"What I always wanted"; Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou on what he's loving about Hoops challenge
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou absolutely loves being doubted.
He’s made a career out of proving people wrong. From his days at South Melbourne to winning the J League with Yokohama F Marinos, his pleasure has been in serving out cold slices of humble pie.
So, to tangle with the Scottish football media? An absolute gift for Postecoglou. He was written off before even taking the job. Then, doubted as he introduced a radical tactical approach. Shockingly, he was even talked up for an early dismissal after a couple of bad results.
Now, Pundits are lining up behind him. The Greek-Aussie has recruited brilliantly. He has the players committed to his cause, and is impressing the same media who dismissed his credentials.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Postecoglou reflected:
“I am enjoying it, I am loving it.
“People are still curiously looking at me and wondering why I enjoy this aspect of managing [the intense public scrutiny] and the challenges of it, but I have always loved football and I am passionate about football. Wherever I have been in that sort of environment, where other people are passionate about it, I thrive.
“It’s all good saying we have hit a decent bit of form. But until you bring success to an organisation … that’s when you know you have begun the process of accomplishing something.
″But this is what I have always wanted, what I have always wanted to be. I wouldn’t change it for anything, I am doing everything I have ever wanted to do.
“…people are now prepared to give me an opportunity. Whereas probably at the start they were questioning whether I should have an opportunity.
“[What I have to do is] bring success to the football club and that success will hopefully help change some of the perceptions.″
It’s a relief to hear Ange Postecoglou is happy with the baggage of being Celtic manager
Let’s be honest here; the life of a Celtic manager isn’t always a happy one. It’s certainly not a stress-free one.
In terms of jobs in Scotland, it’s up there with being First Minister in terms of scrutiny. If you manage Celtic or Rangers, your every quote, expression and choice is pored over in immense detail.
For Ange Postecoglou to actually embrace that is encouraging. He’s shown no signs of being truly disillusioned with the media yet. If anything, he’s sort of toying with them on a regular basis.
And to be fair to the journalists, they’ve had to figure him out, too. Some managers are happy providing soundbites and not really saying what they think. They wouldn’t really have known how to approach Postecoglou initially; he’s a different prospect.
He’s always wanted the chance to manage a big European side. They don’t get much bigger than us. Certainly when it comes to expectation, fanbase and scrutiny.
That Postecoglou is embracing it? That’s an excellent sign. He seems to have a bit of fun, in his own way, with the media. Not only that, he appears to genuinely embrace and enjoy talking to fan media, which speaks volumes. Especially because fan media have the tendency of asking more direct questions, the kind he might not usually answer.
Good times then. But as he says, it’s about winning. Handling the scrutiny is one thing; success is another.
The ideal, of course, is achieving both.