Lisbon Lion Willie Wallace offers ringing endorsement for Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou

By Euan Davidson

July 2, 2021

New Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has received his most meaningful endorsement yet.

Lisbon Lion Willie Wallace has lived in Australia for 40 years, and has seen Postecoglou develop as a coach. Wallace reckons we’re in for an exciting journey with the Greek-Australian boss. Wispy, brought to Celtic shortly before the club’s 1967 triumph, believes that if Postecoglou can bring in the players he wants, then the Bhoys will thrive.

Wallace told the Sun:

“There will be no negative football under Ange. His teams always go for it.

“I don’t know him personally. I worked around Australian football as he was growing up, but we didn’t meet often. I remember being on some coaching courses in Canberra when he was just starting out.

“He has been successful over here in every job he has taken. You don’t get the position of Australia national team manager unless you have something about you.

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“He’ll be positive in how he sets his team up. He wants to win and play good football. Ange will have a clear idea of how he wants to play, but maybe he doesn’t have the right players yet.

“He’s a good coach, though. He has shown that everywhere he has worked and he will have Celtic well drilled. I’m looking forward to seeing how he gets on and I would expect the fans will see some exciting stuff.”

Willie Wallace has compared Postecoglou and Griff to Stein and Jinky / (Photo by Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

It’s not just Ange Postecoglou; Lisbon Lion also compares Celtic striker to Jinky

Wallace wasn’t quite done there. Reflecting on Leigh Griffiths’ contract situation, the Lisbon Lion had some encouraging words for the former Wolves and Hibs marksman.

The Celtic legend, who scored 134 goals in 232 appearances [Celtic FC], continued:

“Leigh Griffiths scores goals, but he has also had some issues in the last year.

“He presents some problems for managers at times, but so did wee Jimmy Johnstone.

“Jinky was something else. If he hadn’t worked under a manager like Jock Stein, he might not have had the same career. Jock was tough on Jinky and I’m sure Ange will be exactly the same with Griffiths.

“I like Griffiths. He has that bit of devilment in him that Jimmy had too. He’s confident, he can be brash, but sometimes you need players like that around the squad.

“There is no doubt in my mind a fit Leigh Griffiths can still score a lot of goals for Celtic.”

New Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou / (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

Some big comparisons, but if anyone is qualified to make them…

You’re unlikely to find a Celtic supporter who’d be willing to argue with a Lisbon Lion, or one of the club’s greatest ever goal-scorers. So, when someone happens to be both, their words have credence.

If Griffiths is serious about returning to form at Celtic, he’ll be absolutely delighted at the comparisons being made by Wallace. And, as someone with experience in Australian football, his words on Postecoglou represent optimism, albeit tempered with a bit of caution.

The Griffiths debate has raged on a considerable length of time, but now he and Postecoglou are getting ringing endorsements from one the most famous names in the club’s history. If that’s not motivation, nothing is.

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