Ryan McGowan on the Australia World Cup experience that shows Celtic boss' obsession with the game

By Euan Davidson

January 8, 2022

Ryan McGowan, speaking exclusively to 67 Hail Hail, has given a fascinating insight on Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou and his obsession with the beautiful game, with a particular anecdote about Australia at the World Cup.

The Socceroo and former Hearts man spoke to Hamish Carton about tactics, preparation and his approach to football. And it makes for some brilliant insight on the manager who’s taken no time to win over Celtic fans.

Specifically, McGowan spoke of the 2014 World Cup. Australia were in a veritable “Group of Death”, with Chile, Spain and the Netherlands. And while the Aussies didn’t make it out of the group, they impressed with their commitment to attacking football.

Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

That attacking football comes with an undying devotion to the small details of the game, and McGowan talked about what Ange was like during the tournament in Brazil. He told 67 Hail Hail [23:16]: “I would say he is beyond obsessed. Even at the World Cup, there was rumours going round that he was playing Football Manager in his room, because he was just in his room.

“I’m sure of it. He is just fully focused on everything, footballing-wise. Tactics, players, everything. He is obsessed with that, and it’s been a part of his life. That’s why he’s so successful, because of that obsession with it.

“He’s one of the smartest managers, or people. He loves reading, he’s right up to date with everything that’s going on in the world, and he’ll be listening or taking advice from leaders. Leaders of tech companies, big businesses, of everything, picking apart all of those best bits that he thinks will make Celtic successful.

“He’s already shown that with winning a trophy in his first go, which took Steven Gerrard three years.”

“Ange is utterly obsessed with football” | Ryan McGowan on Postecoglou, Rogic & Celtic’s revival

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“Ange is utterly obsessed with football” | Ryan McGowan on Postecoglou, Rogic & Celtic’s revival
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Australia World Cup experience has only boosted Celtic boss Postecoglou’s love for the game

It sounds utterly Ange-esque to stay in his room working on simulations and tweaking tactics by himself while Australia were in the World Cup.

Doesn’t it? Although he’s casual and laid back in a number of ways, his meticulous attention-to-detail and work ethic when it comes to football are incredible. We’ve seen that with the way Celtic players have adjusted; the tactics are good, the instructions are working and it’s yielding results.

McGowan, who was a regular for Ange Postecoglou when the Celtic boss was in charge of the Socceroos, speaks in absolutely glowing terms about him. He’s not the only one, either; Thomas Broich who played under Ange at Brisbane Roar called him a “remarkable man” just this week.

Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images

He may be ruthlessly single-minded in his approach, and purposefully aloof with his players at times, but he also seems personable, methodical and intelligent. Those are traits we want in a Celtic manager. The same way Australia fans would’ve wanted a guy of his attributes leading the Socceroos at a World Cup.

It’s a fascinating interview, and McGowan’s reflections on Postecoglou, the Man, make him only more relatable.

Especially those of us who play far too much Football Manager…

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