EXACTLY two months ago, Ange Posecoglou touched down in Scotland for the first time as the newly-appointed manager of Celtic.
The Greek-Australian had spent a period in quarantine in London before catching his flight to Glasgow to embark upon what promises to be an extraordinary career as the Hoops gaffer.
The managerial guessing game was over as the club finally named a successor to Neil Lennon, who, coincidentally, departed Parkhead precisely six months ago, two days after a dismal 1-0 defeat to relegation-threatened Ross County in Dingwall.
The Eddie Howe saga stretched inexorably over close to three months before it became obvious the former Bournemouth boss would not be accepting the challenge. Postecoglou didn’t hesitate when asked, immediately quitting J-League club Yokohoma F Metros to take over the role.
POSTECOGLOU IN PARADISE…the Greek-Australian gaffer applauds the Parkhead crowd.
The 55-year-old ex-Australian international chief has swept into Parkhead like a whirlwind.
He has been in charge for nine competitive games and has won the last six in succession with the team responding to his demands with 24 goals over the sensational period.
Postecoglou has also spent something in the region of £15.5million in bringing in goalkeeper Joe Hart, defenders Carl Starfelt and Josip Juranovic, midfielder James McCarthy, winger Liel Abada and striker Kyogo Furuhashi with the promise there are others on the way before the transfer deadline at 11pm a week tomorrow.
After an understandable slow start as the manager implemented the urgently required changes, the support are solidly behind his methods as the east end of Glasgow once again has been lit up with some dazzling, sparkling performances including two back-to-back 6-0 Premiership triumphs.
One interested onlooker is former fans’ favourite Kris Commons who believes Postecoglou is evoking the spirit of Brendan Rodgers on the presetn squad.
The former Scotland international midfielder said: “One of the first things I remember Rodgers saying to us when he took over at Celtic was that he wanted to be relentless.
“He wanted to beat a team 10-0.
CONCENTRATION…Ange Postecoglou watches his players during a training routine.
“It’s something which has always stuck in my head. He wanted a 10-0 victory. At this rate, you wouldn’t put it past Celtic doing exactly that at some point in the near future.
“They are absolutely battering teams just now. In the space of a fortnight, they’ve won 6-0 twice in the league against Dundee and St Mirren.”
Commons, writing in his Daily Mail column, added: “Kyogo Furuhashi has been the poster boy thus far for what fans are now calling ‘Ange-ball’. The little Japanese striker has been a revelation with his pace, movement and finishing ability.
“Moussa Dembele’s best season at Celtic saw him net 32 goals in all competitions. Odsonne Edouard’s most prolific season brought 29 goals.
‘Yet, if he stays fit, Kyogo will comfortably surpass both of those totals. Leigh Griffiths’ tally of 40 goals in 2015-16 could even be a realistic target.
BY THE RIGHT…Kyogo Furuhashi fires in the first goal against AZ Alkmaar.
“Because, make no mistake, Kyogo is a natural in front of goal. He will terrorise defences this season with his electric pace and movement.
“Liel Abada is another of Postecoglou’s signings who has hit the ground running, but you also have to admire the way the manager has reinvigorated players who were already at the club.
“Tom Rogic and Anthony Ralston look like two new signings. Ralston, in particular, is a great example of the way a coach can develop a player and help them improve.
“The vast majority of Celtic fans probably wouldn’t have wanted him anywhere near the first team this season because, quite simply, they didn’t think he was good enough.
“But his performances over the past month have definitely silenced a lot of critics. It takes a lot of courage and mental strength to fight your way back like Ralston has.
“On current form, he’s the best right-back in the country and should be in Steve Clarke’s Scotland squad this week for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.”