Celtic midfielder explains what makes an Ange Postecoglou team-talk special

By David Walton

June 13, 2022

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has stated that Ange Postecoglou’s level-headedness is a “very important factor” when it comes to delivering messages to players.

Postecoglou’s man-management last season was one of the most impressive aspects of his performance in his double-winning debut year at Parkhead.

Celtic supporters were given a snippet into Ange’s training sessions and team talks at differing times of the campaign. The club published a mic’d up video of his first-ever session at Lennoxtown back in pre-season last year. They then published a video earlier this year as part of their season-ticket renewal campaign that showed the manager’s pep-talk before their League Cup final win.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And O’Riley has given an in-depth insight into the manager’s chats with the players as he explained what it is that makes them so effective. As quoted by the Scottish Sun, O’Riley said: “When Ange speaks you listen. Everybody does, regardless of whoever you are. Regardless of how old or young you are, when he says something you stop what you’re doing. That’s what he’s really good at. He just commands respect from everyone. He does have a joke around at times and it’s nice to see him when he does bring that side out.

“We always say as players depending on the game or the situation or the time, he always seems to say the things you want to hear. He says it at the right time and doesn’t get very emotional which, nowadays, is a very important factor. If you get very emotional all your messages can get completely lost in translation and players on the pitch might feel a bit anxious.

“He always comes from a very level-headed perspective and I think that’s really important. So as a player when you’re out there you know exactly what you need to do, where you need to go and you also know he’s always going to have your back. That’s something I like very much.”

Matt O’Riley delivers perfect insight into Celtic boss’ talks

This seems to be one of the key things many say about Ange. That he isn’t one to give the players the hairdryer treatment and that he always manages to keep his cool.

But that’s not particularly limited to his discussions with the players either. Not once this season has Ange gone all-in on a referee for a decision made in a game. The only time he’s outlined his frustration was after the challenge from Alloa’s Mouhamed Niang on Yosuke Ideguchi that injured the Celtic star. Ange wasn’t happy with the lack of protection Don Robertson gave his players [Daily Record].

Yet even that came after a game in which we won, showing it wasn’t the result that affected his anger. Ange has always managed to remain reserved whenever we’ve dropped points in which a key refereeing decision has gone our way. That’s one of the underrated aspects of his demeanour this season that’s gone under the radar.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And it appears to be the same when it comes to how he motivates the players. He isn’t one to take layers off them and ring their ears with criticism. Instead, he strips it all back and takes a much calmer approach. Players will appreciate that.

O’Riley epitomises that and the fact that his Celtic teammates are always lauding the way in which he speaks to him only goes to highlight how successful Ange’s man-management has been.

Here’s hoping it shows once again next season as we look to progress even further.

In other news, Celtic icon Artur Boruc discusses what he’s going to do next after retirement