Ange Postecoglou is already following Brendan Rodgers template at Celtic

By Euan Davidson

June 12, 2021

When Brendan Rodgers joined Celtic on the 20th May 2016, he entered Paradise alone.

On that day 5 years ago [BBC], we weren’t entirely sure who he’d bring in alongside him. Chris Pascoe was his assistant at Liverpool, while Mike Marsh and Glen Driscoll would also have been trusty choices [Bleacher Report]. In the end, he went with Chris Davies [Celtic FC].

Similarly, Ange Postecoglou has kept his cards close to his chest regarding a no.2 in the Celtic dugout. A similar wait may follow, with no shortage of candidates. All we know at this stage, is that it likely won’t be former Rangers man Kevin Muscat [Daily Record], which is something of a relief.

Shaun Ontong served as Postecoglou’s assistant at Yokohama F Marinos, while John Hutchison joined the Japanese outfit as a coach not long ago [The World Game]. Either may be tempted to swap Japan for Glasgow under the charismatic boss’ influence.

However, it might serve Postecoglou well to have someone who knows about both the Hoops and how Postecoglou works. That makes Scott McDonald a potential candidate, although at 37 years old, he’s still playing in the A-League for Western Sydney Wanderers.

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There’s also an outside chance that Postecoglou could turn to someone like Tim Cahill. An experienced campaigner with Everton, Celtic fans would certainly be keen to have him aboard, and his knowledge of the game on these islands could prove vital.

Brendan Rodgers took his time and built his staff carefully; Ange Postecoglou may be best advised to do the same

Undoubtedly, there’s concern that Postecoglou will have some staff foisted upon him. John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan could find themselves leading the first few days of pre-season training [Daily Record], which makes getting rid of them – should he want to – that bit more difficult.

Admittedly, Postecoglou has never been afraid of ringing the changes at a new club, as proven most brutally at Brisbane Roar. However, it seems relatively likely that at least Kennedy will be kept on in some form. Unless he’s keen to forge his own path in management sooner, rather than later, of course.

Kolo Touré was a success at Celtic / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Brendan Rodgers took his time and chose wisely. There were surprise successes like rookie coach Kolo Touré, who was taken to Leicester City when Rodgers left Celtic. A combination of an ex-player or two, and someone with coaching experience by Postecoglou’s side, may be the obvious choice here.

Sure, there are anxieties about staffing, especially with so little time before Champions League qualifiers. But if Postecoglou is anything, he’s his own man. We can be relatively safe in the knowledge that the new Celtic boss won’t be hurried into a decision by the club.

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