Resurgent Albian Ajeti explains mentality of Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

By Euan Davidson

July 14, 2021

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou will play his way regardless of the opponent, according to Albian Ajeti.

Ajeti, who has scored twice in consecutive games in pre-season, has enjoyed a mini-revival under the Greek-Aussie boss. Postecoglou even handed the Swiss striker the captaincy against Sheffield Wednesday.

Fine, it’s only pre-season; but Ajeti has been impressive under the new manager’s stewardship. It’s not just being picked that’s lifting the striker’s spirits though. The former FC Basel and West Ham United striker is loving the mentality shown by his new manager.

Speaking to Celtic’s in-house media, Ajeti expressed delight at the training and tactical methods shown by Postecoglou.

Ajeti said [Celtic FC]:

“Especially now with the new manager and the way he wants to play football, there is a lot of pressing and a lot of running, and strikers are the first players to press, to get a chance to win the ball, and that means he’s expecting a lot of work from us, which is good, and I’m looking forward to it.

“We’ve already done a lot of good work. That started from the first day, when it was very hard, and we’ve just kept working hard since then. We’ve been successful in our first two friendly games and everybody is happy to be on the pitch.

“The manager is always focused on our performance and it doesn’t matter who the opponent is, he wants us to play football, he wants to see us running and fighting and winning balls and pressing, so he wants to see us keep improving, and that’s why I think we’ll start well – we’ll be prepared and we’ll try to get another win [against Bristol City].”

Celtic striker Albian Ajeti loving life under Ange Postecoglou

Given that Celtic paid £4.5m for Albian Ajeti [BBC], Ange Postecoglou is probably confused as to why he wasn’t utilised more last season.

We did see flashes of his pressing game last season. Ajeti was particularly good in a game against Kilmarnock, winning a penalty and scoring a goal of his own [BBC].

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In that game in particular, Ajeti was winning tackles, getting plenty of touches and harrying the Killie defence out of possession [WhoScored?]. You sense Ange Postecoglou will have done plenty of research on his players before joining Celtic, and that game could’ve made his notes.

If Ajeti, who seemed to disappear late on in 20-21, can re-emerge with Postecoglou’s leadership, it’s a good sign squad-wide. And from a mentality point of view, it’s excellent to hear a striker talking about the manager’s wish to imprint his style on the game, no matter who we’re playing.

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