Steve Kean talks up rave reviews he keeps hearing about Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou

By David Walton

September 21, 2021

Steve Keen has been discussing the popularity of Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou after spending his latest managerial stint with Melbourne Victory.

Postecoglou has cult-hero status in his homeland after taking the Aussies to a World Cup and breaking new ground for Australian coaches. His success in his homeland and in Japan was rewarded with a major step up in being offered the Celtic job. Now, all eyes are on how Ange copes as he looks to bolster the reputation of Aussie coaches.

Of course, the Hoops man is anything but inexperienced. One of his previous jobs was with Melbourne Victory – his final job before taking the Socceroos role. And his 18-month stint there ended with Ange having made a big impression on the coaching staff.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

A coaching staff some of which remain with Melbourne to this day. Former Blackburn Rovers manager Kean worked with them during his spell as assistant and interim manager with the Victory, and has touched on how big of an impact he left on his former club.

As quoted by the Daily Mail, Kean said: “Ange moving to Celtic might have surprised people in other parts of the world, but not so much at Melbourne Victory. Ange is very, very well thought of in Australia and I had players I knew at Blackburn like Brett Emerton who spoke so highly of him. You have Craig Moore who has an Australian and Scottish connection who speak very highly of him.

“I was at Victory last season and some of the staff Ange brought in are still there and still think the world of him. They’re not only at Victory, but all over Australia. He is very well respected and a lot of people have followed his career and the way he coaches.

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“I think Ange will put his own identity on the club very soon. You can clearly see the way he wants to play. I don’t think, even if teams press them high, it will stop Joe Hart throwing or passing the ball out from the back. Even if they lose a goal – and it happened at Victory that they lost some early goals when team pressed them – he will continue to play that way. I think that’s the way Celtic fans want to see the team play, so long as they win.”

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A lot of pressure riding on Celtic boss as Steve Kean outlines his popularity

You can’t say these reviews of Postecoglou are surprising. We know just how popular a figure he is in his homeland. But with it comes a level of responsibility.

Postecoglou’s sole goal will be to improve Celtic and eventually win back the Premiership title. Hopefully with the added sprinkles of making us a force in Europe once again too. But outside of Parkhead, he carries the hope of a nation of ambitious young coaches.

There can be no debating it – Australian managers aren’t fashionable. They have seldom been given a fair crack at the whip in Europe. So much so that if Postecoglou succeeds at Celtic, it’ll be the first Aussie boss to succeed at a high-profile club.

Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

What that will do for the image of football in Australia is difficult to pinpoint. However, at the very least, it will show that there’s talent to be unearthed there. Clubs have ignored Australian talent for far too long. Celtic, clearly, are trying to dip into something new here.

Simply put, the A-League isn’t taken seriously enough. It’s not fashionable or high-quality enough for clubs to dip into the market. Yet you’ll have managers in England build their reputations upon what they do at League One and League Two level.

Hopefully, Postecoglou can increase the respect and appreciation of Australian football during his time at Parkhead. With so many high-profile Aussies that have done it on the park, it’s naive to think they can’t do a job off it either.

In other news, Celtic starlet Adam Montgomery’s golden chance to become first-choice left-back