How Ange Postecoglou revolutionised Celtic
Postecoglou is working wonders at Celtic.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has imposed a dominant, attacking style of play on the team, which has been labelled 'Ange ball' by supporters. His footballing philosophy and transfer dealings have revolutionised the Scottish football giants.
Here's how Postecoglou turned things around at a club that was down in the doldrums before he arrived.
Ange Postecoglou appointed Celtic manager.
Postecoglou's appointment as Celtic manager last June raised many eyebrows amongst supporters of the Glasgow club. The 56-year-old was an unknown quantity on this side of the world. While Eddie Howe, currently Newcastle United manager, was the favourite for the job.
Postecoglou was not Celtic's first choice, but he is a manager of an international pedigree. Ange had won trophies domestically in Australia and Japan. He also guided Australia to their first-ever Asian Cup and led them to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
After four years as the national team coach, he resigned from his post in 2017
Celtic manager, Ange Postecoglou, asked by a Scottish journalist why he chose to sign “four Japanese players” 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/qM5XhhnQAe
— Brendan McGeever (@BrendanMcGeever) February 6, 2022
The Greek-born former Australia international then took over at Japanese team Yokohama F. Marinos, where he was a successful coach for three years before departing for Celtic.
Postecoglou promised supporters exciting football and stuck to his word.
"I’ve yet to meet a group of supporters or a group of players who don’t enjoy scoring goals and creating fantastic moments. That’s why I concentrate on that style of football,” he said.
“My origins are I was a massive fan of Johan Cruyff, massive fan of that Ajax team, and my father was. That sort of led me to look at the aesthetics of football, rather than just the end result."
Ange Postecoglou transfer strategy at Celtic.
After missing out on the chance to win 10-in-a-row last season, Celtic were in need of a rebuild.
Former manager Neil Lennon left mid-way through a miserable season where matches were played behind closed doors.
Rangers won the league by 25 points in an invincible campaign as Celtic had their worst season in recent memory.
Since taking over, Ange has signed 17 players and let 19 players leave.
The Hoops cast their net wide as they signed players overseas from the Netherlands, Russia, Israel, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, and four from Japan.
Under Ange, Celtic spent £23.8m, in total, whilst they sold £33.8m worth of talent, according to Transfermarkt. They made a profit of almost £10m, yet their squad is now considered significantly stronger than the one that looked lost under Lennon last season.
In modern football, this is an incredible achievement. How many other squad rebuilds have there been in recent years where the club has made a profit from transfers? It just doesn't happen.
Postecoglou's rebuild has been swift and stunning, and Celtic's squad has been transformed.
Celtic's season under Ange Postecoglou.
The Australian native is doing a phenomenal job under tight financial circumstances. Ange has transformed Celtic with a new philosophy of football and recruitment. Players such as Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate were unknown quantities before signing from Japan.
His team plays a fast, fluid, attacking, style, and Ange has made the defence a solid unit. They press high and retain possession in the final third.
Celtic deploy a 4-3-3 formation with attacking full-backs. Callum McGregor uses his pace to sweep up from defensive midfield and then orchestrate attacks.
👋 Good morning, 𝗖𝗲𝗹𝘁𝘀🍀 pic.twitter.com/xpFXYEUAYD
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) February 3, 2022
The front five press high, which causes opposition to panic in their own half. It is also common for teams to play the long ball against Celtic to try to bypass their press. However, having Joe Hart as sweeper-keeper allows for the defence to press higher.
Meanwhile, players such as Tom Rogic have flourished under his fellow countryman. If you are a creative player, Ange Postecoglou will give you the license to express yourself.
'Ange ball' has not just influenced Celtic, but Scottish football as a whole. Rangers and other sides will surely need to adapt to Celtic's new approach.
Ange Postecoglou's Celtic contract.
Already this season, Celtic have won the Scottish League Cup and sit top of the Scottish Premier League so far this season. The Bhoys are still competing in the Scottish Cup and the UEFA Conference League. They are on course for a successful season under their Australian coach.
However, Postecoglou is currently operating on a 12-month rolling contract and it surely won't be long before a club in England take notice.
Before that happens, Celtic's hierarchy may need to act swiftly if they want to keep him long-term.