Joe Hart on the preparation for games under Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

By Euan Davidson

October 2, 2021

Celtic star Joe Hart has revealed the preparation methods for players under Ange Postecoglou.

The Bhoys boss, in a huge departure from former manager Neil Lennon, arms the players with plenty of information ahead of matches. Using his coaching and scouting team, the Greek-Aussie tactician has his players well-prepared to play his style of football.

So says Hart, at least, who admits he had reservations about whether he’d fit into the manager’s attacking, possession-based style.

Hart told the Sun:

“I will be honest, I didn’t know if I could play it. But I feel comfortable in it and feel I am representing myself well.

“Yes, it is a risky way of playing football but when you really, really break it down, which he does for us, it’s fine.

The Ange Postecoglou Celtic debate is all wrong

The Ange Postecoglou Celtic debate is all wrong
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

“He doesn’t expect us to just walk out there and play total football, he doesn’t just say, ‘Go on lads, off you go’.

“He stands up for us because he believes in what he is trying to do and we believe in what he is trying to do.

“Ultimately, a lot of the time it is about ten to 15-yard passes. We need to believe and be calm and be clear in our minds about those ten to 15- yard passes.

“Yes, it’s a different way of playing to maybe how other teams are doing things but we have got a top coach with a good coaching team behind him who also believe in what they are doing.

“All the information is there for us, every single bit of information for us to play this way is there.”

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart revelation paints picture of hard worker Ange Postecoglou

We talked a lot last year about standards.

When the Celtic players seemed tactically lost, waiting for moments of individual magic last season, we were stressed by an apparent lack of planning. Opposition scouting didn’t seem to matter, and Neil Lennon looked to have his players extremely under-prepared at the best of times.

Now, it seems, Ange Postecoglou has minute, detailed instructions for his players. That’s already an upgrade. And while yes, it’s taking its time to fully come to fruition under the idealistic boss, even outspoken football pundits are willing to give the manager time.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

If the Celtic players are being armed with vast information, then of course it can be difficult at first. Yet, with the improvement in standards at the club, players will adapt. Top footballers respond to top preparation and coaching.

Brendan Rodgers was similarly meticulous. But he came after a manager who also prepared his teams effectively, and had opposition scouted. Postecoglou has walked into a dressing room where – it seems from the outside at least – shouting was the main methodology.

In his first spell at Celtic, Lennon “never” did shape, according to Kelvin Wilson. There’s little indication that was the case in his second spell.

Therefore, you’ve got to imagine it’s been hard for Postecoglou to get his players to adjust to more tactical coaching. But Joe Hart, an experienced campaigner, wouldn’t praise his boss unless he meant it.

This team will come good, because hard work pays off. Nobody knows that better than the manager.

Read more: Chris Sutton on “staggering” criticism of Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou