If you wanted Roy Keane at Celtic, you might like Ange Postecoglou

By Euan Davidson

June 5, 2021

Plenty of Celtic supporters still hold a flame for Roy Keane over Ange Postecoglou.

That’s fair enough, it’s subjective. For many, the Celtic dressing room is too soft. Someone like Keane, a noted disciplinarian and no-nonsense sort of man, as well as a Celtic supporter, might seem like a no-brainer. He’d be someone to come in and immediately sort out the weak from the willing. No frills, no egos; you’re either willing to risk your body for the cause or you can leave.

And to a degree, it’s a view that most could sympathise with. It seemed like Neil Lennon was trying to build that siege mentality in 20-21, but to little effect. It doesn’t always work, of course, but there are plenty who see the current crop at Paradise as prima donnas, who are eyeing up their next move. It’s entirely fair.

But while Roy Keane might’ve been the man to do it, Postecoglou has a proven record of not suffering passengers. At the start of his famous stint at Brisbane Roar, which yielded two A-League titles and the longest unbeaten run in Australian footballing history [Brisbane Roar], Postecoglou made some ruthless decisions.

Happily, from a Celtic point of view, that included releasing some big names, formerly associated with Rangers. Bob Malcolm, Charlie Miller and Craig Moore failed to adapt to Postecoglou’s methods, and were out the door. As his former A-League chief Archie Fraser puts it [Daily Record]:

“He inherited a bunch of senior players who didn’t want him. They tried to do everything to make sure he wasn’t successful.

“The previous boss Frank Farina had had a great relationship with the players. He had recruited guys like Bob Malcolm and Charlie Miller.

“It was pretty clear those guys ran the show. So when Ange came in and wanted them to play differently they just didn’t put in 100 per cent.”

A touch of Roy Keane, but with more appealing ideals: Ange Postecoglou could win over warring factions

While it’s still to be seen whether Ange Postecoglou actually arrives at Celtic, let alone if he hits the ground running, the hypothetical scenario involving the coach seems to fit with both the football purists and the traditionalists. For those, as mentioned, who think Celtic require a tough dugout presence, Postecoglou has shown his ruthless streak.

Equally, the Celtic supporters who grew disillusioned from ‘Lennybol’, the Greek-Australian’s preferred playing style will hold huge appeal. If you like, he wants his team to play “the Celtic way”, creating countless opportunities and imprinting games with his own style, rather than necessarily responding to the opposition.

Despite reports, he does smile and laugh / (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

This isn’t us supporting “the board’s man”, here. But it is to say that so much of what we read and hear about the guy holds appeal across the Celtic support. He’s by no means some soft analytics dweeb, but he’s also more than adept at playing an attractive, successful style, and has a history of modernising the approaches of clubs he’s been at.

So, he may be an absolute failure, or he may the one-size-fits-all manager Celtic need. Anything’s possible, but the record suggests he could be all things to most supporters.

READ MORE: Paolo Maldini seems to have cooled his jets