Now that Eddie Howe is no longer happening (Howe about that eh lads?), Celtic are once again on the lookout for a new manager.
And it appears that eccentric Aussie Ange Postecoglou is next up on the agenda.
The Yokohama F. Marinos manager comes highly-rated as one of the best coaches on the Asian scene, and has led his adoptive country to World Cup qualification twice, before things came to a messy end on the international scene.
Other than that, though, no-one seems to know too much about him, with the UK press scrambling to find out as much as they can before his expected arrival in Glasgow’s East End.
So, who is Postecoglou, how do you pronounce his name, and how many sugars does he take in his tea? Let’s find out.
One of the things that has attracted Celtic to Postecoglou is his record of winning titles.
He’s won the A-League twice each with South Melbourne and Brisbane Roar, he won the J-League with Yokohama, and won the Asian Cup with Australia when he was in charge between 2013 and 2017.
The latter was famously Australia’s first ever major trophy, and he took them from ranked 52nd in the world rankings to number 25, when he left shortly before the 2018 World Cup after a dramatic fall-out with the hierarchy.
Everything about Postecoglou is geared towards attacking football, and that has been to his detriment in the past.
His uncompromising style led to him lasting less than a season in Greece with Panachaiki in 2008, but he’s prepared to take the ups with the downs – he sees his philosophy as bigger than himself, and won’t change it for anything.
He’s been compared to Marcelo Bielsa in the past for his intensity and commitment to positive football, so if there’s one thing Celtic can be sure they’re getting under Big Ange, it’s goals.
Man City scout Fergal Harkin is preparing to take over as Celtic’s new director of football, and now it’s being claimed that Yokohama’s manager will be joining him at Parkhead.
The connection may not seem obvious, but Yokohama are one of eight clubs under the City Football Group
There seems to be something in the works between City and Celtic. Several players have gone from the Etihad to Celtic Park on loan in the past, and Enzo Maresca – one of City’s senior youth coaches – was among the early favourites to take the Hoops’ job after Neil Lennon’s departure.
When Man City faced Yokohama Marinos in a pre-season friendly in 2019, Pep Guardiola was left thoroughly impressed with what he saw.
City ran out 3-1 winners, but only managed 42% possession against a Marinos team who beat them at their own game in many ways.
“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.”
Everyone in Australia rates Postecoglou. Everyone in Japan rates Postecoglu. Virtually everyone who knows anything about football in Asia or Oceania rates Postecoglou. And most of them reckon he’s a much, much better coach than Eddie Howe.
Tokyo-based football writer Scott McIntyre told the BBC: “Just because people may not have heard of him does not diminish his record.
“With all due respect, all Eddie Howe has done is win one Championship title in England. Here we’re talking about a coach who won back-to-back A-League titles a decade ago, including a 36-match undefeated stint – the longest in any sport in Australia.
“He went on to lead Australia with impressive performances against very strong opposition in the 2014 World Cup. He won the Continental Championship and the Asian Cup. He then led the team to qualification for Russia 2018.
“He came to Japan and, in his second year, won the J-League, which is one of the top 10 leagues in the world.”
Despite the surname suggesting otherwise, Postecoglou is an Aussie through and through.
He was born in Greece to Greek parents, but moved to Australia when he was five years old and was raised in Melbourne on a diet of Foster’s lager (probably) and Australian rules football.
He reckons his heritage down under has prevented him from being taken seriously in the past, and he’s out to change that.
“Being Australian, I sometimes feel I’ll never walk into a dressing room and get that instant credibility because of where I’m from. But that’s fine.
“In Australia, where I’ve had success, I never assumed that people would follow me because of who I am. I knew that I’d get buy-in if I could provide clarity, if I could put the right picture in people’s minds.
“I’ve been able to do that. It doesn’t scare me. It’s who I am.”