ANGE POSTECOGLOU will quite rightly be afforded a special accolade from the grateful Celtic fans when the Premiership silverware is handed over this afternoon.
The Greek-Australian has deservedly been lauded for his phenemonal impact on a club that looked fractured beyond immediate repair after last season’s dire campaign when they limped through a maze of mistakes while failing to deliver a trophy in 11 years.
It was a daunting task for Postecoglou, but he didn’t hesitate in accepting the challenging role on June 10 and, including a fortnight in a London hotel in quarantine, arrived in Scotland just 13 days later.
BIG ANGE HAS LANDED…Celtic’s new manager Ange Postecoglou arrives in Glasgow.
It was a ship without a rudder with no captain after the exit of Scott Brown, no leading scorer with the imminent departure of Odsonne Edouard, and no international backbone with Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie heading for the exit.
No hope? No worries!
Postecoglou set about the rebuilding job with a ferocious verve and gusto and here we are today, dear friends, with the league championship – the club’s tenth in 11 years – about to be presented after the game against Motherwell in Paradise where it will keep the Premier Sports League Cup company in the trophy room.
Fairly impressive from the 56-year-old former Australia World Cup chief.
But Postecoglou was brought crashing back to earth earlier this week by a former occupant of the Parkhead dug-out, a laidback gentleman by the name of Martin O’Neill.
PHEW…Ange Postecoglou puffs out his cheeks at the full-time whistle following the 1-1 draw at Tannadice.
The individuals met at the club’s Foundation charity bash in London on Thursday night and the genial Irishman took the opportunity of having a quiet word with the present-day gaffer.
Postecoglou revealed: “Martin mentioned he won a treble in his first year! I only won a double!
“It’s all good. That’s the beauty of this football club. You don’t need to look anywhere else for motivation or inspiration. It’s a club which is built on success and great deeds.
“All of us who get the chance to serve the club, you want to set your own mark and try to emulate the feats of the great people who’ve been here.
“I just find it inspiring and motivating that the legends have set those standards.
“It’s up to me, the people who work with me and the ones who come after me to try to maintain those standards.”
MAKE MINE A TREBLE…Martin O’Neill with the silverware clean sweep after his memorable debut season as Celtic manager in 2000/01.
O’Neill did, indeed, sweep all before him as he hit the east end of Glasgow with the force of a hurricane in season 2000/01 and delivered the clean sweep of domestic silverware in a swashbuckling, flamboyant manner with Henrik Larsson taking centre stage in a team off all talents.
Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “It helped we’d won the title. It might have had a different feel if we hadn’t got the result the night before.
“The Foundation really does unbelievable work. The people who support it and run it are unbelievable in terms of effort.
“It was a great night because it was for such a great cause and it was great sharing that moment with people who love this club.
ON THE BOSSES…Martin O’Neill and Ange Postecoglou have a chat at the Celtic Foundation evening in London.
“It’s been pretty full on. But it was great to support the Foundation and it was great to see the legendary Martin O’Neill there and spend some time with people. But I had to get back up here for training, so it was a bit of flying visit.
“I’d bumped into Martin a couple of times before very briefly. He has always been very kind and it was great to catch up with him. He’s a great man.”
And the Celtic support is united in echoing that sentiment for the likeable character who was manager of Yokohama F Maronos this time last year.
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