to life in professional management. His Tangerines are fifth in the league with a game in hand, at the time of writing.

The Tayside club have managed some impressive results, including an early win over Rangers [BBC]. Despite losing some key players, like Lawrence Shankland, Courts has emphasised a more entertaining style of football at Tannadice.

Formerly the manager of Kelty Hearts, Courts’ hire was a bit of a gamble. But it’s one that Celtic boss Postecoglou is watching with interest.

Dundee United have shed many of their older players, relying to an extent on Academy talent, and completely changing their brand of football.

The Celtic manager admits he likes the sound of it [Herald]:

“I have a great deal of interest in that. For me, when it comes to those kinds of things, I like clubs who think a little bit differently and head off in a different direction.

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“The test always comes if it doesn’t go smooth. And it never goes smooth at the start.

“That doesn’t alter the direction you’re going, if you really want to change things in a significant way, you’ve got to expect things to be rough at the start.

“And, if you plough through that and stick to your beliefs, and you’ve got the right person, you’ll bear the fruits.

“He’s just starting his managerial journey and good on him for trying to do things a little bit differently.”

Perhaps Celtic boss Postecoglou sees a reminder of his younger self in Dundee United boss Tam Courts

Of course, Tam Courts’ journey to the dugout via semi-professional coaching and technical staffing roles is an interesting story. It’s not something we see a lot of in the top-flight.

The last real managerial “gamble” along similar lines was probably Ian Cathro. In his first managerial job, at Hearts, he wanted to completely change the style of football, match analysis, recruitment and all the rest. Sadly for him and for Hearts, it didn’t quite work out.

So, you have to say fair play to Dundee United for putting their faith in a 39-year-old manager with a distinct ideology. Many bigger names would have been after a job like his.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

Postecoglou probably sees his younger self in Courts. Something of a visionary, but with budget constraints and doubters aplenty.

There’s a certain romanticism in that, and it’ll surely appeal to the Celtic manager.

Tam Courts, ahead of the game, has already made comparisons between the two teams. Both, he says, are on a journey, and he’s excited about pitting himself against Postecoglou’s team.

Should be something of clash between footballing aesthetes tomorrow, then.

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