Potential Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou nearly made Bob Malcolm quit football

By Euan Davidson

May 29, 2021

Naturally, old stories about Ange Postecoglou are reemerging after being linked with the Celtic job.

The truth is, in Europe, we don’t now a great deal about the guy. Yes, he’s managed to great success in Australia and Japan. He led Australia to their first piece of silverware, the AFC Asian Cup, as well as an appearance at the 2014 World Cup.

However, from a Celtic perspective, a quite funny anecdote has risen back near the top of the news agenda. Do you remember former Rangers jobber Bob Malcolm?

A midfielder who got by for riling fans up, as opposed to being half-decent, Malcolm is an extremely forgettable character. However, he did play for Ange Postecoglou at Brisbane Roar. In 2010, the former Rangers man claimed that Postecoglou nearly drove him to retirement.

Malcolm said [The Sun]:

“He actually said he didn’t like smiling – telling us it would be rare to see him with a smile on his face. The boys were just looking at each other, wondering when you were meant to have a bit of fun as a squad.

“Football training is meant to be fun at times as well as serious. But he wasn’t for that. At training he used to keep a bit of paper in his hand all the time.

“When he heard any of the players laughing you’d see him noting it down. We were getting marks against our names for laughing at training, which I couldn’t believe.

Celtic have been linked with Ange Postecoglou / (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Potential Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou apparently doesn’t like smiling or laughing

Malcolm continued:

“The general feeling in the dressing-room was of disbelief. I didn’t know the guy, I was looking at it as a fresh start under a new manager. I was trying to impress him.

“But as soon as we heard the stuff about no laughing or joking we all wondered, ‘What’s going on?’ “Guys such as Charlie, Craig and Danny couldn’t believe what was happening either.

“All the experienced players have left the club now. He’s only brought in one player, the rest of the squad is made up of young boys.

“It was disappointing the move didn’t work out and I’d go there again if I got the chance but not under him.

“During the last month in Oz I was training hard but wasn’t taking anything the gaffer said on board.

“He was giving me [expletive] all the time and I didn’t have respect for him. At that point I thought about quitting the game. I just couldn’t be bothered any more.”

Brisbane Roar subsequently won two titles in a row.

Bob Macolm tries to tackle Didier Agathe. We won this game 2-1. / (Photo by Chris Furlong/Getty Images)

How seriously can we take Bob Malcolm’s comments?

Now, here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write, but Bob Malcolm didn’t really have an agenda when he said this in 2010. It is funny, though, that after jettisoning Craig Moore, Malcolm and Charlie Miller, the team won the league twice in succession.

Now, are we petty enough to suggest that this in itself qualifies Postecoglou for the Celtic job? Almost, but not quite. It does demonstrate, however, that he’s a manager who’s not concerned with reputations or how he’s perceived. That might actually help to a degree.

For those who would’ve liked Roy Keane, it’s a plus that Postecoglou doesn’t seem to suffer fools gladly, nor is he afraid to play the drill sergeant if needed.

It is quite funny, though. If Postecoglou wanted to earn “Good Sellick man” points, getting rid of Bob Malcolm is a good start, done 11 years in advance.

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