PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino's glowing review for new Celtic man McElhone

By Euan Davidson

September 22, 2021

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino gave new Celtic Head of Sports Science Anton McElhone a glowing review from his time at Tottenham Hotspur.

McElhone, who was revealed to have joined Celtic yesterday, has worked for some exciting set-ups prior to signing for the Bhoys. Over 10 years at Spurs, he worked under Pochettino, Tim Sherwood, Andrés Villas-Boas and Harry Redknapp.

He’s also worked with two ex-Celts in Tony Mowbray and John Collins at Hibernian. A year in the USA with Brad Friedel and the New England Revolution has also bolstered his CV.

However, it’s with Pochettino that McElhone seemed to make the biggest impact. Under Pochettino, Spurs made multiple top-four finishes [Premier League], and got to a Champions League final in 2019.

As First Team Reconditioning Coach, McElhone played a vital role in keeping top players match-fit during a gruelling schedule.

Through a LinkedIn testimonial, Pochettino said [LinkedIn]:

The honeymoon period is over – but there’s no reason for Celtic to panic

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The honeymoon period is over – but there’s no reason for Celtic to panic
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“I met Anton at Tottenham Hotspur FC, while he conducted a fundamental role in the Medical Department as the First Team Reconditioning Coach. He demonstrated a great commitment and disposition to the needs of the club, applying the totality of his skillset and expertise.

“We witnessed his capacity to conduct his work with individual players, as well as, to lead the whole squad, playing a crucial part in the development of the team. It was a pleasure to work alongside Anton at Tottenham Hotspur.”

PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino gives glowing review for new Celtic man Anton McElhone

Not that Celtic should be in awe of a review from Mauricio Pochettino. But you can’t say it’s not a bit of a bonus.

If the club want to arm Ange Postecoglou with top-class staff, then McElhone has the credentials. As far as testimonials go, a Champions League finalist is good going. Let alone someone now tasked with coaching the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé.

A month after saying he wanted some of his own guys in, Postecoglou has someone he can undoubtedly rely on.

Photo by IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images

McElhone is well-tuned to the physical requirements of a team that plays with intensity and presses aggressively.

Fitness has already proved a significant issue this season. Celtic have been unlucky with injuries, with the likes of Kyogo and Greg Taylor missing significant game-time.

There’s also been a drop-off intensity at later stages of matches. If McElhone can find a way to give players a second wind for the latter stage of games, it’ll help Postecoglou to no end.

In other news: Liel Abada turned down some very interesting offers to sign for Celtic