What Pep Guardiola, City and Tom Rogic have said about Celtic candidate Ange Postecoglou

By John McGinley

May 29, 2021

Celtic star Tom Rogic once compared managerial candidate Ange Postecoglou to Brendan Rodgers, while Pep Guardiola heavily praised the style of football seen from his Yokohama Marinos side.

Celtic supporters have been left underwhelmed by the Postecoglou appointment rumours, which were reported last night.

The reaction is understandable given his lack of experience in European football and the fact we lost out on our number one choice Eddie Howe.

At 67 Hail Hail, we’re trying to find positives, for our own sanity more than anything. It’s less about endorsing the decision to appoint Postecoglou if it happens, and more about searching for hope as a last resort.

Taking a look back at some comments made about Postecoglou in the past does offer a bit of positivity in a trying time.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

Celtic star Tom Rogic on Ange Postecoglou

Rogic played under Postecoglou for Australia of course, so will know the man better than anyone else at Celtic right now.

The attacking midfielder hasn’t had the best of times at Celtic himself over the past couple of years, but his best form came during the Brendan Rodgers era.

Interesting then that he once compared his former national team boss to his former club boss.

Rogic told ESPN in 2016: “It’s almost a bit of a similar feel as I see the managers being a little bit similar in ways — both quite positive and both quite intense to work under.

“The way it crosses over, it’s good for me to have that similar mindset going into both.

“The environment’s good, the team’s good; when you’re playing, you’re happy and, when you’re winning games, it’s all good.”

Raheem Sterling and Pep Guardiola

Yokohama Marinos played Manchester City in a Japan friendly in 2019 and Pep Guardiola was very complimentary about the style of football played under Postecoglou.

Prior to the game, Guardiola seemed excited by the test, telling media: “Having watched Yokohama videos this could be the best game we play because of the way they play. Both City and Yokohama have same philosophies. It’s a pleasure to be in Japan again and hopefully the fans enjoy the football.

City won the match 3-1, with Yokohama giving a good account of themselves.

Raheem Sterling was impressed after the game, telling The World Game that “they’re probably one of the best teams” he’s seen playing out from the back.

Guardiola was effusive too, stating: “Yokohama played some incredible football and they were an incredible test for us. I knew how good they were and it was tough for us.”

Celtic star Tom Rogic with Ange Postecoglou / (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The City Group

Of course, the cynic in you will look at those comments from Guardiola and Sterling and suggest that it was all PR considering that The City Group own 20% of Postecoglou’s side.

And what of The City Group and their thoughts on the former Australia boss? Well, they’re big fans.

Damian Willoughby, senior vice-president of partnerships at the organisation, told The World Game last month: “Ange is a phenomenal coach and has done an exceptional job at Yokohama.

“When Manchester City played Yokohama in a pre-season game at Nissan Stadium a couple of years ago it was not only a great game for a pre-season friendly but it was hard at times to separate Manchester City from Yokohama in terms of the style of play. He is one of the leading coaches in the world.

Ange Postecoglou has been linked with the Celtic job / (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

“[Style of football] is pivotal and one of the key criteria when we are looking to bring coaches into the organisation that there is absolute alignment with the philosophy. Of beautiful football and our belief on the way the game should be played.”

So, he does have his admirers at least.

Does it make us feel any better about the situation at Celtic? Not really, but that’s not Postecoglou’s fault.

In other news, Celtic manager Fran Alonso speaks to 67 Hail Hail about key SWPL clash.