So, probable next Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has no problems motivating players.
We’ve seen his ruthlessness, letting go of three ex-Rangers players who didn’t buy into his system at Brisbane Roar. We know he’s adored by Australian and Japanese media, fans and players. But if there wasn’t enough evidence of who Postecoglou was as a manager, we’ve surely got it now.
In an upcoming documentary by Optus Sports, the broadcaster has explored Australia’s multiculturalism, and how that’s affected sport. Of course, the Greek-Australian Postecoglou is a prime example, while there’s a strong Scottish influence in Australian football, too.
However, it’s the clip of Postecoglou giving a team-talk that’ll inspire Celtic supporters, most, perhaps. The former Australia manager was featured in the trailer for the documentary, and his language means this probably isn’t safe for work.
“You get accepted because you’re playing the game. Not because of your colour or your background.”
Australian football. European heartbeat. Here’s a taste of the stunning conclusion to #FootballBelongs.
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) June 8, 2021
If you didn’t hear, what Postecoglou said was:
“I wanna wake up tomorrow morning and the papers are not talking about the next AFL player that f****** farted or the f****** NRL who did something stupid, or some f****** Rugby Union thing, I want ’em talking about our f****** game. I want ’em talking about us.”
If Ange Postecoglou can bring that siege mentality to Celtic, we could be onto something
Of course, everyone and their budgie has given their take on Ange Postecoglou. The early cynics, and I include myself amongst them, have either been won over or remain sceptical. “He’s only managed in Europe once!”, “we don’t know anything about the J-League”, and so on.
The facts are that both Australia and Japan are above Scotland in the FIFA Rankings. If you essentially revolutionise how football is played in either nation, then you’re onto something, surely.
Furthermore, that team-talk may just be one clip. And, excuse us if this is reactionary, but there are parallels between Australia in a World Cup and Celtic in Europe. Few expect us to do anything, and even fewer expect us to make a mark. The win over Barcelona in 2012 is still talked about. Our players should want the headlines. They should want to make history, they should want acclaim.
And yes, fine, it’s different. Football isn’t battling with other sports for column inches in Scotland. In Australia, clearly, attentions are more scattered across other games. But it’s that us v them, that Celtic against the world mentality that the Bhoys need.
Sure, that could’ve come from someone like Roy Keane. Instead, what Celtic may be able to announce shortly is someone with that same winner’s mentality, but with an exciting, attacking brand of football. Someone who combines the “Celtic way” of playing with a fierce determination.
There’s a Frankie Boyle quote about “f***ing” not being a swear word so much as the introduction of a noun. If that’s the case, Postecoglou probably won’t need an interpreter when he comes over here. What he will need, though, is some time, and a budget.
If he gets both… well. It’s an exciting thought.